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What has changed in the Windows Server 8 Task Manager

For most general purpose troubleshooting in Windows, Task Manager is the de facto tool. Here is what's new and what has changed in Windows Server 8 Task Manager.

While I never really want things to go wrong, I do want to be able to troubleshoot if needed. Probably the tool I use most commonly for that first step is Windows Task Manager. In Windows Server 8, a couple of new things are in place as well as a totally overhauled interface.

If you run Windows Server 8, the Task Manager is still accessible in all of the same ways we're used to. The Processes tab is one of the first places I go in basic troubleshooting. In Windows Server 8, running processes are categorized into groups: Applications, Background Processes, and Windows Processes. This processes screen is shown in Figure A:

Figure A

Figure A

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The next major area of Task Manager is the graph that shows resource consumption. The CPU graph is a good barometer of how “busy” a system is, but only if you know what is normal for that workload profile. Arranging the different sections by disk is a nice touch. This particular system has a C and an E drive, both of which can have I/O visually represented real-time. The performance graphs are shown in Figure B :

Figure B

Figure B

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The Processes tab that starts the view into the system performance in Windows Server 8 doesn’t have an option to show all of the additional data that we all know and love. This includes process ID (PID), paged pool memory, what user is running the process, and whether it is a 32-bit or 64-bit execution. The Details tab of task manager on Windows Server 8 shows us all of that good stuff as shown in Figure C: Figure C

Figure C

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Finally, there is now a Services tab within Task Manager. This makes perfect sense as you can identify some area of trouble, then click over to the Services tab and restart the offending service. This nifty feature is shown in Figure D below:

Figure D

Figure D

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Windows Server 8 keeps bringing new little features in every pocket that I explore. Do these improvements appeal to you for basic Windows troubleshooting? Share your comments below.

About

Rick Vanover is a software strategy specialist for Veeam Software, based in Columbus, Ohio. Rick has years of IT experience and focuses on virtualization, Windows-based server administration, and system hardware.

4 comments
link470
link470

Loving the fact that svchost.exe is showing what child process it's running in brackets. Much more easy to spot something suspicious, and know what's causing each of those process instances to show up. Maybe this was in 2008 or even 2003 as a feature and I never noticed...but still, that's nice! Very slick interface overall.

rduncan
rduncan

my first port of call used to be task manager but I prefer Powershell cmdlets now as a much handier way- get and set processes, services and view log entries, works great remotely and you can use the commands on an array of servers. finally a Unix like command language on Windows

jokicmla
jokicmla

This task manager is also available in Windows 8. Highly helpful - graphs are a plus, I find the services tab very useful and in general just much more convenient to use for troubleshooting purposes.

jfuller05
jfuller05

Task manager is the first place I go to as well for basic troubleshooting. Server 8's task manager looks great. It actually looks more helpful! I really like the way 8 has the data organized in task manager. Easy on the eyes and full of information.