Process Explorer v12's new server administration features

Version 12 of the Sysinternals Process Explorer diagnostic tool has new features that allow admins to have even more visibility into Windows Server processes.

Process Explorer, which is arguably one of the most frequently used Sysinternals tools, has been updated to version 12. The latest version includes a number of new features that allow server administrators to see what program, service, or system process is interacting with a file. According to this TechNet blog, the update also includes a number of other minor improvements and bug fixes.

The significant new features for the popular diagnostic tool include the following:

  • Show Web hosted Internet Explorer 8 processes
  • Display of svchosts's service category
  • TCP/IP information for properties of a process
  • Service name mapping to running threads
Process Explorer has a lot of tabs and views, so it may take you a while to find the new features. Figure A shows the new feature that displays the TCP/IP information of a given process. Figure A

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Figure B shows an example of the new feature that will display a Windows service name to a running thread. This feature detects if a thread has been started by a service. Figure B

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In Figure B, the two processes on the left (vpxd and JettyService) were originated from a Windows service and have the Service tab visible. On the right, the user process (Firefox Web browser) does not have a Service tab.

You can install Process Explorer version 12 via a free download from the Microsoft site. This update of Process Explorer works for Windows Server 2003 and higher. It also works on Windows XP and higher. This tool continues to hold the crown of most useful in my book.

Process Explorer is the most useful tool that I use in my server admin work. What do you think of Process Explorer? How do you use it? Share your thoughts with the TechRepublic community.

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