Enterprise Software

7 Tips for Using System Information

5) Running Tasks

The Running Tasks section of the Software Environment category is similar to the Processes tab in Task Manager, but provides several unique pieces information that makes it a valuable troubleshooting tool. For example, in Running Tasks you’ll find Start Time, Version number, File Size, and File Date information, all of which can provide helpful information when troubleshooting various problems. You won’t find that type of detail on the Processes tab.

You’ll also notice that in Running Tasks, Priority is listed using a numeric scale running from 4 to 13 whereas the Processes tab’s Base Priority is listed using a scale of Low to High. In some cases this more finite measurement can be very valuable. (When comparing the two priority ratings I have noticed that the two scales differ slightly, but for the most part a Low equals 4, a Normal equals 8, and a High equals 13.)

Working Set information differs as well. Running Tasks simply shows Minimum and Maximum values, if they exist. I suppose in some way this might be valuable information, but I have not really paid much attention to those values; besides the majority of tasks show these values as Not Available.

Of course, the biggest difference is that Running Tasks’ display is static whereas the data on the Processes tab is updated frequently. However, take note that there is a Refresh command on the View menu.

Now keep in mind that the Processes tab in Task Manager provides all sorts of valuable information and the Running Tasks is no substitute, but used concert the two provide a great source of information.

Image created by Greg Shultz for TechRepublic.

About Greg Shultz

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

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