Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'd like to request some help in creating a Batch file to run on a windows server which will monitor processes which sometimes get "stuck" and linger after they should be killed.

Specifcally, I can see the "age" of a process in the Elapsed Time column of the PsList command

Name                Pid Pri Thd  Hnd   Priv        CPU Time    Elapsed Time
FMSCore            4908   8 146  892 750720     0:01:46.221     4:02:15.907
FMSCore            4780   8 144  943 853060     0:00:42.510     4:02:15.348
FMSCore            3532   8 146  878 553784     0:01:30.262     2:04:56.969
FMSCore            5384   8 147  753  45484     0:00:03.198     0:05:11.267
FMSCore            9548   8 133  608  17408     0:00:00.592     0:00:34.298

The next step, is I only want to kill processes which are older than 4 hours. So I believe we will need to parse the results of my PsList command, extract the last column, parse for hours, and if we find that it's "old enough" we parse out it's PID and kill it.

If we were talking about bash or some other scripting language I think I could figure it out, but for a batch script, I don't know.


(note: I'd be willing to run an autoit script or something else, if needed)

share|improve this question

You probably want PowerShell in this case. Date and time manipulation in batch files is kinda hard (you can't even reliably get the current date/time, for example), comparing arbitrary data types as well.

In PowerShell this is trivial:

Get-Process | where { $_.StartTime -lt (Get-Date).AddHours(-4) } | Stop-Process

ETA: After a little more thought this may be easy enough in a batch file, I'll look into it later today and see whether I can get something working.

share|improve this answer
You can do this in a batch file, but you have to use the "dreaded" FOR loop to parse out the data you don't want. I recommend that you use powershell since it is so much more powerful.If you used a batch file, your code would look something like: FOR /F "tokens=8" %%A in (pslist) DO { – Doltknuckle Jan 17 '12 at 17:45

Since you are more familiar with bash, try this:

pslist| mawk "$1 == 'FMSCore' && int(substr($8,1,1)) >= 4 {print 'pskill '$2}" | cmd

You can download mawk from here:

(this version of awk is great for win32)

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.