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We all know & love process explorer. The question is should it be used as the main task manager and replace Windows task manager (launched on CTRL-SHIFT-ESCAPE).

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What's the real question? --> "Can this be done?" –  l0c0b0x Jul 22 '09 at 20:21
    
No, should it / do you do it? –  ripper234 Jul 22 '09 at 20:28
    
@l0c0b0x: Yes it can be done. I've done so on my laptop and it has an option: "Replace &Task Manager" –  Kevin M Jul 22 '09 at 23:57
    
Should, people, not can. Dictionary, anyone? –  ripper234 Jul 23 '09 at 6:59
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closed as not a real question by John Gardeniers, mdpc, Khaled, Bryan, Dave M Jan 18 '13 at 14:53

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8 Answers

No- it's not a big deal to run it manually and if you have someoen on the box that doesn't know how to use it it just confuses them. It's also slower on large systems than task manager (which isn't shocking- its getting more stuff.)

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No. When your system becomes overloaded - it's hard to launch ANYTHING, and PE is heavier to load than the standart one.

As Jim B said - you can run it manually (assign another hotkey, for instance).

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PE is great but it is much heavier than taskman –  Jeff Atwood Jul 23 '09 at 9:37
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Yes. Having it replace the default task manager give you the same information + a hell of a lot more while cutting down the time/extra steps needed to launch it when you might need it.

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The nice thing about replacing Task Manager with Process Explorer is that you can always switch back easily (without resorting to registry hacks) if you do not like the switch.

I gave it a try for a while, but found out that its performance is worse than Task Manager's. Sometimes, when trying to find out the app that's causing the highest CPU usage, PE points to itself :)

Another detractor for me: I have a 64bit OS. Every time I lunch PE, it creates a 64bit process, uses it, and deletes it in the end. The whole thing takes cycles, not to mention irritates the hell out of my security software :)

BTW, if anyone here knows of a way to make the 64bit process permanent (so it won't be recreated every time) - please let me know.

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No.

I love ProcessExplorer as much as the next admin. But when you need it you can launch it pretty easily, even from a remote network share so you don't have to have it on every server.

Also, it changes the environment for other admins you work with who might be surprised in an unpleasant way. Which I most assuredly don't want if I'm working on someoene else's box, and I don't want them confused by mine either.

As others have said it's way more resource intensive too. The last thing a box I'm troubleshooting a runaway process on needs is another hog fighting for resources.

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Whether or not to do it is debatable. I tend not to on shared machines because it replaces the taskmgr value under HKLM which ends up affecting anyone that logs onto the machine. I just personally don't like to mess with the settings of other users. If it's a server with limited access to interactive logon then I tend to go with the masses. If we all like Process Explorer and want to replace it, then we'll do it. If not, then I'll just start it manually when i want to use it. The time involved with launching it manually is negligible.

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On your own machine it likely doesn't matter. Whatever your preference is.

If you are pushing it out to all machines in your domain and setting it up that way I would advise against it. Users who make use of the task manager will often become confused and end up calling your helpdesk, sometimes thinking they have a virus.

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Yes!

I would say process explorer is perhaps one of the handiest tools out there. I use it more than almost any other diagnostic tool for windows. To really get the most out of it however you really need to turn on CPU history, Memory history and I/O history. That really gives you all the information you need to diagnose the most common windows annoyances like hung processes and apps that seem to slow others down. It is also a good way to spot apps that have memory leaks. Those who run stable systems that can go for weeks without a crash find that one feature especially useful.

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