I have this process which hangs on windows 2003, with no other clue regarding what caused the hang. The OS still works, but the process itself cannot be killed, and requires a reboot to go away.

I read this is most likely a driver issue, but I need to pinpoint more precisely what's going on, in order to replace the faulty driver/hardware or whatever.

I tried Process Explorer, ProcDump, ADPlus, UserDump: everything which tries to touch that process hangs as well.

Any suggestions on how to determine what is causing the process to hang?


To clarify my question: I don't want to know how to kill the process, or why it hangs. You can't possibly answer that.

I'm asking for suggestions on how to inspect the process and see where it hangs, considering the tools I listed above hanged as well.

  • 4
    And the process is voldemort.exe? Your question avoided naming it... – Bart Silverstrim Feb 22 '12 at 13:25
  • I don't think it's relevant to the question, anyway it is a custom executable embedding a java VM which runs Apache Cassandra. – Flavio Feb 22 '12 at 13:29
  • 1
    So it's a custom program doing something strange interacting with a driver, and you are asking why it would cause something to hang despite not giving details on what it's doing. Um...okay. – Bart Silverstrim Feb 22 '12 at 14:08
  • There is a laundry list of reasons a process can't be killed in windows. Without more information about the process, about methods you used to attempt to kill it, or information on the errors being thrown... all we can do is twiddle our thumbs and promptly forget about this question. – TheCompWiz Feb 22 '12 at 14:49
  • Updated question. I'm not asking you why it hangs: you can't know. I'm asking for a way to discover why it hangs. – Flavio Feb 22 '12 at 15:34

The only reason processes become unkillable is because the process is waiting on Windows Kernel for something. Since Windows will never give you full control over the OS, you can't kill the process until Windows finishes whatever function the process called.

This is commonly caused by driver issues, but could be any number of other problems in the Windows kernel, especially on a 8 year old operating system. My only (poor) suggestion: best bet is going to be updating anything and everything you can: drivers, framework software, Windows Updates, Java, and anything else you can find.

  • Thanks but it's a machine in a production environment; I can ask for something to be updated, but I must have some evidence that it is causing trouble. I'm looking for ways to gather that evidence. – Flavio Feb 22 '12 at 15:36

A long shot, but it reminds me of a zombie console window bug that XP/2003 used to have; but was fixed in SP2 for 2003 and only actually applied to processes being debugged in visual studio, so it likely won't apply to you.

Details here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/982551

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