Troubleshooting Hangs and Other Problems with Resource Monitor

Occasionally, you'll encounter a program that seems to be stuck. Sometimes "(Not Responding)" appears in the title bar, but the most obvious symptom is that nothing is happening and the program is apparently waiting for something—but what?

A Windows 7 enhancement to Resource Monitor can help to answer that question in some cases. To see why a program is hung, open Resource Monitor. (On the Performance tab in Task Manager, click Resource Monitor.)

On the Overview tab, under CPU, right-click the name of the executable file for the slow program (if Windows has recognized that the program is not responding, the name will be red) and choose Analyze Wait Chain . The dialog box that appears (see Figure 23-8) provides details about the holdup . If the program is running normally, Resource Monitor reports that fact in the Analyze Wait Chain dialog box. But if the program is waiting for another process, Analyze Wait Chain displays a tree-structured list of processes, organized by dependency. You can select and end any of these processes to remove the roadblock.

caution ^

Note that ending a process can make things worse. When you do so, the process closes immediately, and you will lose any unsaved data . It might also lead to further system instability, for which the best cure is restarting your computer. Rather than using Resource Monitor to end a process, you're better off using the program's normal close procedure, if possible. Nonetheless, using Analyze Wait Chain in Resource Monitor can be an effective tool in identifying problems and—in some cases—bringing them to a quick end .

Note also that many programs depend on other processes and services as part of their normal operation, so the mere appearance of processes in the Analyze Wait Chain dialog box doesn't necessarily indicate a problem. If the process name on the Overview tab is not red, its status is Running, and everything is working normally, you shouldn't end a process or take any other action.

Digging Deeper with Event Viewer 825 For more information about Resource Monitor, see "Using Resource Monitor" on page 716 .

Digging Deeper with Event Viewer 825 For more information about Resource Monitor, see "Using Resource Monitor" on page 716 .

Figure 23-8 Analyze Wait Chain can sometimes be useful when a program is waiting for input in a dialog box that is hidden and inaccessible behind a window.

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  • Aleksi
    What is "analyze wait chain"?
    9 years ago
    How to monitor program hangs?
    9 years ago

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