WinTasks 4 Professional

This program enables you to start and stop processes, change the priorities of the processes and examine their use of, for example, DLL’s, CPU and memory. Below is a screenshot of the main window of the program, too big (read “filled with options”) to be here in it’s entirety, but it’s enough for you to get the idea.

The installation is very simple, you don’t even have to restart Windows in order to start using the program. To help you get started there’s a great user manual that explains everything in great detail while keeping it simple and concise. If there were only more manuals like this one maybe users would actually start reading them more often.

What the readers of HNS are mostly interested in is security, so here are the security-related features:

  • Find and kill unwanted backgroung processes like viruses and trojans
  • Use the process log to find out which processes have been executed on your computer
  • Create scripts to prevent a specific process from running
  • Save the current process configuration to a preset, allowing you to instantly restore that configuration and terminate all unwanted processes.
  • Find out how you can use WinTasks to spot spywares
  • Learn how to increase computer security by logging CPU-usage

By reading Improving System Security by Logging CPU Usage, a good whitepaper at the LIUtilities website, we find out that: “One way of finding suspicious processes is to look for unexpected CPU usage. Many of you have probably used this method already, using the windows task manager find out which processes are using the CPU. The windows task manager is rather limited though, and it doesn’t give you CPU usage graphs for each process. To make this method really efficient we also need to save the CPU usage for many hours, so that we can inspect the CPU usage graphs later looking for deviations and unexpected CPU loads. WinTasks 4 Professional is capable of logging CPU usage per process for up to 24 hours, which is more than enough for detecting suspicious process.”

Another very informative whitepaper, Keeping Track of Your DLLs, tells us that: “One utility that lets you monitor which DLLs are used by a process is WinTasks 4 Professional. This program list all modules (DLLs) used by a specific process. You can also search for a specific DLL to find out exactly which processes are currently using it. WinTasks also includes some logging features which makes it possible to log DLL usage over longer time periods. This will definately simplify the process of creating minimal distributions that work on any system.” I believe that software developers will find this very useful.

This screenshot shows all DLLs currently loaded by the process SPOOL32.EXE

WinTasks automatically logs information about all the programs that are started and stopped. This means that it is afterwards easy to control what has occured on your system.

From what I’ve experienced I can surely say that this product is of great value to both IT professionals and software developers. Head over to LIUtilities and get yourself a copy. WinTasks 4 supports Windows 95/98/NT/2000 and XP. Some features are only supported in Windows NT/2000/XP though, due to limitations in the operating system.

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