Killing Windows Server 2008 Processes remotely

This is a quick and easy one.

Found a client Window Server 2008 this morning that I couldn’t RDP into. When I attempted to RDP in I would be prompted for the username and password and then the connection would just die silently.

The host was a VM so I fired up the VMware vSphere Client and took a look at the console of the server. The screen was displaying “Shutting down Acronis Scheduler2 Service service”. The server was trying to end this process/service to do a restart from the scheduled Windows Update install from Monday morning at 3am.

I arranged a quick outage window during the clients lunch hour and started trying to resolve this. I figured that if I could kill the hung service remotely then the reboot would probably carry on normally.

I jumped on to the clients terminal server and fired up Computer Manager and connected it to the server that was having problems. Found three services in a “Stopping” state.

“C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Acronis\Schedule2\schedul2.exe”
“C:\Program Files (x86)\Acronis\AMS\ManagementServer.exe”
“C:\Program Files (x86)\Acronis\BackupAndRecovery\mms.exe”

So, I now knew which processes were causing the hang up. How to kill them remotely since I couldn’t logon.

Some quick Google phoo found me this. From the terminal server I used tasklist.exe and taskkill.exe to kill the schedul2.exe process.

Sure enough the console then carried on with the shutdown and restart of the server.

The more I used Windows Server 2008 the more impressed I am with the features and tools it offers admins these days.

Update (20100812): I’ve had to repeat a similar process on Server 2003 and found that tasklist.exe and taskkill.exe are also present in 2003. They even have the same usage switches.


One Response to Killing Windows Server 2008 Processes remotely

  1. Michael Fox says:

    I hear you and have to totally agree. Windows Server 2008 is pretty damn slick. I’ve learnt a great deal from reading the MCITP Server Admin books. And I keep finding information nuggets when I do a bit of research about certain stuff too.

    I think I will be saying the same thing when it comes time to finally do my RHCE sometime.

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