Very effective temporary solution to task manager error

By shortbusheros4
Aug 24, 2007
  1. for the past few days i have been having problems with my task manager, i dont know how it started but i DO know that whenever i hit CTRL + ALT + DEL task manager does not pop up and when you try to open that or the command prompt or regedit in the " start/ run" thingy it just says
    "another program is currently using this file." ive been reading the forums on the error and i really just dont understand all the log stuff everyone keeps posting. and from what I can understand I dont think that anyone has been able to find a solution to it yet. i haven't found any real solution either but i happened to have found a temporary solution that doesn't seem to have been mentioned yet from what i've noticed.

    (this list of steps may look long and complicated, but infact they are very short and simple and should not take too long. I just made sure i was very clear and thorough on each little detail.)

    STEP 1:
    - restart your computer in safemode
    (note: i only did this in safe mode just because i happened to be in safemode when i came up with this idea and i haven't tried it in regular mode. you're welcome to skip going into safemode and do the rest of the steps but i CANNOT promise you it will work.)

    STEP 2:
    - go into "C:\WINDOWS\system32\"

    STEP 3:
    - find the file "taskmgr.exe"

    STEP 4:
    - copy and paste it onto your desktop
    (note: make sure you are actually copying the file and not just making a shortcut)

    STEP 5:
    - rename the new file anything you want other than "taskmgr.exe"
    (i named it "dawg.exe")

    STEP 6:
    - restart your computer in regular mode
    (note: skip this step if you skipped STEP 1)


    STEP 7:
    - once you've logged into your user double click the copied file on your desktop(AKA "dawg.exe" in my case), taskmanager should pop up.

    STEP 8:
    - make sure you have selected the programs tab at the top right
    (note: if you are a skilled computer person please read the STATEMENT near the bottem before you perform step 9, if you aren't too skilled then i suggest just finishing the last step for the sake of avoiding any possible confusion the statement may cause.)

    STEP 9:
    - there may be multiple programs listed that open upon start-up, find "installer" and close it.

    once you've done that a few things should work correctly now; you should be able to open task manager regularly through CTRL + ALT + DEL, limewire will stop trying to open (or install itself if you uninstalled it in an effort to fix the problem), you can open command prompt, and you can use the regetid.

    AGAIN this is only temporary. meaning you will have to do this everytime you log into your user (don't worry, just steps 7 through 9) this does not solve the problem or rid your computer of any nasty malware that may be causing the problem. it is mainly just to provide a pretty effective mode of relief from this problem until someone figures out how to fix it.


    looking back at step 9, if you right click on "installer" and click "Go to Process" it sends you to the process "taskmgr.exe" you will also notice that in the process list you can see "dawg.exe, or whatever" meaning that the task manager you are actually using is under the "dawg.exe/whatever" file and that something has hijacked the identity of the actual task manager and appears in the processes as "taskmgr.exe" and is using it against your computer. (well atleast that is what i have intuitively concluded, i do not know exactly what it means) Now i'm not too knowlegdable about actual codes and logs and programmings but i have a good feel for the dynamics and such of how computers work, I may just be looking too much into this little detail but i feel like this might reveal a clue to anyone trying to really find the solution to the problem.....return to step 9 if you haven't done so yet.

    I hope this has helped! =)

    NOTE: before i did this ENTIRE process i ran a scan with "Spybot Search and destroy" in safemode, i dont think that it is necissary to do that to acheive the steps. but if the steps end up not working like i described then you may want to go to and search for "Spybot Search and destroy" it is completaly free and in my opinion works great. but again it is not required.
  2. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,026

    Thanks - kept for future reference!
    I note a comment about limewire - peer2peer file shares can have some odd side issues so do you think that is what caused the problem in the first place?
  3. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

    Hello and welcome to Techspot.

    It sounds to me like your system is infected with some sort of malware.

    While your solution is quite interesting, I think it`d be prudent to do the following.

    Go and read the Viruses/Spyware/Malware, preliminary removal instructions. Follow all the instructions exactly.

    Post fresh HJT, AVG Antispyware and Combofix logs as attachments into this thread, only after doing the above.

    Also, let me know the results of the AVG Antirootkit scan.

    Regards Howard :wave: :wave:

    This thread is for the use of shortbusheros4 only. Please don`t post your own virus/spyware problems in this thread. Instead, open a new thread in our security and the web forum.
  4. shortbusheros4

    shortbusheros4 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    yes, im pretty sure thats what caused it for a number of reasons. my brother said that he was just closing windows and it crashed, which doesn't really make sense. so in other words he was downloading porn and just didnt want to admit it so he tried to cover it up by coming up with that lame excuse. im pretty sure he was using limewire. he always does when he does that stuff. and limewire is the program reopens every single time I try to close it. it never had done that until the day I noticed i was getting popups and task manager stopped working. ing to go camping like RIGHT NOW so i probably wont be able to post those combofix logs until like sunday night. yeah so dont think im abandoning this thread, im just gonna be outta town for a couple of days so be sure to check in then! =)

    BUT im leav
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