Tip/Trick: List Running ASP.NET Worker Processes and Kill/Restart them from the command-line
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by Scott Guthrie
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Windows has two built-in command-line utilities that you can use to help with this: Tasklist and Taskkill.

Within a command-line window you can type "Tasklist" to obtain a listing of all of running Windows processes on your system:

C:\Documents and Settings\Scott>tasklist
Image Name                   PID Session Name     Session#    Mem Usage
 ========================= ====== ================ ======== ============
 System Idle Process            0 Console                 0         16 K
 System                         4 Console                 0        212 K
 smss.exe                     824 Console                 0        372 K
 csrss.exe                    876 Console                 0      5,116 K
 winlogon.exe                 900 Console                 0      3,848 K
 services.exe                 944 Console                 0      4,112 K
 lsass.exe                    956 Console                 0      1,772 K
 svchost.exe                 1372 Console                 0     22,240 K
 svchost.exe                 1524 Console                 0      3,428 K
 svchost.exe                 1572 Console                 0      4,916 K
 spoolsv.exe                 1788 Console                 0      5,660 K
 inetinfo.exe                 352 Console                 0      9,860 K
 sqlservr.exe                 612 Console                 0      7,348 K
 sqlservr.exe                 752 Console                 0     15,552 K
 explorer.exe                2960 Console                 0     25,224 K
 CTHELPER.EXE                3660 Console                 0      4,964 K
 LVComS.exe                   872 Console                 0      3,092 K
 msmsgs.exe                  3596 Console                 0      6,532 K
 sqlmangr.exe                3096 Console                 0      4,264 K
 OUTLOOK.EXE                 1740 Console                 0     75,992 K
 iexplore.exe                 472 Console                 0     37,372 K
 cmd.exe                      732 Console                 0      2,436 K
 tasklist.exe                3104 Console                 0      4,156 K
 wmiprvse.exe                3776 Console                 0      5,416 K

TaskKill can then be used to terminate any process instance in the above list.  Simply provide it with the PID (Process ID) value of the process instance to kill and it will terminate it:

C:\Documents and Settings\Scott>taskkill /pid 1980
 SUCCESS: The process with PID 1980 has been terminated.

ASP.NET on Windows 2000 and XP runs code within the "aspnet_wp.exe" worker process (when using IIS).  On Windows 2003 it runs within the IIS6 "w3wp.exe" worker process.  Both of these processes are launched from Windows system services, which means you must provide the "/F" switch to taskkill to force-terminate them:

C:\Documents and Settings\Scott>tasklist
Image Name                   PID Session Name     Session#    Mem Usage
 ========================= ====== ================ ======== ============
 aspnet_wp.exe               3820 Console                 0     13,512 K
C:\Documents and Settings\Scott>taskkill /pid 3820 /F
 SUCCESS: The process with PID 3820 has been terminated.

As a short-cut, you can also just provide the process image name to "Taskkill" if you want to avoid having to lookup the PID value for a specific process instance.  For example, the below command will kill all ASP.NET worker processes on the system:

C:\Documents and Settings\Scott>taskkill /IM aspnet_wp.exe /F
 SUCCESS: The process "aspnet_wp.exe" with PID 2152 has been terminated.

ASP.NET and IIS will automatically launch a new worker process the next time a request is received by the system.  So when you run the above command it will shutdown all active ASP.NET Worker processes.  When you then hit the site again a new one will be automaticlaly launched for it (and it will have a new PID as a result).

Note that both TaskList and TaskKill support a "/S" switch that allows you to specify a remote system to run the commands against.  If you have remote admin rights on one of your co-workers machines this can be a lot of fun.

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User Comments

Title: Really helpful   
Name: Manjur
Date: 2009-11-18 5:16:03 AM

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