Using Task Manager to investigate Virus and Malware issues
To launch Task Manager (Windows 2000 and Windows XP)
Just hit CTRL / ALT / DEL all at the same time
Windows 98 users will get an abbreviated version of this called Task List.
This window is excellent view into workings of the computer.† This window tells you what applications are running and their load on your computerís processor.† Most everything on this screen should be something that you have launched yourself.††
The more load on your processor for programs running in the background the slower it will get for tasks that youare trying to do in the foreground.
For a more detailed view you can see all the processess which underlie the applications.
Processes Ė Task Manager
To use this screen most effectively click on the CPU column once or twice. This will sort all processes by which use your computerís processor the most.† The view is dynamic.† Meaning the view will change as the the tasks change.† If you find something frequently hogging your CPUís resources then proceed to do a Google search on it using the Image Name exactly how it appears in Image Name column.† For instance I might want to know what is ViewMgr.exe.† If I do a search on it it tells me this from a discussion board source on forums.net-integration.net:
Apr 16 2004, 03:11 PM
Apparently the last update of AIM included this little piece of software called Viewpoint Media Player).
I just suddenly got a popup saying there was an update available. The update was called Viewpoint Toolbar (WARNING WORD: TOOLBAR) and it had a rather ominous looking EULA with it.
At this point, I did a fast CTRL+ALT+DEL, and found a program running called ViewMgr.exe, that I had never seen before that moment. It was associated with the Viewpoint software.
I shut down ViewMgr.exe, and uninstalled the Viewpoint Media Player from the control panel.... Sure enough, a search for "View", "Viewpoint" and "ViewMgr" revealed that Viewpoint was still on my computer. The Viewpoint.exe itself was in my main AIM directory, and other files and cookies (hmmmm) were scattered elsewhere. It didn't look like anything had really been uninstalled.
So I deleted all that stuff manually, and I think Viewpoint is all off my computer now. Viewpoint clearly isn't a program with good intentions, to be doing so much behind the scenes. Between this and Wildtangent, AOL really needs to be taken to task over spyware.
Just a word of caution here.† While in Google its good practice to check a couple of independant sources and see if they agree with the their recommendations.† Unfortunately recently I have noticed rogue sites masquerading as spyware help sites instructing users to either buy some magic cure all software or offering help that is potentially risky.† So beware.†† If in doubt consult with others you know.