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I am trying to load Process Monitor (Procmon.exe) from Sysinternals, and I get the following error on startup.

Unable to load Process Monitor device driver

In the Event Viewer, I get the following.

Driver PROCMON11.SYS has been blocked from loading.

What is blocking it from loading?

Background information: I have no anti-virus or malware checker software installed, other than Windows Defender (which I think is part of Windows 7).

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

It seems that most people on the web who had this problem, solved it by installing a newer version of procmon, or an older version if their's was the latest.

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I was not aware that Procmon.exe even needed a "PROCMON11.SYS". I've been running Process Monitor as a standalone executable just fine. I searched my C drive for a procmon11.sys and it does not exist. Maybe it is packaged with the executable?

Viruses often try to prevent software from running that might alert someone to its presence. It sounds like a virus might be aware that you are trying to start Process Monitor and giving you this obscure error message to throw you off track.

Try installing the free version of AVG... or try installing Spybot Search and Destroy. If I'm right... the installation or update of those programs will probably fail.

Check out this answer.

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When I run Procmon.exe on a 64-bit system, it spawns a process Procmon64.exe and loads Procmon20.sys neither of which exist as files on the hard disk. I assume this are contained inside the procmon.exe executable and extracted and and run/loade on demand. I am guessing the 32-bit version will use procmon11.sys instead of procmon20.sys – sgmoore Nov 17 '10 at 10:35
Yes, ProcessMonitor extracts its driver at runtime. In fact, RootkitRevealer not only extracted its driver at runtime, but gave it a random filename to avoid detection by rootkits. – Synetech Mar 31 '11 at 1:06

An action that worked for me was to restart the computer (powering it off in the process, if it matters).


  • Windows XP SP2 Professional 64-bit.
  • Process Monitor v3.03 (released 2012-07-16).
  • I had previously used Process Monitor v2.03 (likely release date 2008-12-10).
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Evidently, Procmon requires the Workstation service running in order to start. It uses that service to enumerate something and will silently die without it.

This is not documented anywhere and is pretty bogus.

Similar question on Server Fault:

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Try running ProcMon as administrator (right-click ProcMon.exe and select "run as administrator").

By default, it'll pop the "Run as Administrator" dialog (probably triggered by trying to access a kernel-mode driver), but if you turned off UAC, you may not get that dialog, and th app would just fail in accessing the driver.

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I did. But nothing changed. – AngryHacker Nov 19 '10 at 0:36

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