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For example, does any one have a good website recommendation that lists and updates details on (at the very least) common processes that run on most PCs?

In particular, I'd like to know what the rbtsport.exe process does. What is the best way to go about doing that? Or, is finding out what each does a more or less ad hoc process involving searching on Google, etc.?

<<edit below>>

My current method involves using Process Explorer, which I love, in conjunction with an internet search - but I was wondering if there was a better way, especially since so often the top search results on processes had smelled too much of spam in the past.

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What version of Windows? –  mtone Mar 7 '11 at 20:02
    
@mtone, I'm on Win XP at work, Win 7 at home. This is for work, and looks like @goblinbox is correct about it being that our company is probably using Riverbed Technology's product. –  drapkin11 Mar 7 '11 at 20:47
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Process explorer is an excellent option. –  MaQleod Mar 7 '11 at 20:47

4 Answers 4

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Your process is either a rogue anti-spyware program or the Steelhead Mobile Client from Riverbed Technology. How can you tell? By behavior: did you install software from Riverbed Technology? Or did you install something from a deceptive web site pretending to be a malware scanner?

As far as I know, an Internet search is always the way to go. There are so many programs out there and, like exploits and viruses, they change all the time. I'm not aware of any kind of subscription service that offers a one-stop solution for the ever-changing world of processes one can find on one's computer, but it does seem like it could be an untapped market!

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looks like our company is using Riverbed Technology's product, thanks –  drapkin11 Mar 7 '11 at 20:48

In XP, Start-Programs-Accessories-System, check out System Information under Software Environment - Running Tasks and Loaded Modules. There you will find the manufacturer, version, date, path and filename of the various processes. That gives a quick overall glance at a workstation before starting google searches for specifics.

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+1 for informing me that Windows does give more info about processes beyond the 'Task Manager'! –  drapkin11 Mar 7 '11 at 20:56

Google search is always a good way to go, but beware the fake sites that just try to sell you more spyware posing as a scanner by providing false information about processes. They are easy to spot as they always give vague, canned information about processes. I wrote a program a while ago, it will tell you where on your hard drive a process was run from and it will tell you all associated processes (parents or child processes). It can help you decided if something is legitimate or not. It will also google a process. The app is called Process Manager.

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+1 for your work on Process Manager! In your opinion, has Process Explorer superseded your creation in features? –  drapkin11 Mar 7 '11 at 20:53
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Process manager was designed for different purposes, it was meant to be more of minimal tool for basic process information in an easy to read app. It lets you easily associate processes with open windows and other associated processes. Process explorer can be more useful depending on what you need to know about the process. Process Manager does not (yet) provide information about what the process is accessing, only where it originated from, and I don't have plans to implement real time cpu and memory usage at this time. Overall, process explorer has more features. –  MaQleod Mar 7 '11 at 21:07

Sadly, there isn't any single reliable source I know of... and because of the huge numbers of files in the databases, many process-information websites are crowd-sourced, semi-automated, or even just ad-revenue sites, and therefore not always trustworthy. I'd Google anything that smells funny, compare multiple sources, and trust your own judgement.

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