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It seems that whenever the Windows 8 Task Manager is about to be launched, it first reads the file C:\Windows\System32\launchtm.exe, and then it reads the contents of my C:\Windows\System32\CatRoot folder. Because of the sheer number of files in that folder (> 1000), it takes more than ~2 full seconds on my SSD on a cold boot before Task Manager comes up.

Is there a way to prevent this? Why does it happen, and how can I make the task manager start up quickly as in Windows 7?

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Win8 Consumer Preview still had the old taskmgr.exe, while the new one was called tm.exe. If it's still like that in the final Win8, then you could try to rename tm.exe and hardlink the old one. – gronostaj Feb 28 '13 at 18:24
@gronostaj: It's not like that, but even if it was, that wouldn't help -- the file reading seems to happen inside WinLogon itself. – Mehrdad Feb 28 '13 at 18:25
Related:… – Mehrdad Feb 28 '13 at 18:33

This looks like a bug in Windows 8 itself. If you go to the bottom left of your screen and right click the mouse button where the menu opens (see the picture at the bottom) and click on "Task Manager" menu item there, it should open almost immediately.

(as in the picture)

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Yeah it's not task manager that's the problem, it's WinLogon. Trouble is that usually when you actually need to start task manager with the key combo, it's because the UI has frozen (so this isn't necessarily viable). – Mehrdad Jun 23 '13 at 23:42
+1 but how to stop UI for being freeze..? @Mehrdad – shashwat Jul 14 '13 at 14:22
@Shashwat: I would recommend creating a shortcut to taskmgr.exe and assigning a shortcut key to it (see here). Although waiting for Task Manager to open is annoying, it still behaves just like it used to in older versions of Windows, so it is not really a problem when the UI freezes. – paulius_l Jul 14 '13 at 19:28
But what is the problem in WinLogon, then? Is there any backing documentation for this statement? Any word on how/when this will be fixed? Whether workarounds are available? I have this problem but definitely don't want the old task manager back. – Mels Jul 17 '13 at 8:32
Has this bug been raised with Mirosoft – CodeBlend Mar 10 '14 at 12:31
up vote 1 down vote accepted

This seems to be fixed in Windows 8.1.

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Upgrading to 8.1 seems to be a huge problem for a lot of people – CodeBlend Mar 10 '14 at 13:06

Replace the new one with the old oneif you like the old more:

How to restore the good old Task Manager in Windows 8

enter image description here

It uses the "debugger" option inside the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options to redirect the call to a different tool.

I've seen the C:\Windows\System32\CatRoot folder in WIn7, too. Heere the audiodg.exe hangs at first start if you have too many CAT files (because of Updates). Maybe you use too many MUI packages on your Win8.

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