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How to kill process which does not want to? I have Access Denied message when trying to kill the process. I know it can be due to device driver waiting and probably this is the reason.

But my question is how to kill process nevertheless? I am administrator, I don't want a process to wait any device drivers or something. I want it to die.

How to accomplish this?

Running Task Manager, procexp and procexp64 as an administrator didn't help.

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marked as duplicate by Kevin Panko, Tog, fluxtendu, Moses, David Jan 17 '14 at 5:13

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

What process is it? – AthomSfere Apr 19 '13 at 18:27
Any which write to disk. For example javaw.exe – Dims Apr 19 '13 at 18:28
Interesting. I can kill the system process and force a blackscreen reboot using Process Explorer, so I am suprised that there are things you can;t kill with it. – Frank Thomas Apr 19 '13 at 18:29
I am surprised too. But this is the fact. – Dims Apr 19 '13 at 18:30
Is Java running anything else? What account is running it? Yours? Is it a child / parent of anything? – AthomSfere Apr 19 '13 at 18:45
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Depending on the state of the process, there may be no way to kill it at all. See this answer for a more detailed discussion, the crux of which is:

If it doesn't go away, it's currently locked waiting on some kernel resource (probably a buggy driver) and there is nothing (short of a reboot) you could do to make the process go away.

Check this Wikipedia section:

The purpose of the administrator account is to allow making system-wide changes to the computer (with the exception of privileges limited to Local System)

As the Adminstrator, you're (close to) the boss of user space (apart from the above caveat about Local System). The buggy driver is running in kernel mode. See Jeff Atwood's writeup on the two modes here.

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It is a way: I can logoff then logon. But this is long way. Is there a short one? – Dims Apr 19 '13 at 19:04
Also it is strange, that being an administrator, I am still limited in rights. Buggy driver also should be killed in the case. – Dims Apr 19 '13 at 19:07
See my edit above. – Geoff Apr 19 '13 at 19:26
@Dims You can't just kill a buggy driver. Drivers can only be gracefully removed; Anything else will involve a system crash. So if a driver won't respond to a signal that it needs to unload, the only solution is to shut down the system and not load the driver when you start it back up. – Darth Android Apr 19 '13 at 22:11
The how can I kill the process if logoff then logon? No system crash occur and no reload! – Dims Apr 19 '13 at 23:20

I can confirm all these "unable to kill app, access denied" problems are related to faulty drivers.

I had that problem in windows 8.1 for quite some time, it was driving me nuts until I discovered it was one of my USB MIDI controllers.

So..! the best way to solve this is:

  1. you get the stuck app, it says "access denied" when you try to kill it.

  2. Open your task manager

  3. Start disconnecting devices while looking carefully at the task manager.

  4. Once you unplug something and the app goes away from the task manager you KNOW it is causing the problem.

  5. Update the driver or wait for a new one for the offending device.


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And... how to unplug internal CDRom in laptop? ;) – TheFrost Jan 28 '14 at 21:06
I could physically unplug my thumb drive, but an application I don't want to kill has locked it from normal Eject. And that application won't exit gracefully until I get rid of the orphaned/zombie process (also run off the thumb drive). Catch-22. – Jesse Chisholm Jun 7 '15 at 16:35

ResourceHacker utility will do this for You for Your own risk, of course, because killing system processes is sometimes risky!

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You haven't included anything about Resource Hacker - what is it, where to get it and, the most important thing, how to use it to kill a process. I've just run it (that old resource-editing tool) and couldn't find anything related to processes. – gronostaj Sep 6 '13 at 15:04

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