On Windows 8, I regularly get processes into a state where I can't terminate them. Skypekit.exe seems to be the process that's most likely to trigger that issue, but other processes can do that, too.

When I try to terminate these processes, I sometimes get an "access denied" message, sometimes nothing happens - but every following attempt to kill that process results in an "access denied" message, too, even though I...

  • have administrative rights (and ran the task manager with it)
  • own that process
  • have the right to terminate it

"Process Hacker 2" shows a more detailed error message, stating that I couldn't terminate the process because it already is terminated. Still, the process is most definitely still there, because every task manager I tested still can see it.

According to Process Hacker, skypekit.exe is still running one thread: skypekit.exe!Sal::VoiceEngineInterface::SALwindows_salsa_debug_3871+0x257e5

Process Hacker's "Terminator" is unable to kill such a process, but when running the "Close the process' handles" tactic, Process Hacker gets stuck himself, leaving its windows in "not responding". In that state, other task managers are in turn unable to kill Process Hacker.

The problems seems to be a handle that cannot be closed. That Handle is named "\Device\Afd". Closing this handle results the process closing it getting stuck in the same way (first try), or in an error message explaining that the Handle was protected using NtSetInformationObject (further tries).

When I tried to close this handle manually once, then try to terminate skypekit.exe using its "Terminator" -> "close ... in kernel mode", I get a kernel panic.

The only way I found to actually end these processes is to shutdown (which works without any problems).

Why is this happening? How can I kill these processes?

  • Sounds like those processes are waiting for kernel-level drivers (think drive controllers, etc.) to respond, and when you do manage to force it to die, it takes out the kernel driver with it, and in-turn your Windows stops. The kernel can override your permissions (think of it like the "System" user is the owner). But that's all just a guess; and it shouldn't be happening anyway. :) Have you checked all hardware (drive checks, RAM checks, etc.) yet? – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Nov 11 '12 at 19:05
  • I don't have any hardware problems I'm aware of. But I just realized my text above is confusing: I never had Windows (the OS) freezing, just the program windows of Process Hacker. – fefrei Nov 11 '12 at 19:23
  • Ahh I see what you mean. Process hacker froze. Probably waiting for whatever is failing to respond. :/ Have you considered testing your hardware anyway? In the Win8 Task Manager if you find/right-click the troublesome process under the "Details" tab, and pick "Analyze Wait Chain" does it show anything? – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Nov 11 '12 at 19:29
  • RAM checked out to be OK. I'll try that "Wait Chain" thing when the problem occurs again. – fefrei Nov 11 '12 at 21:33
  • "Analyze wait chain" said "skypekit.exe is running normally". Although that thread is terminated. Sort of. – fefrei Nov 14 '12 at 8:14

Try using the latest drivers from the manufacturers (Intel and Realtek) instead of using the ones from MS.

If you can regularly reproduce the problem, try removing the Realtek card and/or then disabling the Intel adapter, testing with each change, and see if the problem persists.

  • I updated both drivers and will see if I can reproduce the problem again. – fefrei Feb 15 '13 at 10:28
  • I can still reproduce the problem, although I have updated all network-related drivers. – fefrei Feb 16 '13 at 16:24

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