How to Kill an Application Remotely

How do you kill an application that’s running on a remote computer if RDP (mstsc) isn’t available?  Yesterday, I talked about a great little program that would restart your hanged applications if you’re on the server console.  Today’s a related topic but it’s a solution to those times when the console isn’t available.

Here’s how I do it.

Download psexec from Microsoft.  Simply drop this single .exe in your C:Windows directory, on the server you’re working from.  So long as you have administrative privileges on the client machine, you can now run any DOS command on that workstation/laptop with the following DOS commands:

1) Go to start -> Run and type:  psexec \\machinename cmd  (where machinename is the computer name you’re accessing)
— This will run a command line window from the local machine for a remote machine

2) From here, type in:  tasklist
–you’re now viewing Task Manager for the remote machine

3) Get the PID for AplPch.exe  (The Process Identifier (PID) isn’t typically shown by default, so you may need to go to ‘View’ –> ‘Select Columns’ and select this to see it.)

4) Finally, from the same command line window, run:  taskkill /F /PID yourPID#

Voila.. process killed!   There’s actually many more great uses for being able to login to a client machine this way.  Obviously, since you’re able to now run command line operations on the client machine from your server, you can pretty much accomplish any task the command line would normally allow, such as delivering software to all of your client machines without SCCM/Group Policy or all of those other expensive System Administration tools.

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