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Change your Process name in Windows Task Manager!

Submitted on: 9/2/2006 8:57:00 PM
By: Billy Conner 
Level: Advanced
User Rating: By 2 Users
Compatibility: VB 6.0
Views: 26188
     An alternative method to hide your process from Windows Task Manager. Ive had the idea to do this for many years, but i couldnt get past the GPF's with sendmessage. recently i figured out how to make it work. Screenshot included.


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Other User Comments

9/2/2006 10:52:33 PMBilly Conner

since many people dont read comments inside the code before running it, here is a simple note. you should compile first before you run it; that way the application has its own process.
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9/3/2006 7:34:10 AMSooekd

How can hide app and no kill endtask.
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9/3/2006 2:48:14 PMBob Hutchison

Pretty minor problem is: when this shows up in the windows task manager, and I click on the "Image Name" bar to sort by name, the entry (in my case 'explorer.exe') stays where it popped in, and won't sort properly. Minor problem.
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9/3/2006 6:15:07 PMBilly Conner

i believe that i have completed the first step of many steps that will be needed for this to be 100% accurate. the next step is subclassing WTM. if its subclassed instead of the timer you can do alot more methods to trick the user. another idea i had(which involve subclassing) was, when the syslistview is redrawn, totally delete the item from the list before its refreshed. that would help it out alot i think. anyways, feel free to modify and post. i may add subclassing someday when im bored if its not done already by someone else.
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9/3/2006 6:23:40 PMBilly Conner

also about the sort problem noted by Bob Hutchison; to get around this, if your app name was "explored.exe", i dont think you'd have any problem hiding it and keeping it sorted as "explorer.exe". but i understand it could be an issue. you'd be better off using another name, since there should only be 1 "explorer.exe" to start with, mine was just a sample since its a [User] ran process and not marked as [system].
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9/7/2006 1:01:50 AMRoger Kovach

I am hoping to use some of your work to fulfill a somewhat simpler requirement: I just need to find if a given program is already running (to prevent a second running of that program). I have found that your process fails (returns 0) at this line RetVal = FindWindowEx(RetVal, ByVal 0&, "SysListView32", "Processes")
unless Task Manager is running. This would not be the normal situation for my users. I would be grateful for any light you can shed on these isues.

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4/13/2010 11:33:05 AMBlessed

I tried to figure out how to call the function to change the Process Name, but failed to see any clue. Kindly give an example of how I can say change a Process Name called "MyAPP.EXE" to say "NEWAPP.EXE"
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4/15/2010 7:07:26 PMBilly Conner

i run winXP, i have not tested this on winVista, nor win7. but in the timer1_timer event you can change the existing code from ModifyExe("explorer.exe", App.EXEName & ".exe") to ModifyExe("NEWAPP.EXE", "MyAPP.EXE")
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