Windows 10: Zombie processes (upgrade from Win-7) Solved

  1. Posts : 2
    Win-10 Home 64-bit; Build 10240
       18 Sep 2015 #1

    Zombie processes (upgrade from Win-7)

    Hi all,

    I'm here seeking advice on an issue I'm having with my upgrade from Win-7 to Win-10. Google doesn't seem to be my friend on this one so I don't think it's a common problem. I'm being plagued by zombie processes, meaning that I'm having to reboot as much as every few minutes and it's disrupting my workflow enormously. Overall I'm very happy with the upgrade but if I can't fix this problem then my system is effectively unusable and I'll have to revert to Win-7.


    The problem has cropped up in relation to Firefox, VLC and MS Edge, though I suspect that it's system-wide since these are the only programmes I use continually (though I've used Winword with no problems).

    With VLC the programme hangs when I attempt to open a file while one is already playing, and adding the desired file to the playlist produces the same result - VLC plays the first file to the end and then hangs at the point that it should be starting the next. It seems that the duration of the files or the amount of time that VLC has been playing them for has some impact - it usually behaves with music and video clips and misbehaves with longer video files.

    With Firefox and Edge the problem tends to manifest when I attempt to navigate to a new URL, apparently at random, and seems to bear no relation to the content or domain of the target. The behaviour of the browsers is less predictable than that of VLC but no less unreliable and frustrating. I'm surprised (in my ignorance) that the problem is the same with Edge, since my understanding was that the Modern apps use a very different architecture to the Desktop programmes.

    When a programme hangs, I am unable to kill the process with either Process Explorer or Taskkill in CMD. I'm informed that the process has been killed and with VLC the window disappears (the browsers remain, greyed out), but it remains in the process list, frozen in terms of its apparent resource use. Further attempts to kill it in Process Explorer return the 'process not found' error, and likewise with Taskkill. Process Explorer shows one or two stubborn threads which I can't maually kill, of various thread IDs and start addresses, though DSOUND.DLL always seems to be present, at least with VLC. The state of all is Wait:WrPushLock. I don't know how useful this info is but can provide more detail about threads if necessary. Im led to believe that a reboot is the only resolution to a zombie process in Windows, but it's happening with such regularity as to render my system unusable.


    MODEL // Asus Notebook K52F
    OS // Win-10 Home 64-bit; Build 10240
    CPU // Intel Core i3; M370 @2.4GHz (4 xCPU)
    MOTHERBOARD // Asustek K52F; BSN12345678901234567 v1
    RAM // 4GB
    GRAPHICS // Intel HD Graphics

    My upgrade from Win-7 was fairly smooth, although it did hang for several days at the end, at the mesage 'It's taking a bit longer than usual to set up your device, but it should be ready soon', prompting me eventually to hard reboot, whereupon Win-10 loaded up. I wonder if this has some bearing.


    I've tried reinstalling VLC, to no effect, and updating drivers, which process itself hung and required a reboot. Dxdiag reported no problems, and Reliability Monitor wasn't any help. I've scanned with MBAM and MBAR and found no malware. I'm therefore reaching out for any assistance your community is able to offer me. I'm loathe to perform a Refresh or Reset since I've made a large amount of customizations, regedits and such which I don't wish to have to repeat, unless I'm sure that the problem will have been resolved. Would a Reset/Refresh resolve my problem, or just overwrite all my customizations to no effect? Any help and advice you can offer me would be greatly appreciated.


      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2. Posts : 2
    Win-10 Home 64-bit; Build 10240
    Thread Starter
       23 Nov 2015 #2

    For anyone who has this kind of problem in future, absolutely nothing I tried, including methodically stripping out software and performing a Reset, made any difference. In the end I formatted the C: drive, taking the opportunity to remove some partitions, and performed a clean install. If you've upgraded from Win-7 or Win-8 you don't get a license key, but your hardware profile is recorded on MS's servers and you can create an installation disk and skip the license key prompts. The clean copy of Win-10 is running beautifully now.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    23 Nov 2015 #3

    I think newest 10586 build accepts COA stickers keys at installation. Not 100% sure though.

    I made a clean installation that way from Win7 and Win10 said it was "permanently activated".
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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