Windows – Why sometimes Windows cannot kill a process

killprocessvisual studiowindows

Right now I'm trying to Run/Debug my application in Visual Studio, but it cannot create it because the last instance of the app.vshost.exe is still running. Then, by using the Task Manager I'm trying to kill it, but it just remains there with no signal of activity.

Beyond that particular case (maybe a Visual Studio bug), I'm very curious about the technical reasons why sometimes Windows cannot kill a process?

Can, an enlighted OS related developer, please try to explain?

(And please don't start a Unix/Linux/Mac battle against Windows.)

Best Answer

The cause is usually some unresponsive driver which has unfinished I/O requests in progress.

See Mark Russinovich's blog entry Unkillable Processes (archive)

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