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Solutions: How to identify a mystery window on your computer

From time to time when I want to shut down my computer, I am unable to do so. I get a series of windows to close, including a mysterious one, STITracker Window. When this happens, Ctrl-Alt-Delete will not shut down the system. At times the system will not even close when I press the on/off button. Two or three times, I have had to unplug the computer.

Of course the first course of action is to make sure your antivirus and antispyware software are current and run full scans. I've come across information that STITracker may be part of the free Google download Picasa (a photo editing and organizing application). But how can you tell where STITracker or any other mysterious window comes from? Here is a method I've used many times. It's not very sophisticated but it's effective: Run Task Manager (right-click an empty part of the task bar and select Task Manager). Click the Processes tab. On the column header where it says CPU, click twice. This will sort the processes using the most CPU to the top. Now grab the mystery window's title bar, holding it down and dragging it around in a small circle. You should see its process name sort close to the top of the Task Manager display. Now you know its name and can use that information to find out more about what it is and where it resides using the file search function.

TIP: Microsoft has released an emergency security patch 958644. It is recommended for all Windows users. Go to http://update.microsoft.com/microsoftupdate/ to install the patch.

Send questions to personaltech@sptimes.com or Personal Tech, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Questions are answered only in this column.

Solutions: How to identify a mystery window on your computer 10/24/08 [Last modified: Monday, October 27, 2008 12:21pm]

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