Sunday, July 13, 2008

Process list with command-line arguments

This post provides information on using WMI to provide a list of processes with additional information, including the full path to the executable and any parameters passed to the command-line. While this may not sound that useful, this can greatly assist when troubleshooting or just understanding how applications work.

You can run this command against one server, or specify multiple nodes with a control file:
wmic /node:"server01" path win32_process get ExecutablePath,Caption,CommandLine,CreationDate,WorkingSetSize,ProcessId

To filter the list, you could also add a where clause:
wmic /node:"server01" path win32_process Where "Caption Like '%cscript%'" get ExecutablePath,Caption,CommandLine,CreationDate,WorkingSetSize,ProcessId

This information can be useful for diagnosing processes:

For example, Operations Manager 2007 uses cscript quite heavily, and at times I've seen many cscript processes running, but had no clear idea what they were doing.

cscript.exe "C:\WINDOWS\system32\cscript.exe" /nologo "CPUUtilization.vbs" 95 15 opsmgr01.test.local 100. 20080713130117.079481+600 9876 5820416
cscript.exe "C:\WINDOWS\system32\cscript.exe" /nologo "MemoryUtilization.vbs" 2.5 opsmgr01.test.local 114.66666666666667 20080713130301.876356+600 6832 2473984
cscript.exe "C:\WINDOWS\system32\cscript.exe" /nologo "DiscoverHealthServiceCommunicationRelationships.js" 20080713130337.876356+600 8484 2457600

Processes that normally show up as just 'cmd.exe' with tools like pslist.exe can easily be further identified:

cmd.exe CMD /D /S /Q /C""C:\Program Files (x86)\VERITAS\VxPBX\bin\pbxservice.cmd" "C:\Program Files (x86)\VERITAS\VxPBX\bin\pbx_exchange.exe""

It's easy to see command-line parameters used to launch some applications, eg, the 'manage your server' wizard is started with:
C:\WINDOWS\system32\oobechk.exe /LaunchMYS

And screensavers are started with a /s parameter:
logon.scr logon.scr /s

It is easy to see which host groups are being run by which instance of svchost (tasklist /svc also shows this information):

svchost.exe C:\WINDOWS\system32\svchost.exe -k DcomLaunch 20080323192353.500000+600 C:\WINDOWS\system32\svchost.exe 676 5496832
svchost.exe C:\WINDOWS\system32\svchost.exe -k rpcss 20080323192354.187500+600 C:\WINDOWS\system32\svchost.exe 780 9392128
svchost.exe C:\WINDOWS\system32\svchost.exe -k NetworkService 20080323192402.828125+600 C:\WINDOWS\system32\svchost.exe 1016 7897088
svchost.exe C:\WINDOWS\system32\svchost.exe -k LocalService 20080323192402.828125+600 C:\WINDOWS\system32\svchost.exe 1036 5959680
svchost.exe C:\WINDOWS\System32\svchost.exe -k netsvcs

Inconsistencies show up, such as instances of a cluster resource monitor on an x64 server, some running native, some WOW64:
resrcmon.exe "C:\WINDOWS\SysWOW64\resrcmon.exe" -e 1464 -m 1468 -p 2744 20080323192505.936883+600 C:\WINDOWS\SysWOW64\resrcmon.exe 3652 5472256
ResrcMon.exe "C:\WINDOWS\cluster\resrcmon.exe" -e 1592 -m 1596 -p 2744 20080323192506.686004+600 C:\WINDOWS\cluster\resrcmon.exe 3716 8388608

Instances of rundll32 and similar launch methods, often showing up interesting things, eg a notification baloon launched through rundll32:
rundll32.exe RunDll32.exe wlnotify.dll,ShowNotificationBalloon Global\00000000f0357177_WlballoonKerberosNotificationEventName

Executing this command

Add as a doskey macro

Put the following line into a text file called macros.txt:
PSL=if "$1" EQU "" (wmic path win32_process get ExecutablePath,Caption,CommandLine,CreationDate,WorkingSetSize,ProcessId) else (wmic /node:"$1" path win32_process get ExecutablePath,Caption,CommandLine,CreationDate,WorkingSetSize,ProcessId)

Then run the following command, which will execute the doskey command to install the macro as a command prompt is started:
reg add "hklm\software\microsoft\command processor" /v AutoRun /t reg_sz /d "doskey /macrofile=%path%\macros.txt"

The command works either locally or with a parameter, so you can either run:
psl server01

Call through Scripting

Instead of using wmic, you could also use scripting - either powershell or vbscript - to query the WMI instances.

eg, in PowerShell:

Get-WmiObject win32_process  Format-Table ExecutablePath,Caption,CommandLine,CreationDate,WorkingSetSize,ProcessId

Wayne's World of IT (WWoIT), Copyright 2008 Wayne Martin.

1 comment:

Vito said...

Your site rocks! Thank You.

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About Me

I’ve worked in IT for over 20 years, and I know just about enough to realise that I don’t know very much.