I was trying to install a program on my laptop and was having some problems. It looked like the installer was stuck so I wanted to use task manager to kill the process.
Unfortunately, as soon as I opened Task Manager it would immediately close.
I had seen something like this a long time ago where a piece of malware would kill any system tools you might use to remove it. A quick search with the words “Task Manager Closes” all seemed to point to that.
Everything else seemed ok but I decided it wouldn’t hurt to check that out so ran a variety of anti-virus tools that all came up with nothing.
Task Manager doesn’t really have much in the way of logs so I decided to have event log open as I opened task manager and see what events were generated.
As soon as I saw this I knew what it was
The previous week I was with a customer for a presentation. My laptop has a HDMI port for connecting to external displays. The projector was only VGA but that’s fine as I carry a HDMI to VGA adapter for when that happens. Unfortunately I couldn’t get my laptop to work with the projector. I tried a new cable, a different projector and screen to no avail so I figured there was a problem with my adapter (there was…I ordered a new one and had no problems)
But to try and get out of my predicament so I could do my presentation I turned to the USB to VGA adapter I also keep in my bag.
I’ve had a ton of issues with this so it’s only really in my bag as a last resort. This was one of them…so I duly installed the driver and rebooted. Still no luck..so I gave up on that and managed to find another laptop that had a VGA output and made do with that.
But that meant the driver for the USB to VGA adapter was still installed. This is the entry from Add/Remove Programs
Removed, rebooted and all is well!