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WINTASKS 4 PRO & STANDARD

Advanced Users

WinTasks 4 Pro, from LiUtilities, is a superb Task Manager for Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000/XP.

Main areas covered by WinTasks 4 include:
Manage Computer Resources
Optimize Software
Improve System Security
Debug Software


WinTasks 4 has very worthwhile aims. So does it work?
Test usage shows WinTasks 4 to be user-friendly, very fast in operation, and highly effective. Basically it does exactly what it says it will do, does it quickly, and is stable. WinTasks 4 Pro belongs at the top of every Administrator's & Software Developer's toolbox.

Advanced home users will also like WinTasks 4, but may prefer the less expensive Standard version. WinTasks is a little advanced for the average home user.


WINTASKS 4       Advanced Users

WinTasks Reviewed

WinTasks, from LiUtilities, is a Task Manager with many very useful advanced features.

THPC tested WinTasks 4 Pro for a few months on an old Win98 P166 (32MB RAM, multi-booted with Win 98, 98SE, 98Lite, and 95a original) and on a newer WinME AMD XP 1800+ (256MB RAM, multi-booted with Win ME and Win 98SE). Both are otherwise fairly typical home PCs whose main usage is games, music, Internet, tweaking, some office software, and buckets of utilities.

While the specs are higher, WinTasks 4 ran perfectly well on a P166, 32MB EDO Ram, Win 95a system. THPC did not test WinTasks on Windows XP, 2000, or NT systems.

WinTasks does exactly what it claims to do and does it well (see features below).

Installation is totally painless. WinTasks is small, effective, and stable, with a pleasant GUI, and requires a small memory footprint. It operates very quickly - if a little slow to initialize.

However this utility is definitely only for Administrators, Developers, and the seriously advanced home user - the closure of an incorrect process could have unfortunate consequences.

All users are reminded to fully research any item for removal BEFORE removing it!
Also be wary of allocating a Realtime (24) priority - just in case you force the CPU into such a level of activity that it locks you out!

WinTasks 4 Pro is a top-class utility that all Administrators will want to use.
Expert home users should consider using WinTasks 4 Standard which is less expensive.


FEATURES (from the LiUtilities website)

  • Stop one or many processes (Sandard & Professional)
  • Change the priority of a process (S&P)
  • Search for processes (S&P), modules, windows, and autostart entries (P)
  • Easily start programs from quicklist (S&P)
  • View descriptions of most common processes (S&P)
  • Add your own comments to any process (S&P). Enter your own name for any process (S&P)
  • Create presets for running processes and priorities to quickly restore any system configuration (S&P)
  • Built-in guides for the most common applications (S)
  • Print customized listings of any available information (P)
  • Add or remove autostarted programs from the Registry (P)
  • Close, Show, Hide, or change the size of any window (P)
  • List all modules (DLLs) used by a process (P)
  • View total CPU and memory usage (S&P)
  • View CPU and memory usage per process (S&P)
  • View CPU usage and memory usage graphs for the last 24 hours (P)
  • View CPU usage and memory usage graphs per process for the last 24 hours (NT/2000/XP) (P)
  • View name, executable, and priority per process (S&P)
  • View thread count (not NT), CPU usage (NT/2000/XP), memory usage (NT/2000/XP), start time (P)
  • View detailed logs containing created and removed processes, DLLs loaded by any process, windows, and autostart entries or print logs with timestamps for later examinations (P)
  • Built-in scripting language to start, stop, or modify processes when a particular condition is met (P)
  • Customize the user interface to save space and improve usability (P)

DESCRIPTION

Changing Priorites of Executables

The main screen (see above) of WinTasks 4 Pro gives access to most of WinTasks functions

Name - state of activity (human figure), removability (the chip), & process name.
Executable - can be different from the process name.
Priority - process priorities can be Low(4), Normal(8), High(13), or Realtime(24).
Threads - the number of threads that belong to that process.
CPU Usage - not shown in this screenshot which is from Windows 98.
Memory Usage - not shown in this screenshot which is from Windows 98.
Started - the time/date of starting each process.

A simple click will instantaneously alter the priority of a selected executable (Stop, Increase, or Decrease buttons). The red chip icons indicate processes whose priority should/can not be altered. Increasing a process priority to Realtime should be avoided - just in case!

User can use a customizable Search for processes, windows, DLLs, and autostarted programs, or can start a new process.

Near the bottom is the description for what's selected. This includes an area to add your own text description for a particular process, and also contains the Save button.

Presets: WinTasks allows the user to save up to four Preset configurations of process priorities which can then be selected with just a mouse-click (ideal for PC tweakers and others).


WINDOWS

View Invisible windows
Windows
In the Windows window, the main and all (sub)windows that belong to a selected process are shown.

Even those Windows that are normally 'invisible' are shown.

Each individual (sub)windows can be
- Closed
- Shown
- Maximized
- Normalized
- Minimized.

This option should prove very useful for removing unwanted program parts that annoy a user, for troubleshooting, and/or for investigating certain program components.


MODULES

Dynamic Link Library Modules
modules
The Modules window shows all the DLLs used by a selected process - there can be very many.

The inexperienced and expert alike are often at wits end when it comes to all the DLLs that can be associated with even a small number of programs running concurrently.

The Print option in this (and other) windows is a great asset as a means of comparison when tracing DLLs for troubleshooting and development.


STATISTICS

CPU & Memory Usage
Statistics
The Statistics window shows CPU use and how the internal memory is used. Statistics can be choosen for a specific process or for overall utilization.

Four time intervals can be selected: within 1 minute, within 10 minutes, within 2 hours, and within 24 hours.

Also, moving the mouse over the graph, gives the statistics relative to the time.

This information is continuously updated even when the Statistics window or WinTasks are minimized.

The statistics are not saved when WinTasks is terminated.


SCRIPTING

In-Built Scripting
Scripting
WinTasks in-built scripting will be a huge bonus for those who know even a little about scripts.

With this the user can create new functions or alter existing processes. The extent of possible use is almost endless and will inevitably depend on the user.

Think in the direction of:
if a certain preset condition is met, then
- change a process
- stop a process
- start a new process

- how about killing Media Player if it tries to use more than x% of CPU time!

LiUtilities have some sample scripts at their Website. Check there for updates to the Scripting option in the future.


LOGGING

What, Where, and When. Then WHO?
Logging
The Logging window shows detailed information about all the programs that are started and stopped when WinTasks has been running (has user set it to autostart?).

These are a variety of aspects to Logging:
- a means to trace when/where an error has occurred
- a means to trace trends in a system and alter them
- a means to check on other user's usage

Starting/stopping of all processes, windows, and modules are recorded, as well as any Autostart changes.


AUTOSTART

Save Memory & Resources
Autostart
In Autostart, the user can
- (re)Enable,
- Disable,
- Add, or
- Remove
any program autostarted from the Registry.

The ability to fully Remove, or Add, autostart programs is very welcome.

The omittion of those programs that originate in the Startup folder is the sole weakness in WinTasks and, hopefully, this may be added via an update.


Printing
A convenient print button is available in every area of WinTasks where one might be required.


PRESETS

Save Presets
Presets
WinTasks allows the user to save up to four Preset configurations of process priorities - great for tweaking a PC for optimum performances under different circumstances.

Any of these configurations can be instantly applied at any time with the click of a button. Presets are very important for the most efficient use of WinTasks.

Note: In the case of many instances of the same program running concurrently then it is the priority of the last-loaded instance that is saved - reloading that saved configuration will result in all the other instances of that program having that same priority (unless then changed by user).

For home PC Tweakers:

1 Save the original settings as the first Presets
2 Autostart - remove unnecessary items from Registry
3 Manually remove unnecessary items from the Startup folder
4 Decrease the Priority of (ONLY appropriate) items
5 Increase the Priority of (ONLY appropriate) items
6 Close (careful!) unwanted/unnecessary/annoying items under the Windows button
7 Save these new settings as the second Presets

Example: Have a Preset optimized for specific CD-Rom usage, another for games.

Home users should exercise caution in 4 to 6 above.


DOWNLOAD WINTASKS

WinTasks 4 is from www.LiUtilities.com

WinTasks 4 Proffessional
currently costs US $47 for the download.
This price is obviously aimed mainly at Administrators and Developers. It does not have the usual one month trial period but does offer a worthwhile 'return if disatisfied' option.

WinTasks 4 Standard
costs a more reasonable US$17. It does not contain some of the XP, 2000, NT options (see Feature above where (S) means In Standard Only, (S&P) means In Both, and (P) means In Professional Only).

Boxed versions cost US$10 extra.

Please send all queries to LiUtilities.
Please copy any interesting feedback to TweakHomePC at thpc@mail.com


WinTasks 4 can be downloaded from
http://www.liutilities.com/products/wintaskspro/

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Please remember that you alone are responsible for the consequences of any changes you make to your computer hardware or software.

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