How can I automatically kill hung processes when I logoff?

A. When you tell NT to shut down, it first sends shutdown requests to any running processes. Most 32-bit applications honour these requests and shut down, but older 16-bit apps running in the Virtual DOS Machine often won't. When this occurs, the operating system prompts you with a dialog box asking if you want to kill the task, wait for the task to die on its own, or cancel the shutdown. By modifying the Registry, you can automate this process.

You can force NT to kill all running processes on shutdown by performing the following:

  1. Start the registry editor (regedit.exe)
  2. Move to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop
  3. If a value "AutoEndTasks" does not exist from the Edit menu select New - String Value. Enter a name of AutoEndTasks and press Enter
  4. Double click on AutoEndTasks and set to 1. Click OK
  5. Close the registry editor

You can also add this key to HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop for new users to inherit.

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