taskmgr.exe Will Not Open.. Unless I do a Run As Administrator...

I have a few computers that are running XP SP3 that will not allow the Task Manager to open.  I have done a lot of Google Searches on this issue, and a lot of people start talking about how you probably have Spyware or a Trojan or some type of Virus.  One of these PC's I can almost guarantee does not have anything malicious on it as its still a fresh install.

So then I tried opening taskmgr.exe from System32 and no dice, however if I do a Run As using Administrator it opens right up.  The user accounts have local Administrator rights, and this is happening on my own PC as well, and I have Local and Network Admin rights.

I also tried to add myself in the security tab under properties for taskmgr.exe, that did not work either.
tbjbsAsked:
Who is Participating?
 
Computer101Commented:
PAQed with points refunded (500)

Computer101
EE Admin
0
 
DewFreakCommented:
This sounds like a policy restriction which can be set by malware.  Do you have a domain with domain policy in place?
0
 
tbjbsAuthor Commented:
I do not believe we have a Domain Policy in place for this.  This all seemed to have started once we put SP3 on peoples systems.
0
Improve Your Query Performance Tuning

In this FREE six-day email course, you'll learn from Janis Griffin, Database Performance Evangelist. She'll teach 12 steps that you can use to optimize your queries as much as possible and see measurable results in your work. Get started today!

 
DewFreakCommented:
Step through these steps and verify that it is not disabled in the local policy:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/555480
0
 
tbjbsAuthor Commented:
I just followed the steps outlined in that KB Article.  Section 1, everything looked normal, I did the refresh anyway.  Still can not access taskmgr.exe without doing the Run As.  

I went to Section 2, and I dont have this those Keys.. Infact, I did a search in the registry for DisableTaskMgr and I got no hits.  
0
 
DewFreakCommented:
Does the local user have admin rights to the local machine?
0
 
tbjbsAuthor Commented:
Yes everyone has local Admin Rights.
0
 
DewFreakCommented:
I think we need to do a virus/malware scan at this point even tho you are positive you are not infected with anything.  It needs to be ruled out because if it is not a domain policy and more than one PC is doing it than it is likely a virus/trojan/malware.
0
 
tbjbsAuthor Commented:
Alright I will do that.  One PC is a fresh install.... but it has been in use for about 2 weeks or so.
0
 
tbjbsAuthor Commented:
I got Task Manager to come up.  I really thought it was a DEP issue all this time.  Even though I made the exception within DEP, it still would not open up.

If I disable DEP totally within Windows XP, it fixes the Task Manager issue, and it comes right up.
0
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.