VB6 application's process continues running after application closes

Posted on 2008-10-30
Last Modified: 2013-12-26
My VB6 application continues to run indefinitely as a process after the application closes.  The phantom process uses 0 cpu but it takes up memory and ties up the .exe file as being in-use.  The task manager doesn't show it listed as applications but it does show it in the process list.

I added "EndProcess(function shown below) programname.exe" at the start of the program to kill any processes leftover from any previous executions.  Prior to that line of code, more and more phantom processes would appear in the process list each time the program ran. This line of code prevents the accumulation of phantom processes but I still can't get rid of the process that remains after the program finishes.  This problem only occurs when running the .exe.  When I run it in the IDE, it doesn't leave any processes running after it ends.

It looks to me through tracing in the IDE and msgboxes that all of the forms are being unloaded.  Shouldn't that clear out all of the memory and kill the application and process when the final form is unloaded?  I dynamically create a few controls while the program is running, are they removed from memory when the form is unloaded?  I also define some variables as public in a module.  Are the module's variables removed from memory when the final form is unloaded?  How can I determine what is remaining resident in memory after the program runs?  

Public Function EndProcess(ByVal sExeName As String) As Boolean

' This works at the beginning of the program to end any processes that are still running since the last time this program ran

   On Error GoTo Err_Handler  

   Dim oProcessCollection, oProcess, ok, ii

   Set oProcessCollection = GetObject("WinMgmts:").ExecQuery("SELECT * FROM Win32_Process WHERE Name = '" & sExeName & "'")   

   ii = oProcessCollection.Count

   Debug.Print "Total: " & ii   

   If oProcessCollection.Count > 1 Then

      For Each oProcess In oProcessCollection

         ok = (oProcess.Terminate = 0)

         If ok Then

            ii = ii - 1

            Debug.Print "Count: " & ii

            If ii = 1 Then

               Exit For

            End If

         End If


   End If   

   Exit Function


   Debug.Print Err.Description

   EndProcess = False

End Function

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Question by:SteveQ2
LVL 85

Expert Comment

by:Mike Tomlinson
ID: 22843584
Do you have any "infinite processing loops" in your app with DoEvents() within to keep the app responsive?

What does your app do?

Expert Comment

ID: 22843628
This generally happen when unhandled object exists in memory, cause program not to terminate properly....

I suggest you to check if any - late binding object in project are handled properly? Or any form object not closed before user try to close application!

 I dynamically create a few controls while the program is running, are they removed from memory when the form is unloaded?   - Yes
I also define some variables as public in a module.  Are the module's variables removed from memory when the final form is unloaded?  - Yes
LVL 10

Accepted Solution

peetm earned 500 total points
ID: 22844343
Not a 'debug', but you could just call 'End' in the main form's Unload event!

Author Closing Comment

ID: 31511772
I would love to know what is really causing the leftover process after the program finishes; but your suggestion seems to be a good quick fix.  Thank you.

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