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c#.net application + check if already running

Posted on 2016-10-14
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Last Modified: 2016-10-14
I have an application that runs automatically every few mins, sometimes it runs long and a new instance will try to start, how can i check if it is already running and if so just shut down the newest instance that started up leaving the original to still continue

thanks
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Question by:dkilby
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5 Comments
 
LVL 23

Assisted Solution

by:Snarf0001
Snarf0001 earned 1000 total points
ID: 41844140
Mutexes are very handy for things like this.  Cross process locking mechanism.

https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/system.threading.mutex(v=vs.110).aspx

Basically you create it with a specific value, if it comes back as non-owned, then another process is already running in it.

var owned = false;
using (var mutex = new Mutex(true, "<<guid or long string, often based on the fully qualified assembly name>>", out owned))
{
	if(!owned) return;
	else
	{
		//do all your work
	}
}

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LVL 20

Accepted Solution

by:
Russ Suter earned 1000 total points
ID: 41844168
More simply than that you could have code in the startup of your application that looks something like this:
Process[] runningProcesses = Process.GetProcessesByName("myApplication");
if (runningProcesses.Length > 0)
{
    // program already running, write code to gracefully exit here
}

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https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/z3w4xdc9%28v=vs.110%29.aspx?f=255&MSPPError=-2147217396
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Author Comment

by:dkilby
ID: 41844173
both these work - thank you - is there code that works best for stopping the instance that just started while leaving the other to still run ?
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LVL 20

Expert Comment

by:Russ Suter
ID: 41844194
It depends entirely on where your code execution is. Assuming this either a Windows Forms application or a console application I would expect your project has a file called Program.cs. In it there is typically a Main() function that looks something like this:
        static void Main()
        {
            Application.EnableVisualStyles();
            Application.SetCompatibleTextRenderingDefault(false);
            Application.Run(new form1());
        }

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You can simply wrap that 3rd line in a conditional statement to make it look like this:
        static void Main()
        {
            Application.EnableVisualStyles();
            Application.SetCompatibleTextRenderingDefault(false);
            Process[] runningProcesses = Process.GetProcessesByName("myApplication");
            if (runningProcesses.Length == 0)
            {
                Application.Run(new form1());
            }
        }

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LVL 82

Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 41844223
if you are starting this process using task scheduler then simply check the checkbox to task scheduler to only allow 1 copy of the task to run at a time
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