Tracking Down Long-Running xp_cmdshell Processes

Thomas Rushton investigates what’s taking so long with an xp_cmdshell call:

I wanted to know what he was up to, but the sql_text field only gives “xp_cmdshell”, not anything useful that might help to identify what went wrong.

So we have to go to Taskmanager on the server. On the “Process Details” page, you can select which detail columns you want to see. We want to see the Command Line, as that’ll tell us if it’s some manually-launched batch job that’s failed or something else going wrong.

An alternative to using the Task Manager is to open ProcMon, part of the Sysinternals toolset.  It takes a bit of getting used to, but is quite powerful once you know its ins and outs.

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