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Program Killer

Novell Cool Solutions: Trench
By Joshua Kinard

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Posted: 28 May 2002

Current version: ZENworks for Desktops 3.2

Over half a year ago, I shared this program with Cool Solutions. It was designed in Visual Basic 6, and I called it "Program Killer". Its task was to sit in the System Tray and constantly monitor for unauthorized programs that an Administrator specifies.

I'd like to announce that I have released a completely new version, this time rebuilt in Borland Delphi 6, with a host of new features, including Exporting a "Configuration File" from Program Killer, Disabling the Icon or the System Tray Menu, Windows NT4 Support (highly requested), MD5 Encrypted passwords, and several other additions.

Using Delphi 6, Program Killer should run better, and is more efficient at finding, and killing unwanted programs.

Since a lot of interest in the original VB version of Program Killer was generated from this article when it was first published, I wanted to announce the newer version here so everyone who found some use from the VB version can upgrade to the Delphi version.

Program Killer is still released as Open Source under the GNU Public License, and can be downloaded from my SourceForge site at:

Any questions can be directed to me at, and I'll try to help you with any issues involving Program Killer, any comments, or any suggestions for improving it.

Original Article

Several months ago, I wrote to Cool Solutions regarding the topic of Blocking Napster and other peer-to-peer services. I mentioned I was working on a program in Visual Basic 6 that would effectively keep the various Instant Messenger programs from running. After several more months, the Program has been completed, and rather than focusing exclusively on preventing Instant Messengers from running, it is now able to be configured to shutdown any EXE a Sysadmin wishes to specify, ranging from any of the known Instant Messengers (AIM, MSN, etc.), Peer-to-peer services (Napster, AudioGalaxy, etc.), and Spyware programs (Gator/Offercompanion, WebHancer, etc.), or any program in general.

I've renamed it to "Program Killer" and have designed it to be highly configurable, from both the client side and the server side. Client side, the program is protected by an encrypted password to prevent unauthorized users from messing with it, and server side, I have included DOS Batch files to be used in conjunction with server scripts, such as a ZEN App that is forced run, run always to remotely configure the Program Killer on client machines.

I've released the Program and its source code under the GNU General Public License for anyone to tinker with and maybe improve upon it. It's available for download at SourceForge at I built this program in the hopes it'll help Sysadmins out there to keep annoying (and mostly unwanted) programs from being run on their workstations.

If you have any questions you may contact Joshua at ">

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