Things Not To Do With Process Explorer

I am a big fan of the Mozilla family of products. This morning, I downloaded the newest version of Thunderbird (0.3) and started it up. It created a process, but no window ever appeared. I was then unable to kill the process.

Now, since I generally know how computers work, I figure that the process is locked in some stupid Windows call or is blocked on some funky wait handle somewhere. So I open up Process Explorer from SysInternals and proceed to start blowing away handles that thunderbird.exe had open.

Yea, that officially ranks as a Bad Idea. Eventually, I closed the HKEY_CURRENT_USER handle, and Windows got very pissed off, to the tune of a bluescreen of death. The worst part is that I was halfway through a stage 1 Gentoo Linux install on a VMWare instance, and I lost some 3+ hours of compilation. Doh!

So don’t try this at home, kiddies. And I’ll add this to my ever-increasing list of dumb things I’ve done.