Examples of unclosable computer programs
December 2, 2007 5:08 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for examples of legitimate, non-malware programs that do not allow the user to close them in any normal way.

There is no way to close a minor system utility included with a PC I recently got. It's a basic self-help type program. The normal close button is there, but it minimizes the program to the tray. No right-click option to close it is available. I have confirmed with the manufacturer that this is the expected behavior.

I'm wondering if there are other examples of this sort of design out there. Doesn't have to be a utility, any sort of program for OSX or Windows.

As an aside, even Task Manager can't close the program--I think the program has been hardened to resist that in the way some antivirus programs are.
posted by aerotive to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Almost any form of Kiosk software would fall under this category.
posted by SansPoint at 5:39 PM on December 2, 2007

When I was in college there was a program on the computers to reset any changes users had made on each boot. This includes wiping installed programs (that hadn't been installed with the program's password by the IT dept), and wiping saved files. The program had something to do with ice or freeze in its name... something like FreezeBoot or similar. Anyways, you couldn't disable or close it.
posted by IndigoRain at 5:41 PM on December 2, 2007

IndigoRain, I think you're thinking of DeepFreeze.
posted by JaredSeth at 5:44 PM on December 2, 2007

Oh and there are a few programs that we load on our PCs at work that users can't close, but on a home computer? If you're running as an administrator, I'd think you'd be able to use MSCONFIG to prevent it loading at startup, whether it's an application or service.
posted by JaredSeth at 5:47 PM on December 2, 2007

Those are legit examples but not for a personally owned PC. If it is your PC (owned, not loaned or leased) you get to control what it runs and what it doesn't. This sounds pretty bogus to me and I'd get it purged. Try booting into safe mode and renaming the offending executable or DLL.
posted by chairface at 5:47 PM on December 2, 2007

Symantec's stuff (Norton Anti-Virus) is a total pain to kill off.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 7:35 PM on December 2, 2007

JaredSeth: "IndigoRain, I think you're thinking of DeepFreeze."

That's it, thanks.

posted by IndigoRain at 7:57 PM on December 2, 2007

the game dwarf fortress won't let you close unless you save. I think you can stop the process, but clicking the red X gets you nowhere, as a way to keep the player from abusing save states.
posted by nautone at 12:36 AM on December 3, 2007

Systems control programs (for factories, research, etc.) often have an option to remove or disable the exit & minimize buttons, to keep operators from accidentally (or purposely!) closing the control screens.

Usually you can kill these programs from the Task Manager, though, assuming you have admin rights... which, of course, the operators aren't supposed to have. :)
posted by vorfeed at 2:11 PM on December 3, 2007

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