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Test your system monitoring tools with Bad Application

05 April 2012, Mike Williams

There are plenty of PC monitoring programs which aim to keep an eye on your running processes, and carry out some actions if things seem to be going wrong (PC Lasso is an excellent example). Testing these tools can be a problem, though, as you can’t safely make regular programs hang or lock up on demand.

But then that’s where Bad Application comes in.

This tiny portable program (an 11KB download) provides a simple interface which allows it to emulate a misbehaving application. And so if you have a tool which should react to a hung application, say, there’s no need to wait for one of your normal programs to hang. Just launch Bad Application, click “Hang Process”, the program will immediately lock up while grabbing 10% of your CPU time, and you can watch how your monitoring tool reacts.

You can change its priority, hang or crash this program with a click

Or maybe you’ve installed a tool which logs or tries to help with process crashes? Again, normally that’s hard to test as you can’t generally crash programs on demand (not safely, at least). But Bad Application is different: click Crash Process and it’ll fail immediately.

You can also change Bad Application’s process priority with a click, handy if you’d like to check how a monitoring tool reacts.

You’re able to flash the application’s title bar at a click.

And, for some reason, you’re also able to terminate Explorer. It should simply restart, but this is the one option which may cause problems if the process is in the middle of doing something, so we’d recommend avoiding clicking “Terminate Explorer” unless you have good reason to do otherwise.

Plainly Bad Application really isn’t a program that most people will want to use every day. If you regularly work with or try out new system monitoring applications then the ability to, say, hang the tool at the click of a button could be very useful, though. And if you’re a programmer then the news is even better, as the download includes the C++ source which can easily be extended to add new capabilities of your own.

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