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Author Topic: Process won't listen to priority change  (Read 2361 times)


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Process won't listen to priority change
« on: March 23, 2012, 04:15:26 PM »
Some of you may remember the "Amateur Scientist" column that used to be printed in the Scientific American magazines. Although they've ended the series, an enormous archive had been made available on CD available from amazon.

Unfortunately, the archive uses a terribly-written search process called "SEARCHSVR_WINDOWS" to sort through the articles. It seems to behave  normally for the first few minutes of use--but will suddenly eat up 95%+ of my CPU usage! Once it reaches this point, the process won't calm down unless I kill it.

After some googling, I decided to download Process Tamer, which installed nicely and was easy to use. I set an exception for the "SEARCHSVR_WINDOWS", telling the Tamer to lower the priority to "Low" if the process took up more than 70% CPU.

Now it turns out that Process Tamer did its job perfectly--once "SEARCHSVR_WINDOWS" had gone rogue, a little pop-up would inform me that its priority had been lowered. A double-check with Task Manager revealed that the priority had indeed been set to "Low".

But... the rogue process WILL NOT LOWER ITS CPU USAGE!! Changing the priority seems to have no effect on it. I even tried setting the exception to "Kill Process", but it still would not budge.  :(

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!


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Re: Process won't listen to priority change
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2012, 09:14:12 AM »
To my understanding the lowering of the priority from a process does not affect the CPU usage from this process. Until another process is executed claiming a lot of CPU resources as well. In that situation, most (if not all) of the available CPU resources will go to the process with the highest priority first.

Hence I always have an instance of Process Explorer (from SysInternals, nowadays a part of the Microsoft family) running in the background. Its freeware and part of a suite, which I heartily recommend to download. You will find a lot more gems inside that suite that will give you (way) more insight in how Windows works, while gaining a lot more ways to manage your Windows as you see fit.