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I have two questions:

Can I prioritize a network share to some maximal download speed? Or does windows automatically slow them down when the system is doing heavy IO?

Independently from that question, does the priority of task in the task explorer also affect the disk usage directly or is this only done by telling the cpu scheduler to not execute the low priority app as often

Background: I'm noticing that if I push files via network onto a machine, then machine can work better than when I've got a tool installed on the machine that downloads files

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Windows Server 2008 and newer versions implement rudimentary support for I/O priorities. The CPU priority and the I/O priority are loosely coupled. You can prioritize down a process' I/O by setting it to "Idle" priority - this will set I/O priority of a process to "very low", the rest will execute in "normal" priority.

I cannot see what you mean by "prioritizing a network share" - a share is nothing you can give a priority to.

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"prioritizing a network share". Image alot of people write to the disk via a network share. Now on the machine a tool is running that needs alot of disk as well. Does windows then give the local process more power than requests coming in remotely? –  Franz Kafka Jun 6 '11 at 9:51
    
Is "it" in "by setting it to Idle priority" the process priority? –  Franz Kafka Jun 6 '11 at 9:54
    
There is no fundamental distinction between the I/O priority granted to local processes/threads and the network users which again are served by a local process running the "server" service. Yes, "it" is the process priority in this context - set it to "idle" to de-prioritize I/O as well. –  the-wabbit Jun 6 '11 at 11:17

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