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As a developer, once or twice a week I run a full build on my XP dev machine.

This will run at 100% cpu for 30 or 40 minutes, making my machine useless for anything other than basic browsing & email.

Is there anyway I can specify that for a given process (i.e. a command prompt) it and any process spawned by it will have a lower priority, say taking up no more than 60 - 70% of CPU, leaving my machine more usable.

I don't mind the build talking 30 or 40% longer, if I still have use of my machine while it's running. I'd love to be able to throw more hardware at the problem, but that isn't under my control.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 10 down vote accepted
start /low app.exe

Seems like it would do what you want. You can only start applications in the Low class though, not in BelowNormal.

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It does EXACTLY what I want, thanks rix. –  Binary Worrier May 20 '09 at 8:46

I just did this:

  1. Spawn command prompt (start -> run -> cmd)
  2. Task Manager, Right Click command, goto process
  3. Set priority to Low
  4. Ran a program from the command prompt
  5. It had low priority

You might be able to make a shortcut or a wrapper program to spawn a prompt that's already low so you don't have to do the juggling.

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A new process will inherit the priority of its parent. EG: launching the Command Prompt and lowering the priority of it will then impact all child processes created -- Cant use the command line to run something? Then lower the CMD prompt and lauch EXLOPRER to give you GUI access to whatever :)

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