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In Windows7, I have one user account set up for harcore development stuff, and another for gaming. Right now, in order to get optimum game performance, I have to log out of the one and log in to the other.

What I want to do is, just "switch" from the dev to the gamer account, but in such a way that the dev account is "hibernated", that is, all processes are cached to disc, and all network transfer paused, similar to sleep or hibernate mode, and only reactivate when I log in again. That way I can run games at full speed without having to completely log out of my dev account.

Is this possible? Are there any 3rd party utilities that might enable it?

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Not possible that I'm aware of. It's not even possible to do this with programs your own account is running. The correct procedure is to close open programs or to log out. The feature you're requesting fits in a very narrow scope between full logout and fast user switching. I doubt there are any solutions even if it's technically possible (not sure if the kernel exposes this type of function) simply because the number of people who would use it is so small.

You might consider using a VM for development. This would allow you to suspend the VM when you've finished work. It also has the benefit of completely separating dev from play.

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Upvoted. VM is the way to go--most development tasks fit very well within a lean virtual machine and between shared folders, etc. the few tasks that don't can be run on the host machine anyways. Then when you want to play, you just pause the VM and get your full performance for gaming without losing the details of your dev session. – eMansipater May 2 '11 at 4:22

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