Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm trying to run a very long and slow (but important) background process on my computer. It took all weekend and is still running.

The problem is that this process scans dozens of GBs of disk files (some local, some on the network), and Windows apparently likes to page out all other programs so that it can use almost every megabyte (out of 4GB RAM) as disk cache for this one program. This occurs despite the fact that I used task manager to set its priority to "low". Not only does Windows page out everything else, this low-priority process seems to be given "first dibbs" on the hard disk, so other apps can take a few minutes to be paged back in. This disrupts all the other work I want to do.

I'm on Win7 x64, but I have observed the same phenomenon in WinXP (I'd say it's worse on XP... at least in Win7 when I use a single program for awhile it becomes responsive again.)

Other than disabling the paging file entirely, which requires a restart anyway, is it possible to limit the disk cache used by a single process, or by the system as a whole?

share|improve this question
3  
Just FYI, you can use Process Explorer (from Microsoft Sysinternals) to pause/suspend the execution of a process. You might find this useful if you absolutely need to stop the program but don't want to just terminate the process (and in most cases, its progress). –  Breakthrough Jul 25 '11 at 17:34
    
That's really useful, thanks! I could resume it when I go home at night. –  Qwertie Jul 25 '11 at 18:23
add comment

1 Answer

You're not being aggressive enough. Windows 7 will not take away I/O priority until you decrease the priority even further, from "low" to "idle".

Windows XP doesn't have I/O priorities. It will always have this problem, even with "priority idle" processes.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.