Set the Priority of a Process By Name Automatically, in Vista - Part 2

This isn't what I want to be writing about. But a recent discovery compels me to do so. So, I've decided to make this an experiment, and beg your apologies that this will not have much technical merit despite the title.

After the last post, Set the Priority of a Process By Name Automatically, in Vista (which probably could have been named a lot better), I discovered that the post had made its way to some other sites. These sites appear to pull content from all over the web, package it up as their own, and toss ads all over it. One is lucky if the site even references the original author or links back to the original location of the post. It's frustrating, to say the least. I'm all for distribution of knowledge and the like, but that's taking it too far. Maybe I shouldn't feel this way, but I (like others) put brain sweat and time into the work I do, and it would be nice if the source of the information would at least be cited if they're going to republish it without the author's consent.

So I visited two of these sites (which I have not yet decided if I will mention or not, for what I hope are obvious reasons) and attempted to leave comments. Of course the comments are moderated - don't want any upset victims coming in and raising he. The comments were along the line of:

As the author of the original article referenced here, I kindly request that those interested in it please read it at MY blog, <a href="http://mygreenpaste.blogspot.com">My Green Paste, Inc.</a>

My site does not currently have ads, and I am NOT even considering ads at this time.

–«/\/\Øö±ò\/»®© (molotov)

Can you guess what happened? Yep - the comments were not approved, and were never published on the sites in question. I then attempted to leave another comment at each copy of my posting. This time, one site saw fit to allow the comment, and the other one did not. I suspected NO comments would have been allowed through either site, so I was a bit surprised. The comment was a bit ridiculous given the content of the posting, and rather generic; perhaps that's why it was allowed. The comment was simply:

does this work for other os like XP or server 2003?

Amazing. It was posted at 2008-01-31 2:37 GMT. The comment, like this post, is a part of the experiment. See, if I mention things that I mentioned in the previous post, like CpuPriorityClass, image file execution options, IoPriority, PagePriority, PerfOptions, powershell, priority, Process Monitor, setpriorityclass, Sysinternals, Vista, WorkingSetLimitInKB, Vista, Windows Vista, Windows Vista Ultimate, etc. (sorry to get carried away there), will this post make it to these sites as well? If so, wouldn't that be somewhat funny? The comment falls in there, too - if the now published comment magically disappears from the copy of my previous post, won't that be a bit odd?

I think I'll have to start embedding a "this content originally from http://mygreenpaste.blogspot.com/" statement into the middle of each of my posts from now on. I'm sure I'll forget, and I've probably only got one shot. That'll make for some nice, flowing reading. We'll see.

I do have some more thoughts about the Set the Priority of a Process By Name Automatically, in Vista topic that I expect to get out in my next post. I apologize for this distraction, and hope you'll stay tuned...

BTW - I may also have a follow up to this fork in the saga as well.


Set the Priority of a Process By Name Automatically, in Vista

The other day I was playing around with the Image File Execution Options and Sysinternals' Process Monitor, in Vista. I saw an interesting query take place. Using notepad.exe as an example, I saw a query for a key called "PerfOptions" in [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\notepad.exe] when I ran notepad. The result was NAME NOT FOUND, so I decided to rectify that. After adding a key named "PerfOptions", I ran notepad again. In Process Monitor, I saw queries for four values:

  • IoPriority
  • PagePriority
  • CpuPriorityClass
  • WorkingSetLimitInKB

Because of recent explorations with process priorities*, CpuPriorityClass grabbed me right away. Looking at the SetPriorityClass function, one can see the different values for the dwPriorityClass parameter. I created a REG_DWORD named CpuPriorityClass in PerfOptions, and set the value to 0x80 in the hopes that notepad would launch with "HIGH_PRIORITY_CLASS". Instead, it launched with a priority of NORMAL_PRIORITY_CLASS (8) - the setting had not made any impact. Then, I set the value to 8 and launched notepad. Notepad launched with a priority of 8. I changed the value to 4, and that had no impact. I changed the value to 0 - no impact. I tried 10 - no impact. I couldn't see any tie in to any other listings of process priorities that I knew about, so I decided to try trial and error, starting from 0, with the following results:

CpuPriorityClass ValuePriority of NotepadPriority Class
Anything else^8Normal

^= I'm currently running a PowerShell script to iterate through all possible values (there's only about 2^32...) so it may be a while before the CpuPriorityClass value for REALTIME_PRIORITY_CLASS, should it exist, be uncovered. There may also be other values that can be used to specify a priority class that's been uncovered. I'll update or post a new topic if I uncover anything new...

The PowerShell script (don't laugh, it's my first substantial attempt at one):

set-itemproperty "hklm:\software\microsoft\windows nt\currentversion\image file execution options\notepad.exe\perfoptions" cpupriorityclass $cpc
$pp = [diagnostics.process]::start("notepad.exe", "")
$ppc = $pp.PriorityClass
if( $ppc -ne "Normal" )
Write-Host $cpc $ppc
set-itemproperty "hklm:\software\microsoft\windows nt\currentversion\image file execution options\notepad.exe\perfoptions" cpupriorityclass $cpc
while( $cpc -lt 4294967295 )

Hopefully, I'll find time to do some digging into the other values in PerfOptions - IoPriority, PagePriority, and WorkingSetLimitInKB. IoPriority and PagePriority sound like they may have something to do with memory prioritization and IO prioritization in Vista. WorkingSetLimitInKB sounds self-explanatory, but how it's applied or how it's used, and other circumstances, are quite vague.

*= SetThreadPriority, Vista, and Autostart Locations, Setting the Priority of a Service Process via Script