How to Alter a Program's Base Priority at a Command Prompt

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This article describes how to use the START command to alter a program'sbase priority level at a command prompt.
By default, the Windows NT Thread Scheduler service assigns processor timeto a thread according to the priority level that is coded in the program.You can alter a program's priority by using the START command andspecifying a priority level. The available priority levels are: Low(idle), Normal, High, and Realtime. When you run a program with the STARTcommand, the specified priority applies to the primary thread. Note thatthe program can call subsequent threads at its internally coded prioritylevel. Running a program with Realtime priority may disrupt normal systemoperation and result in slow mouse response. For most situations, thereis no need to run programs at anything other than the internally codednormal priority.

To run a program and specify its base priority at a command prompt, usethe following syntax:

start /<priority> <program>

The following sample steps describe how to run Notepad with Realtimepriority:

  1. At a command prompt, type the following line, and then press ENTER:

    start /realtime notepad.exe
  2. To verify the priority level, press CTRL+ALT+DELETE to open the Windows NT Security dialog box.
  3. Click Task Manager.
  4. Click the Processes tab.
  5. On the View menu, click Select Columns, click to select the Base Priority check box, and then click OK.
  6. In the list of processes, locate Notepad.exe and confirm its base priority level.
cpu schedule

Article ID: 191771 - Last Review: 12/05/2015 09:10:50 - Revision: 1.1

Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition, Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition, Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Enterprise Edition

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