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How Do You Adjust Mouse Priority In Windows Xp?


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#1 Damaru

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 01:44 AM

I recently downloaded a freeware optimization utility called Actual Booster which increases system responsiveness by automatically raising the priority of the current focused task to `high' while leaving all other task priorities as is.

The only drawback to the program is that it occasionally causes the mouse cursor to behave sluggishly/erratically. I'm guessing there's a way to manually raise the mouse priority to `above normal' or `high' at the beginning of each Windows session to keep the mouse functional while Actual Booster is operating, but I can't seem to find the name of the process that corresponds to mouse operation...

Anybody know the process name I should be looking for under Task Manager?

Thanks =)

Edited by Damaru, 27 February 2008 - 05:16 AM.


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#2 usasma

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 08:51 AM

Messing with the priority of threads can cause your system to become unstable. I'd think that the issues with the mouse were symptomatic of this.

As for which driver/process this it - we'll have to know more about your system and the mouse/mouse software that you're using.
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#3 Damaru

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 11:00 PM

Hi Usasma,

I am using Windows XP Home with Service Pack 2 installed.

Below is all of the information I could harvest from DirectX Diagnostic, System Information, Device Manager, and a brief physical inspection about my mouse/mouse software:

Micro Innovations PS/2 Compatible Browser Mouse

Device ID: ACPI \ PNP0F13 \ 3&61AAA01&0

Manufacturer: Microsoft

Driver files:

i8042prt.sys
mouclass.sys

Driver provider: Microsoft

Does any of this help in identifying the process name?

Thank you =)

Damaru

Edited by Damaru, 28 February 2008 - 01:50 AM.


#4 Billy O'Neal

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 11:13 PM

If im not mistaken, priority settings cannot be applied to drivers, as they are handled directly by the kernel (The core of the operating system itself).

Your real issue is: What is prioritizing the active window doing for you?

Windows, by default, allows 2 clock cycles for every background window and 6 cycles for the foreground window each time it doles out CPU time. If your foreground windows are still having problems, than messing with Windows' settings in this way can cause things to break.

If changing thread priority is leading to a huge increase in performance, then the real question is: "What is running in the background sucking up all my CPU time?"

Keep in mind, that Windows is some of the most tested code on earth, and it does a pretty good job of managing threads by itself. Threads should not be given priority, unless they are system critical processes. For example, the driver that manages NTFS or your hard disk. Windows does this sort of tuning automatically.

Finally, the windows task manager (Control - Alt - Delete) runs as "High" priority by default. If you have another application set to high, and it locks up, you may lose the ability to safely terminate that application. Doing this also gives the app priority over the windows shell (start menu, desktop and such). All this means is that you would have to pull the plug on your machine to regain control of the PC. If the app was doing something important, like modifying the registry or saving a file, for example, this hard shutdown could leave your system in an UNBOOTABLE state, requiring a reinstallation of the operating system.

Long story short, you want to leave priorities alone unless you have very good reason to do otherwise.

If you are having performance problems, I recommend you post a HiJack This log and let one of the Malware experts make sure you are clean.

Just my 2 cents,

Billy3

Edit:

The only drawback to the program is that it occasionally causes the mouse cursor to behave sluggishly/erratically. I'm guessing there's a way to manually raise the mouse priority to `above normal' or `high' at the beginning of each Windows session to keep the mouse functional while Actual Booster is operating, but I can't seem to find the name of the process that corresponds to mouse operation...


There is no windows process that manages the mouse. It is handled by the kernel itself. Your mouse has one of the highest possible priorities of the whole system. There is no way to modify this.

Edit2: (sorry)
Also, if you set everything to high priority, then what was the point of ever changing it in the first place.....

Edited by Billy O'Neal, 27 February 2008 - 11:18 PM.

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#5 Damaru

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 04:29 AM

Hi Billy O'Neal,

First of all, thank you VERY much for your long and informative response - I learned a lot from it. =)

What is prioritizing the active window doing for you?

The main thing it is doing for me is allowing my applications to load their core components and become responsive faster. I am aware that raising task priorities above `above normal' is a controversial practice, but the utility in question was recommended as an effective system performance enhancer by the author of a tech support/security newsletter I subscribe to - some one whose opinion I respect. Basically, I decided install it and give it a try on the basis of this person's recommendation, even given my reservations about using the `high' setting for task priorities. So far, it has worked like a charm (with the exception of the aforementioned mouse cursor behavior).

If your foreground windows are still having problems, than messing with Windows' settings in this way can cause things to break.

I wouldn't really say that my foreground windows ARE having problems, per se...although there is definitely room for improvement. My applications are a little slower than I'd like, but then again I only have 256 MB RAM installed, which I'm told no longer meets the recommended minimum to run WinXP smoothly. Can you clarify what you meant by "having problems"? I should probably add, too, that I am using a second optimization utility called Process Tamer which automatically decreases the priority of any task whose CPU usage exceeds 70% -- thus keeping the desktop responsive, the mouse and keyboard operational (if a bit sluggish), and the Task Manager accessible at all times ~ at least in theory.

If changing thread priority is leading to a huge increase in performance, then the real question is: "What is running in the background sucking up all my CPU time?"

Well, it's not leading to a huge increase in performance... With certain applications the increase is quite noticeable, but with others there is no noticeable difference. Overall I would describe it as a significant performance increase, but not a huge one. (Also, I don't think it necessarily follows that if I am seeing an increase in performance as a result of using this utility that I must have a spyware infection (although I know that this is always a possibility), as some of the most knowledgeable security people I know use this utility and see increases in performance on THEIR machines...and these are people who are running the best commercial security software and sandboxing utilities, have fast processors, have 1 GB or more of RAM installed, and who have not been infected with anything for YEARS that they did not deliberately expose themselves to for testing purposes. In my mind, this goes a long way towards proving that Actual Booster can boost performance on machines which are both free from spyware and which are already fast).

Also, if you set everything to high priority, then what was the point of ever changing it in the first place?

The utility I am using only raises the priority of the foreground process until that process loses focus - when that occurs, the process's priority is restored to its original state. Over the course of a computing session, yes, many processes may have had their priorities raised, but at any given time, only one process's priority will be raised.

There is no windows process that manages the mouse. It is handled by the kernel itself. Your mouse has one of the highest possible priorities of the whole system. There is no way to modify this.

Ah! Well, that is exactly the information I was looking for. Many thanks! =)

As it stands then, and with all the information I have at my disposal, I think I'm going to continue to use Actual Booster (which probably saves me on the order of 15-20 minutes per day) and deal with the occasional mouse cursor sluggishness (which probably only costs me 1-3). If you feel I didn't fully appreciate something you were trying to say in the above post, however, please let me know.

Damaru

Edited by Damaru, 28 February 2008 - 06:35 AM.


#6 usasma

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 07:51 AM

Since there aren't any mouse related processes running, you can't adjust the mouse priority using this tool. There are ways to adjust the priority of drivers - but it's way beyond my ability and is even more dangerous than the program that you're currently using.

The mouse issue is symptomatic of issues within your system. Because of that, you can't really trust what's going on "under the hood" since it's misbehaving on you. Best case, it's just the mouse issue - worst case, it's the OS that's jittering and not just the mouse. Do you want it jittering when you're balancing your checkbook or performing some complex calculation?

The next issue is the overhead that these programs use. Each of them has to take up some memory on their own - memory that could be better spent on your applications. And when they're "optimizing" your system, they're performing complex calculations that'll take even more memory away. The windows that you see aren't the only work that Windows does - there's lot's going on in the background that you don't ever see - and that takes resources also.

IMO there's 2 solutions for your problem (without using this program). One is to only open the app that you need - leaving all other apps and processes closed. That'll free up RAM for the app to use.

The other is to get some more RAM. If you value your time at $10/hour it should take about 2 weeks to realize enough savings to justify the purchase of additional RAM.
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#7 Damaru

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 02:38 AM

Hi Usasma,

Oh, I very much agree - I do need to purchase more RAM. Circumstances too involved to get into here have prevented my doing so up to this point, however, and will probably prevent my doing so in the forseeable future.

Bums. :thumbsup:

Damaru

Edited by Damaru, 01 March 2008 - 05:20 PM.





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