Windows XP / Beginners

Starting applications with a user set priority

Using a wonderful command built into Windows XP allows you to start any program and specify what priority it should be run at. This cool utility is called the Start command. Using the Start command with priority flags, followed by the executable, will allow any program to start at the priority level at which you want it to start.

For the sake of demonstrating how to use the command, assume that the calculator is set at high CPU priority. Follow these steps to set the command:

  1. First, open Notepad so that you can type in the command so that it can be turned into a batch script file. This can be done by starting Notepad from the Accessories item in the Start Menu's All Program entry.
  2. Once Notepad is open, key in start /high calc.exe. If you want to start the calculator at a different priority, you can replace /high with /low, /normal, /realtime/, /abovenormal, and /belownormal.
  3. Once you have the priority level keyed in, click the File menu bar item in Notepad and select Save As. Change the file Save As Type to All Files and type launchcalc.bat in the filename box. You can call the file anything you want, but make sure that it has the .bat file extension so that Windows knows to execute the commands in the file.
  4. Then specify a location on your hard drive to save it, such as your Desktop, and click the Save button. You are now finished and may exit Notepad.

Now that you have the batch command file created, just double-click the file to launch the calculator application at the high-priority level.

The same technique can be applied to any program on your computer. Instead of typing calc.exe at the end of the command, type the name of the executable of the program that you want to start. Additionally, this command can be used on nonexecutable files such as documents. For example, you can type in start /high mydocument.doc and it will start Microsoft Word in high priority with your document opened.

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