run at low cpu priority?

Everytime WW does an update, CPU usage shoots up to 100% on 3 different machines (P3/1G, P3/700, Celeron/1.25G). All systems become less responsive. It’d be nice to update at LOW cpu priority, or to improve programming with reduced CPU usage. (I’ll keep this updated when I get new results.)

Additional info:

I have got more details about the duration of 100% cpu usage. The slower the network response (e.g. some people behind firewalls), the longer the duration of 100% cpu utilization. Besides multiple instances of “dl.exe” taking up CPU usage, there’s two other processes called “svchost.exe” and “services.exe” which take up most of the CPU during weather update. “dl.exe” can be run with LOW cpu prioriy with the workaround described below, but “svchost.exe” and
“services.exe” still run at NORMAL priority. In other words, the workaround only improves machine responsiveness, though to a pretty good/acceptable degree; you may still experience some slowing-down. On the flip-side, although the GUI is more responsive when WW is updating, IE may take a hit on opening new web pages for non-apparent reasons. It might be because each time WW updates weather, it also has IE update it’s proxy settings by running the potentially very large autoproxy script.

My WW setup:

General: Start minimized, Retrieve on startup, Check for new version, Pause 10 sec
Auto update: every 5 min, enable auto update, only download when connected
System tray: display feels like, flash system tray
On download: all checked except display the actual time


  • Turn off WW auto load at windows startup/user logon.
  • Create a windows shortcut or batch file with the following command: [code]start "" /low "C:\Program Files\Weather Watcher\ww.exe"[/code]
  • Put a shortcut in the Startup folder.
Note: if you're not running WinXP, you may need to adjust the "start" command line accordingly.

WinXP Task Manager Snapshot (WW is sitting IDLE, NORMAL priority):

Image Name CPU Base Pri System Idle Process 91 N/A taskmgr.exe 09 High ww.exe 00 Normal svchost.exe 00 Normal services.exe 00 Normal
WinXP Task Manager Snapshot (WW is UPDATING, NORMAL priority):

Image Name CPU Base Pri svchost.exe 47 Normal dl.exe 26 Normal services.exe 18 Normal taskmgr.exe 09 High dl.exe 00 Normal dl.exe 00 Normal ww.exe 00 Normal dl.exe 00 Normal
WinXP Task Manager Snapshot (WW is sitting IDLE, LOW priority):

Image Name CPU Base Pri System Idle Process 92 N/A taskmgr.exe 07 High QCTRAY.EXE 01 Normal ww.exe 00 Low svchost.exe 00 Normal services.exe 00 Normal
WinXP Task Manager Snapshot (WW is UPDATING, LOW priority):

Image Name CPU Base Pri svchost.exe 44 Normal dl.exe 29 Low services.exe 15 Normal taskmgr.exe 11 High QCTRAY.EXE 01 Normal dl.exe 00 Low dl.exe 00 Low dl.exe 00 Low ww.exe 00 Low (other zero CPU items ommited)
Download time (duration of popup window):

NORMAL priority: 51, 57, 56; [b]Average: 55 seconds[/b] LOW priority: 89, 84, 84; [b]Average: 86 seconds[/b]Be happy. [:D]



Must be an intel cpu bug because it only used a max of 35% for a sec. here. Average seemd to be around 10%.

AlthlonXP 2200+ 1.8ghz @ 2.3ghz


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xyn – Thanks, I’ll check it out.

On my PIII 800Mhz. I get spikes, but never more than about 10%…

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xyn – This only seems to run from a batch file. How did you get it to run from a shortcut?


Since “start” is an internal command to cmd.exe, so you’ll have to put the following in the Shortcut you’re creating:

%SystemRoot%\system32\cmd.exe /c start "" /low "C:\Program Files\Weather Watcher\ww.exe"

Pick any name (e.g. “Weather Watcher (lower CPU)”). [;)]

After creating the Shortcut, open its properties. Select Run:Minimized, and leave everything else to the default.


xyn – Thank you! Do you know of any version of Windows that does not support the START command?

The start command is different for WinXp compared to previous versions…

In WinMe “Start.exe” is a separate program in the c:\windows\command directory (same for win98 I think)

Since WinXp is based on NT the start program is emulated. So there are prolly differences is it’s options like the differences in the command prompt options.

[i]Originally posted by moldavia[/i]
"another process called "svchost.exe" which takes up most of the CPU during weather update."

well on my machine svchost doesnt even touch the cpu at all during an update only the file dl.exe which runs multiple times takes resoures. as for the dl.exe the max ive seen it take is 20% cpu. as for setting it low it made the svchost.exe go to 99% for 4 TIMES the length it normally takes for an update so I would not consider your workaround very reliable or usable since my whole system pratically stopped. I am running AMD and have no real CPU issue on normal priority. I play hardcore 3d games have many windows open and never have I been intrupted or experience any slowdown in games when it updates and I have it updating every 30 minutes.

this is from microsofts website regarding what svchost.exe is

The Svchost.exe file is located in the %SystemRoot%\System32 folder. At startup, Svchost.exe checks the services portion of the registry to construct a list of services that it needs to load. Multiple instances of Svchost.exe can run at the same time. Each Svchost.exe session can contain a grouping of services, so that separate services can run, depending on how and where Svchost.exe is started. This allows for better control and easier debugging.

svchost on windows xp has a tendancy to go to 100% for 10 seconds (XP pro on 1.2Ghz AMD) locking up everything, when connecting to the internet. It has nothing to do with dl.exe. Its the DNS cache starting up. Turning off DNS cache service will clear up the lock up. We used to have dial up and everytime we dialed in it would lock up.