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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger
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    Restrict printing CPU usage

    Whenever I print I can see my pc's cpu usage spike to 100% (Task Manager is running in the system tray). I would like to be able to restrict this so it doesn't choke off all of my other processes, especially since it is a shared printer. I did not see any way to do this through the printer controls. I don't mind if print jobs take a little longer to complete.

    If there is no way to limit the ptiner, would adding more memory to the printer help? It is an HP1100, currently with 2MB memory but it can take an additional 16MB.

  2. #2
    4 Star Lounger pccoyle's Avatar
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    Re: Restrict printing CPU usage

    David,
    Adding printer memory will speed the download, no doubt about that. Is the Spool size big enough for your print jobs? I have a hazy recollection that some time a couple of years ago on our 2000 server I came across a printer/spool setting that helped a user with a similar problem. Sorry I cannot be more specific where I located this setting
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  3. #3
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    Re: Restrict printing CPU usage

    I was able to find a little tip today, NT Parallel Port Thread Priority that looks like it would solve my needs, except for one little detail.
    <hr>"If an application is running very slow due to large print jobs, you can reduce the thread priority of the port print function by adding the following registry entry."<pre>Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlPr int]
    "PortThreadPriority"=dword:00000000
    "SchedulerThreadPriority"=dword:ffffffff</pre>

    <hr>
    The trick is to set PortThreadPriority to a value of -1, where -1 = below normal priority, 0 = normal priority, and 1 = above normal priority. I've tried though to enter -1 in this key, both using Regedit and Regedt32, yet neither will accept this value.

    Could this be the setting that you had found? Any ideas on how to get a negative value entered for this dword?

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Restrict printing CPU usage

    dword:ffffffff is -1.
    You count up from 0 to 7FFFFFFF for positive numbers
    You count down from FFFFFFFF to 80000000 for negative numbers

    StuartR

  5. #5
    4 Star Lounger pccoyle's Avatar
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    Re: Restrict printing CPU usage

    Hi David,
    I did not add/change a registry setting if my memory serves me , it was more a property change of some sort. I noticed on that link that the -1 was for NT 4.0, so i presume that it is different for 2000? Probably the same functionalty but in a different hive.
    Sorry I cannot be more helpful, but I found your link great and will explore that site.
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    New Lounger
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    Re: Restrict printing CPU usage

    Have you got the correct driver. My HP 695C has got an advanced tab with a print priority setting, that goes from 1 to 99. If that doesn't make a difference post back since W2000 allows you to assign priorities to processes.

  7. #7
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    Re: Restrict printing CPU usage

    Print Priority is not the same thing.

    Print Priority controls the priority of one print job relative to another in the print queue. If there are multiple things waiting to print and you raise the priority of one of them then it will move up the queue and print earlier.

    Print thread priority is the CPU priority of the process that is sending data to the printer, if you raise this priority then the printer may run faster, but other programmes will run slower whilst you are printing.

    StuartR

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    Re: Restrict printing CPU usage

    What confused me was that the print priority was for the driver, not for any particular document; there is a separate setting for each document. I suppose that the setting is there for the driver to set the default priority, which would give preference to documents from one computer over another computer in the case of a network printer.

    You can change the priority of the print spooler by clicking on priorities in task manager, but most of the CPU time is taken up not by spooling but by printing and the service which is using up the CPU time is system, and it's set to normal anyway. It is worth checking if performance options in Control Panel|System|Advanced are set to Applications and not Background Services, but apart from that I must give up temporarily.

    I must say that despite all the CPU time it takes up printing does not stop other applications working. on my desktop (Pentium III 733Mhz with 256MB of RAM) so maybe the poster should check all his other settings

  9. #9
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    Re: Restrict printing CPU usage

    I had already investigated the priority setting in the printer driver and, as you pointed out, found that it was not going to give me any relief. I have checked the System | Advanced settings and I am set for optimizing Applications over Background services. I've looked at the tweaks that X-Setup has for adjusting background operations, but I'm a little hesitant at this point to start adjusting 'quantas' (?) allocated to background processes.

    I think though that in the interim to finding a solution I will take a closer look at who is using my shared printer and who actually needs to be using it as opposed to other networked printers. Not a very high-tech solution, but sometimes we just have to take what we can get.

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