Trying to use Processor Lasso to identify computer processor hog

Started by muse2u, October 19, 2012, 03:41:19 PM

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I have been using Processor Lasso to identify a computer task that kicks in occassionaly (every 10 minutes or so) and severely slows down the computer.  The task must be running at a higher priority than PL because even PL stops refreshing the screen. Therein lies the problem. While PL is 'frozen' the process window does not show the offending task in action. When the computer returns to normal, PL 'unfreezes', shows the status of the current tasks (the offending task back under the radar), the action log shows that PL took no action, and the Processor use graph shows the spike in processor use.
What would be useful if PL logging could be turned on for more than 'actions'. I could use a log of any task that exceeds a given % of processor use. A useful gui feature would be the ability to click on the processor graph and have PL bring up the log to show what was happening at that point in the graph. As it is now. When I really need PL, it goes blind.

Jeremy Collake

First, please note that you can click on one or more processes and their cumulative (all selected processes, one or 10) per-process CPU utilization history is drawn on the graph as a white line. This might be helpful. You can perhaps select some process with a high CPU % average, and perhaps select it and see that it is the culprit. The culprit may not be listed though, especially if you run certain security software that protects itself from 'tampering'.

Second, there have been updates, so be sure you are running the latest version of Process Lasso. If not, what version are you using?

Third, you can increase the priority of Process Lasso's GUI to 'High', using default priorities. The governor runs at High priority. I am experimenting with this change here, and admit it probably would be better off as a High Priority class process (though it does set its own thread priorities too). Still, you may see stalls. The real question is the cause, which could be anything... it may even be hidden in a low-level component. For diagnosing what is causing the problem, do remember there are task managers out there made to be task managers - Process Lasso is more oriented towards automation and optimization. The Task Manager built into Windows Vista and above, along with the Resource Monitor, is great. The Task Manager in Windows 8 is even better at showing you what the culprit may be.

As for why no action is taken, it again goes to the cause. It could be a system or excluded process. You can un-exclude these, if necessary. OR maybe the issue is paging, and not a CPU monopolization issue, hard to say.
Software Engineer. Bitsum LLC.


Thank you for your response.
At the time I posted this I was using which I believe was current at the time.

Good suggestion to set priority of Process Lasso gui. Done that.

Also good suggestion to be more specific in the graphing of particular suspect processes. I selected two of the processes in the 'All Processes'. No white line appeared in the graph window. I did not know if there was some other 'thing' that had to be done. I right clicked but no option to add processes to special graphing action appeared. I switched to the 'active processes' window, selected two random processes and again no white line in the above graph window. The 'active processes' window does have a 'CPU utilization graph' column but I was not sure if that was what you were refering to. The column is a snap shot and does indeed show instantaneous cpu usage but unless you can capture the process in flight, the activity will be missed after the Process Lasso gui retains control of the display. Maybe there is some other action beside selecting the process(es) that has to be performed.

You are being too modest. I have been using Process Lasso to both optimize/automate and as a general Task Manager. Process Lasso gives me most of the information that other task managers provided. The inclusion of paging, file access, and network access stats would literally make all of my other task managers obsolete. However, your comment did get me thinking. When I installed Process Lasso, I turned off  other task manager/monitors that I had installed, thinking that having more than one running at a time would be an unnecessary overhead. I discovered that, for one of the managers, I succeeded in turning off the gui but the core continued to execute. I found no way to turn off the core, short of uninstalling the complete program, so I removed the core from my computer startup list manually. The program apparently also manipulates task priority to some extent, so there might have been some conflict that contributed to my symptoms. The frequency of stalls has diminished a little since that change so CTM might have been a contributing factor.

I have also added a couple of foreground applications to your control, that would have otherwise been uncontrolled.

If I could get your graphing of the specific process working that would go a far way in zeroing in on the potential offending task. But as you indicated


The example of the white line ;)
You can check the setting at the View-Individual graph components to show-Show CPU use history of selected processes :)
PS:I just borrow the picture from the screenshot of the homepage, if the picture is not showing, you can find it at the ;D

QuoteYou are being too modest. I have been using Process Lasso to both optimize/automate and as a general Task Manager. Process Lasso gives me most of the information that other task managers provided. The inclusion of paging, file access, and network access stats would literally make all of my other task managers obsolete.
Agree, and I also using it as a general Task Manager.

Jeremy Collake

I appreciate your positive feedback ;). If you get a taste of Windows 8 Task Manager you will suddenly see just how deficient *all* current third-party task managers are at showing what may be the cause of a system stall or other problem. It is just awesome, better than the Resource Monitor included in Vista and above (though the Resource Monitor is also in Windows 8 ).

The per-process CPU use is indeed drawn as a white line, shown as cumulative use of all selected processes (multiple processes can be selected). It isn't perfect, but is all that is available for now as far as past processor use for specific processes. However, it is not easy to use - a better implementation would show you the most active processes during any spike in the graph tooltip, something that I will add in time.

Anyway, as far as graph gen2 (as I call it), I'm nearly done and then will have a new reusable graph control that I can throw in all over the place.

And you are right to stay away from having multiple applications that do the same thing. Process Lasso always takes the conservative approach. If it sees a change it didn't make, it stops whatever it was doing - but I can't say the same for other applications.

I believe I am going to set the priority class of the GUI to high in the next beta series and do some extended testing with it at that setting. I don't want it getting in the way of anything, but at the same time - people expect it to be responsive. That said, it usually *is* once the core engine takes ProBalance action ;)
Software Engineer. Bitsum LLC.


[mod: oops - mistake], content was lost

Jeremy Collake

OOPS - I edited instead of replied!

Another thing I discovered (and correct me if I'm wrong), Process Lasso appears to remember the processor usage of all processes for the duration of the window. That is, as long as the incidence that I am investigating is in the window and if I had picked the wrong process to track,  I can very quickly select one or more of the suspicious processes, and the graph is redrawn to show the processor usage of those processes during the period of the window. The problem is that the window keeps moving and before a number of the processes can be investigated, the incident moves off screen. What would be  useful is if there was a function button that would 'freeze' the graph or take 'snapshot' of the activity in the window and then allow selection of each suspicious process for subsequent investigation.

It remembers the duration for a static number of intervals long enough to exceed the width of any common monitor. I could easily expand that with little overhead and add a 'pause', browse back type ability. I will consider this!

I have given your plan to change the default priority of the gui to high as default some thought. You probably have a better idea of the impact of that decision re added process requirement. If the function has merit, I chalk it up to computer system overhead in the same category as virus and firewall protection, a necessary evil. However, I also believe in maintaining efficiency within that function. In my case, education was the key. It wasn't intuitive that there was a separation between the core and the gui, and that if I wanted to maintain the responsiveness of the gui I could manually change the priority of the gui while I am trying to troubleshoot a problem. The suggestions I have received here have educated me and I can now do that when and if required.

Per this discussion, this change is now being tested (GUI at high priority class). I believe it will be fine, and am just making sure.

Thanks much for your feedback and suggestions!
Software Engineer. Bitsum LLC.