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The Process Lasso Graphical User Interface is an easy to use application that allows the user to configure the rules governing running processes, view actions taken, list and manipulate running processes, and watch CPU usage, system responsiveness, and memory load on a graph. When run, its main window will be displayed and a notification icon that looks like a traffic light will be placed in the system tray area. Closing the main window will minimize it to the system tray. The main window can be reopened by clicking the system tray icon.
Remember, the Graphical User Interface (GUI) of Process Lasso does NOT need to be running for process rules to be enforced. That said, it consumes very little resources, especially when minimized to the system tray. However, you can completely close the GUI and simply keep the core engine (processgovernor.exe) running silently in the background to get all the benefits of Process Lasso with absolutely minimal overhead. When you exit the Process Lasso GUI, you will be asked if you would like to keep the core engine (processgovernor.exe) running or not. When configuration changes or status updates are wanted, you can then start the GUI from the system Start Menu.
During the install process, you can decide if you want to start the GUI and/or core engine for all users at login. Many times, people prefer to simply start the core engine for all users, getting the benefit of ProBalance without any additional overhead. Of course, you may then forget just how much benefit Process Lasso is doing you, but you'll be reminded if you ever uninstall the product ;). Again, the GUI really doesn't consume many resources at all, especially when minimized, so its recommended to let them both start up, except in extreme cases where RAM is really limited.
The main window consists of a CPU utilization and system responsiveness graph, a list of running processes, and a list of recent actions (log). The configuration of Process Lasso is made easy to tweak through the menu system. In the main menu you'll find all the general configuration options. Right-clicking on a process, or multiple processes, shows available operations on those process(es).
The Process Lasso graph shows a calculation of system responsiveness and overall CPU utilization. The system responsiveness is calculated using a proprietary algorithm that measures the latency in the user interface (windowing) subsystem.
Highlighted portions of the graph indicate that an out-of-control process restraint occurred during that period. This can help you see the impact of Process Lasso on system responsiveness. Note that the highlighted areas of the graph may not be 100% accurate in their timing, but are somewhere very close. As future versions come the accuracy of the highlighted area will improve.
During periods when ProBalance takes action to ensure your system repsonsiveness remains high despite a spike in CPU use, the graph will be highlighted. The log can be referenced to see what actions were taken.
New in v4 - Hovering over a highlight even will show you the process(es) adjusted (in priority or CPU affinity) at that time.
With Process Lasso you can see the individual CPU history of process(es) you select in the process list. The CPU utilization history of all processes currently selected (highlighted) in the process list is drawn as a smaller white line on the graph. For example, the user below selected 'devenv.exe' and its CPU history was drawn onto the graph as a white line.
New in v4 - A new RAM Load graph has been added to the right, even though the RAM load history is indicated on the main graph. This new graph is intended to give you a quick read on the RAM load. You can hide it by simply clicking it, or by using the View menu to toggle its visibility.
The Process List shows running processes and allows for easy rule creation. You can right click on any process, or on multiple processes, to get a context menu of available options. Amongst many other things, the options include setting current priorities and affinities, as well as default priorities and affinities.
The context menu when multiple processes are selected is different than when a single process is selected, since not all operations can be performed on multiple processes.
As you can see, with Process Lasso you can select MULTIPLE processes at once and operate on them. Not all functions are available when multiple processes are selected, but most common ones are. This includes process rule creation.
You can select which columns you want visible by right-clicking on the 'All processes' tab, right-clicking on the list header, or using the 'View / Select Process Columns' menu. In addition, you can resize the columns (at their headers) and change the column ordering by dragging the column headers. These view changes will be remembered by Process Lasso. The same applies for the 'Active processes' tab. Note that right-clicking the 'Active processes' tab allows for setting process information shown in that column. Information in the 'Active processes' tab is more limited than information in the 'All processes' tab. However, double clicking on any process in the 'Active processes' tab will take you to its entry in hte 'All processes' tab.
The 'rules' column in the running process list gives a quick summation of rules that match the process. Its format is terse, but users get quickly acclimated to it once they understand how to read it. The format of the Rules column follows.
Rules column format:
|X||Excluded from ProBalance restraint|
|W||A watchdog trigger of any type is set on this process|
|x||Excluded from foreground boosting|
|e||Energy Saver is disabled when this process is running [v6]|
|K||Keep process running (auto-restart if terminated)|
|g||Process is classified as a game|
|M||Process is classified as a multimedia application|
|s||Process will prevent the computer and display from sleeping|
|p||Process will cause the PC to enter a particular Power Profile|
|#n||Instance count limit of n, i.e. #2 for an instance limit of 2|
|Mx||Where '#' is the default memory priority set for this process.|
|R||Default priority class: Real time|
|H||Default priority class: Highest|
|A||Default priority class: Above normal|
|N||Default priority class: Normal|
|B||Default priority class: Below normal|
|I||Default priority class: Idle|
|ih||Default I/O priority class: High|
|in||Default I/O priority class: Normal|
|il||Default I/O priority class: Low|
|ib||Default I/O priority class: Very Low (background)|
|0-61||Default CPU affinity, i.e. '02' for CPUs 0 and 2|
|<||Throttle level lowest|
|<<||Throttle level low|
|<<<||Throttle level moderate|
|<<<<||Throttle level high|
You can select which columns you want visible in the 'Active Processes' tab the same way you can in the 'All Processes' tab. by right-clicking on the 'Active processes' tab or by right-clicking on the list header. In addition, you can resize the columns (at their headers) and change the column ordering by dragging the column headers. These view changes will be remembered by Process Lasso. Double clicking on any process in the 'Active processes' tab will take you to its entry in the 'All processes' tab, where additional information is available.
The Active Processes tab shows only processes that are actively utilizing the system CPU(s). It displays basic information about them, and a horizontal bar graph to visually depict their active CPU utilization.
Right clicking on one or more of the processes in the 'Active Processes' list show the
same context menu as found in the 'All Processes' tab.
Double clicking on a process in the 'Active Processes' list will find the corresponding process in the 'All Processes' tab and make it visible.
You can double click a process in the 'Active processes' tab to go to that process in the 'All processes' tab, where extended information is available.
Right-clicking on a process in the 'Active Processes' tab shows the same context menu as in the 'All processes' tab. You can perform any available operation on the process.
The context menu when multiple processes are selected is different than when a single process is selected, since not all operations can be performed on multiple processes.
Just as in the 'All processes' tab, you can select multiple processes and right-click on them to perform an operation on all of them.
Help on the options in this dialog can be obtained by hovering the mouse cursor over the item you want help on. After a few seconds, a popup tooltip will appear that describes the field you are hovering over.
The processes listed here will get terminated when they are found to be running. Process Lasso can not (at present) actually prevent them from trying to start up, it just immediately terminates them when it finds them running.
The process watchdog allows for you to take an action on a process when it exceeds a certain amount of CPU or Memory. You can specify actions of Restart, Terminate, or Change Affinity. You can choose commit size of working set size if using a memory trigger. With both memory and CPU triggers, you can set a time the process must exceed this threshold before action is taken.
You can limit the number of instances of a process allowed to be running at the same time (per user session) with this dialog. New instances of processes will be terminated if they match a pattern here and the number of instances is already equal to, or greater than, the instance count limit.
You can ensure certain processes are kept running by entering in this dialog. This way, they can restart on crash, or restart if they become unresponsive. You can set this by right-clicking on a process, using the 'Keep process running', or by using application menu opion at 'Options / Configure Keep running processes ...'.
You can designate certain proceses as games. This causes Process Lasso to induce the High Performance Power Profile and make certain adjustments to ProBalance in an effort to ensure all available CPU cycles go to the game. This mode should ONLY be used for games or other very CPU intensive applications that need every bit of processing power. You designate a gaming process by right-clicking on a process, using the 'When running / Turn on gaming mode' menu, or by using application menu opion at 'Options / Configure Game processes ...'.
You can prevent the PC and display from entering a sleep or hibernate state by adding them to the 'anti-sleep' list. You can do this by right-clicking on a process, using the 'When running' menu, or by using application menu opion at 'Options / Configure Anti-Sleep processes ...'.
You can set certain processes to cause the system to enter the chosen Power Profile each time they are run. When they terminate, the system is returned to the previous power scheme. This lets you boost your PC's performance automatically when you need it, and save energy when you don't. You can do this by right-clicking on a process, using the 'When running' menu, or by using application menu opion at 'Options / Configure High Performance Power processes ...'. Entering this power scheume will disable CPU frequency scaling, giving you maximum performance. It will, however, drain the battery life of laptops, netbooks, and other portable computers faster than typical. When all 'High Performance' power mode processes end, the Power Profile is reset back to whatever it originally was.
Process Lasso's extensive menu system allows for configuration tweaks and other operations. The menus available are:
|Main / Show/Hide Process Lasso main window||This will toggle the visibility of the main process management window. When the main window is minimized to the system tray, or otherwise not visible, it consumes less resources through a sleep like mode.|
|Main / Show balloon notifications||This toggle indicates to show, or not to show, popup balloon notifications in the system tray each time an action is taken.|
|Main / ProBalance enabled||This toggle allows for quick and easy enabling or disabling of ProBalance dynamic priority adjustments.|
|Main / All sounds off||This toggle allows you to quickly disable any sound notifications you have configured. Note that by default, no sounds events are enabled. See the ProBalance configuration dialog to enable them.|
|Main / Shut down Process Lasso||This terminates the Process Lasso GUI (processsupervisor.exe). You will no longer see the system tray icon, but process rules will still be enforced by the process governor (processgovernor.exe) unless you choose to terminate it to (you will be prompted).|
|File / Log Settings /||These items allow for toggling whether or not certain events are logged. You can also set the maximum number of log lines here.|
|File / Choose alternate configuration file||This allows you to select an alternate configuration file for use by Process Lasso. The INI configuration file includes all process rules and process lists.|
|File / Choose alternate log folder||This allows you to select an alternate location for the log of actions taken by Process Lasso.|
|File / Export configuration||This exports the INI configuration file to a folder of your choosing.|
|File / Import configuration||This imports an INI configuration file.|
|View / Show graph legend||Toggles the visibility of the legend/map that identifies what the colors of the graph indicate.|
|View / Hide process icons||This turns on or off the icons beside each process in the list. Turning OFF these icons conserves a considerable amount of memory. A restart of Process Lasso is required after changing this setting.|
|View / Technical columns first||This causes the process info columns to be reordered so that more technical columns are first in order. The user may also simply drag the column headers to whichever order they prefer. Process Lasso will remember the column order and sizes.|
|View / Reset column sizes||This resets the process info column sizes to their default values.|
|View / Reset column order||This resets the process info column ordering to the default state.|
|Options / General settings / Process Lasso startup options||This allows you to switch the startup type of the Process Lasso GUI. The core engine's startup type can be modified by running the installer.|
|Options / General settings / System tray icon||This allows modification of the system tray icon type. You can choose to either have a static icon, a representation of CPU utilization, or a representation of system responsiveness.|
|Options / General settings / System tray balloon popup notifications||This toggles whether you want balloon notification tips to be shown in the system tray area when certain actions are taken by Process Lasso. These are nice and informative, but may get annoying after a while, hence by default they are disabled.|
|Options / General settings / Refresh speed||Selects the desired refresh speed of the graphical user interface and the response time of the Process Governor. A lower value will cause a faster refresh speed and response time, but will utilize more CPU cycles. There is no recommended poll value here, and you can manually change it to whatever you like in the INI file.|
|Options / General settings / Reset language selection||This resets the language selection of Process Lasso. When Process Lasso is next launched, it will ask you which language you wish to use.|
|Options / General settings / Reset MessageBox choices||This resets the 'Do not ask again' type saved settings of all Message Box prompts within Process Lasso.|
|Options / General settings / Periodically check for product updates||Toggles whether Process Lasso should periodically check to see if updates are available. You will be notified before this check occurs, unless you configure it to proceed automatically (an option in the update checker dialog shown to you upon update check).|
|Options / ProBalance settings / Enable ProBalance priority adjustments||This toggle enables or disabled ProBalance. When enabled, background processes using a lot of CPU cycles will be temporarily lowered in priority, when appropriate, to prevent interruption of foreground processes.|
|Options / ProBalance settings / Configure ProBalance parameters||This invokes a dialog with configuration parameters for ProBalance, including CPU usage thresholds.|
|Options / ProBalance settings / Configure excluded processes||This allows for specification of which processes should be excluded from ProBalance priority adjustments. Any process specified here will never have its priority lowered by ProBalance. Wildcards are supported. Processes can also be added or removed from this list by right-clicking on them in the process list-view.|
|Options / ProBalance settings / Exclude foreground processes||This toggle indicates whether to exclude all foreground processes from ProBalance adjustments. The default value is ON, and it is recommended users leave this alone unless they have a need to switch it off.|
|Options / ProBalance settings / Exclude processes of non-normal priority||This toggle indicates whether to exclude processes of non-normal priority from ProBalance adjustments. The default value is ON.|
|Options / ProBalance settings / Exclude processes of non-normal priority||This toggle indicates whether to exclude service processes from ProBalance adjustments. The default value is OFF.|
|Options / ProBalance settings / Play a sound when action is taken||This toggle indicates whether to play a sound when a ProBalance action is taken. The default value is OFF.|
|Options / Foreground Boosting / Enable Foreground Process Priority Class Boost||This temporarily boosts the priority class of a process when one of its windows is in the foreground (has keyboard / mouse focus). This setting will boosts the priorities of all threads in that process. Note that this does not adjust Windows builtin foreground application boosting mechanism, which gives foreground applications longer time slices (see TweakScheduler for that). It is recommended you leave this option OFF unless you need it. The default value is OFF.|
|Options / Foreground Boosting / Enable Foreground Thread Priority Boost||This temporarily boosts the priority of an individual thread owning the foreground window. This can help increase responsiveness in some cases. Note that this does not adjust Windows builtin foreground application boosting mechanism, which gives foreground applications longer time slices (see TweakScheduler for that). It is recommended that you leave this option OFF unless you need it. The default value is OFF.|
|Options / Configure default priorities ...||This invokes a dialog allowing you to configure default priority classes of processes. Wildcards are supported. You can also set the default priority class of processes by right clicking on them in the process list-view.|
|Options / Configure default CPU affinities ....||This invokes a dialog allowing you to configure default CPU affinity of processes. The CPU affinity is the selection of CPUs the process is allowed to run on. Wildcards are supported. You can also set the default CPU affinities of processes by right clicking on them in the process list-view.|
|Options / Configure disallowed processes ...||This invokes a dialog box allowing you to choose which processes should be automatically terminated if they are found to be running. Wildcards are supported. You can also add processes to this list by right clicking on them in the process list-view.|
|Options / Configure process instance limits ...||This invokes a dialog box allowing you to place limits on the number of instances a program can have running in a user session. Wildcards are supported.|
|Options / More strictly enforce default priorities and affinities||This toggle is called 'Forced mode', and indicates to forcibly keep process default priorities and affinities applied, even if those processes try to adjust them back.|
|Options / Scheduled virtual memory trim ....||These menu options allow you to do a one time, or periodic, trim of the RAM used by all processes. This forces them to page their memory out to the swap file. As the memory is reaccessed by the processes, it is reloaded into RAM, incurring a performance penalty. Normally Windows manages virtual memory fine and manually forcing processes to page their memory out interferes with its optimality. However, for some users, this type of periodic operation may be useful.|
|Help / Check for updates||This invokes the update check dialog.|
|Help / About||This invokes the Process Lasso About box, which contains information about Process Lasso.|