The Linear Canvas
This journal is about the wrongs and rights of the world, as I see them.

The Linear Canvas

Maximizing PC Computing Resources While Operating High Usage Applications and Processes’

September 2nd, 2012 . by Alexander Fisher

Commodore_128There has always been a struggle for system resources while using some applications on my PC’s. I run Cakewalk Sonar X1 and Sony Vegas multimedia applications currently. These programs are big users of CPU and memory resources. At times these applications are just hobbled by low resource availability. But others times they do as little as use an identical communications channel or allocated resource that some other program demands to take over. The result is often a crash by the whole computer or just the applications involved.

The biggest resource offenders can be categorized in two groups: 1) Anti-Virus programs and 2) Everything Else. Anti-Virus (A/V) programs tend to be very system heavy and do a lot of probing that takes resources best used by the programs you may be trying to run. Unfortunately, ending the probing and listening by the A/V program sometimes takes some investigation.

Anti-Virus Programs

Most A/V programs have two modes; Real Time Monitoring and Media Scanning. The Media Scanning mode is usually initiated by the user or a timer. It may also be set to do the scan on startup or even shutdown. In any case it depends on the user making choices to even have it operate. Opening the A/V program’s schedule and deactivating it, then only starting the media scanning when needed, is recommended. If you must use the scheduler to run an A/V scan, set it up for a time when you won’t be using the computer. Like at 3 o’clock AM or something. Disabling the A/V scheduler requires the user to manually scan the computer on occasion to prevent virus’ and malware. You should get more involved in your computer’s health maintenance anyway.

The Real Time Monitoring can be stopped in most cases. Sometimes it’s as easy as clicking a system tray link and other times you need to wade through menu items in the A/V program. Another way is to identify the monitoring process that is running and then stopping that service. In my case my multimedia workstation is running the free Microsoft Security Essentials (MSSE) and the other security tools provided by the Microsoft operating system. The process is called  MsMpSvc that initiates the MSSE.  This is how to disable the real time monitoring from a command prompt:

net stop MsMpSvc

To re-enable the Real Time Monitoring, from a prompt:

net start MsMpSvc

Using this command and not re-starting the service should have little effect on system re-boot. In my case if I shut down the system, the Real Time Monitoring is re-activated. Re-ally.

If you have a different A/V program, searching on-line is a good way to find out which process you can stop to achieve the same thing. MSSE is just a pain to turn off. I always forget how to do it.

But, now that you have done that, you risk virus infection by running network capable programs or services. You could keep that system disconnected from the network and connect only as needed, Or not connect it at all. But I choose to keep my computer connected to my network and the internet always. My solution is to disable the Network Device when I turn off my A/V monitoring. An easy way to do that is to use the WMIC command. To disable the Network Interface Controller (NIC), you first need to identify the network adapter index number. From a command prompt enter:

wmic nic get name, index

You should see a list of network devices and their associated index ID. It should be pretty simple if you recognize the device name. Mine was named after the RealTek NIC chip on my motherboard and my index number was 8. Using that index number, issue this command at the command prompt:

wmic path win32_networkadapter where index=8 call disable

To re-enable the NIC:

wmic path win32_networkadapter where index=8 call enable

In this case if you do not re-enable the NIC, even after system startup the network device will remain disabled. Just run the enable command using your NIC Index number and it should restart in a few seconds.

I put those commands together in two batch files that I can call from my desktop, Kill and Start. Below is the link to the Zipped up batch files. Just edit with Notepad and replace my index and A/V info with yours. If your setup has the same A/V program and index number (8) it will work as is. When I use a resource hungry application, I run the batch file that kills the A/V monitoring and the NIC. When I am done, I just run the start batch file that restarts them.

Everything Else

There are always other things that rob your system resources. The key to a faster multimedia workstation is to limit the number of installed applications and utilities. I stay away from even adding office applications. If you have business to do, do it on another computer. Using Microsoft’s included WordPad is sufficient for me. It can produce good enough docs that are readable by any office app and I transfer them to one that has one. You’ve got to have an A/V program for sure, but I also recommend SuperAntiSpyware. It will get rid of the things that any free A/V program will miss. The free version of it is good enough for me.

If you minimize what you install, you should have few things running in your system processors and memory. Knowing what is crucial for what systems you are running helps. Stopping running apps and services is not something I would recommend unless you know enough not to stop the the wrong thing. Even then I have never had a situation occur that is not fixable by restarting the computer. No harm done at all. I like to make it simple by using a utility that I have had for years and still does the job. It is called EndItAll 2. It is a utility that will let you decide what to stop. It has some assistance in that it will not stop some processes because the system won’t allow it. So the worst case is everything crashes and you just learn from that experience what not to stop.

I have already written at some length about EndItAll 2. Here is the link to that post.

EndItAll 2 is a product of PC Magazine and is still for sale for $7.97 at the link below. It has been around for years and is one of those programs you may already have, especially if you check a PC Magazine Tools disc they may have sent you:,2817,2068,00.asp

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.