Pausing and Resuming Threads
The most common ways to synchronize the activities of threads are to block and release threads, or to lock objects or regions of code. For more information on these locking and blocking mechanisms, see Overview of Synchronization Primitives.
You can also have threads put themselves to sleep. When threads are blocked or sleeping, you can use a ThreadInterruptedException to break them out of their wait states.
Calling the ThreadSleep method causes the current thread to immediately block for the number of milliseconds you pass to ThreadSleep, yielding the remainder of its time slice to another thread. One thread cannot call ThreadSleep on another thread.
You can interrupt a waiting thread by calling ThreadInterrupt on the blocked thread to throw a ThreadInterruptedException, which breaks the thread out of the blocking call. The thread should catch the ThreadInterruptedException and do whatever is appropriate to continue working. If the thread ignores the exception, the runtime catches the exception and stops the thread.
If the target thread is not blocked when ThreadInterrupt is called, the thread is not interrupted until it blocks. If the thread never blocks, it could complete without ever being interrupted.
If a wait is a managed wait, then ThreadInterrupt and ThreadAbort both wake the thread immediately. If a wait is an unmanaged wait (for example, a platform invoke call to the Win32 WaitForSingleObject function), neither ThreadInterrupt nor ThreadAbort can take control of the thread until it returns to or calls into managed code. In managed code, the behavior is as follows:
You can also pause a thread by calling ThreadSuspend. When a thread calls ThreadSuspend on itself, the call blocks until the thread is resumed by another thread. When one thread calls ThreadSuspend on another thread, the call is a non-blocking call that causes the other thread to pause. Calling ThreadResume breaks another thread out of the suspend state and causes the thread to resume execution, regardless of how many times ThreadSuspend was called. For example, if you call ThreadSuspend five consecutive times and then call ThreadResume, the thread resumes execution immediately following the call to ThreadResume.
Unlike ThreadSleep, ThreadSuspend does not cause a thread to immediately stop execution. The common language runtime must wait until the thread has reached a safe point before it can suspend the thread. A thread cannot be suspended if it has not been started or if it has stopped. For details on safe points, see Thread.Suspend, Garbage Collection, and Safe Points.
The ThreadSuspend and ThreadResume methods are not generally useful for applications and should not be confused with synchronization mechanisms. Because ThreadSuspend and ThreadResume do not rely on the cooperation of the thread being controlled, they are highly intrusive and can result in serious application problems like deadlocks (for example, if you suspend a thread that holds a resource that another thread will need).