NTVDM causes High CPU Utilization


Andrew Bernstein

One of my clients is running Windows Server 2003. We have
it setup as a Application type Terminal Services server.
The main program we need to run on the Terminal Services
clients is a DOS accounting package called Real World
Accounting. The client was complaining of extremely slow
performance when remote clients were connected to server.
Upon examination, determined that the reason for such
slowness was that NTVDM.exe was causing CPU utilization of
about 97-99%. I read that running the app in full screen
mode may help the issue but when trying to switch to full
screen mode we get the following message "the video device
failed to initialize for fullscreen mode" I specified in
the shortcut to run in full screen mode but this made no

I used both the Terminal Service client connection manager
v5.00 and the new Remote Desktop Connection client which
comes with XP and had the same results.

This hit in performance is making it so they cannot
the remote connections during business hours when it is
most important.

Does anyone have suggestions/solutions to this issue.
Please reply here or email me at (e-mail address removed)

Vera Noest [MVP]

It's quite common for DOS applications to behave like this. They
are constantly polling the keyboard and never let go of the CPU.
Your best option is to use a program called TameDOS from


Thanks for the suggestion. I downloaded and installed
tameDOS and the initial results are looking very good.
The utilization spikes a bit but no more than 20% and
immeadiately drops down. Will give it a real test on
Monday when the users are present.

Thanks again


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