Win XP Pro & Disk Thrashing


O

Omicron

The system is a Dell desktop (an 8100) running at 1.4 GHz with 512MB
RAM and 12 GB free HD space on a 20 GB drive. Fully registered Windows
XP Pro SP2 is the OS (all patches and critical updates installed).

Drives are fully Defragged. Updated Norton AV. No AdWare detected by
AdAware and A-Squared. The Cleaner says there are no Trojans. A few
online scans from several sites (Penecillin; Micro; McAfee; etc)
indicate that there is nothing lurking about. Temp files are cleaned
out, as are any downloaded Internet files.

With the above conditions, I had the swap file set so that Windows
could control it. On initial boot-up, thrashing was not an issue.
However, after a little use of such things such as IE6 and/or Office
Word 2000, disk thrashing became impossible. The HD light would remain
on and the system became almost useless. Windows Task Manager indicated
almost an endless movement of memory from RAM to Swap file and back.
Therefore, the HD was on almost constantly and the system slowed to a
stand-still. Shutting down all applications did not stop the problem.
Background processes showed nothing unusually running. Playing with
recommended combinations of virtual memory settings and then re-booting
showed virtually no improvement whatsoever.

So, I installed a second HD. The Swap file (pagefile.sys) now resides
on a second, 1.1 GB hard drive. This drive is dedicated solely for the
virtual memory. Per several directions I have received, I have a very
small swap file set up on the main C: drive (2 MB min and 50 MB max)
and then have this other 1.1 GB drive set up to allow Windows to use it
as it deems appropriate.
This has showed very, very little improvement to the above noted
problem.
I then eliminated the small virtual memory setup on the C: drive and
left it all on the second 1.1 GB drive. Still no improvement. The drive
light goes on after a very short time of using the system (doesn't seem
to make any difference what software I run) and then thrashes and runs
almost constantly, for 10 to 15 minutes at a time! I've played with
numerous incantations of swap file settings based on website
suggestions and Usenet messages. Nothing seems to make a difference.

I've gone into Control Panel->
Systems->Advanced->Performance->Settings->Advanced and changed the
Memory Usage from Programs to System Cache; still no improvement.

I've disconnected my Internet connection and shut down Norton AV. No
help at all.
I have tried other things as well. Nothing.
I'm lost.
The system is all but useless when the drive starts this activity.
Can anyone please suggest something reasonable for me to try that I
haven't already attempted?

I've run lesser systems with WinXP, with less RAM and similar HD space
and have NOTHING like this ever happen.
Any help would be much appreciated.
Thank you.
 
Ad

Advertisements

G

Gerry Cornell

Have you installed a third party memory managent utility? These can
create rather than solve problems!

Try Ctrl+Alt+Delete to select Task Manager and click the Performance
Tab. Under the Commit Charge what is the Total, the Limit and the
Peak?

You may find it helpful to know exactly how much of your pagefile is
being used. Use page file monitor to observe what is the peak usage.
Start it to run immediately after start-up and look at the log at the
end of the session.The log is Pagefilelog.txt. If you right click on
the file in Windows Explorer and select Send to, Desktop (Create
Shortcut). The same applies to XP_PageFileMon.exe.

A small utility to monitor pagefile usage:
http://www.dougknox.com/xp/utils/xp_pagefilemon.htm


--

Hope this helps.

Gerry
~~~~
FCA
Stourport, England
Enquire, plan and execute
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
O

Omicron

Hello Gerry.
Thanks for your reply.
No Third Party memory management is in use.
As noted in my original message, the pagefile is being used, released,
used and released on an almost continuous basis, even when zero
applications are running; hence the heart of my problem.
I'll download that utility as well.
Thanks again.
If you should think of anything else, please drop me a line.
Regards.
 
Ad

Advertisements

G

Gerry Cornell

Try Ctrl+Alt+Delete to select Task Manager and click the Performance
Tab. Under the Commit Charge what is the Total, the Limit and the
Peak? What are your pagefile settings?

Download Process Explorer.

For further information about Process Explorer see here:
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/sysinternals/SystemInformation/ProcessExplorer.mspx

To ascertain which service is causing the problem select what is
producing the high CPU usage, right click, select Properties,
Services. Note there are the full names and some explanation of what
each service does.

You will find further information on Services here:
http://majorgeeks.com/page.php?id=12

To trace the particular Service involved you need to turn off each
service in turn and then restore it noting what effect it has on CPU
usage. however, you need to take care and watch what other Services
are dependent on that service. When you click on the Dependencies tab
allow it a little time to display the information.

--

Hope this helps.

Gerry
~~~~
FCA
Stourport, England
Enquire, plan and execute
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top