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Windows 7: BSOD running Plex Media Server, now NIC not working and locking up

13 Jul 2013   #21
bobafetthotmail

Win 7 Pro 64-bit 7601
 
 

pagefaults are not an issue, as long as it doesn't bluescreen (which would indicate bad RAM).
Any program causes some when running, but it's normal. If it is doing something heavy or if it is coded by rookies, then it's more likely to cause them. Here to read more.
Page file has limited effect on them, as they are basically a RAM memory address error.

Quote:
I appreciate it's needed for the dumps, etc but I'm still a bit concerned that it won't let me disable it on this system, as I'm almost certain I've been able to in the past with systems with only 8GB. Anyway, we can look into that later perhaps.
Altering pagefile is not very forgiving and can require more alterations and reboots. You sure you did like this:
click on disk C: in the list, select "no paging file" and then click on "set".
And repeated this for other disks that had a pagefile?
Try again.

Again. please leave 1024 mb of pagefile, as if you don't then the dumps from the BSODs won't be available and Arc won't be able to assist.
Quote:
The latency seems to be triggered by HDD activity and the person who's analysed the traces for me tells me
"and you still have disk issues. Your HDD is flushing the data all the time (open the etl with xperfview.exe, make a rightclick on the disk graph and select "Detail graph", here you see a lot of red lines). The depth queue is better but still 30 which is still bad. "
Ok, so you have stuff accessing the disk all the time. Need to find out what is doing it.
write "resmon" in the Star menu searchbox (or from the Resource Monitor button in the Performance tab of Task manager) and look at the tab about disk usage. Can also post a screenshot if there is something weird in the list.

An obvious suspect for these things is the indexing service. You can write "indexing options" in the searchbox of the start menu and exclude everything that isn't Start menu from the list, or turn it off alltogether (but then searchbox won't help you find other commands and utilities like I am telling you in this post).

Another obvious suspect would be an antivirus (check the options on real-time protection, about scanning what is read and what is written, if there are some), or some kind of malware.

Quote:
running in High Performance mode, not Balanced, which might be helping as well.
I doubt that this matters. the High Performance is more or less a copy-cat of Balanced, it's there mostly in case you want to tweak Balanced but still have a high performance setting.

Quote:
although HwInfo wasn't running after rebooting I did have the Persistent Driver enabled, so I suppose that might have still been scanning and causing problems.
What's that? If you mean driver verifier, then the BSODs you are getting contain info about a wretched driver causing system instability (the whole point of driver verifier). So upload the dumps for Arc to have a look.

Btw, for your weirdness about the NIC, I would try reflashing (updating if available) the BIOS.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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13 Jul 2013   #22
doveman007

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bobafetthotmail View Post
pagefaults are not an issue, as long as it doesn't bluescreen (which would indicate bad RAM).
Any program causes some when running, but it's normal. If it is doing something heavy or if it is coded by rookies, then it's more likely to cause them. Here to read more.
Page file has limited effect on them, as they are basically a RAM memory address error.
Sorry, I don't understand that. The betanews latencymon page you linked to before says "Hard page faults occur when a program needs data that isn't resident in physical RAM, and so Windows has to read it in from the paging file, instead. " and the wiki says "page faults are not always errors and are common and necessary to increase the amount of memory available to programs in any operating system that utilizes virtual memory". So I don't really understand how I can still get them when not using a pagefile/virtual memory.

Anyway, I don't really care about seeing hard pagefaults if they don't cause any problems (although the betanews page suggest that they can result in audio dropouts), I just thought they might be connected to the high latency spikes, which I'm more concerned with, as they seemed to coincide with each other.

Quote:
Altering pagefile is not very forgiving and can require more alterations and reboots. You sure you did like this:
click on disk C: in the list, select "no paging file" and then click on "set".
And repeated this for other disks that had a pagefile?
Try again.

Again. please leave 1024 mb of pagefile, as if you don't then the dumps from the BSODs won't be available and Arc won't be able to assist.
Yep, that's exactly what I did. Originally I had the pagefile on D: and nothing on C:, so I set D: to no paging file, clicked set and rebooted and that's when I got this error that Windows had created a temporary pagefile. I went into the settings and it was still on "no paging file" for C: despite there being a pagefile on it now (I guess the settings just hadn't synced or maybe after rebooting again it would have done), clicked set again and rebooted and the same thing happens.

Quote:
Ok, so you have stuff accessing the disk all the time. Need to find out what is doing it.
write "resmon" in the Star menu searchbox (or from the Resource Monitor button in the Performance tab of Task manager) and look at the tab about disk usage. Can also post a screenshot if there is something weird in the list.

An obvious suspect for these things is the indexing service. You can write "indexing options" in the searchbox of the start menu and exclude everything that isn't Start menu from the list, or turn it off alltogether (but then searchbox won't help you find other commands and utilities like I am telling you in this post).

Another obvious suspect would be an antivirus (check the options on real-time protection, about scanning what is read and what is written, if there are some), or some kind of malware.
It's not all the time as I don't have latency spikes constantly but do when launching Iron, which is what I did for the trace. Indexing/Windows Search service is disabled and I don't currently have an antivirus installed. So when he says "all the time" he means for the duration of the trace. I'm pretty sure there isn't a disk queue problem when it's just idle, as otherwise I'd expect to see latency spikes but I might do a trace at idle for him to look at anyway, just to see if it shows anything useful.

Quote:
I doubt that this matters. the High Performance is more or less a copy-cat of Balanced, it's there mostly in case you want to tweak Balanced but still have a high performance setting.
It's quite different on all the systems I've used. High Performance disables the clock control (Cool'n'Quiet) so the CPU runs at 2.8Ghz constantly, whereas in Balanced it downclocks to 800Mhz when idle, so I suppose when I do some activity and it has to ramp up, this could be triggering latency spikes, hence why I get them when launching IE in Balanced but not in High Performance. The option "Link State Power Management" (whatever that does) is also set to Off in High Performance and Moderate Power Savings in Balanced.

Quote:
What's that? If you mean driver verifier, then the BSODs you are getting contain info about a wretched driver causing system instability (the whole point of driver verifier). So upload the dumps for Arc to have a look.
Persistent Driver is an option in HwInfo, which I guess speeds up the launching as it doesn't have to load/start the service/driver. I asked the author if that could have possibly been related to the lockups at boot I had but he's told me "No, the persistent driver should have no impact on system when you don't run HWiNFO - it just sits idle there and waits for commands from HWiNFO."

It's probably worthwhile running Driver Verifier though, as it might reveal something.

Quote:
Btw, for your weirdness about the NIC, I would try reflashing (updating if available) the BIOS.
Yeah, I'll try that if it happens again. I need to try plugging in the IDE devices and see if that triggers it again. I had to reset the CMOS anyway yesterday as I stupidly disabled "Legacy USB mode" in the BIOS and then couldn't use my keyboard until Windows had booted, so couldn't get into the BIOS or change boot options
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jul 2013   #23
bobafetthotmail

Win 7 Pro 64-bit 7601
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by doveman007 View Post
So I don't really understand how I can still get them when not using a pagefile/virtual memory.
As I said, a pagefault is a memory address error. If the stuff it is looking for isn't in memory or in the pagefile (disabled or not), it still has to come from somewhere or the program/process/PC will crash, so it must read the disk to get the missing data.

So yeah, they could be connected to disk activity and latency spikes, but it's not a given (as it can simply find stuff in memory and not need disk access).
Quote:
I went into the settings and it was still on "no paging file" for C: despite there being a pagefile on it now (I guess the settings just hadn't synced or maybe after rebooting again it would have done), clicked set again and rebooted and the same thing happens.
Heh, try setting a pagefile on C with "system managed size" and then reboot, then try removing it.

Otherwise the only thing that could cause that would be that there is some program that requires a pagefile for its own reasons.


Quote:
It's not all the time as I don't have latency spikes constantly but do when launching Iron,
As said above and in wikipedia, badly written programs can cause more pagefaults than normal. Try reinstalling/updating Iron or find a replacement.

Still, if for Iron you mean the good twin of Google Chrome, and you reported issues with the NIC... I speculate that it's the NIC issue causing that. Can you try using other browsers or stuff that works over the internet (the NIC)?

Quote:
It's quite different on all the systems I've used. High Performance disables the clock control (Cool'n'Quiet) so the CPU runs at 2.8Ghz constantly, whereas in Balanced it downclocks to 800Mhz when idle, so I suppose when I do some activity and it has to ramp up, this could be triggering latency spikes, hence why I get them when launching IE in Balanced but not in High Performance. The option "Link State Power Management" (whatever that does) is also set to Off in High Performance and Moderate Power Savings in Balanced.
Cool'nQuiet is handled by BIOS, cannot be disabled by other than motherboard utilities and BIOS options afaik. What High performance does though is increasing the minimum CPU frequency to 100%.

If the latency spikes are connected with hard drive activity, I doubt that CPU frequency matters.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Jul 2013   #24
doveman007

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bobafetthotmail View Post
As I said, a pagefault is a memory address error. If the stuff it is looking for isn't in memory or in the pagefile (disabled or not), it still has to come from somewhere or the program/process/PC will crash, so it must read the disk to get the missing data.

So yeah, they could be connected to disk activity and latency spikes, but it's not a given (as it can simply find stuff in memory and not need disk access).
OK, I see what you're saying. Anyway, I'm not really concerned with the pagefaults, just the latency and they don't seem to be connected.

Quote:
Heh, try setting a pagefile on C with "system managed size" and then reboot, then try removing it.

Otherwise the only thing that could cause that would be that there is some program that requires a pagefile for its own reasons.
Nope, it still throws up the same error and creates a pagefile on C: I really don't think I've got any programs installed that could be forcing Windows to do this and I've got the same programs and a lot more installled on my other system that lets me disable the pagefile no problem. I've done sfc /scannow which says everything is OK but there must be something wrong or maybe some Windows registry setting that's causing this and I really should sort it out and not just ignore it, in case it's indicative of some other fault. Other people tell me they're running without a pagefile on 8GB systems, so it doesn't appear that Windows is designed to prevent this.

EDIT: Aha, I might have found the problem. In the registry under Memory Management it had pagefile set to f:, which was a secondary HDD I had connected before but don't currently, so I changed that to d: There's also a TempPageFile setting which I changed from 1 to 0, so we'll see when I reboot if that's fixed it

EDIT2: Yep, that's done the trick

Quote:
As said above and in wikipedia, badly written programs can cause more pagefaults than normal. Try reinstalling/updating Iron or find a replacement.

Still, if for Iron you mean the good twin of Google Chrome, and you reported issues with the NIC... I speculate that it's the NIC issue causing that. Can you try using other browsers or stuff that works over the internet (the NIC)?
It's not just Iron that cause latency spikes though. Nor is Iron the worst culprit for pagefaults. Running Windows defrag and analysing my partitions, svchost generates a ton of pagefaults (like 30000) but no latency spikes, hence why I don't think pagefaults and latency spikes are connected. If I Analyse in CCleaner, no latency spikes but when I run the Wipe, they appear, which makes me think they're related to writing and not reading.

Iron seems to generate a spike (3500us) just as it's finished opening all the saved tabs, so perhaps it does some writing at that point. Then again, if I open a new tab and browse to a new page, that obviously writes to the temporary files and doesn't generate a spike. Opera Portable also generates a spike of around 1100us just as it finishes loading. Sometimes IE, which only opens with one tab, does and other times it doesn't generate a spike, whether I'm in Balanced or High Performance mode. I get the odd spike to 600-700us with various apps but that's below the threshold to trigger LatencyMon's warning, so they probably don't matter.

Even in High Performance mode, launching MediaPortal generates several spikes from 1500us to 3908us. On the second launch, it hit 20874us and then 9000us. Even if I restart LatencyMon after MediaPortal has loaded, it spikes to around 2000us several times.

Then again I can update/install software without triggering any spikes and that's obviously writing.

Generally storport.sys is appearing from both ISR and DPC although sometimes ISR gets replaced by tcpip.sys or ndis.sys. Generally the ISR and DPC aren't any higher at the point of a latency spike than at other times, although when launching MediaPortal, they both refer to storport.sys and spike to around 230us.

I asked Asrock about why the NIC might stop functioning when I connect devices to the IDE port and they've replied

"I am not sure how a device connected to IDE can influence the function of the NIC. They might share a PCIe lane. Or there might be some micro fracture in the motherboard. A Compact Flash card IDE adapter is not a device that is commonly used, and it is not something that we normally test on our motherboards."

Quote:
Cool'nQuiet is handled by BIOS, cannot be disabled by other than motherboard utilities and BIOS options afaik. What High performance does though is increasing the minimum CPU frequency to 100%.

If the latency spikes are connected with hard drive activity, I doubt that CPU frequency matters.
Ah, I see. Anyway, that's what I meant, that the CPU frequency stays at 100% and doesn't ramp down. It did appear I was seeing less latency spikes in High Performance mode but as my tests above have shown, I'm still getting some quite severe ones so you're probably right.

Strangely, if I run DPC Latency Checker with Iron open, the highest spike is 168us over several minutes. If I close that and start LatencyMon however, I get a spike of 758us within 10s. Likewise with MediaPortal, the highest spike shown with DPC-LC is 138us. It might be that DPC Latency Checker is sampling at a less frequent interval and missing the spikes or there may be an issue with LatencyMon which is causing it to misreport spikes.

EDIT: The author of LatencyMon has told me:

"The interrupt-to-latency test is only meaningful without having any other programs running in the background."

In reply, I asked "You say it's only meaningful without having any other programs running but my concern is that if I'm getting high latency spikes when certain activity happens, such as writing to disk, then these spikes are going to cause issues with audio/video when this activity happens whilst using A/V software, gaming, etc."

and he replied "The interrupt-to-latency monitor simulates a critical audio process. This is why it is not recommended to be running any other activity on top." but he's offered to take a look at the reports for me, so we'll see if they show anything.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jul 2013   #25
doveman007

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

At the moment, I've managed to connect my SATA ODD and the IDE HDD and ODD and the NIC is still working, so I'll have to monitor that over the next few days as previously the NIC only stopped working after I'd had the IDE devices connected for a few days.

Having the SATA ODD connected (to SATAII_2, with the SATA HDD on SATAII_0 and without the IDE devices connected) does cause a 10s delay on booting.

After the first screen, which is the AHCI/RAID controller part, it then shows

2.02.1205 Copyright 2010 American Megatrends

at the top and A2 at the bottom, which changes to to A3 then 99 after 10s and the boot continues. I don't get this screen/delay with only the SATA HDD connected but I can't work out why the SATA ODD should cause it.

I also had an issue when connecting the IDE devices, where even though I'd set the only boot device to the SATA HDD in the BIOS and set every other option to Disabled, it was still trying to boot from the PATA IDE HDD, which it obviously couldn't as it doesn't have any OS installed. Even if I pressed F11 to bring up the boot menu and selected the SATA HDD, it still tried to boot from the PATA IDE HDD!

I had to fiddle around and set the second HDD BBS option to the PATA IDE HDD and the second boot device to the SATA ODD and then it boots from the SATA HDD OK, so it seems it's just a weird BIOS bug.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jul 2013   #26
bobafetthotmail

Win 7 Pro 64-bit 7601
 
 

I hope you fixed the pagefile issues.

storport.sys is a driver dealing with storage devices. Can you check if there are errors related to storage devices (or that driver or or whatever happening in those minutes) in Event Viewer?

Try disabling these services (if you have them) to see if they are related:
  • Offline Files
  • Intel Rapid Storage Technology
  • SeaPort
  • Storage Service
  • Superfetch
  • Volume Shadow Copy Service

Can you try doing a full checkdisk of the drive that gives you this lag (where that stuff is installed), with both options checked? Could be a bad drive. So that only some areas suck and so only some writes trigger the lag as it decides to write somewhere else. Although it's a slim chance admittedly, but it's worth checking.

Another could be the Windows Defender. It's a built-in minor AV program that is on by default and could be causing issues. This explains how to turn it off.

Quote:
"I am not sure how a device connected to IDE can influence the function of the NIC. They might share a PCIe lane. Or there might be some micro fracture in the motherboard. A Compact Flash card IDE adapter is not a device that is commonly used, and it is not something that we normally test on our motherboards."
Compact flash IDE adapter? What's it for? Adapters in general aren't known for their reliability, you sure it's not that adapter causing the lag? (i.e. does stuff run from outside that CF card while it's physically disconnected cause lag?)
Also, in case this mysterious thing about the NIC not liking IDE devices remains unresolved, consider getting a CF to SATA adapter.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jul 2013   #27
bobafetthotmail

Win 7 Pro 64-bit 7601
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by doveman007 View Post
After the first screen, which is the AHCI/RAID controller part, it then shows

2.02.1205 Copyright 2010 American Megatrends

at the top and A2 at the bottom, which changes to to A3 then 99 after 10s and the boot continues. I don't get this screen/delay with only the SATA HDD connected but I can't work out why the SATA ODD should cause it.
It appears that BIOS is telling us something. That's a code telling what it is doing in that time. Takes a lot of time, so might be a way to report an error.

From here, last table, or here it says that A2 is the code for the page for displaying soft errors after the "cache checking", then A3 is about setting keyboard "typematic rate" whatever that is.
99 is a step that should have done already.

This is not my field, and probably Asrock should be able to tell you more as it's their board's own firmware speaking here. Could help pinpoint hardware faults or whatnot.

Or could simply be another sign that the BIOS is screwed up and that you need to reflash it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jul 2013   #28
doveman007

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bobafetthotmail View Post
I hope you fixed the pagefile issues.
Yes thanks, that seems fine now. Must make a mental note that if removing a HDD, ensure the pagefile isn't set to it first

Quote:
storport.sys is a driver dealing with storage devices. Can you check if there are errors related to storage devices (or that driver or or whatever happening in those minutes) in Event Viewer?

Try disabling these services (if you have them) to see if they are related:
  • Offline Files
  • Intel Rapid Storage Technology
  • SeaPort
  • Storage Service
  • Superfetch
  • Volume Shadow Copy Service
No relevant errors in the Application or System logs. The only error I see is a WMI one.

I've disabled Offline Files, SuperFetch and VSCS. I don't have any of the others.

Quote:
Can you try doing a full checkdisk of the drive that gives you this lag (where that stuff is installed), with both options checked? Could be a bad drive. So that only some areas suck and so only some writes trigger the lag as it decides to write somewhere else. Although it's a slim chance admittedly, but it's worth checking.
Will do.

Quote:
Another could be the Windows Defender. It's a built-in minor AV program that is on by default and could be causing issues. This explains how to turn it off.
Already disabled thanks.

Quote:
Compact flash IDE adapter? What's it for? Adapters in general aren't known for their reliability, you sure it's not that adapter causing the lag? (i.e. does stuff run from outside that CF card while it's physically disconnected cause lag?)
Also, in case this mysterious thing about the NIC not liking IDE devices remains unresolved, consider getting a CF to SATA adapter.
Don't worry about that, I'm not even using it anymore It was just that I first experienced the NIC stop working when I'd plugged in the CF->IDE adapter and it started working again after removing it but the second time the NIC stopped working, I just had the normal IDE HDD connected (as well as the SATA HDD) and not the adapter. Even without the IDE HDD connected and just the SATA HDD, I get the latency spikes, so it's unrelated to either the adapter or the IDE devices.

I'm not intending to use the CF card again and just want to use the IDE HDD and ODD (as well as a SATA HDD and ODD). In time (i.e. when it breaks), my brother will replace the IDE ODD with a SATA one and if the IDE HDD (which will only be used as a secondary drive for extracting files, authoring DVDs, etc to avoid the choking you get when reading the source files and writing the destination files to the same HDD) ever breaks he'll probably get a SATA HDD to replace that as well.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jul 2013   #29
doveman007

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bobafetthotmail View Post
From here, last table, or here it says that A2 is the code for the page for displaying soft errors after the "cache checking", then A3 is about setting keyboard "typematic rate" whatever that is.
99 is a step that should have done already.

This is not my field, and probably Asrock should be able to tell you more as it's their board's own firmware speaking here. Could help pinpoint hardware faults or whatnot.

Or could simply be another sign that the BIOS is screwed up and that you need to reflash it.
Thanks for that. I guess that means whatever A3 covers is taking too long, as that's the "completed" code that's taking a long while to appear. I'll e-mail Asrock as you suggest and see if they can shed some light on why it might be doing this. I cleared the CMOS the other day but there's no harm in trying to reflash the BIOS again in case but I'll wait to see what they say first.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jul 2013   #30
bobafetthotmail

Win 7 Pro 64-bit 7601
 
 

Just in case it wasn't clear, clearing CMOS =/ reflashing bios. The latter means doing a BIOS update to the latest version, as it erases the BIOS and creates it again hereby fixing a corrupted BIOS, while clearing CMOS just resets settings to factory default. It is risky, or not depending on what features has that board (double BIOS chips, additional stuff that allows you to reflash it agan from USB at boot, whatever)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 BSOD running Plex Media Server, now NIC not working and locking up




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