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Windows 7: HELP NEEDED! Win7 DWM.EXE issues upon install any m$ rollup of 2018

23 Jul 2018   #21
laidbacktokyo

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1u OEM Dell & OEM Asus
 
 

OK, I got it.

A.
Code:
The registry value for LargeSystemCache is 0 in both cases (default value, never changed). The memory installed is 4GB, but used is only 3 GB. The BIOS maps the upper 1 GB to above the 4GB limit.
I hardly know why do you use win7x86 on 4GB RAM hardware (BTW, chipset is 945 or 965 if Intel?) and therefore loose some 1GB but it's your choice, and pls check another key:

HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management\PhysicalAddressExtension

it must be 1 in your case.

B.
Code:
Since some time now I also have occasional crashes of the NVidia driver. The driver restarts automatically and nothing else is affected, well mostly. Sometimes, but not always I saw a message about insufficient graphics memory. However, I cannot reproduce that. It happened 1 time that the system froze completely just after the driver crash. Only solution, hard power off/on.
If you experience some driver crashes on Dec2017 rollup so it's another problem that likely isn't linked to m$ rollups. And the easiest way to workaround is to make clean reinstall of NVidia driver. This one I guess http://www.nvidia.com/download/drive...x/112597/en-us

Pls remove all components if installed - like nView, 3D stereo, PhysX in your case I guess - of NVidia driver one by one in a common way thru win7 control panel. The driver itself must be the last in order to be uninstalled. I mean I wanna you finally get to m$ vga native driver level and then manually delete all possible leftovers = folders here (only 3 locations, oops sorry for win7x86 likely 2 locations):

C:\Program Files\NVIDIA Corporation
C:\ProgramData\NVIDIA
C:\ProgramData\NVIDIA Corporation

and then reinstall driver again in selective way - driver only or maybe plus PhysX (it's needed for games only).

oops, it seems long story to write... maybe it's easier to start from another side and jump directly to a possible fix for dwm.exe itself first, and then repair videodriver if need.

1. Pls first create some recognizable by you win7 restore point on any one of your laptops manually, and then change a size of pagefile of this win7 from default Auto (it's likely some 4GB when it's commonly equal to the installed RAM size in MB) exactly to Recommended (it's likely some 6GB when it's commonly equal to the installed RAM size in MB x 1.5). Same recommended by win7 value both for Min & Max. And restart or shutdown/start win7. Maybe after restart you'll see that your win7 becomes a bit snappier.

Pls don't hurry up to get result faster. Better ask first if any doubts. Also all I'm talking about is easy to be undone.

Sorry, do you know how to do above procedure? If no, pls prompt.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 Jul 2018   #22
Assurancetaurix

Windows 7 Ultimate x86
 
 

Thanks for your reply. I think I can already answer. Just to comment on x86/x64. These machines were delivered with Vista x86 with 2GB or 3GB. I upgraded memory myself. The office programs were in fact advertised to work better on x86 than x64 at that time. I never had any native x64 software but I did have some very old but still used 16 bit software. Could not use that in x64. VM's were initially also not possible since the manufacturer made a deal with the CPU vendor to disable the VT bit in the BIOS (EFI + CSM). It took me a long time to disassemble, hack and re-assemble the BIOS to enable the Advanced menu item. Now I can indeed use VM's, but I never had a strong incentive to switch to x64. Apart from extra memory there is not so much real performance gain in my humble expectation. In fact, there is the extra marshaling layer on top of the 32-bit code. And the x86 software might use more memory with 64 bit addresses and marshaling code.

Now to the point. The key:
Code:
HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management\PhysicalAddressExtension
has value 1. The chipset is PM965.

Your advice on the driver issue makes good sense and in fact I had already done all of that. I haven't used the setup programs. Only driver update from device manager. Indeed I made sure that there was nothing on disc or in the registry that smelled like NVidia. All prior drivers versions removed until only MS standard VGA driver remained. All oem inf's cleared that were no (longer) in use. Nothing from NVidia. The just driver update as you also mentioned. Only 1 oem.inf file from NVidia.

I must say though that since the beginning with these machines I had several driver updates from NVidia mostly just using the setup program. And I NEVER had any issue like driver crash. The drivers just never crashed and these machines have been heavily used. Never ever with driver crashes, also not from any other device. This NVidia issue has just appeared since about 1 year or so.

The paging is set to 'system managed'. The currently allocated size is 3069 MB (it is effectively a 3 GB machine). The recommended value is 4603 MB. The disc has more than enough free space for paging. I have set it now manually to the recommended value as you mentioned.

I have upgraded to Windows 7 just shortly after it's RTM release. I have kept it very clean with all meaningful updates. I also have a test version in a VHD on the same machine with a fresh and bare install of the OS pure (with the NVidia driver). I have VM's on it with MS Virtual machines. Those do not have any issues allthough they are also not used all the time. Each time I experience the issue of the DWM crash, there was no VM running. Same for the NVidia crash.

I can also not see any hardware related signs. The bare VHD install never crashed, but is also not used so frequently. More for testing only. I must say I get a little bit lost here ... Should I keep hope ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jul 2018   #23
laidbacktokyo

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1u OEM Dell & OEM Asus
 
 

ok. at the moment forget about videodriver (it's enough that 342.01 driver ONLY installed), and just let me confirm the present status of this your test laptop in part of its pagefile - it's set by you manually to the recommended by win7 4,603MB in size as both max & min, right? also this win7 is on Dec2017 full rollup https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4054518, right?

if yes, pls make restore point and install July 18, 2018—KB4338821 (Preview of Monthly Rollup) https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4338821

however it seems better to restart or shutdown/start win7 twice to settle down everything after July 2018 preview rollup installed.

and wait for a while if dwm.exe crashes as before. the first entry of error is enough. but pls don't remove this rollup preview immediately even if same errors! then prompt me here, when it will be the last step then.

I'll be here awaiting for your prompt.

p.s. which laptop did you choose for this testing 256 or 512 MB VRAM?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

24 Jul 2018   #24
Assurancetaurix

Windows 7 Ultimate x86
 
 

Understood. I am testing on the 512 MB machine (8600M graphics). I confirm that the patch level is 2017-12 rollup. No later rollups installed. I now installed the 2018-07 rollup (KB4338821) before adjusting the page file size. It did not take long before the first DWM crash appeared.

I then set the page file size according to your instruction. Initial size = maximum size = recommended size = 4603 MB. I checked the file pagefile.sys just after boot. It is now 4,826,595,328. I am observing. As soon as I see a DWM crash, I will report it.

BTW, I checked the event log. No DWM crash since my last experiments end of June. All that time since I was on 2017-12 rollup level.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jul 2018   #25
Assurancetaurix

Windows 7 Ultimate x86
 
 

Hmm, hmm, no DWM crash until just now. It was going fine since yesterday. But a crash with event ID 9020 occurred just now. I will wait for you before uninstalling the 2018-7 preview rollup.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jul 2018   #26
laidbacktokyo

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1u OEM Dell & OEM Asus
 
 

I got it. Anyhow now you can see that expanding win7 page file to the recommended by win7 itself size has a good effect on this dwm.exe issues.

Now you can get even better (=longer w/o issue) results if you wanna play with 2-3 win7 registry keys as below:

HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management\

PagedPoolSize (REG_DWORD) default value is 0 = auto

change it 1st to 2048 = 2048MB = 2GB

NonPagedPoolSize (REG_DWORD) default value is 0 = auto

change it 1st to 2048 = 2048MB = 2GB

and create manually the 3rd registry key - PoolUsageMaximum (REG_DWORD) and set it to 40 (=40%)


basic info is here: https://superuser.com/questions/172768/page-pool-memory
detailed one is here: https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/...nonpaged-pool/

if no luck you can reduce 1st 2 or 1st only above value/s by some maybe 16MB steps or more, although it's pretty slow so try as you like - maybe next value after 2048 can be 512 or less - in hope to reach an optimal value/s for your particular win7 + hardware.

if completely no luck you can easily undo everything (maybe except pagefile size when there is no harm for your win7s - btw is it a bit snappier on pagefile 4,603MB?) and return on safe Dec2017 rollup for now and to hold on until my news here around Tue Aug 14.

vous comprenez?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jul 2018   #27
Assurancetaurix

Windows 7 Ultimate x86
 
 

Thanks for the tips. I will try one of these days to experiment. But most of all I need a stable and reliable system. None of these techniques really solve the issue. I still do not see a clear cause of the crashes either.

The main problem with these crashes is that they break web server sessions. Especially critical sessions, such as banking applications.

I am still hoping for a solution !
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Aug 2018   #28
laidbacktokyo

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1u OEM Dell & OEM Asus
 
 

Assurancetaurix

OK. Here is the final stable & easy fix for you.

1. Leave a setting of pagefile @ Recommended that is ~1.5 x RAM size.

2. Download the latest .msi installer of this nice utility of some smart guy from SF, CA, USA and install it in common way.

http://coderbag.com/Programming-C/CP...ing-manager-v3

Then move a slider of CPU Core Parking to 100% & do same for a CPU frequency slider but don't mess with a Turbo one when your CPUs don't support this feature. Also enable the utility's options as Enable @ boot, Minimize to tray & Start minimized. Click APPLY!

3. Install same July2018 Preview rollup & enjoy. Also pls report results here.

That's all. Your neverending hopes for solution came true.

P.S. Also I recommend to use the following win7 registry settings for Spectre+Meltdown protection:

HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management\

REG_DWORD 'FeatureSettingsOverride' = 8
REG_DWORD 'FeatureSettingsOverrideMask' = 3

These settings make win7 to work a bit snappier while all protection (except a lack of Spectre CPU microcode for older CPUs of course) enabled.

P.P.S. I'll not mark this thread as resolved when it's just a fix but not the complete solution for this m$' crap of its kernel files and/or system drivers of rollups 2018!

P.P.P.S. F*ck m$!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Aug 2018   #29
Assurancetaurix

Windows 7 Ultimate x86
 
 

This CPU utility is useful. It effectively means that the processors are kept at max capacity. I wonder if this could also be achieved with a power profile.

But the effect is that my machine runs more hot and does not cool down much when not heavily used.

Right now I decided to roll-back to dec 2017 rollup. I am not so concerned with spectre and meltdown. My cpu is a core 2 duo from 2008. Perhaps not even vulnerable. But apparently no microcode update at all. BIOS update is totally excluded.

I agree with your view on the quality on the MS updates.

Let's hope that 1 day they get is right. Please keep this thread open until then !
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Aug 2018   #30
laidbacktokyo

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1u OEM Dell & OEM Asus
 
 

well, naturally it's up to you to apply this stable & easy fix or not. however your story concerning overheating of your laptops while CPU parking stopped (this is surely the key to stop dwm.exe crashes!) sounds like something went/done wrong when in my case I don't see ANY overheating. ABSOLUTELY! while this fix is now applied on all of my win7 machines, including a desktop with 4GB VRAM card, which is not plagued by these dwm.exe issues. never.

my 2 win7 laptops under testing are: same 965 intel chipset + AHCI mode SSD as win7 drive both, while 1st = C2D T9500 CPU + 8GB RAM + 256MB VRAM (this note is always online 24/7/365) and 2nd = C2D T9300 CPU + 4GB RAM + 512MB VRAM.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 HELP NEEDED! Win7 DWM.EXE issues upon install any m$ rollup of 2018




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