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Windows 7: Excessive CPU Usage plus Hard Page Faults – Windows 7 Ultimate

22 Nov 2015   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Excessive CPU Usage plus Hard Page Faults – Windows 7 Ultimate

Hi – Am hoping someone might be able to help me with this problem – I’ve spent days trying to sort it out, and seem to be no further forward!

Operating system: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate (version 6.1.7601; build 7601)
Name: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate
Version: 6.1.7601
Service pack: Service Pack 1
Internet Explorer version: 9.11.9600.18097
Model: Precision M6500
System type: x64-based PC
BIOS: Dell Inc. (version: A10; date: 04/06/2013)
Manufacturer: Dell Inc.
Version: A10
Date: 04/06/2013
Motherboard: Dell Inc. (0R1203)
Manufacturer: Dell Inc.
Product: 0R1203
Chassis: Portable
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 CPU Q 820 @ 1.73GHz (architecture: x64; 1734 MHz)
Name: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 CPU Q 820 @ 1.73GHz
Manufacturer: GenuineIntel
Max clock speed: 1734 MHz
Architecture: x64
Level 2 cache size: 1024 KB
Socket type: Microprocessor
Physical memory: 15.9 GB.
Hard Drive: Samsung SSD 840 Pro

The main symptom of the problem(s) is a very slow, unresponsive laptop – The problem seemed to start “out of the blue” – i.e. Not after any new hardware/software installations or Windows Updates etc.

Basically, as far as the program responsible for the excessive CPU Usage goes, I've observed that it will be any program once that program has just been launched - It immediately causes the usage to go to 100% - So, it doesn't appear to be any particular program - or service - such as svchost(netsvces) - Which frequently is the cause, but will then be "overtaken" if I launch, WLM, for example.

Using a combination of Process Explorer and DPC Latency Checker I can see that the CPU Usage is frequently hitting 100%, and even with minimal no’s of programs running will be around 40% plus. Am guessing from the number of Hard Page Faults which DPC Latency Checker is showing that this is the cause of the CPU usage and the unresponsive laptop.

I have a basic knowledge of PC’s, but am not really up on the causes of hard page faults – believe it to be related to searching the pagefile.sys for data not found in RAM. As I’ve got 16GB of RAM installed, and it’s all tested fine, I’m confused as to why the system is using the HD instead of the RAM modules to store recent data etc.

To hopefully clarify things, without making this a 100 page post, I’ve attached the DPC report and the Process Explorer screenshot, also a HijackThis Log – I don’t really know what I’m looking for in them, which is why I’m hoping someone on here will be able to make sense of them!

So far, to try and eliminate or trackdown the cause of the problem I have :-

- Full AV scan with Avast – All clean
- Full Anti Spyware/Malware scans with SAS, MBAM, and Spybot S&D = All clean
- Anti Rootkit scans with TDKill and TDSSKiller – No problems found
- Completed all available Windows Updates.
- Updated all Dell drivers, and any other drivers I could find updates for.
- Ran SFC = No errors
- Completed a Windows “reinstall” – from installation disk using the Upgrade Method
- Disabled all “Audio Enhancements in the Sound Mixer – (As recommended in a post on another forum)
- Ensured that WMP Libraries are not set to C:\Library - (As recommended in a post on another forum)
- Checked I have the latest BIOS update available
- Run CCleaner to clean up and correct any registry errors
- Swapped out the RAM Modules, and replaced with known good modules
- Swapped out the Hard Drive – Which behaved exactly the same in another machine
- Run In depth DELL Pre Boot Assessment tests – All hardware passed with no errors
- Booted into Safe Mode and still experienced the same symptoms

Many thanks in advance for any helpful information – I am now at a loss as to what to do next!


Most Recent hijackthis.log

My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Nov 2015   #2
Layback Bear

Windows 10 Pro. 64/ version 1709 Windows 7 Pro/64

Welcome to our forum NeverSurrender.

This tutorial by Brink might help you find your your problem.

Troubleshoot Application Conflicts by Performing a Clean Startup
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2015   #3

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit

An explanation regarding pagefaults:

A pagefault occurs when the CPU attempts to access data in the process address space and it is not there. This is not an error or fault, at least not in the normal sense of the word. It is a perfectly normal event that happens all the time. Only when the numbers become large is there cause for concern.

There are 2 kinds of pagefaults, hard and soft.

Hard pagefaults requires disk access to resolve and are relatively expensive in terms of performance. Not all hard pagefaults involve the pagefile and typically only a small percentage do. Most hard pagefaults involve executable files, DLLs, cached data files, etc. Fortunately hard pagefaults are typically a small part of the whole.

Soft pagefaults are resolved completely in memory with no disk access at all. They typically form the large majority of pagefaults and have little impact on performance, unless the numbers are high.

I wouldn't expect hard pagefaults to effect CPU usage to any great degree, at least not with a conventional drive. As hard pagefaults require such a relatively long time to resolve (times in milliseconds) and the process cannot proceed until they are complete it will spend much time waiting which requires little CPU time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

23 Nov 2015   #4
Layback Bear

Windows 10 Pro. 64/ version 1709 Windows 7 Pro/64

LMiller7 can pagefaults be cause by the pagefiles being some place other than the "C" partition?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2015   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Thanks to both you guys - I have run through the clean boot procedure - Without any effect I'm afraid - Tried the WIndows Performance Troubleshooters etc -No identified culprits. Just edited my original post again - Apologies, as I had omitted to specify that the HD in question is a Samsung SSD.
My pagefile.sys is on the C:\ Drive - some 2.97GB - have adjusted for max performance, and tried other options too from the power options profiles - Hasn't made any difference - Was suggested it might on other posts I have read - So still in the dark I'm afraid but appreciate both your inputs!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2015   #6

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Layback Bear View Post
LMiller7 can pagefaults be cause by the pagefiles being some place other than the "C" partition?
Where the pagefile is located has nothing to do with how many pagefaults occur. If the pagefile is located on the same physical disk but a different partition from Windows the number of pagefaults won't be effected but they will take longer to resolve. With the pagefile thus separated from the rest of the Windows files it will take longer to reach. Seek time is the primary factor effecting pagefile performance.

This assumes that this is a conventional drive. On an SSD it won't matter.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Nov 2015   #7
Layback Bear

Windows 10 Pro. 64/ version 1709 Windows 7 Pro/64

Thank you for the information LMiller7
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Excessive CPU Usage plus Hard Page Faults – Windows 7 Ultimate

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