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Old 03-14-2019, 06:15 AM   #1
darksaurian
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windows 7 hard faults, scvhost.exe


This isn't too important but if anybody knows about windows 7 and understands memory, available memeory, memory in use, and scvhost.exe and wants to throw in their 2 cents I'll listen.

I have a computer at work that I pretty much just run two or three programs on: An inventory program that intereacts with an MS-Access database. A CAD program. And maybe firefox at pandora.com. That's pretty much it.

I had 4 gigs on it and most of the time in task manager's resource monitor it would say 3 gigs "in use" (green) and about a gig in "standby" (dark blue).

And most of the time the computer really ran just fine. But then two or three times a day one of those scvhost.exe processes would go crazy for seemingly no reason and if I opened resource manager the hard faults graph would be sky high and the computer would make that ancient hard drive noise for a few minutes and everything I tried to do would be all choppy.

So I decided I needed more ram. But the IT guy said I needed a faster processor. But I ignored him and just bought another 4 gigs of ram on my own. And now the computer runs like a dream.

The "in use" (green) goes up to almost 4 gigs at times and sometimes drops down to 2.7 even with the exact same programs open. I don't understand it at all. And the "standby" (dark blue) is usually almost all the remaining 4 to 5.3 gigs. And sometimes I actually have around a gig "free" (light blue) And the "hard faults" graph is always at zero.

So my understanding is that a faster processor would make about zero difference; the bottleneck was always that ancient hard drive. And all the slow down was the computer swapping data into the 1 gig of "standby" (dark blue). And now since I have 4 more gigs that is over half filled with dark blue, whenever the computer needs to load something it finds out that it's already there.

So... do I have any idea what I'm talking about? And also why does that scvhost.exe process randomly decide it needs to swap a gig of data into memory for no reason a few times a day? Nothing I do triggers it, it just happens. Except now I think whatever it needs is always in ram so it doesn't slow me down anymore.
 
Old 03-14-2019, 08:03 AM   #2
syg00
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The basic concepts of virtual memory are universal - Windows, *nix, Enterprise mainframe.

Have a read of this for the Linux perspective. Like I said, it is basically generic - but no, I couldn't explain anything M$oft do ... :shrug:
 
Old 03-14-2019, 08:11 AM   #3
sevendogsbsd
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Windows has always been "fat" at memory usage. Whether good or bad, who can say. I do know my work and home laptops (win 10) use considerably more memory than my FreeBSD workstation does.
 
Old 03-14-2019, 08:52 AM   #4
darksaurian
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I can't find any pattern to the memory usage. Sometimes it needs 2.7 gigs. Sometimes svchost.exe decides it needs over 4 gigs. With 8 gigs memory everything it will ever need gets loaded and stays there and nothing needs to get swapped back and forth anymore on that horrible hard drive. I was almost as tired of listening to that thing as I was waiting for it.
 
Old 03-14-2019, 09:04 AM   #5
sevendogsbsd
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Well, after using windows for nearly 30 years, my conclusion is that it has been and continues to be, a steaming heap of garbage. It never does anything consistently, which is why I only use it when absolutely necessary.
 
Old 03-14-2019, 10:01 AM   #6
Samsonite2010
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In essence, as soon as memory usage is such that the swap disk gets used to keep the system going, it gets unusable due to the performance of the hard disk in comparison to the RAM. In theory, if you had an SSD drive, it would be less pronounced, but you were right to ignore IT and get more memory as that was the limiting factor. Upgrading the hard disk to an SSD would only further improve things - in my experience, going from mechanical to SSD is like a new computer as it effects almost everything from booting to loading apps.
 
Old 03-14-2019, 10:28 AM   #7
darksaurian
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I think that's the way I saw it. Basically the old hard drive was the problem. But a $20 ram stick was the cheap, fast, painless way to fix the problem. Just load everything from the ancient hard drive once instead of swapping all day. I don't know wtf he thought a faster processor was going to do. I should have told him I need a power adapter to give it more juice.
 
Old 03-14-2019, 10:38 AM   #8
cynwulf
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powershell has a basic ps command. The existing windows cmd command line tools (such as tasklist) are not great. tasklist /svc will let you see the services running under each svchost process, but not much else.

I remember that the netsvcs svchost service can sometime start using a lot of memory for a short time and then release it. I suggest searching some Windows related forums.

//edit: Out of curiosity, I had a look into how to get powershell ps ("Get-Process") to display the individual services running under each svchost instance and only found information relating to writing a powershell function to do that.

Last edited by cynwulf; 03-14-2019 at 11:50 AM.
 
  


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