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Latency Problem (short semi-regular freezes)


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#1 R4za

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 11:00 AM

Hey Bleeping Computer Community. =)

 

Let me start by saying thanks for all the resources on this website. I've used them to good effect more than once.

 

I'm an experienced (and I would say, fairly sensible) computer user and usually solve most of my own problems; I also like to keep a clean system, and mind my security with constant (right from the start of this Windows install) real-time protection from Avast AV and Comodo Firewall/Defense+ as well as regular checks from Malwarebytes AntiMalware, ESET Scanner, SuperAntiSpyware and aforementioned AV. I have a problem with my Windows 7 computer that I haven't been able to fix myself, after a day or so of trying. In fact, in hindsight, I think it could be a recurring thing that's haunted me across several fresh windows installations on this system.

 

My problem is with short, semi regular freezes in my system. Usually, they only affect audio/video streaming of big files, but on bad days everything else freezes up too.

 

I've used Resplendence Latency Mon and DPC Latency Checker to look where these freezes were coming from, and found that several of my drivers are using way more time than they should, as well as a couple of processes suffering from regular Hard Page Faults. A couple of screenshots:

 

What DPC Latency Checker makes of my response times when I'm not doing anything special:

latency1_zps537af4f6.gif

 

Latency Mon narrows this down to a couple of drivers:

latency2_zpsa9fb29d0.gif

 

Hard Page Faults captured over a maybe 20 minute check:

latency3_zpsc9935a9f.gif

 

Now, I know how to follow instructions and have tried everything these programs and most people discussing them online suggest. All the drivers involved are fully updated. I've shut down an old DeamonTools driver and my unused secondary LAN slot, which helped a little. I've updated by BIOS and turned off CPU Throttling, which are suggested because of a possible power issue, to no apparent effect. I've done a clean startup and checked again, with the same results.

 

I think this problem has been going on with this system for a long time, with the spikes usually staying just below the surface of noticeable effect. Since I've had this windows installation, there have been days when I would start up to these freezes - restarting would fix it, so I never looked further until now. Before that, the XP installation I replaced with this one died from freezes like these rendering it unusuable, when restarting no longer helped.

 

I don't know where to look for the problem anymore. Any help would be much appreciated, and let me know if any more info is needed.


Edited by R4za, 06 March 2013 - 11:06 AM.


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#2 dc3

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 11:20 AM

Does this happen when in Safe Mode?

 

If they don't do a clean boot to see what process is causing this.


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#3 R4za

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 12:30 PM

Thanks for your response. =)

 

Neither of the latency monitoring programs work in safe mode, since they need their own drivers. Is there a way to selectively load program drivers in SM?

 

The audio and explorer freezes aren't easy to test in safe mode, since they only ever happen occasionally, and primarily when background load is heavy. I haven't been able to reproduce them in safe mode, but since (healthy) CPU usage is naturally lower there that doesn't mean those spikes aren't happening below the surface, as they always are during ordinary startups, even when they're not resulting in freezes.

 

I have done a clean startup, which still resulted in latency spikes.


Edited by R4za, 06 March 2013 - 12:31 PM.


#4 dc3

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 01:39 PM

I was referring to the to the freezing.

 

If you want to rule out it being a RAM problems you could run Memtest86.

 

***** A. If you have more than one RAM module installed, try starting computer with one RAM stick at a time.

NOTE Keep in mind, the manual check listed above is always superior to the software check, listed below. DO NOT proceed with memtest, if you can go with option A

B. If you have only one RAM stick installed...
...run memtest...

1. Download - Pre-Compiled Bootable ISO (.zip)
2. Unzip downloaded memtest86+-....iso.zip file.
3. Inside, you'll find memtest86+-....iso file.
4. Download, and install ImgBurn: http://www.imgburn.com/
5. Insert blank CD into your CD drive.
6. Open ImgBurn, and click on Write image file to disc
7. Click on Browse for a file... icon:

p4393897.gif

8. Locate memtest86+-....iso file, and click Open button.
9. Click on ImgBurn green arrow to start burning bootable memtest86 CD:

p4393911.gif

10. Once the CD is created, boot from it, and memtest will automatically start to run.

The running program will look something like this depending on the size and number of ram modules installed:


main_menu.jpg

It's recommended to run 5-6 passes. Each pass contains very same 8 tests.

This will show the progress of the test. It can take a while. Be patient, or leave it running overnight.

testarea_cu.jpg

The following image is the test results area:

p4393925.gif

The most important item here is the “errors” line. If you see ANY errors, even one, most likely, you have bad RAM.


Family and loved ones will always be a priority in my daily life.  You never know when one will leave you.

 

 

 

 


#5 dc3

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 01:47 PM

Please use the following link to provide us with information about your computer so that we can assist you.

How to Publish a Snapshot using Speccy

 

Have you tired a different browser to see if it is only occurring with IE?


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#6 R4za

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 02:47 PM

Thank you for your continued interest.

 

I have three ram sticks, and performed a boot once with each single one of them. The latency spikes happened in the same pattern they normally do after each of those boots. (I have verified the correlation between the audio-hangups and the latency spikes as displayed by these diagnostic programs experimentally, and the correlation between the audio hangups and the full-system-freezes has been made very obvious to me in the past: I'm confident that they're the same thing)

 

Really though, Latency Mon has already diagnosed the problem as coming from a couple of device drivers demanding excessive CPU time for short bursts of high-priority activity. This is the kind of problem that program is built to diagnose, the results are the kind of results you would expect, and the numbers single my case out as particularly problematic. What I really need is some informed advice on where to go from there, since the standard suggestions have run dry.

 

 

Please use the following link to provide us with information about your computer so that we can assist you.

How to Publish a Snapshot using Speccy

 

Have you tired a different browser to see if it is only occurring with IE?

 

I'm guessing you meant to post this in another thread, but here's a Speccy snapshot just in case.

 

http://speccy.piriform.com/results/oMOpKO2SeLg3qhWX0x2Y5yK
 


Edited by R4za, 06 March 2013 - 02:50 PM.


#7 R4za

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 06:41 AM

Bump; I still rather need help with this.

 

I've discovered that I can increase or reduce the latency spikes' manifestation as audio and whole-system hangups by changing the priorities of the processes involved. This makes the problem easier to manage, but doesn't solve it. My last two operating system installations died when freezes like these became pervasive as the OSs aged; I've put a lot of time and effort into keeping this one clean, and really don't want to sit passively and wait until it goes the same road.

 

If device drivers are causing these spikes, despite being fully updated, could the problem be one of slightly damaged or poorly compatible hardware?


Edited by R4za, 10 March 2013 - 06:42 AM.


#8 dc3

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 09:54 AM

Look in your Event Viewer and see what is showing at the times that you are freezing.


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#9 R4za

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 12:11 PM

I've looked a couple of times since you asked, when the delays were most noticeable, but nothing particularly interesting seems to be getting recorded there.

 

uninteresting_zps40902e9c.gif

 

I scanned the event viewer and shut down my old CD-rom drive - the item responsible for the twothousand-something errors from earlier this week - while investigating this problem on my own before coming here. Nothing else there stands out to my inexpert eye - is there anything in particular I should look for?



#10 dc3

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 12:26 PM

In the Summary of Administrative Events click on the plus sign (+) next to Critical and post the Event IDs.


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#11 R4za

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 02:37 PM

41, on both counts. There's more of them spread out over the previous months, but they're a bit more concentrated around the start of this March.

 

I imagine these match the blue screen errors I've been seeing now and then? The last one happened when I tried to uninstall Deamon Tools with the uninstaller file. Windows lost most of my old unistall info a short while ago, and doesn't list any programs from before then as installed, even though they still work. CCleaner and Revo Uninstaller don't, either. I wanted to get rid of Deamon Tools regardless and tried to use the uninstaller in the program files folder (this worked for everything else I've tried it with), which coincided with the blue screen.



#12 dc3

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 03:14 PM

The event ID 41 is a hardware error.  So we can do some testing to see if we can find the problem.

 

In post #4 I requested that you run Memtest86, now we need to do this.

 

Please download SIW

When you open SIW, scroll down the menu on the left to Sensors under Hardware and click on it.  When Sensors opens you will see an image similar to the one below.

siwsensors1_zps28cdd989.png

 

Please use the Snipping Tool to copy the image, you can find this tool in Accessories under All Programs.   After you have the image you will want to go to File and click on Save As, Pictures will open with this image, when it opens give it a name and save it.  

You can post this picture in your next post.  Just below the area where you write text in a post there is the Post button, to the right of this is More Reply Options.

Post2_zpsf05c0430.png

When you click on More Relpy Options  you will see Attach Files and Browse, click on Browse, this will open Pictures on your computer, click on the image you made with the Snipping Tool, then click on Attach This File, then Add Reply.

BCreply1_zpsc36d42fc.png

 

Please download Western Digital's Lifeguard Diagnostic for Windows.  There are instructions at the download site.


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#13 R4za

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 11:37 AM

Thank you for your continued assistance.

 

I let Memtest86 run overnight. Twenty-something passes, no errors.

 

A screencap of the Sensors info from SIW has been attached. (Was my previous method for posting screenshots really inadequate, or do you post those instructions as part of a macro?)

 

I've downloaded and installed Digital's Lifeguard Diagnostic for Windows.

 

 

Attached Files

  • Attached File  SIW1.GIF   43.36KB   2 downloads


#14 dc3

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 11:59 AM

The SIW does not show the 3.3V and 12V rails.  Please access the BIOS and check for these two values, they should be found under System Health or verbiage to that effect.  Post those readings back here.

 

At the bottom of my last post I requested that you download and run the Lifeguard diagnostic, please do so.


Family and loved ones will always be a priority in my daily life.  You never know when one will leave you.

 

 

 

 


#15 R4za

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 01:34 PM

There are no such values under System Health in my BIOS.

 

And you requested that I download it, not that I run any tests. Anyway, I ran the quick test for both my hard drives, and both checked out as OK.






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