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Constant high memory and constant hard-drive reading


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#1 cbcore

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Posted 19 June 2015 - 10:35 PM

If this is the wrong board to post this in, my apologies.

 

So, about two or three months ago my laptop's motherboard died. It was an old asus machine, and was years out of warranty, so I decided to simply recycle it and buy another desktop... I've always liked them better anyways. I bought a Dell Inspiron from Office Depot, seemed like a pretty nice deal on the machine that I got. In any case, it ran smooth, and the built in graphics on its i5 processor allowed me to play quite a few of my games until I could invest in a dedicated GPU. A month ago, I bought a new Thermaltake power supply to facilitate eventually getting said GPU, and a week or two later, grabbed an Nvidia GTX 750ti for a nice price, threw it in, and drooled over how nicely it played my games. Two monitors, Skyrim at max settings on one screen, Netflix streaming House on the other.

 

For a couple weeks everything was groovy. I was able to play my games typically at least at 60 FPS smooth, I was able to multitask, I was even able to record plenty of my games at 60 FPS with fraps, NO PROBLEM, I was thrilled with how quickly windows 8.1 started up every time... The suddenly, about a week ago, that all changed.

 

For some reason, my ram usage in task manager is almost always above 75%, even with nothing but skype and the task manager running. (No call going on skype, that is, just the program open.) My hard-drive usage is fine at times, but most of the time I'm doing ANYTHING at all, including opening task manager, or playing one of my games, it'll jump around, between 100%, 90% and low, but almost always hovers at 90%-ish unless I'm not doing anything.

 

Games now stutter in places, and sometimes hang and lag, and I have no idea why. Looking through my task manager, nothing is using enough ram to come close to taking up more than 50% of my 8 gigs, it just constantly is. Fraps can barely record without slowing my game to half a crawl now, even typing this post stutters every few minutes. I've run checks with windows defender, system came up clean, and I shut the computer down every night. I have no idea why all of the sudden, as if a switch was flipped, the machine now is not running any near as clean and lightning fast as it used to.

 

I'm at a loss, and I have no idea what the problem could be, or how to remedy it... So I'm crying out for help.

 

Of course, here are my computer's specs:

 

Dell Inspiron Desktop

Intel Core i5-4460 CPU @ 3.20GHz (Quad core, I believe?)

8.00gb RAM

Windows 8.1 x64bit

Nvidia GTX 750ti w/ 2gb VRAM

500w Thermaltake PSU

1tb HDD (Not solid state, unsure of the brand/manufacturer)

 

Other notes:

 

Some of the highest memory hogs in Task Manager are the Antimalware Service Executable (I guess has to do with Windows Defender?) And Service Host: Local System (Network Restricted) (Unsure what that even is. I'm entirely new to anything newer than Windows XP, old laptop had 7, but was a hand-me-down, I only had that for maybe seven months, previous owner had it maybe five years.)

 

Edit: Forgot to mention, I'm willing to provide whatever logs, reports, dxdiag, anything to help diagnose the problem.


Edited by cbcore, 19 June 2015 - 10:36 PM.


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#2 usasma

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Posted 23 June 2015 - 08:03 AM

Go to the Performance tab in Task Manager and click on Resource Monitor.

See what image names are taking up the most in each column (you can click on the column header in order to sort that column).

 

Also, please do the following:
- open Event Viewer (run eventvwr.msc from the "Run" dialog)
- expand the Custom Views category (left click on the > next to the words "Custom Views")
- right click on Administrative Events
- select "Save all Events in Custom View as..."
- save the file as Admin.evtx
- zip up the file (right click on it, select "Send to", select "Compressed (zipped) folder")
- upload it with your next post (if it's too big, then upload it to a free file-hosting service and post a link here).

FYI - If we're looking for Event ID 41 errors (unexplained shutdowns), there's more info on that here:  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2028504

While waiting for a reply, please monitor your temps with this free utility:  http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/hwmonitor.html

 


My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#3 cbcore

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Posted 25 June 2015 - 02:01 AM

Go to the Performance tab in Task Manager and click on Resource Monitor.

See what image names are taking up the most in each column (you can click on the column header in order to sort that column).

 

Also, please do the following:
- open Event Viewer (run eventvwr.msc from the "Run" dialog)
- expand the Custom Views category (left click on the > next to the words "Custom Views")
- right click on Administrative Events
- select "Save all Events in Custom View as..."
- save the file as Admin.evtx
- zip up the file (right click on it, select "Send to", select "Compressed (zipped) folder")
- upload it with your next post (if it's too big, then upload it to a free file-hosting service and post a link here).

FYI - If we're looking for Event ID 41 errors (unexplained shutdowns), there's more info on that here:  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2028504

While waiting for a reply, please monitor your temps with this free utility:  http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/hwmonitor.html

 

Typically the image names that take up the most are stuff such as "Service Host: Local Service (Network Restricted)" (there are several of those listed,) "Antimalware Service Executable" and at times just "System." Sometimes no one image seems to be taking up much HDD or RAM, but they still seem to be abnormally high.

 

As far as monitoring temps, somebody else suggested the same thing on monday, so that night a friend and I played some Far Cry 4 and I monitored my temps with HWMonitor, specifically. During gameplay, CPU sort of floated between 50c and 60c, and GPU stayed pretty steady at 65c/66c, except for occassionally dropping to 60c here and there.

 

I've also done what you suggested with the event viewer, attached is the .zip archive of the .evtx file you requested. I didn't look around much as I've been in a bit of a hurry today, so I didn't really know if there were any Event ID 41 errors or not.

Attached Files


Edited by cbcore, 25 June 2015 - 02:02 AM.


#4 usasma

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Posted 25 June 2015 - 06:00 AM

Your view in Task Manager sounds like there's a bunch of network stuff going on

Some generic suggestions:

- get ALL available Windows Updates

- uninstall your antivirus/Internet Security - then install a freshly downloaded copy

- scan for malware

 

I just included the Event ID 41 link for your info. 

My review of th Admin log file will include looking for them......

 

The Admin log file has numerous random errors along with some errors that seem to focus on the file system/hard drive.

I'd try running CHKDSK /F /R from an elevated (Run as administrator) Command Prompt.  It'll tell you it can't run now and will ask if you want it to run at the next reboot.  Answer "Y" for yes and then reboot the system and let it run.

 

Another thing to try is a hard drive diagnostic.  You can do this within Windows (by using Seagate Seatools for Windows) or with a bootable disk (Seagate Seatools for DOS).

Here's a link for SeaTools for Windows:  http://www.seagate.com/support/downloads/item/seatools-win-master/

 

Just FYI - if the hard drive is dying, the system will re-check the data reads to make sure there are no errors.  As the disk degrades, the system has to check more frequently - eventually slowing the system down while it checks.

Should this be the case, the next step is to backup your data - as there's no telling how long the drive will last before failing completely. 

Data recovery after the disk fails is very expensive  ($500 to $2000 (US) depending on how the drive died).

 

PS - I did find Event ID 41 errors - but only one over the last few days.


My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#5 cbcore

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 01:50 AM

Your view in Task Manager sounds like there's a bunch of network stuff going on

Some generic suggestions:

- get ALL available Windows Updates

- uninstall your antivirus/Internet Security - then install a freshly downloaded copy

- scan for malware

 

I just included the Event ID 41 link for your info. 

My review of th Admin log file will include looking for them......

 

The Admin log file has numerous random errors along with some errors that seem to focus on the file system/hard drive.

I'd try running CHKDSK /F /R from an elevated (Run as administrator) Command Prompt.  It'll tell you it can't run now and will ask if you want it to run at the next reboot.  Answer "Y" for yes and then reboot the system and let it run.

 

Another thing to try is a hard drive diagnostic.  You can do this within Windows (by using Seagate Seatools for Windows) or with a bootable disk (Seagate Seatools for DOS).

Here's a link for SeaTools for Windows:  http://www.seagate.com/support/downloads/item/seatools-win-master/

 

Just FYI - if the hard drive is dying, the system will re-check the data reads to make sure there are no errors.  As the disk degrades, the system has to check more frequently - eventually slowing the system down while it checks.

Should this be the case, the next step is to backup your data - as there's no telling how long the drive will last before failing completely. 

Data recovery after the disk fails is very expensive  ($500 to $2000 (US) depending on how the drive died).

 

PS - I did find Event ID 41 errors - but only one over the last few days.

Ran the chkdsk /f /r from an elevated cmd prompt... Restarted, and let it run, which took a couple of hours. I was away from the computer when it finished, and came back to the normal windows 8.1 login screen. I'm not sure if it had any results or where it would display them, because I saw nothing... Is there a log file somewhere?

 

The machine ran fine all day after that. Played Farcry 4 for a few hours with a friend, ran through some other games for a while... After dinner I sat down to watch a movie. Towards the end, I got up to grab a drink, and the computer went to sleep. After trying to wake it up... black screen, a bit of audio from the movie unpausing when I clicked the mouse, then the computer rebooted... Then froze up upon opening chrome... had to hard-reset with the button on the front, and am now typing this post.

 

I'm not sure what's going on... I'm going to back my critical information and files up onto an external hard drive that I have, just in case, and let the Dell utility make its restore disk that it's been wanting to make...

 

Also worth mentioning that I have run a full scan with Windows Defender, a few days or so ago. That came up with one item and removed it, didn't really see much change in performance. After I back up my data and create the restore disk, going to try a fresh install of defender, like you said at the start of your post... Will also try that seagate utility. Also, I try to keep on top of windows updates. Until about two weeks ago I had automatic updates enabled, and was getting everything I could from windows update normally.

 

UPDATE: Ran all the tests I could find with SeaTools -- The hard drive seems to have passed all of them... At least, it didn't outline any problems too me. All came back saying the test type, followed by "passed."


Edited by cbcore, 28 June 2015 - 04:24 AM.


#6 usasma

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 05:33 AM

Here's how to find the CHKDSK info after the reboot:  https://askleo.com/how_do_i_see_the_results_of_a_chkdsk_that_ran_on_boot/

 

As for Seatools - the long generic (sometimes also referred to as the extended test) is the one we're looking for.

If it passed, then we assume that the problem isn't with the hard drive.


My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#7 cbcore

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 12:39 PM

Here's how to find the CHKDSK info after the reboot:  https://askleo.com/how_do_i_see_the_results_of_a_chkdsk_that_ran_on_boot/

 

As for Seatools - the long generic (sometimes also referred to as the extended test) is the one we're looking for.

If it passed, then we assume that the problem isn't with the hard drive.

Okay, thank you. I did indeed run he long generic on SeaTools, and it said that passed... also, here is that event log from the chkdsk. I think it looks okay...?


Checking file system on C:
The type of the file system is NTFS.
Volume label is OS.

A disk check has been scheduled.
Windows will now check the disk.                         

Stage 1: Examining basic file system structure ...
  326656 file records processed.                                                         File verification completed.
  4800 large file records processed.                                      0 bad file records processed.                                      
Stage 2: Examining file name linkage ...
  430108 index entries processed.                                                        Index verification completed.
  0 unindexed files scanned.                                           0 unindexed files recovered.                                       
Stage 3: Examining security descriptors ...
Cleaning up 1338 unused index entries from index $SII of file 0x9.
Cleaning up 1338 unused index entries from index $SDH of file 0x9.
Cleaning up 1338 unused security descriptors.
Security descriptor verification completed.
  51727 data files processed.                                            CHKDSK is verifying Usn Journal...
  40205768 USN bytes processed.                                                            Usn Journal verification completed.

Stage 4: Looking for bad clusters in user file data ...
  326640 files processed.                                                                File data verification completed.

Stage 5: Looking for bad, free clusters ...
  138480872 free clusters processed.                                                        Free space verification is complete.
CHKDSK discovered free space marked as allocated in the volume bitmap.

Windows has made corrections to the file system.
No further action is required.

 964274175 KB total disk space.
 409730004 KB in 269276 files.
    156796 KB in 51728 indexes.
         0 KB in bad sectors.
    463883 KB in use by the system.
     65536 KB occupied by the log file.
 553923492 KB available on disk.

      4096 bytes in each allocation unit.
 241068543 total allocation units on disk.
 138480873 allocation units available on disk.

Internal Info:
00 fc 04 00 f5 e5 04 00 87 19 09 00 00 00 00 00  ................
38 14 00 00 34 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  8...4...........

Windows has finished checking your disk.
Please wait while your computer restarts.
 



#8 usasma

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 04:10 PM

 

Windows has made corrections to the file system.

Although it was just in the free space, it's still a problem with the file system.

Are you still having the high memory usage and constant hard drive access' ?

 

If so, try running Prime95's Blend test:  http://www.carrona.org/prime95.html


My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#9 cbcore

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 06:15 PM

 

 

Windows has made corrections to the file system.

Although it was just in the free space, it's still a problem with the file system.

Are you still having the high memory usage and constant hard drive access' ?

 

If so, try running Prime95's Blend test:  http://www.carrona.org/prime95.html

 

I did just a few moments ago, but restarted the computer before anything got out of hand.

 

Will try Prime95... just wondering, any ballpark estimate on how long it might take? Would it be better to run it over night? I wasn't expecting chkdsk to take a few hours, and I would've planned around it a bit better if I had an idea before hand.



#10 usasma

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 04:30 AM

It depends.  Don't run it unattended - as what will you do if it overheats?

But, quite frankly, if it's going to overheat it should do it shortly after starting it.

But there is a possibility that it's stress may cause other problems - so keep an eye on it anyway.

But it's also possible that the built-in safety mechanisms will catch any overheating problems before they become a problem.

If you can't watch it for 24 hours, then it's your call on what to do.

FYI - most people don't follow that recommendation (and I'm considering removing it from that webpage).


My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#11 cbcore

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 11:28 PM

It depends.  Don't run it unattended - as what will you do if it overheats?

But, quite frankly, if it's going to overheat it should do it shortly after starting it.

But there is a possibility that it's stress may cause other problems - so keep an eye on it anyway.

But it's also possible that the built-in safety mechanisms will catch any overheating problems before they become a problem.

If you can't watch it for 24 hours, then it's your call on what to do.

FYI - most people don't follow that recommendation (and I'm considering removing it from that webpage).

I've decided against Prime95, because it sounds like a really big risk anyways... I also don't have tons of time to sit and just watch it stress test for hours on end, and I'm still pretty unclear on what it's going to do, and what to expect from it.

 

The more I watch task manager when the base problem starts to arise, the more I'm noticing that it's not so much the RAM being used as it is the HDD access. I can see, when it starts climbing regularly and peaking out repeatedly, I know it's time to restart before it locks up. Of course, having to restart every few hours is a bit of a hassle, when it should just run smooth like it did before.

 

I guess the bottom line now is that I'm not positive what's going on still, but it seems to be related to the hard drive reading high constantly. Is there something wrong with my hard drive, based on the chkdsk log? The seatools gave it a pass on the long generic, so I'm not sure what to think.



#12 usasma

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Posted 01 July 2015 - 07:21 AM

If it's centered on the hard drive access as you describe - then you probably won't see any significant result from Prime95

FYI - I see it as my job to describe what can happen in the worst case.  That way, if you run into problems you won't be surprised.

The most common thing you see when running Prime95 is a slowdown of the system.

The next most common thing is elevated temperatures.

If the system coolers are working properly - then there isn't a problem.  It's only a problem if the system coolers aren't working.

Then, there's another safety feature that'll cause the system to shut down if it gets too hot (depends on which hardware part gets too hot).

Then, if that feature doesn't work - then you'll have to worry about the system melting down.

 

And, in general, if it doesn't overheat in the first ½ hour, it's not real likely that it will overheat.

At work we'll leave it run overnight and everyone goes home at 9pm (and I come in at 7am) - and I haven't ever come in to a puddle of melted computer (I've been there 8+ years).

 

See the next post for some info on troubleshooting the hard drive.......


My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#13 usasma

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Posted 01 July 2015 - 07:29 AM

As you're doing this, remember the symptoms that you've noted with the disk access starting to climb.

The more accurate you are in getting a picture of what's involved (at that time), the more likely we are to be able to isolate the problem.

Good luck!

 

To troubleshoot the hard drive access', please do this:

- open up Task Manager and click on the Details tab

- right click on the column headers and select "Select Columns" (I'm working from memory here - I'm using Win10)

- select I/O Reads and I/O Other by putting checkmarks in them, and then click on OK

- sort the columns by clicking on the I/O Reads column and see what processes are taking up the most resources there (ignore csrss, SystemIdleProcess, and svchost.exe)  Let us know what they are.

- then do the same with I/O Other and let us know the results from there.

 

Finally, if you click on the Performance tab, you'll be able to open Resource Monitor through a link at the bottom.

Then click on the DIsk tab and use that to view the processes that are taking up disk resources


My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#14 cbcore

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Posted 01 July 2015 - 07:34 PM

I'll take a look at that when it starts to happen and post the results here.

 

Also, I decided to open the case up and install one of the two other SATA HDDs I have from my old computer, just as a second drive for storing valuable files in case this first one does have a problem. While copying some of the files over, the HDD usage in task manager shot up to an almost constant 100%. It makes sense that it would be utilizing the drive quite a bit while copying the data over (duh,) but does 100% sound normal for that sort of thing? I honestly have no idea, just differing that one to the more-knowledgable, just in case.



#15 usasma

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Posted 02 July 2015 - 05:09 AM

100% hard drive usage is possible - but isn't that the sort of thing that got you to post about your problem?

Frequently my system will take up 100% hard drive (I have a special program that I use for BSOD's that does this) - but I'm still able to use the computer almost normally.

That's the key here - are you able to use the computer while this is going on?

 

You can also look at the Task Manager using the instructions that I suggested earlier.

If the high usage is entirely attributed to explorer.exe - then it's either normal or explorer.exe may be having some problems.

 

Another thing to try is this free program:  http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/shexview.html

Use it to disable all non-Micorosoft shell extensions - then reboot and see if that helps out.

If it doesn't help, then just re-enable them and reboot.

If it does help, then you can enable ½ of them, reboot and see if the problem returns.

Continue to do this until you've isolated the problem


My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.




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