[windows2000] Re: Machines running slow.

  • From: "Toby Bierly" <toby@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <windows2000@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 17 Aug 2004 13:40:26 -0700

Not a silly question.  A lot of times we think we should know something so we 
are embarrassed to ever ask about it.  I've personally asked several pretty 
decent network administrators to explain the following information, and not one 
of them could clearly or completely do so.

If you look at the Performance tab under Task Manager, you will see some 
quadrants of confusing statistics below the graphs for CPU and MEM usage.  If I 
understand everything correctly, then . . .

Under Commit Charge (K) you will see the Total, Limit, and Peak.  The total 
matches your MEM usage and is the total amount of RAM and Virtual memory 
currently in use.  The limit is the sum of your RAM plus max paging file size.  
If MEM usage goes above this, the computer becomes unstable (at least in my 
experience).  The peak is the highest the MEM usage has been since reboot.

Under Physical Memory (K), the Total shouldn't change.  It is the amount of RAM 
the computer has (usually reads a little above, so if you have 128 MB RAM, it 
might read 134000 or something like that).

If your Total Commit Charge is normally greater than your Total Physical 
Memory, then you're forcing the computer to use your hard drive's paging file 
for virtual memory, and a lot of paging may be occurring.  If you start an 
application and you hear the hard drive going overtime (more than just the 
normal loading of the application), my understanding is that that means the OS 
is moving memory out to the paging file to make room for loading the app into 

Excessive paging can severely degrade performance, and can be detected by 
physically listening for excessive hard drive activity and by comparing the MEM 
usage to the physical memory.  I've been told that in order to ensure no 
performance degradation from lack of RAM, you never want your Peak Commit 
Charge to consistently be greater than your Total Physical memory under normal 
computer usage.

That being said, it sounds like a bunch of computers slowed down all at the 
same time, so it doesn't really sound like a paging issue, unless a program 
that is a memory hog was just loaded on all those computers.

As an aside, if anyone can explain more about what the System Cache number 
under Physical Memory and how/if Kernel Memory is related to either Commit 
Charge or Physical Memory, I'd be curious to learn.

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Daryl Ehrenheim 
  To: 'windows2000@xxxxxxxxxxxxx' 
  Sent: Tuesday, August 17, 2004 11:54 AM
  Subject: [windows2000] Re: Machines running slow.

  I know that this is going to be a silly question, but how can I check to see 
how much paging is going on? Should I use the CPU monitor on the task manager? 
Two of the machines don't have Autocad and only run Voloview to view/print 
drawings. What do you think should be the minimum amount of Ram for those 
running AutoCAD?

  Thanks for the reply.


  From: Tim Mangan [mailto:tmangan@xxxxxxxxxxxx] 
  Sent: Tuesday, August 17, 2004 11:23 AM
  To: windows2000@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  Subject: [windows2000] Re: Machines running slow.

  I would look at the memory usage.  AutoCAD can eat up a lot of memory.  If 
memory is tight, there should be a fair amount of paging going on.


  Tim Mangan



  From: windows2000-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
[mailto:windows2000-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Daryl Ehrenheim
  Sent: Tuesday, August 17, 2004 12:38 PM
  To: windows2000@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  Subject: [windows2000] Machines running slow.


  This may not be an appropriate question for a Windows 2000 group, but here it 


  We have 4 machines in one of our departments in our Seattle store that are 
experiencing computer slowdowns. At first I thought that it was network issue 
replacing an older hub with a switch. Then they told me that all of their 
applications including those local to their machine(like Word and Excel) are 
slow. I then went up to the store and looked for viruses and spyware cr@p, but 
nothing out of the ordinary. No rogue processes or other various issues. All 
the machines are different with 1 being a Dell and 3 being custom built at 
different times. The only thing that I can see that is common to all of the 
machines is MSN Instant messaging, XP Pro, Office XP or 2003 and Autodesk 
Software. They each have 256 - 512 MB of Ram and connect to a Windows 2000 
server for other various corporate applications. 


  Any ideas would greatly be appreciated. 


  Daryl S. Ehrenheim

  Network Administrator - Bargreen Ellingson

  (253) 471-3775


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