I am giving Vista 2 weeks…..

then I am removing it on my XPS 730.    While I will probably keep it on my laptop, I am out of ideas on how and why the fastest machine on the market can become a Amstrad 386 for periods when running Vista SP1.

AngryComputerNow, don’t get me wrong, I believe that this is a third party issue.   The problem is that I don’t have the time, nor the people available to me to connect in and analyse this system to find what is causing the hangs.   The main problem is that Process Explorer does not really show anything using processor or RAM when the problem occurs.  

The symptoms are strange.   Basically, windows on the screen become unresponsive.   Vista cannot even load it’s own task manager…    During this unresponsive time, process explorer does not even show a problem program.    The best I can figure is that dwm.exe and WUDFHost.exe in a svchost.exe process are quite busy….  

I even went as far as removing the NOD32 Antivirus to see if that made a difference, it does not seem to have.

Anyone out there with ideas?   Microsoft….   want to analyse this thing?

With the news that Windows 7 is essentially built on top of Vista’s code base, I am concerned.   Vlad made a great post on that subject here, which I totally agree with.

In the mean time…  if you think you can fix my Vista problem…   contact me!

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  10 Replies to “I am giving Vista 2 weeks…..”

  1. Orange
    July 10, 2008 at 11:35 am

    We would love to help you get the best experience possible on your laptop.
    Can I ask, was this an update to an already existing Vista RTM, or was it a new Vista SP1 system from the OEM?
    also, installing these excellent perf analysis tools would be a great help.
    http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/system/sysperf/perftools.mspx

  2. July 10, 2008 at 11:57 am

    Hi “Orange”. Thanks…

    This was a new machine, XPS 730, with SP1 preloaded OEM. Are you Microsoft?

  3. Mike Whalen
    July 10, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    Hey Nick,

    I wonder if you’re getting that Disk Thrashing that most people have experienced in Vista. I am running a Lenovo X61 w Vista Business preloaded. I also have an HP with Vista Business loaded myself (it came with Home Ultimate). Both will at times start thrashing the disk inexplicably. During this time, the system become difficult to control. Programs become unresponsive or are very slow to operate, etc.

    You will find a lot of this if you search…

  4. July 10, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    Maybe, I am not seeing much disk activity. This machine is pretty quick….

  5. Ned
    July 10, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    Yes, Orange is MSFT as am I. A couple more questions:

    1. How reproducable is the issue – i.e. does it happen every hour, once a day, etc?

    2. Have you examined the Vista Performance operational event log – it is located in Event Viewer -> App and service logs -> Microsoft -> Windows -> Diagnostics-Performance. It will have a complete history of software and drivers that are causing performance problems on your machine. When you get into state, note the time down then go check that log when possible for that timeframe.

    3. As a fast ‘hammer’ step, have you tried running with a clean config using MSCONFIG. Since the issue is going to be 3rd party, MSCONFIG is a good tool to quickly divide and conquer to find which piece it is if an app or service. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/950093/en-us <-- simple steps. 4. If a clean boot without third party services/apps still does not surface the issue (and considering the two processes you named, this is possible) the issue is most likely going to be a malfunctioning driver, especially one involving Video. Verifying that you have the latest vendor video driver is a great step there, especially if using the (probably quite dated) OEM preloaded driver. Obviously, we want your experience to be top notch. If the above don't give you any resolution please contact me directly - alias is nedpyle.

  6. Neal McQuaid
    July 11, 2008 at 3:14 am

    sounds like the XPS 420 supplied to my folk’s house about two months ago.
    Bluetooth keyboard and mouse which just lock up randomly (task manager, etc. like you describe above).

    @Mike Whalen: yeah, there’s is doing the disk trashing regularly. It’s running the default RAID 0 across to 300GB drives so not seeing as much of a performance reduction as I should from this trashing – the first time I’ve seen a Vista box survive the trashing without giving up completely.

    the system has been given another three weeks and then it’s being sold and replaced with an iMac. Third bad experience with Vista so can’t take it anymore!

  7. Michael
    July 11, 2008 at 3:23 am

    Are U running any version of Netmon 3.x on your machine?
    I was experiencing some hangs and disk freezes caused by netmon on my 32bit Vista SP1 machine. No probs with 64bit Vista any more.

  8. July 11, 2008 at 4:00 am

    Michael, no Netmon… Neal, I have RAID0 across two 500GB Drives… maybe this is an area I need to look at. I don’t really see disk thrashing though.

  9. July 11, 2008 at 4:04 am

    Hey Ned:

    Yes, Orange is MSFT as am I. A couple more questions:

    1. How reproducable is the issue – i.e. does it happen every hour, once a day, etc?

    It happens at least once a day. It tends to be worst when I am in Outlok 2007. It also happens if I leave the machine overnight (memory leak?)

    2. Have you examined the Vista Performance operational event log – it is located in Event Viewer -> App and service logs -> Microsoft -> Windows -> Diagnostics-Performance. It will have a complete history of software and drivers that are causing performance problems on your machine. When you get into state, note the time down then go check that log when possible for that timeframe.

    No, I had not. But I will now. Maybe you can make contact with me via the contact form on this blog, happy to send info to you! 😉

    3. As a fast ‘hammer’ step, have you tried running with a clean config using MSCONFIG. Since the issue is going to be 3rd party, MSCONFIG is a good tool to quickly divide and conquer to find which piece it is if an app or service. support.microsoft.com/…/en-us <-- simple steps. Yes, I can do this. The "Vanilla" system works well, have already proven that. But what good is Vista if I cannot run things on it 😉 (Happy to do this again as part of follow up of logs etc) 4. If a clean boot without third party services/apps still does not surface the issue (and considering the two processes you named, this is possible) the issue is most likely going to be a malfunctioning driver, especially one involving Video. Verifying that you have the latest vendor video driver is a great step there, especially if using the (probably quite dated) OEM preloaded driver. I am using two 3870 ATI cards, and running the current version of Catalyst (8.6) from ATI. Obviously, we want your experience to be top notch. If the above don't give you any resolution please contact me directly - alias is nedpyle. I'll drop ye a line 🙂

  10. roosky
    July 28, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    Try:

    Disabling system restore on your hard drives.
    Disabling scheduled defrag.

    If you have 2 hard drives there is a know issue with the second disk spinning down too aggresively and this causes a perceived hang while the disk spins back up to possess the IO.

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