Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

How Do I Minimize The Amount Of Page Faults For Programs?

  1. #11

    Sorry, but I disagree. I don't believe page faults has anything to do with it. We can agree to disagree and that's okay.

    I don't know why it runs quicker when you restart explorer.exe but the number of page faults is not it.

    Look at mine for instance:

    Click image for larger version

    Seamonkey is over 12 mil and MBAM is over 11 mil.

    No lag at all.

    Have you tested your hard drive?

    Check the hard drive with the manufacturer's diagnostic tools.
    7 Free Hard Drive Testing Programs
    Hard Drive Diagnostics Tools and Utilities (Storage) - TACKtech Corp.
    Bootable Hard Drive Diagnostics

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #12

    Posts : 224
    Windows 8.1 Professional (64-Bit)

    Try to open Seamonkey and go browse for its options for example, just cruise around in that program, open an option in it or so, then close off that option, do a whole bunch of things in it. And be aware of the amount of seconds/half-seconds it would take to open a certain something in that program. Do it a few times so you get a jist of the speed of it. Then shut that program down completely, then re-open it. Now do the same thing, open the options window and all those similar things you did before you closed it off. You would notice a slight increase in speed. It might be very difficult to notice it, yet keep a keen eye on noticing the difference of the load speed.

    Yet you have 16 GB RAM, so I'm guessing it might be more difficult to notice it, but it's there.

    I have a solid state drive which is pretty new. I had a hard disk drive before, which did the same exact thing. The same thing with previous installations of operating systems and such since the early 2000's. It's just something I've noticed, so I barely believe that it could be the solid state drive.

    By the way, according to your Task Manager's scroll bar, it looks like you would barely have a whole bunch of svchost.exes open. Which services do you have disabled? I want the least amount of svchosts (& operating system programs) running in the background which aren't necessary to be running. Currently, there are 11 svchost.exes running here. Why so many??
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #13

    I have a lot of services and programs starting at boot time, things I use and want there.

    I don't know how to help you. Your focused on page faults which I can't do anything about.

    Sounds like you have a nice computer, good CPU, memory and SSD, can't do much more than that.

    Maybe one of the other folks here can help.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #14

    11 instances of svchost.exe isn't a lot.
    The number of instances of system processes and service processes running has very little impact on performance. Except for very unusual situations it would be a serious challenge to measure any difference at all.
    The reason is that system processes spend the large majority of their time waiting for something to do. In this state they consume no CPU time. Disable a service that is consuming virtually no CPU time and that is what you save by disabling it.

    Disabling system services is risky. The problem is that many services do more than what the documentation states. There is no full documentation anywhere. Many guides have been written about what services can supposedly be disabled with no ill effects. The authors are guessing. Sometimes they guess wrong.

    I have had unpleasant experiences with disabling services and have no desire to repeat them.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #15

    Posts : 224
    Windows 8.1 Professional (64-Bit)

    Hmh, it's okay. Thanks for the replies. No worries about the computer lag, since this happens only when the computer's been on for 5 or more days without a restart or a shut down. I rarely have this happen, so I'll just ignore it. But about the services, I am aware that they are essential, and I do a bunch of research and such to see which ones are ones that I definitely do not need. I have a list written already.
    This is an excerpt from a text file I have written for whenever I do a clean install of a Windows Operating System:

    Set the following Windows Services settings:
    1) To Manual:
    • Distributed Link Tracking Client
    • IP Helper
    • Program Compatibility Assistant Service

    2) To Disabled:
    • Block Level Backup Engine Service
    • Certificate Propagation
    • Creative Audio Engine Licensing Service
    • Creative Audio Service
    • NVIDIA Display Driver Service
    • Remote Desktop Services
    • Remote Desktop Services UserMode Port Redirector
    • Remote Registry
    • TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper
    • WinHTTP Web Proxy Auto-Discovery Service

    I have concluded that these are really unnecessary to have them run automatically. Everything works fine here; no security/performance issues from those set like that. Everything works perfectly. But hey Ztucker, how many svchost.exes do you have running, I'm just curious to how little of them you have, you know?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #16

    Sunnyvale, CA USA
    Posts : 283
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center (64-bit)

    I've skimmed through this and can offer a few tips on reducing the impact of page faults.

    One is you can switch from Program performance scheduling to Background services scheduling in
    System Properties->Advanced->Settings->Advanced.

    As I understand it, this increases the amount of page pooled memory for services. It used to be tweaked often in Win XP, but is not so necessary anymore, the scheduling is pretty good in Windows 8.

    Another is to put the pagefile.sys on a fast partition. I use a very fast drive and partition the whole drive into 2 parts. The first part is a very small partition (about 50 GB or so) named TEMP and the second partition I call something like DATA. I put my stuff there.

    But on the TEMP partition I locate the paging file, Internet caches, Temp directory, and stuff like that.

    You can also set the MIN and MAX pagefile size so that it doesn't grow or become fragmented. You can also defragment the pagefile with some defraggers.

    Even if you have a lot of memory, the paging subsystem puts some stuff in the page memory as it ages and doesn't get used much.

    This is a complex and subtle issue. Virtual memory and paging stuff is complex and I don't know exactly how it is implemented by MS.

    Normally this is something you don't have to think about, don't want to think about, and shouldn't mess with.

    Normally, when a program is loaded, only a portion of the run-time and some of the required libraries get loaded by the prefetcher. When a program access is needed and the stuff isn't in memory, a 'page fault' interrupt forces a context switch and allows the memory to be fetched. You can't alter this behavior as far as I know, and the prefetcher is adaptive, changing things as new loads occur. The system defragger maintains a layout file of the most loaded stuff and makes the defragger put them in the fast parts of the disk (the outer section).

    So over time, program loads get smarter and maybe fewer page fault will occur because the stuff gets loaded in the disk reads of previous stuff due to the layout optimization.

    If you install and uninstall a lot or get frequent updates, a lot of this mechanism gets subverted.

    Theoretically you can even remove the page file if you have a lot of memory, but you will still get page faults because not all of the programs get loaded immediately.

    I don't think it is a good idea to remove the page file, I think some things require it (like crash dumps).

    I don't know if any of this helps.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #17

    Sunnyvale, CA USA
    Posts : 283
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center (64-bit)

    Quote Originally Posted by pepanee View Post
    ...But about the services, I am aware that they are essential, and I do a bunch of research and such to see which ones are ones that I definitely do not need. ...
    Each person's system and requirement are rather unique. Some programs install services, and some of the are unnecessary or just preload stuff into memory (like a page-fault suppressor).

    Black Viper has a highly regarded site listing a lot of things to try on your service profile:

    Black Viper |
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #18

    I have 10 svchost.exe and 6 conhost.exe running, 71 total processes.

    If you look at my specs you'll see that I have a decent system, very responsive, no lag.

    The only system service I've disabled is Windows Search since I never use it. If I want to find a file I use Everything Search. I don't search inside files.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #19

    Posts : 224
    Windows 8.1 Professional (64-Bit)

    arachnaut: Thanks for your reply. Yea, you understand a lot about Page Faults and are pretty much on my page here. Your post is really helpful. I've encountered the idea of putting a Page File on the main drive. I've done it before and it helped, but then I switched to a solid state drive. I disabled the Page File on the drive, since having a Page File on this drive will decrease its longevity of life on that part of the drive. (The more you write on the same areas on the drive, the more likely that part of the drive will retire and can no longer be used... not the whole drive, but those sections of it). So I've disabled the Page File for the drive; I want it to live long and strong =D
    But yes, the Page File should definitely help.. that's probably what I was thinking of earlier.

    And about prioritizing the Performance to Background Services instead of Programs, I've came across this a long time ago, but said that I want my programs to perform really good, so I ignored changing that... but hey, what the heck, I set it to Background Services; I'll give it a few days and see how I like it.

    And yes, Black Viper was the guide I used to conclude what Operating System Services I should set to Manual & Disabled, like I stated above in post #15.

    Trucker: Oh okay, thanks for posting back.. I feel odd about having all these svchosts open, but if its like that for others, then oh well, hope Microsoft could compress them all into one or two svchost, so my Task Manager doesn't look so clunky. And lol, in your picture, I see that you use "Everything.exe"; I've used that before.. it's an alternative to Windows Search.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #20

    (The more you write on the same areas on the drive, the more likely that part of the drive will retire and can no longer be used... not the whole drive, but those sections of it).
    Wear leveling (a feature in all modern SSDs) is designed to prevent this. Repeated writes to the same logical disk blocks are distributed to different physical blocks. Writes to specific parts of the drive (such as the pagefile) are spread out over the disk, not concentrated in the same blocks. Even flash drives do this but in a simpler and less effective way.

    You would really have to work at killing a drive with repeated writes. It is highly unlikely to happen under real world conditions.

    The large majority of page faults do not involve disk access at all. Of those that do the majority involve large numbers of other files.
    Only a very small percentage of page faults involve the pagefile.

    In theory Microsoft could have put all services in one svchost.exe process but that would not have been a good idea. Putting them in multiple instances allows each one to run under different security levels. The principle being to give each service only the privileges it needs and no more. This enhances security. It also contributes to stability. If there is a problem in one instance, some of which may run third party code, the problem is isolated to one instance. If all services were in one instance of svchost.exe and a problem occurred it could bring down the entire system. There are other reasons as well. I think this is more important than dubious appearance issues in Task Manager.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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