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Windows 8.1 "explorer.exe" gradually slows down - Observation RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi, I posted a question a year ago about Windows 8.1 gradually slows down issue, and it seems still not being solved. I recently found some new clues about this, hope it can be useful. (Please read the original post first since it contains basic descriptions of the issue: https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/f9ab40a8-6681-4c66-bdbd-9de7b2fb021f/windows-81-gradually-slows-down-after-hours-speed-returns-normal-if-restart-explorerexe?forum=w8itproperf)

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    This issue is found to be somehow related to total Page Faults of explorer.exe since it starts. The majority of page fault is created by desktop background slide show. On my laptop, the slide show is set to randomly switch between 53 jpegs (mostly 1920*1080) every 10 seconds. The Page Fault Delta of explorer.exe is usually 2 per second when not doing anything, and tenth to hundreds when there are some actions. But at the instance when the background is switching, it will peak to a value between 13,000 and 30,000.

    I don't know if this value is normal or not, but when the total Page Faults reaches about 20,000,000, a slight slow-down can be observed by moving your mouse up and down on the favorite bar items in IE (the right bar shown when pressing Alt+C in IE), a slight lag can be observed. The slow down (slightly) of normal windows can be observed when Page Faults reaches about 40,000,000. At that time, the mouse lag on favorite bar items becomes much more obvious. After another few hours, the slow-down will become more serious.

    I tried to disable the slide show by only using one background image, the total Page Fault stays low and the slow-down issue does not occur after one day (the Page Fault after one day is also far less than 20,000,000). That's why restarting explorer.exe can temporarily fix it. I tried it on 2 other Windows 8.1 computers and get the same results. Maybe there is some memory allocation or fragmentation problem building up? One thing I don't know is that if this is caused by the background slide show itself, or if explorer.exe in general will slow down after experimenting enough page faults.

    Sunday, February 22, 2015 7:45 PM

Answers

  • Polyhedron,

    This main reason of this issue is not the Windows system. A page fault occurs under these situation:

    1. A program requests an address on a page that is not in the current set of memory resident pages. 

    2. The virtual memory system has become unstable because of a shortage of physical memory (RAM).

    3. The virtual memory system has become unstable because of a shortage of free disk space.

    4. The virtual memory area is corrupted by a program.

    5. A program is attempting to access data that is being modified by another program that is running.

    Please refer this blog to determine it's hard faults or soft faults.

    The Basics of Page Faults

    http://blogs.technet.com/b/askperf/archive/2008/06/10/the-basics-of-page-faults.aspx

    In addition, from your description, since the background slide itself is without problem, I suspect the root is your ram. Try to increase the amount of memory or reduce the cache size for test.


    Karen Hu
    TechNet Community Support

    • Proposed as answer by FangZhou Chen Wednesday, March 4, 2015 5:51 AM
    • Marked as answer by FangZhou Chen Thursday, March 5, 2015 1:10 AM
    Friday, February 27, 2015 2:16 AM

All replies

  • Hi,

    Thanks for your feedback.

    Yes, this is mot probably the main reason for slow performance of Explorer.exe.

    Here is the same situation, you could read it avoid triggering this false alarm:

    Why does Explorer generate a page fault every two seconds?

    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/oldnewthing/archive/2008/08/21/8880075.aspx


    Karen Hu
    TechNet Community Support

    Tuesday, February 24, 2015 8:20 AM
  • Thanks for reply. But I'm not concerned about Explorer generating 2 page faults per second due to Task Manager, it's trivial compared to my problem.

    What I'm saying is that the desktop background slide show is generating a large amount of page faults. It causes the total Page Faults go up quickly, and when Page Faults accumulates to some certain values, Explorer will slow down.

    I know that I can turn off the slide show to avoid the slow-down, but I just want to know if this issue can be solved in the near future by patch or whatever.

    Tuesday, February 24, 2015 6:52 PM
  • Polyhedron,

    This main reason of this issue is not the Windows system. A page fault occurs under these situation:

    1. A program requests an address on a page that is not in the current set of memory resident pages. 

    2. The virtual memory system has become unstable because of a shortage of physical memory (RAM).

    3. The virtual memory system has become unstable because of a shortage of free disk space.

    4. The virtual memory area is corrupted by a program.

    5. A program is attempting to access data that is being modified by another program that is running.

    Please refer this blog to determine it's hard faults or soft faults.

    The Basics of Page Faults

    http://blogs.technet.com/b/askperf/archive/2008/06/10/the-basics-of-page-faults.aspx

    In addition, from your description, since the background slide itself is without problem, I suspect the root is your ram. Try to increase the amount of memory or reduce the cache size for test.


    Karen Hu
    TechNet Community Support

    • Proposed as answer by FangZhou Chen Wednesday, March 4, 2015 5:51 AM
    • Marked as answer by FangZhou Chen Thursday, March 5, 2015 1:10 AM
    Friday, February 27, 2015 2:16 AM