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Desktop Window Manager causes PC to lock up when idle RRS feed

  • Question

  • During normal operation, the system runs fine. I’m able to utilize Aero’s full set of features and I have no problems. However, if I lock the PC and let it sit idle – with or without any open applications – dwm.exe will begin to consume massive amounts of system resources. At one point I had stepped away for 30-45 minutes and came back to see it had chewed up over 1GB of system memory. I sat while it slowly released memory to the point where it was usable, like I caught it in the middle of doing something it knew it wasn’t supposed to do.

     

    At night after I've gone home, when no applications are open, it will chew on itself until the DWM process essentially shuts down and doesn’t recover. When I come in the next morning, the PC is unresponsive and I’m forced to reboot. If I try to RDP into the machine, the RDP client says that a "device on the system is not functioning." Here is what the system logs say:

     

    Diagnostics-Performance

     

                    4:09:05 PM

                    The Desktop Window Manager is experiencing heavy resource contention.

                                     Scenario              :               The Desktop Window Manager responsiveness has degraded.

                                   

                    The Desktop Window Manager is experiencing heavy resource contention.

                                    Reason                :               CPU resources are over-utilized.

                                    Diagnosis            :               A consistent degradation in frame rate for the Desktop Window Manager was observed over a period of time.

                   

    Application Log

     

                    4:30:04 PM

     

                    The Desktop Window Manager has stopped locking system memory due to passing its working set threshold

     

    It takes about 10 minutes to get itself worked up into a fit, another 20-30 minutes to completely lose its mind, then an undetermined amount of time before the entire PC actually becomes unusable.

     

    I realize the graphical abilities of this machine are sub-par, but I’m curious why I can run it fine “actively” but as soon as the machine has nothing to do, it seems to whittle away the hours eating memory and CPU cycles until it goes cross-eyed. I’m fine with disabling certain Aero features or Aero all together. I did disable transparency/glass, but that had no effect. I may even try to go back to a dedicated video card. At this point, I’m just curious what is going on with DWM. It stands to reason that if I can use the machine all day with no performance problems, it should be fine at night when nothing is going on.

      

    System Information

    Windows 7 Enterprise Version 6.1 (Build 7600), patches current

    Lenovo M58e w/ Intel C2D E7500 @ 2.93GHz, 2GB of DDR2

    2x ViewSonic VA1930wm (19”) monitors at 1440x900 resolution (one on VGA built-in, other on DVI adapter)

    Lenovo ADD2 DVI-D adapter installed

    Intel G41 Chipset, Driver Version 8.15.10.2202, 8/25/2010

    128MB dedicated graphics memory (BIOS)

    WinSAT stuff: VideoMemoryBandwidth = 3270200, VideoMemorySize = 870968344

    Wednesday, February 16, 2011 2:08 PM

All replies

  • try the latest Intel driver 8.15.10.2281:

    http://downloadcenter.intel.com/SearchResult.aspx?lang=eng&ProductFamily=Graphics&ProductLine=Desktop+graphics+controllers&ProductProduct=Intel%C2%AE+G41+Express+Chipset&ProdId=3048&LineId=1100&FamilyId=39


    André


    "A programmer is just a tool which converts caffeine into code" CLIP- Stellvertreter http://www.winvistaside.de/
    Wednesday, February 16, 2011 3:02 PM
  • Sorry, I thought .2202 was the most recent version. I believe I was using .2281 with my previous Win 7 build on this machine (reinstalled on Friday) and had the same issue with DWM. I will have to wait until tomorrow morning to know for certain.

    If anyone has any specific suggestions or solutions before I can check the new drivers, I'd appreciate it.

    Wednesday, February 16, 2011 4:29 PM
  • Sorry, I don't have an Intel system so I don't know this. Test the new drivers and give feedback.

    "A programmer is just a tool which converts caffeine into code" CLIP- Stellvertreter http://www.winvistaside.de/
    Wednesday, February 16, 2011 11:26 PM
  • The updated drivers didn't help, unfortunately. After they were installed, I had four more 500/501 errors (performance, like above) and at 4:57pm DWM stoped working, then at 5:25pm it was unable to restart.

    They key question here is: why does DWM consume so many resources when the PC is idle and the monitors are off?

    Some additional info: hibernate and sleep are "off," screen saver set to 5 minutes w/ password prompt on resume, monitors set to turn off in 15 minutes.

    I appreciate the help!

    Thursday, February 17, 2011 2:07 PM
  • Please download VMMap [1], run it and select the DWM.exe when the DWM has the high memory usage again. Now save the data as a mmp file. Zip the mmp file and upload the zip to your SkyDrive [2] and post a link here.

    André

    [1] http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/dd535533.aspx
    [2] http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w7itproui/thread/4fc10639-02db-4665-993a-08d865088d65

    "A programmer is just a tool which converts caffeine into code" CLIP- Stellvertreter http://www.winvistaside.de/
    Thursday, February 17, 2011 2:25 PM
  • Please download VMMap [1], run it and select the DWM.exe when the DWM has the high memory usage again. Now save the data as a mmp file. Zip the mmp file and upload the zip to your SkyDrive [2] and post a link here.

    André

    [1] http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/dd535533.aspx
    [2] http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w7itproui/thread/4fc10639-02db-4665-993a-08d865088d65

    "A programmer is just a tool which converts caffeine into code" CLIP- Stellvertreter http://www.winvistaside.de/


    I'm sorry, but since this happens at night when I'm not at the computer (i.e. I've left for the day) it will be difficult for me to perform such a capture. I downloaded VMMap and it does not appear to have any sort of ability to capture information over time. Even if the application were to have such an ability, it would also need to auto-save the information since I can't access the PC without a hard reboot.

    If I were to somehow catch it at this behavior during the day (which I have been able to - sort of - once), the PC is nearly unusable until memory is cleared so I doubt I would be able to use it in time to perform the snapshot.

    Thursday, February 17, 2011 6:23 PM
  • I downloaded VMMap and it does not appear to have any sort of ability to capture information over time.

    it does have it, but only if you start applications from VMMap which is not useful in your case. Does it happen with screensaver off, too? Also does it happen with only 1 Monitor?

    "A programmer is just a tool which converts caffeine into code" CLIP- Stellvertreter http://www.winvistaside.de/
    Thursday, February 17, 2011 7:46 PM
  • I downloaded VMMap and it does not appear to have any sort of ability to capture information over time.

    it does have it, but only if you start applications from VMMap which is not useful in your case. Does it happen with screensaver off, too? Also does it happen with only 1 Monitor?

    "A programmer is just a tool which converts caffeine into code" CLIP- Stellvertreter http://www.winvistaside.de/

    Yes, it happens whether the screen saver is on or off. It does not happen when only one monitor is used.
    Thursday, February 17, 2011 8:05 PM
  •   It does not happen when only one monitor is used.
    Do you have access to the Sp1 RTM? If yes, try it.

    If this doesn't fix it, contact the Intel or Microsoft support. I have no real idea. As a workaround disable Aero Glass and use Aero Basic.



    "A programmer is just a tool which converts caffeine into code" CLIP- Stellvertreter http://www.winvistaside.de/
    Thursday, February 17, 2011 9:08 PM
  •   It does not happen when only one monitor is used.
    Do you have access to the Sp1 RTM? If yes, try it.

    If this doesn't fix it, contact the Intel or Microsoft support. I have no real idea. As a workaround disable Aero Glass and use Aero Basic.



    "A programmer is just a tool which converts caffeine into code" CLIP- Stellvertreter http://www.winvistaside.de/


    Looks like SP1 will be released to the public on 2/22. I may as well wait. Any particular reason why you think the SP1 RTM would help?

    I did disable Aero for the time being, since I'm pretty much out of ideas.

    Thursday, February 17, 2011 10:21 PM
  • Personally, I don't. We have an MS Engineer on-site (on vacation) that may be able to get me set up, though. Any particular reason why you think the SP1 RTM would help?

    the Sp1 includes over 700 fixes, also a lot of DWM fixes. So the Sp1 brings all fixes to Windows 7.

    "A programmer is just a tool which converts caffeine into code" CLIP- Stellvertreter http://www.winvistaside.de/
    Thursday, February 17, 2011 10:39 PM
  • Well, this is nice. After the weekend, I came in to find the machine in an unusable state. The standard lock screen was replaced by white text on a black background. After rebooting, I checked the performance and application logs and DWM hasn't had an issue since the 16th, when I disabled it.

    All I see is a Defrag, Security Essentials patch, VSS startup/idle shutdown, Outlook checkpoints, and several restore point creations...three of them.

    I hope SP1 fixes whatever this phantom issue is, otherwise my next fix is a roofing hammer.

    Monday, February 21, 2011 2:09 PM
  • I hope SP1 fixes whatever this phantom issue is, otherwise my next fix is a roofing hammer.

    if not, contact the Intel or MS support.

    "A programmer is just a tool which converts caffeine into code" CLIP- Stellvertreter http://www.winvistaside.de/
    Monday, February 21, 2011 2:34 PM