Help with diagnosis

Discussion in 'Dell' started by Guest, Mar 1, 2009.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    A few days ago my XPS 600 XP-Pro machine
    started becoming unresponsive.

    It would freeze for 30 sec to 10 min, with
    no mouse movement or window updating. Then
    a quick update.

    I had the task manager going, and the only apparent
    culprit was the "System" process which was running
    at a stated 20-25% of CPU (dual core with hyperthreading
    so this was 80-100% of a real core).

    I had installed a new printer driver (Brother 9840
    network all-in-one color laser), so I uninstalled that,
    but still had the problem.

    Then I thought it might be SyncBack, as the insane slow
    down happened last night right after a reboot when I launched
    5 SyncBack jobs (making sure I had full backups in the case
    of needing to reinstall Windows).

    Any ideas at how to track down the problem? It might be happening
    when there is a lot of file IO. The first night it happened I
    had reorganized my photo directory, which means SyncBack had a
    300gig job backing up to another computer on my network. After
    that I was trying to get my new Windows Home Server to back up
    this machine, so there was even more file IO.

    I have TrendMicro Internet security that does a full scan every
    night, and has a firewall. THere is also a router firewall between
    my network and the outside.

    Thanks,
     
    Guest, Mar 1, 2009
    #1
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  2. Guest

    S.Lewis Guest



    Boot the machine in safe mode w/networking and see if you can duplicate the
    issue - to eliminate system hardware as a source.

    Personally, your description lends me to think you believe it's software and
    which program(s) is/are the villains.

    That machine s/be destroying pretty much anything you throw at it.
     
    S.Lewis, Mar 1, 2009
    #2
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  3. Guest

    Guest Guest

    S> Boot the machine in safe mode w/networking and see if you can duplicate the
    S> issue - to eliminate system hardware as a source.

    S> Personally, your description lends me to think you believe it's software and
    S> which program(s) is/are the villains.

    That is my bias. I forgot to mention that I ran the Dell hardware diagnoses
    package yesterday and it found no errors.

    S> That machine s/be destroying pretty much anything you throw at it.

    I will try the safe mode later. Does that include USB drivers, as the immediate
    backups I am trying are to USB external drives...
     
    Guest, Mar 1, 2009
    #3
  4. Guest

    BillW50 Guest

    In typed on 01 Mar 2009 09:49:04 -0500:
    I would have a hard time believing SyncBack is causing a problem. Well
    not the free version anyway. As I run SyncBack on all of my computers
    and even my UMPCs. And anything that eats a lot of CPU time would drag
    it to its knees. But I never see that unless I am converting videos or
    something.

    --
    Bill
    2 Gateway MX6124 - Windows XP SP2
    3 Asus EEE PC 701G4 ~ 2GB RAM ~ 16GB-SDHC
    2 Asus EEE PC 702G8 ~ 1GB RAM ~ 16GB-SDHC
    Windows XP SP2 ~ Xandros Linux - Puppy - Ubuntu
     
    BillW50, Mar 1, 2009
    #4
  5. Guest

    Guest Guest

    BillW50 writes:

    BillW50> In BillW50> typed on 01 Mar 2009 09:49:04 -0500:
    BillW50> I would have a hard time believing SyncBack is causing a problem. Well
    BillW50> not the free version anyway. As I run SyncBack on all of my computers
    BillW50> and even my UMPCs. And anything that eats a lot of CPU time would drag
    BillW50> it to its knees. But I never see that unless I am converting videos or
    BillW50> something.

    I doubt it is SyncBack directly, but it might be the system choking eventually
    on a whole lot of File I/O.

    I use SyncBack all the time on all my machines. They do small backups all day
    long, and a couple of big ones at night.
     
    Guest, Mar 1, 2009
    #5
  6. Guest

    BillW50 Guest

    In typed on 01 Mar 2009 10:33:28 -0500:
    There are lots of process managers. One that is small is also from
    Microsoft and it is called Process Explorer. It gives you far more
    information than the Task Manager does and I/O info as well. This or
    another manager should make the task much easier to find out what is
    causing it.

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653.aspx

    --
    Bill
    2 Gateway MX6124 - Windows XP SP2
    3 Asus EEE PC 701G4 ~ 2GB RAM ~ 16GB-SDHC
    2 Asus EEE PC 702G8 ~ 1GB RAM ~ 16GB-SDHC
    Windows XP SP2 ~ Xandros Linux - Puppy - Ubuntu
     
    BillW50, Mar 1, 2009
    #6
  7. Guest

    Guest Guest

    BillW50 writes:

    BillW50> In BillW50> typed on 01 Mar 2009 10:33:28 -0500:BillW50> In BillW50> typed on 01 Mar 2009 09:49:04
    -0500> >> A few days ago my XPS 600 XP-Pro machine
    BillW50> There are lots of process managers. One that is small is also from
    BillW50> Microsoft and it is called Process Explorer. It gives you far more
    BillW50> information than the Task Manager does and I/O info as well. This or
    BillW50> another manager should make the task much easier to find out what is
    BillW50> causing it.

    http> technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653.aspx

    Very cool, I have it running now. THe problem has not recurred for the
    last hour or so, which is a long time.

    How does one get data flowing into the lower pane? The help file did not
    work...

    Thanks,
     
    Guest, Mar 1, 2009
    #7
  8. Guest

    BillW50 Guest

    In typed on 01 Mar 2009 11:41:31 -0500:
    CTRL-L should show toggle it on and off.

    --
    Bill
    2 Gateway MX6124 - Windows XP SP2
    3 Asus EEE PC 701G4 ~ 2GB RAM ~ 16GB-SDHC
    2 Asus EEE PC 702G8 ~ 1GB RAM ~ 16GB-SDHC
    Windows XP SP2 ~ Xandros Linux - Puppy - Ubuntu
     
    BillW50, Mar 1, 2009
    #8
  9. Guest

    Guest Guest

    BillW50 writes:


    BillW50> CTRL-L should show toggle it on and off.

    I did that, but no data showed up there.

    However I do now have some clues.

    A backup of my whole 2nd disk went fine --- 1.5 hours, no
    hang up.

    Within about 10 seconds of starting to back up the third
    hard drive the event occurred. Looking at the Process Explorer
    the DPCs were taking up about 25% of CPU (one whole core).

    I powered down, then booted to safe mode with networking, launched
    Process Explorer and SyncBack, and again it slowed to a crawl within
    less than 30 seconds, with a lot of DPCs CPU time.

    So I am running some diagnostics on that disk.

    Any other ideas?

    Thanks again,
     
    Guest, Mar 1, 2009
    #9
  10. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Conversation> Help with diagnosis
    Subject> Help with diagnosis

    Tom> I'm guessing you installed a second drive yourself? If so, did you go
    Tom> into the BIOS and switch it from OFF to AUTO? If not, it will work, but
    Tom> VERY slowly and will bog down the system.

    I have three hard drives in the XPS 600, and they have been there a long time
    with no issues (until possibly now). I am running some diagnostics from SeaGate
    on the suspected drive...


    Tom> I'd run HDTune and see how your IO is. I know there is a BIOS bug on
    Tom> the XPS410/D9200 with regards to IO IF and only IF you have a low-end
    Tom> nVidia card. Weird.
     
    Guest, Mar 1, 2009
    #10
  11. Guest

    Guest Guest

    writes:
    BillW50> CTRL-L should show toggle it on and off.
    The SeaGate disk tool I had crashed (I think maybe it did the
    first time I tried to use it).

    I will now reboot into the Windows disk checker.
     
    Guest, Mar 1, 2009
    #11
  12. Guest

    BillW50 Guest

    In typed on 01 Mar 2009 12:15:48 -0500:
    No new ideas, but it sounds like you are on the right track. As for
    CTRL-L not working, maybe it has a problem with multi-core machines?

    --
    Bill
    2 Gateway MX6124 - Windows XP SP2
    3 Asus EEE PC 701G4 ~ 2GB RAM ~ 16GB-SDHC
    2 Asus EEE PC 702G8 ~ 1GB RAM ~ 16GB-SDHC
    Windows XP SP2 ~ Xandros Linux - Puppy - Ubuntu
     
    BillW50, Mar 1, 2009
    #12
  13. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Conversation> Help with diagnosis
    Subject> Help with diagnosis

    Tom> I'm guessing you installed a second drive yourself? If so, did you go
    Tom> into the BIOS and switch it from OFF to AUTO? If not, it will work, but
    Tom> VERY slowly and will bog down the system.

    I just went into the BIOS and AUTO was not an option. The three
    options were OFF, ON, and RAID ON.

    It was set to ON.

    I enabled SMART monitoring and turned off Fast Boot.

    But I had set up a ChkDsk which seemed to hang on Step 4 (Verifying files) it
    was stuck at 0% after an hour (there are about 330 gig on the 1 terabyte SeaGate
    drive). So I rebooted and made the above BIOS changes. But it went back into
    the ChkDsk screen... How do I stop that? What other disk monitoring/fixing software
    can I use? THe SeaGate tools for windows or DOS do not work.

    Thanks,
    Tom> I'd run HDTune and see how your IO is. I know there is a BIOS bug on
    Tom> the XPS410/D9200 with regards to IO IF and only IF you have a low-end
    Tom> nVidia card. Weird.
     
    Guest, Mar 1, 2009
    #13
  14. Guest

    Ben Myers Guest

     
    Ben Myers, Mar 1, 2009
    #14
  15. Guest

    S.Lewis Guest

    Not positive Andrew. For some reason I want to say 'no'.
     
    S.Lewis, Mar 1, 2009
    #15
  16. Guest

    Guest Guest

    RnR writes:

    Conversation> Help with diagnosis
    Subject> Help with diagnosis
     
    Guest, Mar 1, 2009
    #16
  17. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Ben Myers writes:

    Ben> wrote:
    writes>
     
    Guest, Mar 1, 2009
    #17
  18. Guest

    BillW50 Guest

    In S.Lewis typed on Sun, 1 Mar 2009 12:41:24 -0600:
    Many BIOS support USB drives at POST. So that shouldn't be a problem if
    the computer is newer. Although the BIOS I believe only supports USB 1.1
    speeds. So that could be a problem working at lower speeds.

    --
    Bill
    2 Gateway MX6124 - Windows XP SP2
    3 Asus EEE PC 701G4 ~ 2GB RAM ~ 16GB-SDHC
    2 Asus EEE PC 702G8 ~ 1GB RAM ~ 16GB-SDHC
    Windows XP SP2 ~ Xandros Linux - Puppy - Ubuntu
     
    BillW50, Mar 1, 2009
    #18
  19. Guest

    S.Lewis Guest

    <snip>


    Instead of taking the drive out entirely, just pull the power and data
    cables after power down.
     
    S.Lewis, Mar 1, 2009
    #19
  20. Guest

    Guest Guest

    BillW50 writes:

    BillW50> In BillW50> S.Lewis typed on Sun, 1 Mar 2009 12:41:24 -0600:
    BillW50> Many BIOS support USB drives at POST. So that shouldn't be a problem if
    BillW50> the computer is newer. Although the BIOS I believe only supports USB 1.1
    BillW50> speeds. So that could be a problem working at lower speeds.

    It did support the USB drives. After asking I thought that they must,
    as most keyboards and mice are USB these days.

    As I said, as soon as I tried to back up the suspect drive in safe mode
    the system slowed to a completely unusable crawl (the mode it is stuck in
    now, trying to run MS ChkDsk --- 2% of the stage 4 file checks after 2.5 hours)
     
    Guest, Mar 1, 2009
    #20
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