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  • Blog Post: Windows Dynamic Cache Service Updated

    Good morning AskPerf! This is a quick blog to inform you that you no longer have to contact Microsoft Technical Support to obtain the Dynamic Cache Service for Windows Server 2008 R2. It is now freely available to download from the following link: Microsoft Windows Dynamic Cache Service Additional Resources...
  • Blog Post: An Introduction to Pool Tags

    We’ve discussed several areas of Memory Management in our blog since we started. Today, we’re going to take a look at Pool Tags and how they can be used to identify the source of Pool Memory leaks. A pool tag is a four-byte character that is associated with a dynamically allocated chunk of pool memory...
  • Blog Post: SQL and the Working Set

    Here's an issue we've been seeing more and more of on the Performance team lately concerning SQL 2005 and Memory Management. The issue gets reported as: "Windows Memory Management is trimming the SQL Working Set." When you review the event logs, you'll see lots of Event ID 17890 messages: A significant...
  • Blog Post: Windows Architecture - The Basics

    Today we're starting a new series of posts focused on understanding the Windows System Architecture itself. In our first post, we're going to quickly review some basic Windows concepts and terms including a brief overview of the Windows API, Services and the difference between a Process and a Thread...
  • Blog Post: What a Heap of ... (Part Two)

    On Tuesday, we talked about Heap - what it is and how it works. Today we're going to continue our look at Heap. At the end of the last post we mentioned Look-Aside Lists and Low Fragmentation Heap. But before we dive into those, let's take a look at Heap Synchronization. The heap manager supports concurrent...
  • Blog Post: WS2008: Memory Management, Dynamic Kernel Addressing, Memory Priorities and I/O Handling

    It's the end of the first week - seven days down and only  twenty more to go.  Today we will take a very brief look at some important enhancements to Memory Management, as well as talk about Dynamic Kernel Address Space, Memory Priorities and I/O Handling.  So let's dive right in ... The...
  • Blog Post: Troubleshooting Event ID 333 Errors

    In previous posts we've discussed the basics of memory management including an overview of kernel and user memory , pool resources as well as the /3GB switch .   Continuing our discussion of memory management, we are going to examine an issue that we have been seeing more of on the Performance...
  • Blog Post: Where has all my Physical RAM gone?

    Hello AskPerf! Ranajoy here from the Windows Performance Team. One of our highest call generators here in support surrounds low Available Memory shown in Windows Task Manager. Today we are going to take a brief look at this value and where this “Missing Memory” may be hiding. Picture the following: Windows...
  • Blog Post: Memory Management 101

    Memory Management issues make up a considerable portion of the support incidents that we handle. At some point during the support incident we invariably engage in a discussion of Memory Management, Memory Tuning, the use of the infamous /3GB switch and more. There's far too much information to compress...
  • Blog Post: Troubleshooting those Pesky 2019 and 2020 errors!

    One of the most common issues that the Plat-Perf team troubleshoots is the infamous 2019 / 2020 error - depletion of the Non-Paged or Paged Pool Memory. In many instances, these issues are actually far easier to troubleshoot and resolved than people think. Tate, one of our CPR Engineers, has written...
  • Blog Post: Network Stored PST files ... don't do it!

    At least once a week, someone on the Performance team will get a customer call concerning hangs or resource depletion on their file server. The file server in question is used for user home folder storage and users are accessing Outlook Personal Storage (.pst) files stored on the server from their client...
  • Blog Post: PRF: Memory Management (General Issues - Windows Vista +)

    MEMORY MANAGEMENT (GENERAL: WINDOWS VISTA AND LATER) Description: Memory management is the term used to describe how Windows handles the manipulation and allocation of both virtual and physical memory resources. Physical memory is considered the total of physical RAM and the pagefile or pagefiles...
  • Blog Post: What a Heap of ... (Part One)

    Today's post is actually the result of a recent series of questions on Heap and the Heap Manager that I fumbled quite hopelessly! Once I got back to my desk, I pulled out my trusty copy of Windows Internals and started reading. The more I read, the more I thought about a blog post. The catalyst for inspiration...
  • Blog Post: PRF: Memory Management (Working Set Trimming)

    MEMORY MANAGEMENT - WORKING SET TRIMMING Description: Working Set Trimming refers to a condition wherein all Working Sets are flushed to the disk. A Working Set is the amount of physical memory used by a process. Working Set Trimming is primarily seen on SQL Server systems when large amounts...
  • Blog Post: PRF: Memory Management (Event ID 333)

    MEMORY MANAGEMENT – EVENT ID 333 Description: The first thing to understand is what exactly an Event ID 333 is. The event ID 333 is a System event error log that occurs when the registry is unable to complete a flush operation to the disk. There are several reasons that this can fail and we'll...
  • Blog Post: An Overview of Troubleshooting Memory Issues - Part Two

    In our last post, we looked at some common memory issues and how to troubleshoot them.  Today we're going to go over excessive paging and memory bottlenecks. We've talked about issues with the page file in several posts - something to bear in mind is that although you want to have enough RAM to...
  • Blog Post: Sessions, Desktops and Windows Stations

    Today we are going to briefly go over the basics of some concepts that can be pretty confusing even at the best of times - Sessions, Desktops and Windows Stations. So let's dive right in ... A session consists of all of the processes and other system objects that represent a single user’s logon session...
  • Blog Post: WS2008: Upgrade Paths, Resource Limits & Registry Values

    It's February 1, 2008. Only twenty-six more days until Windows Server 2008 is released to the world. With that in mind, we have twenty-six posts lined up between now and February 27 covering areas of Windows Server 2008 that contain both general information as well as specific posts that are relevant...
  • Blog Post: Two Minute Drill: Stack Basics

    Welcome back AskPerf!  Carrying on with our debugging / architectural theme from the last couple of weeks, today’s topic is about the stack.  A stack is a way of storing information – a data structure.  When a new object is placed on the stack it is placed on the top of the stack. ...
  • Blog Post: Memory Management - Understanding Pool Resources

    Following up on our Memory Management 101 post, we're moving on to a discussion of Pool Resources and Pool Resource Depletion. First of all - what are Pool Resources? When a machine boots up, the Memory Manager creates two dynamically sized memory pools that kernel-mode components use to allocate system...
  • Blog Post: Windows 7 / Windows Server 2008 R2: Fault Tolerant Heap and Memory Management

    Hello, and welcome to our second post in the Windows 7 launch series. This post is going to be a long one, so buckle in. We’re going to start with an overview of Fault Tolerant Heap, which is a new feature in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 and then go over some Memory Management pieces. If you...
  • Blog Post: Troubleshooting Server Hangs – Part Four

    Welcome to Part Four of our Server Hang troubleshooting series. Today we are going to discuss PTE depletion and Low Physical Memory conditions and how those two issues can lead to server hangs. In our post on the /3GB switch we mentioned that in general, a system should always have around 10,000 free...
  • Blog Post: Memory Management - Demystifying /3GB

    As promised - here's the long awaited post on the infamous /3GB switch. At least once a week we have this discussion with a Systems Administrator somewhere who has this set in the boot.ini file on all of the servers but doesn't know why. Maybe someone added it to the server build process at some point...
  • Blog Post: Interlocked Operations in a Nutshell

    Good Morning AskPerf!  On Tuesday, we went over some very high-level concepts around synchronization mechanisms.  Today, we’re going to briefly dig into one of those mechanisms, Interlocked Operations, in a little more depth.  This isn’t going to be a programming exercise, it’s really...
  • Blog Post: Windows Vista - SuperFetch & ReadyBoost

    Today we are going to discuss two new Vista performance enhancements, SuperFetch & ReadyBoost. We will also be discussing Vista RAM usage since these all work together. First, SuperFetch is an enhancement of the Prefetcher that you have probably seen mentioned in previous versions of Windows....