Clint Huffman's Windows Troubleshooting in the Field Blog

Clint Huffman is a Microsoft Premier Field Engineer (PFE) who has been with Microsoft for over 10 years. This blog documents the challenges he faces week to week in hopes that these experiences will help others.

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  • Blog Post: Can a process be limited on how much physical memory it uses?

    I've been asked a lot of great questions lately and thought I'd post some of them. As you might know, I am one of the instructors of the popular workshop "Vital Signs" which teaches students Windows architecture and how to identify performance bottlenecks. One of the instructors recently had a student...
  • Blog Post: The Case of the Missing PTEs

    It was a dark and stormy night… actually it was sunny and clear, but just thought I’d start this blog series like a classic novel. :-) This is the first blog entry of my new blog related to my job. I made a mistake when creating my first one and ended up using my full name versus my email name ‘clinth...
  • Blog Post: Another Case of the Missing PTEs

    I did an IIS Health Check (IISHC) this week and found another 32-bit Windows 2003 web server that was out of System PTEs. This blog entry talks about how we resolved this issue. I detected this issue by looking at the boot.ini file which is one of the validations we do in the IISHC. The boot.ini file...
  • Blog Post: The Case of the Out of Memory BizTalk Server

    About a month ago, I was conducting a BizTalk Health Check for a customer (yes, Microsoft BizTalk Server is one of my other specialties along with several others) where the BizTalk server has been running slower than expected. They noticed Out of Memory exceptions in the event logs, but since BizTalk...
  • Blog Post: The Case of the 2 Million Context Switches

    This week I was in Denver, CO handling a high CPU performance issue with Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006 R2. The customer was seeing very high CPU utilization even when BizTalk doesn’t have any real work do to, so this was a bit of a mystery and a challenge. I like challenges. ;-) Symptoms: High...
  • Blog Post: The Case of the Phantom Hard Page Faults

    I am teaching this week, so I figured I would talk about a case I had a few months ago. I have *plenty* of war stories to share, so I can certainly keep this weekly blog going for a long time. ;-) I’m a big fan of Mark Russinovich and David Solomon, so you may have noticed that I title my blog entries...
  • Blog Post: The Case of the High CPU Web Server

    This week I was off to Phoenix, AZ again, but for a different customer this time. Phoenix is very hot this time of year – I think it got to about 110 degrees Fahrenheit hot enough to literally cook an egg on the sidewalk and likely burn it. ;-) When I got the dispatch for this ROSS (Remote On-Site Service...
  • Blog Post: Should the paging file be moved from C: drive?

    Should the paging file be moved from C: drive to another drive? This was the question I received today and thought I’d share my response to this. There is no general answer for all situations, so this question needs more information about the environment. This is why you will not (and should not) find...
  • Blog Post: Physical memory overwhelmed PAL analysis - holy grail found!

    I just wrote a very complicated PAL analysis that determines if physical memory is overwhelmed. This analysis takes into consideration the amount of available physical memory and the disk queue length, IO size, and response times of the logical disks hosting the paging files. Also, if no paging files...