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Do I even need to worry about DWM errors?

Discussion in 'Home Theater PCs' started by CWNashvegas, Sep 5, 2013.

  1. CWNashvegas

    CWNashvegas Member

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    Christa W.
    I'm a bit of an obsessive troubleshooter, and when I can't figure something out, it really bothers me. But I'm kind of at the point where I could almost settle for knowing if I'm good with ignoring this one.

    I'm running a WMC-based setup as follows:

    Dell OEM mobo (Inspiron desktop)
    Win 7 x64
    i5 3.2GHz
    GT 520 1GB w/ DVI & HDMI
    8GB RAM
    Display 1: Dell 23" LED over DVI - Primary
    Display 2: Toshiba 23" TV over HDMI - Secondary
    HDHomerun Dual x2 (so 4 tuners total)

    I added the TV as a second display recently, which required switching the monitor to the DVI connection. From the day I did this, Windows has been generating Desktop Windows Manager errors whenever I have WMC running on the TV. Usually the degradation / resource contention pair of warnings, but sometimes the "thrashing is occurring" warnings. It seems to make no difference whether I'm watching local content (through Media Browser), or HD Live TV, or internet streams, so it doesn't seem to matter how much is going on in terms of CPU / GPU utilization.

    There are no crashes, no visible performance issues at all when this happens. I've put myself through the ultimate torture of boredom by opening up ProcExp system monitors on the monitor, along with temp monitors, and running WMC on the TV, and I can confirm that there is absolutely ZERO "resource contention" going on, and whatever Windows considers to be "thrashing" must be... obscure because I'm not seeing it. (I'm not even sure what "thrashing" means in this particular context.) Everything is not only normal, it's actually performing better than I would have expected. Very low resource usage.

    I've done a wipe / clean install of the nVidia drivers. I did an in-place repair install of Windows (actually because of a different unrelated issue, which is now fixed). I've pored over the other EV logs looking for any correlation (driver crashes, etc). Outside of ending up with 10 custom views that will be useful in the future, that got me nowhere. Following the Windows / drivers install, the errors have reduced by about 60% but they are still there.

    I don't know how to further test the connection types, for a few reasons - the TV will only take HDMI, and running WMC full-screen on a single display setup disables DWM. But I'm guessing this is a DVI thing. I already know that VGA mode doesn't work according to spec over DVI on this card because it won't activate until the Windows drivers load. This was also true with my previous card, an OEM GT 4xx that had the same outputs. (When I first got that computer, the monitor came with a DVI cable, and my HDMI cable didn't come till two days later, and I never saw the BIOS until I switched to HDMI.) So it wouldn't surprise me if it is somehow related to the DVI connection.

    But after all that longwinded rambling, my question is this - if there is no sign whatsoever of an actual problem aside from those errors, do I even need to worry about them? If it hadn't been for tracking down misbehaving Windows Media services last weekend, I probably never would have seen them and then traced them back to adding the TV. But now I can't unsee them. I know how to stop them - simply disable desktop comp when WMC is running - but that still won't tell me why it's doing it in the first place.

    But hey, at least my media services are working properly now, after some tweaking. :D
     
  2. mattCR

    mattCR Well-Known Member
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    I have never seen a warning that says "thrashing" what is generating that warning? An add on program?
     
  3. CWNashvegas

    CWNashvegas Member

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    "The Desktop Window Manager is experiencing heavy resource contention.
    Scenario : Video memory resources are over-utilized and there is thrashing happening as a result. Reducing number of running programs and open windows may help resolve this condition."

    It's just dwm.exe - the thing that runs desktop composition. Aero, Peek and all that fun stuff. The error isn't actually "attached" to anything else, and looking at the event logs shows no correlating events.

    I've come across it in other people's computers but it's ALWAYS occurred in conjunction with crashes, graphic issues (video or games hanging / crashing, framerate problems, etc) and the like, and traceable back to gpu / driver problems or literal overloading of available resources. This is the first time I've ever seen it happen with nothing like that going on. That machine is pretty darn stable. I can't find a thing wrong with it.

    Memtest good, hdd check good, all hardware properly seated and functioning. It definitely is related to hooking up the second display, because they started showing up literally the first time I ran WMC after hooking up the TV, and nothing else changed that day. But that's all I know. Dwm.exe and the graphics drivers have all been "refreshed" with new, so I guess that rules out corruption of the files themselves. Now, obviously running a second monitor and sticking Media Center in it fullscreen *does* add resource usage, but not much. I don't have another graphics card to try out or I would have done that, too.

    I'm just not good at letting something like this go. I'm like a dog with a bone when it comes to this stuff, and not knowing if it's even a "real" problem bugs the heck out of me.

    And I still don't know what "thrashing" means in this context. Thrashing what? The hard drive due to increased page file usage? That's not actually happening, if that is what it means.
     
  4. mattCR

    mattCR Well-Known Member
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    Ok. I just got stuck on thrashing as a dialog.. How much ram on this pc, and what video card
     
  5. CWNashvegas

    CWNashvegas Member

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    8GB RAM

    GT 520 w/ 1GB vRAM
     
  6. mattCR

    mattCR Well-Known Member
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    Yeah, something may be wrong, but as long as your drivers are up to date with that configuration it shouldn't happen. Still, I doubt it to be more then an annoyance at the moment. Multi-monitors attached?
     
  7. CWNashvegas

    CWNashvegas Member

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    Yes, that's what started it, the day I connected the TV. Dell 23" monitor (primary) and Toshiba TV, both 1080HD. Only generates the errors when Media Center is full-screen on the TV. I'm thinking the card is sending false info when the DVI is connected, but that's just a guess. I can only test so many configurations because of the available connections (DVI and HDMI), the TV only takes HDMI, and running Media Center full-screen on the primary desktop seems to disable desktop composition.

    Drivers are up to date, installed clean. I've been watching it closely since I first posted, and there's still no indication that anything is wrong with the computer. I was editing video last night, which put a much heavier load on everything than WMC does and it ran fine, and no errors. So I'm starting to feel more confident that it's just one of those things. I need to learn to ignore it.

    I do have one more thing I need to check but I can't until later because it's encoding video files right now. I recently started having issues with one of my HDHomerun tuners. I finally tracked down which one was dropping out, and I just disabled it earlier, but because of doing other stuff I haven't tried running WMC since I fixed it. I know that when Media Center loses a signal, it's not the most efficient at handling it under the hood. It is possible that these errors were being generated while WMC was trying to deal with that, even though they don't seem like they would be related. On-screen, the signal switch is barely noticeable, and it wouldn't have been more than a blip on the resource monitors, so I would have missed it happening. WMC only generates signal loss errors if it can't recover the signal at all, or if it happens during recording. So, it's a slim chance, but I'm not ruling it out until I check later and see if I get any errors while watching TV on it.
     
  8. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    Have you tried DVI into the Toshiba?There is such a thing as a DVI-HDMI cable.
     
  9. CWNashvegas

    CWNashvegas Member

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    If I don't get it resolved (or just learn to ignore it) by Monday, I'll order a cable and try it.
     

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