DPC's running at 33%-68% consistently.

I have a machine running W2K SP4 fully patched, Macaffee (Up to date) that has been running ok since the day I installed it.
However, one thing is starting to bug me, using Sysinternals "Process Explorer", it lists system idle as roughly 50% and DPC's as between 33% and 68% when the machine is doing nothing.

From what I understand about DPC's, this is generally caused by a hardware problem.

My question is: Is there any more information I can get to help me track down what is cauasing the problem? I don't particularly want to have to start uninstalling one piece of hardware at a time to see which bit is causing a problem.

Can any one aslo explain a little bit more about what DPC's are and do.

Thanks
Andrew
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jdeclueCommented:
DPC's - deferred procedure calls, are low priority requests that the processor will handle. Basically IRQ related. A hard disk or network card, will make a request of the processor, these requests are low priority and are placed in a deferred status until the processor has time to get to them. Here is a Microsoft Page wich describes the two biggest problems around DPC's. The dual processor issue may pertain if your server has 2-4 processors or is running with Hyper-Threading enabled.

http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/techinfo/reskit/en-us/core/fnef_mul_oojq.asp

J
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BigC666Commented:
howdy,

have a look at this http://www.exodus-dev.com/techtips/w2k_dpc.htm

hope that it helps
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NermalAuthor Commented:
jdeclue

Thanks for the explanation. Looking at the results of Perfmon it just shows exactly what I had seen in Sysinternals Process Explorer, that the DPCs are running the Processor time upto 50%ish permanently, and I need to find out what hardware is causing it.

Lavalys EVEREST hardware report of the machine can be found at : http://www.andrewleader.co.uk/report.txt

Any other suggestions?
Thanks
Andrew
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jdeclueCommented:
Ok, is the Gigabit ethernet card on the motherboard, if it is not, I would start by taking out the NIC, or unplugging the cable.... and see if they DPC's go down.

J
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NermalAuthor Commented:
There is a Net Card on board but on 10/100 the Gigabit is a Planex GN-1200TC
The on board card is disabled through the bios.
The earliest I will get the chance to disconnect or remove the network card will be late tomorrow, I will let you know how that goes.

Thanks
Andrew
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jdeclueCommented:
No problem, goodluck. Just remember net and disk are the two biggest culprits. I just checked my machine, I run at about .5% DPC, average when my computer is idle.I guess 50% is an issue.

J
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NermalAuthor Commented:
Well, the disk was original but the card was added at a later date so I would take a wild guess that it is causing the problem.
I have just tried replacing the drivers for the card from the PLANEX drivers to the REALTEK 8169 drivers. The card still works but the DPCs remain.

I will put the machine back to its default config using the on-board card and see whether it makes any difference. If it does make a difference does that mean it is an un-fixable hardware error?

Thanks
Andrew
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jdeclueCommented:
Well, it could be network related, or even that the card is too fast. If it is greater than a 1 GHz machine, it should handle the card speed wise, so it may be bad. But... it might not be the card, that is just a best guess.

J
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NermalAuthor Commented:
Sorry,

Haven't seen the machines in a while.
I did try taking out the Network card but the DPC's remained.
I have one other Add-on card to try taking out.. I will see if I can do it within the next week.

Andrew
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NermalAuthor Commented:
Well that appeared to work, the other card was a Creative Sound Blaster Audigy Card.
Its a bit strange as the front panel section of the card is the bit that is causing the problem.
No DPC problem if we leave the PCI card part in.

I will try the card in a different machine to see if I can reproduce the problem.

Thanks for the advice
Andrew
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