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High CPU usange for VMWARE Guest virtual machine

Posted on 2007-04-08
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
This question is related to VMWARE.  I have Windows 2003 SP2 as the HOST.  On the guest OS, I have Windows 2003 SP2 R2.

I started to notice terrible performance everytime I stated the Guest OS.  I monitored them carefully and tried to start with just one guest at a time.  The vmware-vmx.exe task that is running the windows 2000 server constantly uses 25 of the host system, even if the guest shows zero cpu and nothing is running on it.   Furthermore, I also see the followings:

"System Idle process" = 90%
"DRWCS.EXE" = 30-40%

This is the case for any of the guest OS.    The server we are testing it on is Dell 2650 Dual 2.4Ghz, 6GB RAM.  I tried setting the guest to 512MB (from 2GB).  Still same problem. Any ideas on what could be causing this?
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Question by:impire
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Expert Comment

by:Dave_Dietz
ID: 18873568
Have you installed the VMWare extensions in the Guest OS?

Dave Dietz
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Expert Comment

by:vico1
ID: 18873813
System Idle Process 90% is very good
It means that only 10% of the CPU is beeing used by another processes.

Now What version of VMWARE are you running?

Vico1
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Expert Comment

by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 18874955
impire,

Again you have cross-posted this in the Small Business Server Zone, but this time your question doesn't seem to indicate that you are referring to SBS.  If so, please clarify.  

There are other inconsistencies in your question... as you refer to a task running a Windows 2000 system and I'm not sure what that's referring to.  Also, you state that the host OS is Server 2003 SP2.  Is this Enterprise Edition?  Because otherwise you can't use more than 4GB of RAM.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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Author Comment

by:impire
ID: 18876892
1) VMWARE tools installed.  VMware Server version 1.0.2 (free version)

2) System Idle process jumped back and forth between 90% and 45%.  So when DRWCS.EXE rised, "System Idle Process" dropped.  My correction on this, it seems that the vmware-vmx.exe task is not the culprit here for it is about 2-5% cpu utilization.  It's the DRWCS.EXE that consistently pop in and out at 30-50%.

3) Jeff, when I post on experts-exchange it asked me to pick the options.  Whenever I clicked on SBS, that mean it's related.  The Virtual Machines running under VMWARE is and SBS Premium 2003 R2
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Author Comment

by:impire
ID: 18876898
Also, the HOST server is running Windows 2003 Enteprise with the physical memory extenstion enabled.  Server have 6GB RAM.  RAM assigned to the SBS 2003 R2 Premium Virtual Machine is 2GB.
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Author Comment

by:impire
ID: 18876905
It seems that I am not alone in this case.  Search in other forums turned out quite afew cases.  No valid fix found yet.
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Accepted Solution

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vico1 earned 300 total points
ID: 18877009
How long does it stay 30-50%?

Like I said System Idle process is  suppose to be 90% when everything is  idling. It is the amount that is free. It goes down when something else start using ressources.

Now if it constantly stays 50% Then the program is truly using ressources.

Make a search to find out where the file comes from, under which folder. Until that you know what the file is doing you can't tell if it's bad or good.
Example if this file is scanning email and you have a lot of e-mail coming to your network, then it's doing its job.

Vico1
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Author Comment

by:impire
ID: 18877281
Vico1,

It stay at 30-50% consistently.  By it, I mean the DRWCS.EXE process.  Turned out it's the DameWare utility.  I got to find out why it's doing that.  
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Assisted Solution

by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy earned 200 total points
ID: 18878759
impire...  Experts here cannot generally see which zones you chose when asking the question which is why I asked, and why I think it's important for you to be specific about these things in your questions so that you get the best possible answers.  (I am able to see which zones you have posted to since I'm the zone advisor and have a different tool set).

So, now why is that so important?  Because SBS is a Domain Controller which is going to need special care when installing in a virtual environment.  There's a MS KB article about that here:  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/888794

There's also a whitepaper on installing DC's in Virtual Server 2005, which may be of help with your VMWare install, but since I am not intimately familiar with VMWare, I can only offer up this:
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=64DB845D-F7A3-4209-8ED2-E261A117FC6B&displaylang=en

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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Author Comment

by:impire
ID: 18878863
Thank you Jeff.  The articles are extremely helpful!  I really appreciate your help.

I wanted to ask you another unrelated question.  On CD #8 of the SBS 2003 Premium R2 install, there are 3 options.  The third option indicate "Install SBS 2003 R2".  Do you happen to know what's on it?  Exactly what will get installed?
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Expert Comment

by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 18888031
Please post unrelated questions separately.

Thanks.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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