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Understanding Page Reads alarm


I'm monitoring a Windows Server 2003, which is a file server and host a Foxpro exe. Around 60 users are connected in total. That Foxpro exe has 40 users connected concurrently and 20 users more are connected to File Server.
I installed Quest Spotlight for Windows and it shows me a Page Reads alarm:

"XXXX pages/second are being moved from virtual memory to physical RAM." Where my XXXX is usually 1,000+ but sometimes in the hundreds range.

I'm trying to undesrtand that alarm. As you see, free memory is high. So why would it need lots of virtual memory processing? Also, increasing RAM wouldn't be usefull.

Virtual Memory (pagefile.sys) is setup in drive C:. Initial size 2046 MB up to  4092MB. Available size in drive C: 5776 MB.

Some process (very probably those 40 users using the same foxpro exe) is causing this.

What do you think could be a solution? Increasing pagefile.sys size would help?
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before finding a solution, what is the problem. is the application slow ?

maybe the message just indicates the app does a lot of disks read and the virtual memory is used as a cache. other than that windows is known to use pagefile.sys when it does not need to. you can try and run your windows without a page file, but that probably will break other things, or with a small one, which is easier to set up.

most likely, if you have free ram and the app is slow, you had better focus on giving the application more ram through a parameter in the application itself, and also check for saturation when reading to or writing from the disk
The way I read it, the notice is telling data is moving from the swap file (virtual memory) to RAM (physical memory).  This is generally a good thing, for that data which is frequently accessed.

It seems like an odd thing to report on.  I could almost see reporting the opposite, but unless you're experiencing problems, I wouldn't worry about it.  It may just be the alarm threshold is set to a number that causes it to trigger frequently.
Avatar of miyahira


> before finding a solution, what is the problem. is the application slow ?
Yes, sometimes is very slow. That's why we are monitoring this server and find this issue.

> if you have free ram and the app is slow, you had better focus on giving the application more ram

Unfortunately, it's Foxpro, and as far as I read, it has a limitation: only 32-bits and will managed no more than 1 GB of memory. Besides, we only have exe file, not source code.

And if I increase size of pagefile.sys?
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thanks for accepting my answer, but some feedback would be welcome here : what actually helped ? did you find some way to improve the performance significantly ?
Yes, you are right. I should post what really happened.

It was nothing inside the server, but outside.

There are about 40 users (clients) connected to that server running a FoxPro program on that server. Each user or PC client is connected to that server through a logical unit or network drive N: and each user has Mcafee antivirus installed.

Mcafee was configured on each client to scan all disks on its PC at 3pm. At 3pm, 40 clients scanned its own drive C:, D:, and disk N:. So, 40 clients were scanning same disk of Server at the same time. That was why that server get extremely slow and get that kind of messages of page reading.

Once we realized what was the source, we changed that disk scanning time to 1pm (lunch time)
thanks for your feedback.
as a general rule, you can post a solution and accept your own in such cases

i'd strongly recommend you exclude network drives from your scans. they are completely pointless and likely to produce other problems including premature death of the server's disk. but you need antivirus software on the server itself.

best regards