what part of my computer is slow

I have Windows 7
MS Office 2010
I use MS Business Contact Manager 2010 w/ a SQL 2008 R2 file over 6gig.
I use Outlook 2010 synced with an exchange account that is over 26gig.
All data is local on my computer.

I want to purchase a new faster computer but I want to know what part to get faster.

What program can I use to see what part of my computer is slow and causing the pausing in MS Business Contact Manager?

I have called Microsoft about this and they said that they know about this issue and it happens with a few computers. There is no solution.

When the pausing occurs the:
CPU is not maxing out.
The RAM used is below the physical Maximum
and I use Microsoft Process Monitor to see the hard drive activity. I didn't see a terrible amount of activity when the pausing was concurring.
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Hey Leon, this is in no way the final answer to your question, but if you're looking to upgrade your system here's a good start.  

go to START
and right click on my computer and click 'properties'

run the Windows Experience Index.

It's a rating system for the major components of your computer on a scale of 1 to 7.9

Give that a run and see where it places you
Your bet is to leave the existing as is and treat it as a server while the system as your new workstation.
LeonGarfieldAuthor Commented:
Thanks coreconcepts, but that doesn't tell me what part of my computer is causing the pausing.

Thanks Arnold, but I said I was looking into getting a new computer. I want to know what part in my old computer is causing the pausing so I can get a better part in the new one.
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Sql server is a memory consumer. a 6GB DB means if your system has less than 8GB, queries to sql require swapping meaning memory has to be swapped to disk, and data from disk brought back into memory.
Is exchange also running on this system? Is outlook loaded 26Gb adds to memory swapping.
Exchange is also a high memory consumer.
Look at the properties of computer, advanced system settings, advanced, performance, advance, look at the suggestion for page file.

You are providing a partial picture of what your setup environment is.

Adding more memory will improve somewhat in general.

You can look at the resource tools within task manager to see what resources and by which application are consumed.
Paul SauvéRetiredCommented:
Click on the Start button, type Task Manager and select View running precesses with Task Manager... Now click on the Processes tab and sort by clicking on the Memory column. You will see which processes are taking up the most resources...
LeonGarfieldAuthor Commented:
I have 6gig RAM
With Outlook open Task Manager shows 3.38gig are being used with over 2.5gigs free.
The Process SQLSERVR.exe is using 1.179gigs

Exchange is being hosted by a 3rd party.
Microsoft Business Contact Manager is integrated in to Outlook and you use Outlook to access the BCM data.

searching for a contacts is quick. Opening an outlook contact is quick.
Opening a BCM contact can take between 25 to 40 seconds.

Page file Recommended is 8.83gigs, Currently Allocated is 5.88gigs

I was viewing the Resource Monitor when I opened a BCM contact. The Total Bytes/Sec (read and write) for sqlservr.exe peaked at 30,000B/Sec. That was the biggest number on the chart while opening a contact.

Sometimes when Outlook is just sitting sqlservr.exe and searchindexer.exe can jump to 400,000Total B/sec on disk activity

SQLservr.exe is always using 25% CPU, never more. The CPU never maxes out.

Any more pointers how to use Resource Monitor to view disk activity.
LeonGarfieldAuthor Commented:
It doesn't seem that there is a lot of disk activity for sqlservr.exe if the Resource Monitor shows only 30,000B/Sec for disk activity.

Is there a way to tell windows that sqlservr.exe should use more of the CPU. Maybe there is a settings that restricts it to a maximum of 25%.
You can use perfmon to collect system usage to then compare.

Memory, disk, sqlserver.
There are many examples search for sql server tunning performance monitor.

You will find perfmon counters to collect.
Here are some resources to help you determine what is going on within your system.


How many hard drives does your system have?
LeonGarfieldAuthor Commented:
I am using MS SQL 2008 Express ed.
According to wikipedia.com it is limited to using only 1gig of memory and one processor.

According to the Five Things That Fix Bad SQL Server Performance at http://www.brentozar.com/archive/2012/06/sql-server-poor-performance-checklist/

5) Upgrade to the newest version of SQL server.  Microsoft Upgraded me in the past to 2008 R2.
4) add more memory. My version of SQL server is limited to 1gig.
3) configure AntiVirus Exceptions, Kill unknown Processes. Done.
2) look in event log. I have no SQL events and I don't have a separate SQL log.
1) run their Script. I don't know how to do it.
Setup perfmon data collection adjusting the sampling frequency will expand the time for the data that can then be analyzed to determine when the spikes/slowdowns occur.

You have yet to define what is being done when you see system slowdown.

Your setup I.e. A workstation on which many things run with a single Harddrive will become sluggish when there are higher demand for disk access.

If you have 10 processes trying to access data on the disk, the system may appear sluggish even if the reported disk transfer is only 100bytes/sec I.e. Each process  needs 10 bytes of data read/write.

You can get the newest 8 core i7 with 24gb ram which will see a system performance improvement until the amount of data hits 24gb if possible with express version of sql 2008.
LeonGarfieldAuthor Commented:
At the time of opening a BCM Contact which would cause Outlook to pause, in performance monitor most of the time there were only 5 items listed for disk activity and there was very little happening with them. The biggest numbers was coming just from sqlservr.exe with 30,000B/sec.

After the paused stopped which is when the Contact opened, sometimes I would see sqlservr.exe and searchindexer.exe peak at 400,000B/sec. So during the Pause there was very little disk activity compared to after the pause.

Currently my CPU is not peaking, with sqlservr.exe itself never going beyond 25% CPU utilization.
How will getting a faster CPU and more RAM help if SQL Express edition only uses 1gig and I always have over 2gigs free.
Is there a way to tell SQLservr.exe to use more CPU utilization/

How do I setup data collection?
Ssmse properties of database, you can boost sql priority.
If your sql server is always at 25%, means it is always active.

You are approaching this issue from the wrong side
Properties of database, look at options for a recovery model, simple, full?  Full means transactions are logged and written to file.

There is a tool sqlio to test your drive capacity/performance
LeonGarfieldAuthor Commented:
This is beyond my capabilities to diagnose what is wrong with a SQL server.

I would like to close this question.
Based on the information it is rather difficult to point to an item and say that do this and you will have things fixed.

Generally speaking adding RAM improves performance.
If you think the issue with SQL and disk access, adding an SSD into the system and locating the databases on the SSD should improve the performance of the SQL.

How old is this system?
Are you looking to get a newer system or looking for marginal update/upgrades?
LeonGarfieldAuthor Commented:
The computer is over 4 years old, but the processor is amazing even according to today's newer ones. The ram is never maxed out. The system doesn't slow down when Outlook pauses. Just Outlook pauses.

I once had to call Microsoft to fix a problem with the SQL database. The technician said that the slowness of the Outlook BCM is a know issue that happens on some computers and they don't know why. Outlook pauses a LOT(a lot, a lot, a lot) I can't emphasize that enough. We were looking into getting a new computer but he said that they couldn't guarantee it would work better on it.
Perfmon is a good tool to diagnose issue, monitoring disk I/O, memory, processor , paging file usage. As well as network usage. Presumably, you are certain it is not an issue with your hosted exchange setup.

Get a samsung evo or Pro SSD, transfer the OS to the SSD, it will improve the bootup/shutdown speeds as well as any disk I/O performance.
If your outlook still freezes after this, your issue is likely the network.
It could also be your check mail setting being too frequent or too many accounts configured such that every so often the timing is such that outlook is trying to check all the accounts at the same time.
LeonGarfieldAuthor Commented:
We are using an Exchange account that is hosted by SherWeb.
That is the reason I pointed to network (yours or/and theirs) as a possible cause.
Bandwidth limiting I believe is available on a virtual exchange configuration.

Your option is either to try and identify the cause for the slowdown, or buy individual components that improve certain performances: increased ram, reduces paging.
SSD improves disk I/O performance.
If after these, you still experience the same issues, a possible explanation could be network or the available resources of your hosted exchange.
LeonGarfieldAuthor Commented:
This problem has been solved.

We contacted microsoft. Yhey said that we should only link a few hundrew contacts in BCM with the email folders. We were accidently linking over 2000 contacts. We exported all our contact data from BCM, created a new database,  imported our contacts and link just the contacts that we card to track.

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LeonGarfieldAuthor Commented:
contacted microsoft for help.
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