[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: virtualbox just became slow

On 11/11/11 00:41, Steve Kleene wrote:
> On Tue, 8 Nov 2011 12:54:11 +0000 (UTC), I wrote:
>>> I've been happily running a virtualbox Windows XP machine (VM) on
>>> a Wheezy host for eight months.  However, the VM just became
>>> pathologically slow.  For example, if I boot the VM, call
>>> Photoshop 6, and open a small JPG, it all works but takes several
>>> minutes.  During much of this time the XP Task Manager pins at
>>> 100% CPU usage,
> On Thu, 10 Nov 2011 10:22:14 +1100, Scott Ferguson replied:
>> What process?
> When CPU usage gets to ~100%, the process that hogs all remaining
> memory is Photoshop or Illustrator, whichever I'm testing.

Get a metric on that, and compare it to the VM that's not running dog
slow. You need to rule out various factors until you find the
problem.... ie. prove it.
You might also consider learning the GIMP/Draw/Inkscape way of
graphics. All of which run better under Debian ;-)

> The next larger processes are there on the healthy machine too
> (svchost.exe 16 MB, explorer.exe 17 MB).

Which seems normal/usual.

>> Debian/VirtualBox - check dmesg[*1] and VirtualBox log for
>> relevant messages. The VirtualBox log is accessible via the GUI
>> Manager => Machine => Show Log. You don't say what sort of
>> VirtualBox disk system you use.
> I haven't had a chance to check this yet but will.
>> Windoof - how much free space does your virtual drive have, when
>> did you last defrag, what filesystem, how big is the Windoof swap,
>> have you put a sniffer on the virtual NIC, what does Windoof show
>> as chewing the most resources?
> Sorry, I meant to mention that there's 8 GB of free disk space on c:.
> I have never defragged it.

So every read involves a game of hide and seek in the Pacific Ocean? :-)
Windoof is a sloppy OS - it simulates disk speed by writing were ever
the head (virtual in this case) happens to be at the time. This makes
writes quick, but reads (increasingly) slow.

The increasing fragmentation and the growing swap file (page file) are
built-in obsolescence tools that ensure you'll upgrade. Defrag regularly
(or move to a proper OS like Debian) and boot up with a Live Debian CD
every month and delete the swap file. Windoof will still keep building
it's cruft collection (registry, tmp, and restore points) but you can
slow the loss of performance.

You should also continually reconsider whether you need Windoof :-)
There's very little Photoshop and Illustrator can do that can't be done
with Debian packages, and done better with less resources.
Disclaimer - I only run Windoof VMs as a reference for moving users and
apps from Windoof to Debian. Physical2Virtual then replace Physical
Windoof with PhysicalDebian.

>  I almost never connect to the Internet
> with it.

Does Photoshop/Illustrator phone home? Do any of the plugins?....

>> One suggestion is to export (as an appliance) one of the slow 
>> VirtualMachines from your slow host and import it into your faster
>> host - then compare apples with apples. I'd also suggest you
>> temporarily disable the virtual NIC to rule out Windoof network
>> activity as the problem.
> Good idea.  I just brought up the VM (xpvm.vdi + my two home vbox 
> directories) from my sick installation on the other host, and it ran
> OK there.  (I had to delete a network printer that it would not have
> found on the other host; I can display the printer's properties on
> the sick machine.) So I don't believe the problem is in the VM
> itself.  I'm not sure how to disable the NIC (unless just yanking the
> ethernet cable will suffice).

>From the VirtualBox GUI under the machine properties.

> I'll check the logs tonight.  Thanks.


Iceweasel/Firefox extensions for finding answers to Debian questions:-

Reply to: