Saturday, July 19, 2008

High DPC CPU usage on ASUS R2H / Vista (2)

... and now without AVG Free 8.0 antivirus. I still don't know what is generating those spikes but things are looking better...

High DPC CPU usage on ASUS R2H / Vista (1)

Following a quick investigation using the DPC Latency Checker it looks like the culprit (or one of the them) is the ASUS WL-159G (Zydas ZD1211 chip) wireless driver. It was obvious when transfering large file over wireless, the more speed the more DPC CPU usage, going as high as 80%.

When idle / no transfers, the DPC latency checker showed yellow graph lines at around 1000 ┬Ás, with the ocasional 1-3% CPU usage.

Disabled the ASUS USB Wireless Network Adapter and you're in the green with a few yellow spikes.

I also found that the Airlink AWLL3026 drivers work fine with ASUS WL-159G device. Airlink has a newer driver for Vista - 04/20/2007, 2.0.2.2 - although this one doesn't change anything compared to previous driver I was using (version 2.0.0.130), it's good to know since ASUS doesn't seem to be updating drivers for this model anymore.

DPC Latency Checker

http://www.thesycon.de/deu/latency_check.shtml

Thesycon's DPC Latency Checker is a Windows tool that analyses the capabilities of a computer system to handle real-time data streams properly. It may help to find the cause for interruptions in real-time audio and video streams, also known as drop-outs. The program supports Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows XP x64, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 x64, Windows Vista, Windows Vista x64.

DPC Latency Checker for Windows 2000, XP, XP x64, Server 2003, Server 2003 x64, Vista, Vista x64

Download dpclat.exe V1.1 (310 KB)


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I found recently pretty high DPC CPU usage on my R2H with Vista when copying things onto external USB drives or copying file from it over wireless. This tool won't tell you much more than Process Explorer, although they do suggest a trial and error aproach to find the offending device driver. I believe RATTV3 doesn't work on Vista or I couldn't get any information from it anyways. I'll keep investigating this hopefully finding a fix soon...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

How to fix noisy computer fans with a drop of oil

While usually when a fan starts making a loud noise it means it's time for a new one, sometimes you want to extend it's life until you get a replacement without braking the bank - I remember I had to look for while a couple of years ago for a fan replacement for my Radeon 9600 XT card and I eventually found a Vantec Iceberq 4 on the web but it didn't come cheap at all. So now that that this one started to make a bit of noise, I wanted to make sure it keeps spinning for a bit longer.

I only discovered WD40 recently and I was so impressed with it that now I can hardly resist using it with anything really, but luckily I said it must be too good to be true and looking on the web I found this article on ZDNet explaining how computer fans work and what you should do.

Fix noisy computer fans with a drop of oil
http://news.zdnet.co.uk/hardware/0,1000000091,2135514-1,00.htm

Ask in your local hardware store for 3-in-1 oil or sewing machine oil. I found 100ml 3-in-1 oil made by the same WD40 company at 3.5 Euro at a my local Lenehans store.