High Levels of Hard Faults Per Second
Has your PC been very slow lately? If you have tried everything you could and your PC still doesn’t show any sign of speeding up, you should try starting Windows Research Monitor using the Task Manager. Or open Reliability and Performance Monitor using the Administrative Tools from the Control Panel.
Here, check the utilization rate in the CPU and the hard drive. Pay attention to the section called “Memory”. It shows something called “hard faults/Sec”.
Is it a particularly high number?
Does it show hundreds of hard faults per second?
Then you have every reason to be worried.
But what are hard faults anyway? And how many hard faults per second are too many? Is there a way to bring this number down? We discuss this and more in this article. Keep reading!
What are Hard Faults?
In the older versions of Windows, hard faults were called as page faults. Hard faults are said to happen when an address in the memory of a program or that of a part of a program is not present in the main memory anymore, but has been swapped out to the paging file (hence the old name “page fault”).
When this happens the PC works harder looking for the memory on the hard disk. When hard faults happen on a regular basis, they slow down the computer and lead to an overuse of the hard disk. When this happens often, this leads to a serious bout of hard disk thrashing and the program simply stops responding. The hard drive though continues to run for as long as possible. This is a serious problem for the PC and could cause it to behave sluggishly.
Why are Hard Faults Caused?
Hard faults are not usual in today’s PCs that come with such large memories. They were a problem in the past when PCs had limited memories and hard drive thrashing was a common occurrence because of issues with getting into the page file.
This problem does not happen as regularly as it did in the past, but if you have an old computer with limited resources, which still runs on an older version of Windows such as Vista, hard faults can be a frequent occurrence.
The problem arises when you have too many programs running at the same time and when the programs read data to and from the hard disk on a continuous basis. When this happens, it is a hard fault. If you have dozens of hard faults per second or even hundreds of hard faults per second, that’s too many of them, and you should be concerned for sure.
A high number of hard faults and a high disk activity are often a consequence of not having enough RAM installed. You can solve the problem of hard faults and hard disk thrashing easily by having more RAM installed on your computer. We talk about this next.
How to solve the problem of Hard Faults?
To solve the problem of hard faults, you may want to try moving a swap file – pagefile.sys – to another internal hard drive. By this we mean a separate hard drive, not just another partition of the same hard drive.
his would allow Windows to access the page file faster, avoids the problem of the programs on the PC trying to read the data from the hard drive continuously. The page file should be large enough, at least a little larger than the RAM that has been installed.
The other solution, and a simpler one, is to install more RAM in the computer. The reason hard faults are not a common problem with new computers is that they have more than adequate RAM, ranging from 4 GB to 8 GB. You should try to get more RAM installed on your old computer, that will certainly have the effect of speeding it up.