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Windows 7 C drive almost full and lagging, RAM issue?

PostPosted: 7. Aug 2019, 10:27
by WelshMatt983
Hi guys I have a 27" iMac and have windows 7 installed on virtual box however my c drive is almost full and and some windows based software I use becomes laggy. I am using up a high percentage of RAM as I checked on activity monitor, would this likely be the problem?

I don't have a lot of programs installed on windows VM, I tried an "AVG tune up" free trial and cleared up a small amount of free space and the lag went away, I was just wondering if you thought that not enough RAM could be the issue?

Re: Windows 7 C drive almost full and lagging, RAM issue?

PostPosted: 7. Aug 2019, 14:00
by scottgus1
RAM & disk space are two different things.

Virtualbox eventually takes up all the RAM that you have set for your guest in the guest settings. If you set the guest to 4GB, it will eventually consume 4GB from your host. So large RAM usage is always seen with a Virtualbox guest.

If the C drive of a Windows OS is almost full, the OS will get laggy. Even my Widows 10 tablet gets laggy when I'm down to a few hundred MB left. Soon as I clear a couple GB off the disk, it gets peppy again.

Either uninstall & delete stuff from the Windows guest or use Mpack's CloneVDI tool to increase the size of your guest's drive file so you have more room, provided there's room available on your host disk.

Re: Windows 7 C drive almost full and lagging, RAM issue?

PostPosted: 7. Aug 2019, 14:58
by mpack
It may also be that the Windows VM is not tuned for best performance on your PC.

I'd be able to tell if I had a VM log. With the VM fully shut down, right click and "Show Log" in the GUI, save "VBox.log" (no other file) to a zip, and attach the zip here.

Re: Windows 7 C drive almost full and lagging, RAM issue?

PostPosted: 7. Aug 2019, 15:41
by WelshMatt983
Hi thanks for your reply, I will attach it here, hopefully I have done it correctly!

Re: Windows 7 C drive almost full and lagging, RAM issue?

PostPosted: 7. Aug 2019, 16:45
by mpack
00:00:01.701762 Host RAM: 8192MB (8.0GB) total, 3638MB (3.5GB) available
...
00:00:01.807402 RamSize <integer> = 0x0000000100000000 (4 294 967 296, 4 096 MB, 4.0 GB)
00:00:01.807690 VRamSize <integer> = 0x0000000003000000 (50 331 648, 48 MB)

You allocated RAM you don't have. Reduce VM RAM to 2048MB. Increase graphics RAM to 128MB.

00:00:01.807400 NumCPUs <integer> = 0x0000000000000001 (1)
...
00:00:01.978634 CPUM: Physical host cores: 4

Modern Windows will perform poorly if only given one core. Your host has capacity, so set this to 2.

00:00:22.612411 Display::i_handleDisplayResize: uScreenId=0 pvVRAM=0000000119f23000 w=2560 h=1290 bpp=32 cbLine=0x2800 flags=0x1 origin=0,0

That's a large display size. Each frame would require 13.2MB, so 48MB VRAM was definitely low. You might consider reducing screen dimensions to half of this, but with a x2 scale factor.

00:00:02.493995 GUI: 2D video acceleration is disabled
00:00:01.807685 3DEnabled <integer> = 0x0000000000000000 (0)

Both 2D and 3D acceleration is disabled. Depending on what you use the VM for, you might find it beneficial to enable 2D acceleration, or 2D+3D acceleration. With 3D acceleration enabled you can also increase VRAM to 256MB.

00:00:01.951890 AHCI: LUN#0: disk, PCHS=16383/16/63, total number of sectors 52428800

That's a hard disk size of around 25GB. A tad small for Win7. Be aware that if the drive is congested then that can cause fragmentation and lowered drive performance: though this is not so much a problem is the drive is located on a host SSD. Of course it is also easier to run out of space, which is what your warning messages may be about.

That should be enough for you to look at for now.

Re: Windows 7 C drive almost full and lagging, RAM issue?

PostPosted: 7. Aug 2019, 17:41
by WelshMatt983
[removed verbatim quote of previous post]

Thank you for taking time to look into this for me, however I am a bit of a novice...

Reduce VM RAM to 2048MB... is this System>Motherboard>Base Memory?

Increase graphics to 128MB... is this Display>Screen>Video Memory?

Not quite sure how to set host core to 2?... Is this Display>Screen>Monitor Count?

Not sure how to reduce screen dimensions? I can see scale factor set at 200%, I think I had to do this as my screen was tiny?

I have enabled 2D and 3D. (I actually managed to do something!)

Sorry to a pain but if you could just clear up the above would be much appreciated, I only have basic knowledge of this stuff.

Re: Windows 7 C drive almost full and lagging, RAM issue?

PostPosted: 7. Aug 2019, 18:06
by mpack
There's no need to quote entire previous posts - though my prose is admittedly wonderful, I don't think visitors need to see it twice. I modified your post to remove this.

Yes, VM RAM == System|Motherboard|Base memory.

Yes, graphics RAM == Display|Screen|Video memory.

Set host cores to 2 == System | Processor | Processor(s).

You change the dimensions of a guest display (in pixels) from inside the guest. For a Win7 guest that means Control Panel | Appearance and Personalization | Display | Screen Resolution. Scale factor is configured in the VM settings: Display|Screen|Scale Factor. You can also change display dimensions by dragging the VM window edges. Bear in mind that if you configure a 200% scale factor then guest display pixels correspond to 2x2 pixel tiles on the host. I.e. you are reducing definition in order to gain performance. With your humungous (for a VM) display this is very likely to be a good idea.

Re: Windows 7 C drive almost full and lagging, RAM issue?

PostPosted: 7. Aug 2019, 18:47
by WelshMatt983
To be honest ideally the bigger the screen the better for me, I'm not too bothered about graphics but like a large screen for the software I use.

I don't have a lot of programs on the windows guest, firefox is taking up most space it is in the gigantic category and 171MB.

So would it be worth me doing the Mpack's CloneVDI tool to increase guest drives file as someone suggested earlier?

Also but I double my RAM from 8gb to 16gb do you think I will notice much difference in your opinion?

Re: Windows 7 C drive almost full and lagging, RAM issue?

PostPosted: 7. Aug 2019, 19:05
by mpack
WelshMatt983 wrote:To be honest ideally the bigger the screen the better for me, I'm not too bothered about graphics but like a large screen for the software I use.

? The screen size would not change, only the resolution. You halve the pixel dimensions and double the scaling for a net size change of zero. VM graphics performance should drastically improve since it's only having to move a quarter of the pixels. And btw, you are using a graphics oriented guest so you do care about graphics performance even if you don't know it.

WelshMatt983 wrote:So would it be worth me doing the Mpack's CloneVDI tool to increase guest drives file as someone suggested earlier?

If you really are running out of space in the guest drive then certainly you might want to try my CloneVDI tool. Back up your VM folder first.

WelshMatt983 wrote:Also but I double my RAM from 8gb to 16gb do you think I will notice much difference in your opinion?

You will notice that the host has more RAM, which would allow you to give more to the guest. HOWEVER, 2GB in my opinion is already plenty for a Win7-32bit guest. If you are running Windows apps that are especially RAM hungry then I wouldn't have created a 32bit VM!

Re: Windows 7 C drive almost full and lagging, RAM issue?

PostPosted: 7. Aug 2019, 20:26
by WelshMatt983
[vertbatim quote deleted]

I'd like to do the CloneVDI tool to increase guest drive but seems a bit above my head unless you know of anyone that's done a youtube dummy's guide for it?! :lol:

My C drive says 2.34GB free of 24.8GB.

When I bring up task manager and click on performance it says...

Physical memory (MB)
Total: 2047
Cached: 1224
Available: 1335
Free: 173

Re: Windows 7 C drive almost full and lagging, RAM issue?

PostPosted: 7. Aug 2019, 21:10
by scottgus1
It's easy, actually. These instructions assume your guest's drive file has a .vdi extension. If it does not, let us know.

Be sure the guest is fully shut down from within the guest OS, not save-stated. If you have any snapshots, please let us know before proceeding.

For Source, browse to the guest's drive file.
The Destination will fill out so the clone of the guest drive forms in the same folder as the source.

Check "Keep old UUID"

Check "Increase virtual drive size to", and enter how big you want the drive to be. Be sure you have enough space on the host's physical drive to store that new size drive. (The new drive will not be that size to start, but it may get that big one day.)

Might as well click "Compact drive while copying" too.

Click Proceed.

When CloneVDI says it's done, close CloneVDI.

Go to the guest's folder where the source drive file is. You will also see the new drive file there. It will proably be smaller, that's IOK, that's the compacting. It will get bigger, up to the size you picked.

Change the source drive file's name to something else, then change the new drive file's name to the source file's name, like this:

MyDrive.vdi > OldMyDrive.vdi
Clone of MyDrive.vdi > MyDrive.vdi

Your guest will still be looking for the old drive name and the old drive UUID, the new drive is now called by the old drive's name, and it has the same UUID.

Start the guest.

Re: Windows 7 C drive almost full and lagging, RAM issue?

PostPosted: 7. Aug 2019, 21:21
by WelshMatt983
[and again!]

Thanks, I have no idea if I have a .VDI extension and when you say browse to guests drive file do you mean go to Settings>Storage? Then inside there has VBOX1.vdi and below it VBoxGuestAddtitions.iso?

Re: Windows 7 C drive almost full and lagging, RAM issue?

PostPosted: 7. Aug 2019, 21:28
by scottgus1
When you click the Browse button at the end of the Source line, it does not go into Virtualbox guest settings. It goes to your folders. Find the guest folder, then click the guest disk file, apparenty called VBOX1.vdi. This is normal PC usage.

Google for how to make your PC show extensions.

Re: Windows 7 C drive almost full and lagging, RAM issue?

PostPosted: 7. Aug 2019, 21:46
by WelshMatt983
Sorry I'm confused, I have my Mac and Windows Guest, so I navigate to the VBOX1 folder on my mac, I've gone into it and contains Logs folder, Snapshots folder then VBOX1.vbox VBOX1.vbox-prev and also VBOX1.vdi file, is this what you mean?

Re: Windows 7 C drive almost full and lagging, RAM issue?

PostPosted: 8. Aug 2019, 18:51
by WelshMatt983
It seems other mac users are having the same problems I see in another thread, looks like its to do with retina models and if you put scale factor to 200% so fits screen programs seem to become laggy.