Guest OS gets extremely slow when I'm at home !?

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Guest OS gets extremely slow when I'm at home !?

Postby dli@altran.se » 20. Jun 2011, 19:38

Hello,

I am running Windows Server 2008 R2 in virtualbox on my Windows 7 64 bit host . This normally works fine when I'm at the office or elsewhere. However every time I get home and start up my virtual machine it is running extremely slow. It's even so slow that I type faster then the characters are printed on the screen and all CPU-related work seems to take forever. I develop software and write alot in Visual Studio so this performance issue of course makes it impossible to work properly. But it's not only the typing that is slow. Everything seems to be running very slowly no matter if I'm waitnig for the screen to update or non visual operation to finish.

Since this only occur when I'm at home I've been thinking this must be a network related problem somehow. However I cannot understand what it is that is causing this. It doesn't seem to care if I use WiFi or cable. The network IS working and I don't think it's very slow either even if I haven't tested that out completely. I'm using bridged network by the way.

I'm glad to provide more information on request and I would be tremendously happy if someone could help me out.

//David.
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Re: Guest OS gets extremely slow when I'm at home !?

Postby Sasquatch » 20. Jun 2011, 22:55

Mode of transport? You got from office to home, how exactly? Laptop with the VM, external hard drive with shared VDI, separate machines? VM settings the same? What does Taskmanager in the Guest say? What does Process Explorer say what is taking the CPU? VT-x/AMD-V available? I/O APIC on or off? There's plenty of information to give, please supply them.
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Re: Guest OS gets extremely slow when I'm at home !?

Postby dli@altran.se » 21. Jun 2011, 15:52

I am using the same computer at both locations, it's a Dell M4500 laptop. Intel I7 with 8 cores and 8GB memory. The VM is using 1 core and 5GB memory. Vt-x is enabled, so is Nested paging. wher do I find ifnromation about I/O APIC?

The process explorer doesn't say much of interest to me. I've studied it but can't really say that I see any pattern apart from the CPU being fully used by different processes (such as devenv.exe (=Visual Studio), w3wp.exe etc). All normal processes that I am running. If I kill them all the next process I start using will be the one to use all of the CPU. At least this is what I remember. I realize that I obviously I haven't done very deep analysing of the processes.

Since it's so obvious that the problems occur instantly when I get home and no where else (not at my office or when plugged in to any of our customers' networks) I figured it had something to do with my network connection at home. Though I have tried 2 different routers and actually also two different internet providers (I recently switched both provider and equipment).
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Re: Guest OS gets extremely slow when I'm at home !?

Postby Sasquatch » 21. Jun 2011, 20:57

To rule out the network, disconnect the Host from any network (unplug cables, turn off wifi) and start the VM. See how that goes, do you get the same behaviour? If you don't, then create the same situation at home, so no network connection at all on the Host. Still fine? Then it is something in the network at home that somehow causes this.
If you get issues the moment you try anything on the VM while at the office, but stops when you reconnect the Host to the network, then you know that it's looking for something on your corporate network and if it can't find it, it goes nuts. Do a thorough check of the system for any processes and services running in the background that aren't from MS. Ask your system admin for any help, maybe it's something that's company policy to have and causes this behaviour when it can't call home.

Ps, you don't have 8 cores, you have 4 physical cores and 4 virtual ones due to hyperthreading on the CPU ;).
Read the Forum Posting Guide before opening a topic.
VirtualBox FAQ: Check this before asking questions.
Online User Manual: A must read if you want to know what we're talking about.
Howto: Install Linux Guest Additions
Howto: Use Shared Folders on Linux Guest
See the Tutorials and FAQ section at the top of the Forum for more guides.
Try searching the forums first with Google and add the site filter for this forum.
E.g. install guest additions site:forums.virtualbox.org

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Re: Guest OS gets extremely slow when I'm at home !?

Postby dli@altran.se » 23. Jun 2011, 17:20

Yesterday I travelled by train for 3 hours and during this time I had no network connection. I even disabled the WiFi. Everything worked perfectly. If this problem is network related I doubt my computer is looking for resources on our corporate network. I doubt it because I'm not having any problems when I plug into any of our customers networks and they have as little access to our corporate network as my home network has.

However I will try to investigate this further when I get home again today. One thing that struck me is that it might be a power supply issue. I do use a different power adapter at home with less watts. Maybe that casuses the CPU to degrade in speed somehow? What do you think about that?

I will update again when I've got more information. I really hope I can come to a conclusion with this since it's really hard to work at home when everything is so slow.
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Re: Guest OS gets extremely slow when I'm at home !?

Postby Sasquatch » 23. Jun 2011, 20:52

I have a laptop that came with a 90 watt adapter. When I connect a 65 watt adapter and boot it, I get a warning that a low performance adapter is attached and will decrease performance of the hardware. So yes, it is the adapter that's most likely causing the issue.
Read the Forum Posting Guide before opening a topic.
VirtualBox FAQ: Check this before asking questions.
Online User Manual: A must read if you want to know what we're talking about.
Howto: Install Linux Guest Additions
Howto: Use Shared Folders on Linux Guest
See the Tutorials and FAQ section at the top of the Forum for more guides.
Try searching the forums first with Google and add the site filter for this forum.
E.g. install guest additions site:forums.virtualbox.org

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Re: Guest OS gets extremely slow when I'm at home !?

Postby ml81 » 2. Jul 2011, 14:10

Thank God I'm not alone. I have the EXACT same problem! Right now I'm at my friend's house, trying to work, but it's impossible. Constantly 100% CPU usage on guest OS (Windows Server 2008 R2).

I'm using a Lenovo W510. This laptop too comes with a high wattage adapter which I'm using at work and at home. When I'm "on the road" I have a smaller (90 W) adapter. I've so far believed that this is a network related problem, as I'm always connecting to the office's Team Foundation Server. That theory doesn't really add upp though (I have not tried disabling the network adapters).

Just as in your case, the CPU load is always related to whatever process is running at the moment. Just now, the taskmgr.exe at my guest OS is running at approx. 80% CPU. This is not very likely.

Interesting is though, that yesterday I managed to work for a couple of hours at this very place. The only difference then, was that I started up my computer (hibernated) on battery power only, plugging in the adapter an hour later. This morning I connected the adapter first, then turned on the computer, getting the low wattage performance warning att boot-up. If this is of any importance, that would mean that the adapter is doing us a disservice when plugged in att boot-up. Interesting ...

My next approach is to boot on battery power again, and se if that makes any difference. I'll let you know!
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Re: Guest OS gets extremely slow when I'm at home !?

Postby ml81 » 5. Jul 2011, 14:26

Yepp, it works! When I boot up without power supply, attaching it later on, the performance is fine. That's an interesting "bug". I'm replacing my travel adapter with a real 135W one though.
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Re: Guest OS gets extremely slow when I'm at home !?

Postby burnin240sx » 25. Jul 2011, 20:45

I can confirm this as well. I'm running a Lenovo W510 i7 with 16GB of ram on Ubuntu 11.04 with windows 7-64bit as the guest and it was dog slow. I checked and I was using the 90w power adapter. I swapped it with the 135w and it's running like a champ now.
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