Mar 31, 2014

What causes an increase in hard faults/sec in Windows?

When looking at the resource monitor on my Windows 7 PC, I see a lot of “hard faults/sec.” What is causing this and is it something to be concerned about? It certainly doesn’t sound like a good thing.

What are Hard Faults per Second?

"Are high CPU and hard drive utilization slowing your Windows PC to a crawl? You've started up "Resource Monitor" and are surprised at the number of "hard faults/sec" ticking by. Is this the bottleneck? What are hard faults per second anyway, and how many of them is too many?

Sluggish PC performance may have led you to start the Windows Resource Monitor from Task Manager or the Reliability and Performance Monitor from Administrative Tools in Control Panel. There, you observed a high utilization rate in both the CPU and the hard drive, and a section labeled "Memory" is showing dozens (or maybe) hundreds of hard faults per second. What are hard faults? Are they responsible for your PC's slow performance? How many of them are too many, and what can you do about it?"

They used to call it “page faults.” It’s not really an error. Software has requested an address and the page where it resides isn’t still in main memory. Usually it has been swapped to virtual memory, (hard drive or SSD) and the OS will swap it back from virtual memory to physical memory. If you are getting massive amounts of hard faults/sec, it is usually due to too little RAM.

Here is an older article that goes into much more detail if you are interested:



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