1. #1

    Performance Analyzer: Question mark in Function collumn

    When I run WPA, I get Wdf01000.sys showing as the worst DPC/ISR offender. I understand it's usually some other driver that's causing the issue. However, I can't seem to find what's causing the interrupts because in the function column is listed "?", with no other info. See screen capture. How do I get WPA to show what's actually disrupting wdf01000.sys?

    Performance Analyzer: Question mark in Function collumn-wdf01000-function-jpg


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  2. #2

    Re: Performance Analyzer: Question mark in Function collumn

    Hi again

    I think I still have your last trace (from your first post), I'll load it in tomorrow & see if I can duplicate your results. My first guess is that the question mark might mean that no extra parameters have been loaded to sort that column with (options might show up if you click on the down-arrow in that box).

    In the meantime, I'll paste in here some tips I just posted for yet another sufferer of audio troubles, so you can start trying a few of them while waiting for me to have a look at the trace....
    _______________
    SSDs
    Since SSDs are dropping in price and growing in size, I've lately been recommending that the worst-offending audio-pop suffering programs/games be installed onto the SSD. Windows doesn't take up all that much room, and neither do a few games (you can still keep "saved games" and other non-demanding software installed to a larger "spinning" hard drive, along with your photo, music, and video collections).

    SATA ports
    Some users who haven't seen any improvement by means of updating drivers have had success by altering their SATA port usage. A recent thread here concerns a system where the audio stuttering was helped by unplugging a DVD SATA drive (...and our tech Cluberti was nice enough to help explain why) ... The last few posts are where you will see mention of the SATA ports (and the nature of USB polling & the effect on latencies) .... Here's a link to that thread:
    High DPC Latency or pagefaults - Fresh Install - USBPORT.SYS and others.

    Hard Pagefaults
    For the high hard pagefaults, it can help to:
    1) Limit startup processes that you don't need
    2) Limit Windows-Updates file-sharing (in Settings > Updates and security > Windows Update > Advanced Options > Choose how updates are delivered > turn off "updates from more than one place" - that will limit unnecessary background network activity)
    3) Limit the amount of "telemetry" (data sent to Microsoft ... choose the "Basic" option in Settings > Privacy > Feedback & Diagnostics ... and you can try "Never" as your "Feedback Frequency" while testing your latency issues)
    4) Limit any Notifications that you don't need or want (Settings > System > Notifications & actions
    5) Turn off "Live" tiles on your Start Menu (to limit unnecessary background updating of any information you don't want or need)
    6) Uninstall any Windows "Universal" apps that you don't want or need (Settings > System > Apps & features -- click the app you wish to uninstall) ... and for those that you don't want, but can't uninstall (some of the built-in apps) - you can still keep them from starting unwanted services (in Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Services) or startup modules (in Task Manager > Startup tab)

    Drivers
    You mentioned that you've updated most drivers. Did you already get the latest 368.39 Nvidia driver? If yes, did you install it using the "custom" option, and the "clean install" option? If not, try that.... you might also see if your want or need all of the background Nvidia services that come with the latest drivers, many as part of the "Nvidia GeForce Experience" - which you can choose to install or not when you choose the "custom" install method. Here's a guide that has some details on the background services installed along with the Nvidia drivers, it might help you decide if you can do without some of them:
    Disable NVIDIA Streamer Service and other NVIDIA processes - gHacks Tech News

    Antivirus
    Some users find that certain modules of their antivirus program can have a rough affect on their audio quality. For some, it is especially noticeable when using the third-party firewall. You can try reverting to using just the Windows firewall, or to turn off a feature in the third-party firewall that blocks port scans (since most routers/modems/gateways have built-in port scanning blocking, it doesn't necessarily lower your defenses, since your hardware provides the service).

    See if any of this helps

  3. #3

    Re: Performance Analyzer: Question mark in Function collumn

    Thanks so much, OldGrayGary! I should mention that I since my first trace, I removed a big culprit, which was the onboard USB 3.1 driver (ASMedia USB3.1 controller). That helped immensely. I've upload the newer trace (pictured above) that depicts wdf01000.sys as a culprit here: Dropbox - Recent CPU.zip

    Thank you for those links. I can check all of those items off. I apologize this is such a beaten to death issue. I truly did look through old posts as best I could.

    Computer specs: Windows 10 Pro 64bit, Steinburg UR44 interface (Yamaha driver), Intel i7 5820K at 4.0ghz, MSI X99A Gaming 7 mobo, 32gb RAM (DDR4 at 2133 mhz), MSI GTX 960 2GD5T 2GB, 512GB Samsung 950 Pro m.2 SSD (project/system drive), Samsung 850 EVO SATA SSD (sample libraries)

  4. #4

    Re: Performance Analyzer: Question mark in Function collumn

    Hi again

    Sorry for the long delay ... a little tidal wave of tasks hit the OldGray beach! (local repairs)

    I'm just loading in the two traces ... I'll check back in bit.

  5. #5

    Re: Performance Analyzer: Question mark in Function collumn

    Okay ... I finally looked at both traces, and I'm going to guess that the biggest trouble might be with high hard pagefaults rather than with high latency. The latencies (DPC counts) and the interrupts (ISR counts) didn't look too terribly awful.

    Just to see, if you download, install, and run the latest version of Resplendence Software's "Latency Monitor" program (versions 6.5 and later are Windows 10 compatible) ... see if you can post a graph of the latency/interrupt/hard pagefault counts. It can also generate sorted lists of processes by their latency, interrupt, and hard pagefault counts (so you'd have three separate lists, with the results sorted with the highest counts on top) .... I'd be especially interested to see what processes are high in the hard pagefault list.

    It rather amazes me that we have any audio/video glitches at all these days ... with the M2 drives and latest SSDs paired with DDR4 memory and the latest i7 cpus! There is so much processing power and performance in place. Crazy, huh!

    My usual suspects are drivers (very glad that you dealt with the ASMedia USB 3.1 driver ... I keep forgetting about that one from time to time ... my senior tech moments....) It would seem that USB devices and their drivers are proving quite troublesome when involved in audio. I'd expect that as USB 3 devices and drivers mature, perhaps the audio artifacts from bottlenecks should start to go away.

    For the hard pagefault troubles - I think Windows 10 carries on a lot in the background: far too much, really, for my tastes. By default there is an awful lot of nonsense constantly running that doesn't run on most other versions of Windows [the nonsense started - for the most part - with Windows 8]. And the jump in system resource usage when Indexing, Superfetch, "Telemetry", etc. kick in .. Ugh. I feel like were back in the Vista days, when all the techs were following "Black Viper's" lead, and limiting the unnecessary services (a tech with the online name Black Viper posted guides for the services - with info on the default settings, and alternatives and options for optimizing for performance).

    Let's see what the latest graphs and lists show us.

  6. #6

    Re: Performance Analyzer: Question mark in Function collumn

    Thanks, Gary! Here are my screen captures and report Dropbox - Sysnative
    And of course, while running LatencyMon, I could only get it to drop pop/click slightly. There doesn't seem to be many pagefaults either, and it looks like is Vienna Ensemble Pro (which I can't do much about). So you're right, latency seems to be looking pretty good! That being said, I'd hate to chase down the magic unicorn of perfection. I currently seem to get the occasional dropout I get when running a project at 128 sample size. Annoying when it happens, but honestly it's pretty good really! Now, I'm not running a fully-loaded film project yet, so time will tell....

    It rather amazes me that we have any audio/video glitches at all these days ... with the M2 drives and latest SSDs paired with DDR4 memory and the latest i7 cpus! There is so much processing power and performance in place. Crazy, huh!
    I think this is what's frustrating so many people. They get a brand new system with Win10, and sometimes their performance is worse. I noticed the forum is just flooded with people having latency issues! I'll try to help if I can.

    For the hard pagefault troubles - I think Windows 10 carries on a lot in the background: far too much, really, for my tastes. By default there is an awful lot of nonsense constantly running that doesn't run on most other versions of Windows [the nonsense started - for the most part - with Windows 8]. And the jump in system resource usage when Indexing, Superfetch, "Telemetry", etc. kick in .. Ugh. I feel like were back in the Vista days, when all the techs were following "Black Viper's" lead, and limiting the unnecessary services (a tech with the online name Black Viper posted guides for the services - with info on the default settings, and alternatives and options for optimizing for performance).
    I really didn't want to upgrade to Win10 for this reason. But, well, I decided I'd have to do it eventually. No sense in letting my software get outdated

  7. #7

    Re: Performance Analyzer: Question mark in Function collumn

    Hi again

    Thanks for sending along the latest graphs and lists. The numbers reflect your latest "by ear" real-world experiences ... nothing hugely awful jumps out to say "I'm the culprit!".... I don't bet much (nearly never) ... but if I had to bet, I'm still thinking of driver issues -- with the background processes as a likely contributor now and then.

    Previous Version of Windows .... and your permanent "digital entitlement" to upgrade to Windows 10 (again) at any time in the future
    It sounds like you had an earlier version of Windows installed on your computer. If so:
    1) Click on the Windows 10 Start Menu icon
    2) Select Settings
    3) Select Update and security
    4) Select Activation
    You will notice in the space to the right: your version of Windows, it's activation status, and a section for "Product Key". Since you have upgraded the computer from a previous version (or used the previous version's product key during a clean install of 10), you should see the following text: "Windows 10 on this device is activated with a digital entitlement". What that means is that you are entitled to run Windows 10 on your current hardware indefinitely [you no longer have to worry about the July 29 2016 deadline anymore]. Your hardware and your Microsoft account are now saved on the Microsoft Activation servers. As far as I know, I believe that status stays indefinitely (rather like your old product keys would).

    So you can return to your Previous Version of Windows and enjoy glitch free audio quality, and then ... in that shining bright future when drivers for Windows 10 become ubiquitous & stable ... you can upgrade to whatever version of Windows 10 is then available. Not bad, huh?

    And, if it has been less than 30 days since you upgraded to Windows 10, you can return to your glitch free Previous Version with just a few clicks:
    1) Click on the Windows 10 Start Menu icon
    2) Select Settings
    3) Select Update and security
    4) Select Recovery
    5) Select Go Back to Windows 8.1 (or Windows 8, or Windows 7 .... whichever version you had previously)

    Windows 7 will continue to get Security Updates until January 14, 2020. Windows 8.1 will continue to get Security Updates until January 10, 2023. If new software or features don't prove compelling enough, there's not much keeping folks who enjoy a better experience with Windows 7 or 8.1 to keep on keeping on ... using the best choice for their needs.

    The one caveat about returning to the Previous Version ... you'll want to use something like GWX Control Panel to keep the constant nagging to upgrade to Windows 10 from driving you nuts. But it's so easy to use GWX Control Panel to block the ads for Windows 10, this is really a non-issue.

    Advanced Tools for Audio/Video Professionals

    I think for general use computer users, Windows 10 is good enough right now. In certain areas, though ... especially those in media productions (audio/visual - everything from music work, ad work, presentations work to high-end video production) - for these, Windows 10 is still a bit rough around the edges, and is causing problems for some professionals.

    There are new tools from Microsoft for audio/video professionals (... and I briefly tried my hand at trying to learn and use a few of them -- but soon felt I didn't have the time or depth of specialized professional training to fully appreciate the power of the tools). If you have audio engineering chops in your background, here are some links to those specialized tools:
    Download Media eXperience Analyzer from Official Microsoft Download Center
    DefragTools #149 - Media eXperience Analyzer part 1 | Defrag Tools | Channel 9
    Defrag Tools #15 - Media eXperience Analyzer part 2: Video Playback Power Saving - YouTube
    Defrag Tools #151 - Media eXperience Analyzer part 3: Audio Glitch Analysis | Defrag Tools | Channel 9

    .... there are actually quite a bit more training tutorials for the Media eXperience toolset, you can easily track more of them down with your favorite search engine.

    As a literature major in college, I knew from the engineering jargon flying by that I was soon out of my league! :)
    _______________

    We had a fairly large bunch of Windows Updates released on Tuesday (June 14th) ... if you haven't already installed them, give them a go. Quite a few fixes for things in there (though I didn't notice any specifically for audio).

    Cheers!

  8. #8

    Re: Performance Analyzer: Question mark in Function collumn

    Thanks for all the help, Gary! Turns out, I was one of the few suckers who actually bought Win10. I made a new build and didn't have a full install disc (and couldn't find one anywhere) of Win7, and here I am, married to 10 forever!
    I will try out the MXA. I haven't heard of that before and am curious to see what it can do.

    I think things are working well enough for now. Thanks again for being so helpful. When or if you're in Denver, I will buy you a beer!

  9. #9

    Re: Performance Analyzer: Question mark in Function collumn

    Well, hopefully things will get better over time! [...and Denver is a pretty nice spot for a good beer ... my step-brother-in-law is an audio engineer up in Aspen during their summer music festivals]

    And ... if Windows 10 takes a turn for the worse ... I believe you might well have downgrade rights as a purchaser of Windows 10 (and the Windows 7 & 8.1 downloads are available from Microsoft directly - last time I looked). Here's an article about downgrade rights:
    Downgrade rights for Windows 1 – licensing how-to - Windows 1 - Spiceworks

    And ... I believe your "digital entitlement" to your currently activated Windows 10 remains in force indefinitely (so you could reinstall Windows 10 at some point in the future at no extra expense).

    Cheers

  10. #10

    Re: Performance Analyzer: Question mark in Function collumn

    I didn't know I had "downgrade rights". Once again, good to know!

    Also, any chance your step-brother-in-law needs an intern or apprentice? My good friend is looking for an internship.

  11. #11

    Re: Performance Analyzer: Question mark in Function collumn

    Hi again

    He's never had an intern or apprentice before, but I can ask him - I'll send you a PM if anything comes up. I believe the Aspen Music festival itself does hire interns for the festival, that's where my step brother in law got his start ... then they hired him after graduating with his audio engineering degree (not sure if that's the exact name for it!) ... The summer gig is about two months, I think... (my wife and I went to see it once, quite a few years back).

    You know, just for fun, I think I'll look to see if there is a forum for music professionals ... and see what they use with their equipment. I know my step brother in law uses Pro Tools on a Mac usually, but he has other devices as well (including a bunch of synthesizers - he's a whiz on the keyboard ... writes some music of his own, too) ... If I find a forum that helps with info for audio troubles, I'll post it here.

    Cheers

  12. #12

    Re: Performance Analyzer: Question mark in Function collumn

    Sure! That'd be great! I'll mention the Aspen Music fest to my friend; I'm sure he'll be very interested.

    You know, just for fun, I think I'll look to see if there is a forum for music professionals ... and see what they use with their equipment. I know my step brother in law uses Pro Tools on a Mac usually, but he has other devices as well (including a bunch of synthesizers - he's a whiz on the keyboard ... writes some music of his own, too) ... If I find a forum that helps with info for audio troubles, I'll post it here.
    I'm not surprised that he uses a Mac with PT. That really is a go-to setup for professionals given how stable they are. Also, I know I've looked at the "today we build our studio pc"-thread - Gearslutz Pro Audio Community before for getting advice on my custom build PC. It just seems like everywhere I look, people (both amateur and pro) have Win10 audio issues! I think a how-to guide on collecting a trace and pinpointing troublesome drivers would help a lot of people. I might put something together in the near future if I get the time.

  13. #13

    Re: Performance Analyzer: Question mark in Function collumn

    Hi again

    Windows 7 seems to have worked OK for audio/visual tasks -- but it, too, could suffer audio artifacts. Our tech niemiro wrote a guide for troubleshooting such issues in Windows 7 ... much of what is in that guide we still use today. The built-in Performance monitor has some nice tools, the add-on Windows Performance Analyzer (as you've seen) can provide a lot of data, and the old Latency Monitor from Resplendence was updated for Windows 10 (versions 6.5 and newer)... If you'd like a look at niemiro's guide, here's a link to that:
    How to Diagnose and Fix High DPC Latency Issues with WPA (Windows Vista/7/8)

    (... and ... I'm thinking my audio family member ought to know of a good audio forum ... now I just have to catch him when he's not working [seems like he's always working!])

    If you create a guide, I'll definitely read it.

  14. #14

    Re: Performance Analyzer: Question mark in Function collumn

    Hi again Gary!

    Curious, have you run the steps in the first video you posted, by chance? For some reason, my trace in MXA doesn't have an "Audio Glitches" option.

  15. #15

    Re: Performance Analyzer: Question mark in Function collumn

    I never made it far enough to analyze anything with the MXA tools ... I watched a few of the videos over and over, and started the tools a few times just to see the help files and menus, but I was already an exhausted diver trying to make it to the surface for air!

    If they make a special interface for simple poets, songwriters, and literature majors (who make a living repairing computers): I'm in line.

  16. #16

    Re: Performance Analyzer: Question mark in Function collumn

    Quote Originally Posted by OldGrayGary View Post
    If they make a special interface for simple poets, songwriters, and literature majors (who make a living repairing computers): I'm in line.
    Ha! I hear ya. Get on it, Microsoft!

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