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In Windows 7, when should "page faults" become concern for investigation?

I'm referencing the "Page Faults" column in Windows' Task Manager. Sorting by "Page Faults", there are a number of applications that have endlessly climbing page fault counts.

Is there a metric for determining whether page faults (or particular amount of) should be cause for concern and/or troubleshooting?

I'm concerned that rogue programs are possibly "thrashing" away at the disks with firehoses of page faults.


Windows 7 Ultimate x64 12GB RAM, rarely ever filled past half capacity (while page faults continue to soar) SSD main drive

For reference, the seeming large "culprits" on a cursory overview of Task Manager are (in descending order): Firefox, CCC (Catalyst Control Center), WinVNC, AfterBurner, and Everything Search.

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Page faults are a problem when the fault rate approaches the max possible fault rate for long periods of time. Of course, what those terms mean varies widely from system to system and application to application. (And it's important to understand that a "page fault" is not in any way an "error" -- the term is a bit of jargon that bears no relationship to error handling or any sort of "failure".) – Daniel R Hicks Jul 4 '13 at 0:38

There are 2 types of page faults (hard and soft). You should only worry about hard pagefaults when Windows must read a lot of data from the pagefile.

A softfault happens when Windows can use the data from the Standby-List (Superfetch Cache). This is fine.

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Exactly. Soft page faults are totally different animals from hard page faults. Lumping them together under "page faults" is not helpful. – David Schwartz Jul 4 '13 at 5:35
Is there any kind of metric to know how many hard-faults are too many? (roughly, on average) – Coldblackice Oct 22 '13 at 20:47
i have no information about this. How many do you have? – magicandre1981 Oct 23 '13 at 3:48

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