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Setup: Windows 7 Ultimate, running in a VMware box inside Windows 8, VMware Tools installed; VMware Workstation is the only application launched in win8). Aero is on.

Starting a few months ago, on and off, performance is extremely sluggish in all applications. Checking process explorer shows high CPU usage by dwm.exe (20-30%) and svchost.exe (30-40%) when system is idle, nothing open but Explorer.

Killing dwm.exe does not change anything; dwm resumes its high cpu usage when it restarts.

Services in svchost are:

  • Audio Endpoint Builder
  • CSC Service
  • Netman
  • WDI System Host

Turning off Aero helps slightly, but I want to actually solve the problem. This problem didn't exist before; it wasn't sluggish, dwm.exe only had high usage when it was actually compositing windows together; I never noticed any high usage from that svchost.

edit when I'm running one app at a time, occasionally large areas of the app go black, like in the olden days with Win 95 when it would run out of system resources.

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Sounds like you have a video adapter problem. Are you using the latest driver offered by the manufacturer? –  Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Sep 24 '13 at 15:12
Windows 8 (the host OS) is completely fine. The problem only occurs inside Win7. Win7 does not directly access the video drivers; it goes through VMware. So I'll check and make sure VMware drivers are up to date. –  Snowbody Sep 24 '13 at 16:25
Ahh my bad -- I thought it was the other way around. :) Do you have the VMware client tools installed? –  Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Sep 24 '13 at 16:44
Yes, I'll update the description –  Snowbody Sep 24 '13 at 17:49
capture a xperf trace of the high cpuusage: pastebin.com/pgE11HRD –  magicandre1981 Sep 24 '13 at 19:44

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