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I received a new workstation from work. It is configured as follows:

OS: Vista Enterprise 64-bit Service Pack 2

System: HP ProLiant ML115 G5

CPU: AMD Opteron 1354

Memory: Physical 5GB (884MB free), Virtual 10.2GB (6GB free)

Video: NVIDIA GeForce 9400 GT (Driver Version:

I receive a desktop notification constantly, even if I have no applications running. It states "Windows has detected your performance is slow" and includes an icon in the system tray that appears as a warning sign. CPU usage is normal, and memory usage is more or less normal, considering that Vista is filling the memory with frequently used data. The system doesn't appear to actually be running slowly, other than the notification. As I start running more applications, however, this performance monitor starts interfering more aggressively, disabling the Aero interface, etc. It's very frustrating and distracting.

I thought maybe it was the video drivers, and updated them. The issue persists.

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Could you be the target of a punk-ing by co-workers? – DanO Nov 9 '09 at 18:10
+1 I have that too, on a well-equipped machine similar to yours (5GB RAM, Windows 7 64-bit on an Intel Core2 CPU, Nvidia GPU). Annoys me to no end. :-( – Tomalak May 28 '10 at 13:41
Same problem here on Windows 7 x64. When I start playing a video in VLC, I get this notice. I'm running an i7 with 12GB of physical RAM, and two ATI HD 4850's. CPU consumption doesn't exceed 50% at any time, RAM usage doesn't exceed 40%. There seems to be no way to disable the notice. – ringmaster Aug 25 '10 at 23:17
@ringmaster Should be looking at GPU System memory... See my answer below. – GregC Apr 29 '12 at 19:36

You don't specify the process name but it does sound like a malware to me. When software claims that Windows has detected something or other it's often malware trying to lure users to buy their "cleaning software" to speed up the computer. This is very easy to spot on a localized version of Windows since the malware text will be in english.

I would suggest running a scan using malwarebytes antimalware and Microsoft security essentials. If they cannot find anything, check what process it is and google it to see what it's supposed to do.

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That's definitely not malware, it's an annoying-as-hell nagging popup built into Windows. Most people in other places around the net recommend something painfully stupid like "switch off Aero to get better performance" or "check if you have the latest drivers". oO – Tomalak May 28 '10 at 13:43
@Tomalak I hope I've made a good case for presence of a bug in Aero, but I am not sure that this is sufficient. Please see my answer below. – GregC Apr 29 '12 at 18:32

This does not seem to be malware, rather a detected high memory usage.

Related thread on Microsoft Answers Site

On the graph, note that spikes of GPU system memory allocation are gone once Aero was automatically disabled.

Here's Process Explorer's GPU tab on my PC xxx

For the record, I am running i7 and AMD Radeon HD 4600 with latest and greatest public drivers on Windows 7 x64 (Build 7601 : SP1).

These effects have been observed with the fancy Bing Desktop app, as well with canned Windows 7 Aero theme. I also see these effects with a Solid Color as desktop background, as long as Aero is running. Turn Aero off, and all notifications are magically gone.

See a follow-up question if you know how to do this.

EDIT At this point I know that Mozilla Nightly x64 15 (alpha) was causing this. I opened dwm.exe process and saw spikes when I was scrolling around in the browser. This is not happening with Mozilla Firefox 12 32-bit (spikes are smaller, message does not pop up).

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Check the chipset and other system drivers (sound, network, etc)

Remove any external devices besides your keyboard and mouse and see if you still get the messages.

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