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  1. #1
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    Default The REASON that ACER = SLOW! Solution inside.



    June 4, 2006:
    I have contacted several Acer representatives, so we'll hopefully have an answer sometime during next week.




    =====================================================
    News: I've made a video demonstration for those that don't want to run Regmon themselves. The file was too big to post here (8Mb) so it's hosted at RapidShare instead. Just click the button named "Free" on the following page to start your download, then extract and open "Acer.htm" to see the video:

    http://rapidshare.de/files/22055037/Acer_Video.zip.html


    Best Regards,
    Christopher H.
    =====================================================
    Note: It has come to my attention that the "BUFFER OVERFLOW" that Regmon is seeing is actually mislabeled by Sysinternals and should be called "BUFFER OVERFLOW AVOIDED". This means that the event isn't dangerous, as it would have been if it were a real buffer overflow. Thanks to gweilo8888 for the report! Note that the buffer overflow was only a fraction of my findings and there are still bigger problems, read on below...
    =====================================================

    Hey,

    Due to an unrelated issue, I installed the two widely acclaimed system monitor tools by Sysinternals; Filemon and Regmon. To get their credibility out of the way before I start: Microsoft recommends these tools to serious system administrators in over 60 of their Knowledge Base articles. These tools are accurate!

    I was shocked to find out that, out of the box, Acer has installed utilities that are severely bugged, slowing down the system to a crawl. This is why people notice a performance boost after a clean reinstallation of Windows:

    Ati2evxx.exe = ATI hotkey manager. Enables the use of hotkeys, configurable through the ATI control panel. The hotkeys aren't used by default and so this process is unnecessary. Except for one thing, it also manages the PowerPlay feature of your graphics card to dynamically adjust its power and save battery. So if you need that, this program has to stay. Personally, I don't use PowerPlay since I've always got the power plugged in and want my graphics card to work to the max. This process accesses the registry about 200 times per second.

    AGRSMMSG.exe = Agere Soft Modem. Only necessary if you are going to use the built-in 56k modem, and shouldn't be running if you don't need it. This process accesses the registry about 500 times per second.

    ePower_DMC.exe = Acer ePower Management. Very useful utility, but extremely buggy. This is the worst piece of coding that I have ever seen. This process accesses the registry a whopping 4000 times per second! It also uses between 1 and 15% of CPU! This program is pummeling your computer, making it beg for its life. It is merciless, and no doubt the crappiest piece of excrement ever produced. We should demand that Acer fix this utility immediately!


    On average, a normal program accesses the registry about 50 times when it's first started, then an average of 100 times if you change a setting (then the program will open+read+save registry values), and about 50 times as it's closed. That's 200 access requests for the entire run of a normal program. By comparison, if I let ePower_DMC.exe run for an hour, it will have accessed the registry 15 million times so far. Whereas every other program you have, combined, would only amount to about 200 thousand times.

    I'll attach a regmon log for further study. The second row in the log shows the time in seconds, all the way down to milliseconds. So you can verify how badly these programs behave. Note that there are no entries of Ati2evxx.exe in the log, because I turned that program off!

    By now you probably realize what a serious issue this is? This thread needs a sticky, so that it's not hidden from peoples view until Acer fixes it!


    - Christopher H.

    These tests were run on an Acer TravelMate 8204WLMi, using Sysinternals Regmon.
    Feel free to download the program to see the problem first-hand.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by c.hilding; 4th June 2006 at 12:07 PM. Reason: I had to CUT and ZIP the log a LOT to make it fit as an attachment.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: The REASON that ACER = SLOW! Solution inside.

    Solutions

    ATI Hotkey Manager: To disable it, enter the ATI Control Panel (right click on desktop). Go under the "Hotkey" menu and deselect "Enable Hotkeys". Then go to Start -> Run -> services.msc, and double-click on "ATI HotKey Poller". Change the startup type from "Automatic" to "Disabled".

    Agere Soft Modem Driver: To disable it, enter the Device Manager by right-clicking the "My Computer" icon on the desktop and selecting "Manage", then click "Device Manager" in the "Computer Management" menu. In the Device Manager, drill down to Modems -> "Agere Systems HDA Modem", and right-click it. Select "Disable". That's it for the driver. Next, we disable the program by going to Start -> Run -> msconfig, and going to the "Startup" tab. Untick the checkbox next to "AGRSMMSG". Click OK. The next time you start the computer, the software modem driver won't be loaded.

    Acer ePower Management: I don't recommend that you disable this until we find a utility that provides the same functionality. Acer ePower Management is there to help your computer save power by turning on/off system features, throttling CPU, lowering/raising brightness etc, to get the most out of your battery as the battery power decreases. It is also there to manage such power features as turning off the laptop when the lid is closed, and as far as I know it's also responsible for the function keys on your laptop.

    Although I'm starting to think that ePower could actually be a huge battery drainer, since it accesses the registry about 4000 times per second, and uses up to 15% CPU. We'll have to investigate this one together, either for alternatives or preferrably a fix from Acer.


    Best Regards,
    Christopher H.
    Last edited by c.hilding; 2nd June 2006 at 07:41 AM. Reason: Updated the text, and verified every solution! Thanks to contributions by sionyboy (info on hotkey service & softmodem driver) and s4e8 (more info about ati hotkey poller).

  3. #3
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    Default Re: The REASON that ACER = SLOW! Solution inside.

    Don't use MSconfig, use services.msc

    Start>Run>services.msc
    Its listed as ATI Hotkey Poller. Just double click and select to disabled.

    Its quite safe to disable, its only used if you use the ATI hotkeys. I never even knew abou them! I have them disabled here and my laptop hasn't exploded.

    As for the modem, if you don't use your 56k modem then disable it within the Device Manager. The laptop won't load drivers for it in startup. In fact, any hardware you don't use on your laptop disable in Device Manager. I have disabled my PCMCIA slot, Wi-Fi and the modem. Why let Windows load drivers and software for it if you don't use them?

    Epower management is also a waste of resources. First it won't let you disable hibernation properly, so you will have the 1gb hiberfil.sys file on your hard drive (which messes up defragging attempts) I got rid of it, and I don't miss it at all.

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    Default Re: The REASON that ACER = SLOW! Solution inside.

    This is a great find! I will be watching this thread closely.

    Sticky! Sticky! Sticky! Oi! Oi! Oi!

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    Default Re: The REASON that ACER = SLOW! Solution inside.

    Disable ATI Hotkey Poller will disable the PowerPlay too!!!

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    Default Re: The REASON that ACER = SLOW! Solution inside.

    Quote Originally Posted by s4e8
    Disable ATI Hotkey Poller will disable the PowerPlay too!!!
    Quote Originally Posted by s4e8
    Epower management is also a waste of resources
    I think u can resolve this two problems with Notebok Hardware Control, it controls the cpu multiplier ( like Epower Management) and controls ati core/mem speed, but this option allows to underclock(like powerplay), check this forum thread and overclock the GPU, and thats a great bonus. I'm going to try over the weekend cause I'm kinda of busy. bye
    Acer Aspire 1692WLMI Ati mobility x700 64Mb 80GB HDD 1GB 533MHZ DDR2

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    Default Re: The REASON that ACER = SLOW! Solution inside.

    The latest ATI drivers lets you disable hotkeys in the control center. You can also disable the infrared in device manager if you don't use it.

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    Default Re: The REASON that ACER = SLOW! Solution inside.

    Before you sort out the problem first check if it exists!

    It's some time ago that I ran Regmon, Filemon and Diskmon, but I didn't get results as bad as indicated by c.hilding.
    Note that I have a different machine (TM8106).

    Wonder if it could relate to driver or version issues (including .NET version issues; they are .NET thingies).
    In principle the e-thingies are customised by series, so using one with a seemingly more recent version from another model may cause problems.

    Anyway, just speculations,... I will see what regmon tells me of the Agere Modem (don't use the other stuff mentoned anymore).


    Cheers

    Drio

    BTW thanks for sharing this investigative knowledge, c.hilding!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: The REASON that ACER = SLOW! Solution inside.

    Quote Originally Posted by msnealo
    This is a great find! I will be watching this thread closely.

    Sticky! Sticky! Sticky! Oi! Oi! Oi!
    Then you'll be happy to know that I've updated both the information and the solution post with more details on program functionality and how to disable them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drio
    Before you sort out the problem first check if it exists!

    It's some time ago that I ran Regmon, Filemon and Diskmon, but I didn't get results as bad as indicated by c.hilding. Note that I have a different machine (TM8106).
    These abusive programs definitely exist on the TM8204WLMi, and since it's not that different from the 8106 I'd be surprised if it's not there too. Too bad that you've already removed these programs as I'd like to know the answer.

    I'd be thankful if someone with an 8106 would run the tests and share their results.

  10. #10
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    Default Replacement for ePower

    Look at http://www.pbus-167.com/chc.htm Notebook Hardware control. In combination wit windows' own power management it delivers more than ePower (you don't need the disabling of BT/cardbus/etc.since windows shuts these of anyway when not in use)

    ePower wired itself deep into the system,so if you uninstall it, after restart look in device manager (show hidden devices) und non plugand play devices and see if the two Acer EPM devices are still there. If so, kick them out.

    Cheers

    Drio

 

 
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