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Utorrent I/O and cpu usage spike problems


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hey, I'm using utorrent and I think its great but have a problem regarding spikes in its I/O performance and cpu usage. I found video in windows media player stuttered every couple of mins and after looking into it using process explorer I found taht utorrent was giving me spikes in I/O performance (R+O over 20MB) and simutanouely getting cpu spikes over 80%.

This occurs only sometimes but I cant pin down any definate cause i.e. other programmes clashing as it can happen with nothing else running and everything else running. I have set the cache in utorrent to 70MB but when these spikes occur the cache in disk statistics will not show utorrent as using 70MB but rather a combined amount of 20MB for example and the cache will not increase to 70MB no matter how long I leave the programme to seed or downlaod. At other times when i'm having no problems the cache will reach a combined amount of 70MB. I can verify this by looking at process explorer, however I can find no diferences in the total system usage of resources in process explorer when im having problems and when im not - other then the spikes that utorrent is causing.

I also use emule and bitcomet for downloading and have no such problems with those. So I'm sure its not a hardware issue, but im stumped!

Any help???

My system is

athlon xp2600 (non-overclocked)

asus A7N8X deluxe motherboard

512 mb Ram

1x 160gig seagate barracuda HDD (2 partitions 100gig and 60gig)

1x 250gig seagate barracude HDD

windows xp sp2

Running peerguardian 2, zonealarm sercurity suite

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Primay IDE channel is

Device O

transfer mode: DMA if available

Current transfer mode: Ultra DMA mode 5

Device 1

transfer mode: DMA if available

Current transfer mode: Ultra DMA mode 5

Secondry IDE channel is

Device 0

transfer mode: DMA if available

Current transfer mode: Ultra DMA mode 2

Cache settings are:

overide automatic cache size and specify: 70MB

reduce memory usage when the cahce is not needed (unchecked)

enable caching of disk writes

write out untoruched blocks every 2 minutes (unchecked)

write out finshed peices immediatly

Enable caching of disk reads

turn off read caching if the upload speed is slow (unchecked)

remove old blocks from the cache

increase automatic cahce size when cache thrashing (unchecked)

I am not using any software other then zonealarm and peerguardian that i could see affecting utorrent - i.e. no beta software or memory tweaker or harddrive tweaker.

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I have made the changes dont write out peices immediatly and dont remove old blocks from the cache, the cache has increased to 22MB but has stopped and remained stable arounf that amount but im still getting I/O (Read and other) spikes around 25MB and CPU spikes over 80% usage.

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Also check increase automatic cache size when cache thrashing, that should allow it to increase to max and stay there.

Peer Guardian (v2 or v1?) should be unneccessary if you use µTorrent's ipfilter.dat -- though you may need to convert Peer Guardian's blocklist to the format µTorrent uses. I'm pretty sure Peer Guardian has a cpu hit every time µTorrent opens a new connection -- and it may make it so µTorrent is the parent process that appears to be causing the high cpu %.

Zone Alarm too can be doing packet+ip inspection, causing a large cpu drag that appears to be caused by µTorrent.

You might see at least a slight decrease in severity and occurance of these cpu spikes if µTorrent isn't allowed to make lots of new connections at once or stay connected to lots of connections at once. There's not much speed gain on average torrents going from 30 connected peers+seeds per torrent to 300+ connected peers+seeds unless you're uploading very very rapidly yourself...or barely uploading at all and counting on leeching off random people who upload a little to you. I set my half-open connection limit to only 4 in µTorrent because I don't mind a slower ramp-up in speed on my torrents in exchange for more stability and less cpu spikes.

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checking the thread with the highest cpu usage using process explorer gives the following stacks during IO/cpu spike gives:





























VETMONNT.SYS and VET-FILT.SYS do not appear in stacks unless there is a spike... googled them but never came up with much only antivirus that has never been installed... does anyone know if that are part of zone alarm or malware?? if someone has zone alarm secriity suite installed can they also search in windows directory and confirm that it appears in there install.

SWITECK - followed ur instructents check increase automatic cache size when cache thrashing didnt help. And zonealarm heuristic and byte inspection is turned off.

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This is what I discovered about VetMonNT.sys:

Computer Associates (RealTime Anti-Virus Protection Driver):

\windows\system32\VetMsgNT.1 (no version)






That filename is used by some viruses/trojans to do their dirty work.

If you don't have Computer Associates AV, you *NEED* to get that file removed IMMEDIATELY!

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Hey thanks for all the help... quick update I have disabled the antivirus and antispyware component of zonealarm secruicty suite through the zonealarm control panel. I was able to determine that it was the on-access component of zonealarm antivirus that was causing the problem. After disabling zonealarm antivirus and antispyware I installed AVG free version after reading good reviews of this product and now my setup is working fine again. utorrent I/O reads about 256kb with negilable cpu usage (usally shows as 0%).

Am now using AVG free version as my main antivirus and on-access antivirus (or realtime antivirus), but still would be able to use zonealarm as a on-demand scanner by reenabling it if I ever need to.

Thanks again for all ur help Ultima and switeck... Stars!!

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