Top 12 Windows XP System Performance Analysis Questions and Answers

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1. You are administering a WinXP computer. In an effort to monitor the system performance, you invoke the Task Manager. You want to have Task Manager updates its data more frequently. How can this be done?
*A. In Task Manager, choose View, Update Speed and then change the frequency from Normal to High.
B. In Task Manager, choose View, Speed and then change the frequency from High to Real-time.
C. In Task Manager, choose Update, Speed and then change the frequency from Normal to High.
D. In Task Manager, choose View, Set Speed and then change the frequency from Normal to Fast.
E. No Answer is Correct.

Explanation: By default, Windows Task Manager updates its data once every two seconds. To increase the frequency, choose View, Update Speed and then change the frequency setting. To study the graph of the most recent history, stop all updates by choosing View, Update Speed, Paused, then request update at anytime you like.

2. You are administering a WinXP computer. In an effort to monitor the system performance, you plan to use Task Manager. How do you invoke the Task Manager from within XP?
*A. Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete
*B. Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc.
C. Choose Start - Programs - Task Management
D. Choose Start - Programs - System Tools - Task Management Suite
E. From the command line run "taskmon"

Explanation: If you arousing the Welcome screen to log on to Windows, you can open the Windows Task Manager at any time by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Delete. If you aren't using the Welcome screen or you rejoined to a Windows domain, press Ctrl+Alt+Delete and then click the Task Manager button in the Windows Security dialog box.

3. You are administering a WinXP computer. In an effort to monitor the system performance, you plan to use Task Manager. You are especially concerned about the memory usage, as it seems like the hard drive is busy swapping all the time. Which field in Task Manager can provide you with relevant information in this regard?
*A. Commit Charge
B. Commit RAM - Physical
C. Commit RAM - Logical
D. Page Size
E. RAM Bytes Occupied

Explanation: Commit Charge lists two numbers: The first number (the numerator) represents your current total commit charge the total amount of physical and virtual memory in use by all running processes. The denominator represents your total available memory, physical and virtual. By itself, this number will only tell you whether you are about to run completely out of memory.

4. You are monitoring the performance of your XP system. You found that Total Commit Charge is higher than Total Physical Memory. What does it indicate?
*A. Paging occurs
*B. Performance can be increased if more RAM is added
C. The physical memory is enough for current use
*D. The system is slowed down by the disk subsystem
E. No Answer is Correct

Explanation: If Total Commit Charge is higher than Total Physical Memory, Windows must swap pages between fast RAM chips and the much slower virtual memory in the page file, causing the system to slow down. This is the MOST typical cause of system slow down. More RAM can resolve the problem.

5. You are the administrator of a XP workstation. This workstation runs applications that routinely load and reload extremely large 3D graphics data files. You are asked to plan for a system upgrade. Which component will you consider to upgrade first?
*A. RAM
B. Disk subsystem
C. CPU
D. Video Adaptor
E. Motherboard

Explanation: If you use applications that routinely load and reload extremely large data files, Windows file cache is essential. For caching to run effectively, you need more RAM. RAM is always the issue when dealing with applications using large files.

6. You are the administrator of a XP workstation. This workstation runs multiple applications. In response to a user's request for memory upgrade, you want to first identify the application that consumes the most memory. What should you do?
*A. Open Windows Task Manager, click the Processes tab, and click the Mem Usage column heading twice to sort the list in descending order.
B. Open Windows Task Manager, click the Memory tab, and click the % Usage column heading twice to sort the list in descending order.
C. Open Windows Task Manager, click the Applications tab, and click the App Usage column heading twice to sort the list in descending order.
D. Open Windows Task Manager, click the Processes tab, and click the % Usage Over Time column heading twice to sort the list in descending order.
E. No Answer is Correct.

Explanation: The best cure for memory-related performance problems is to add more RAM. Apart from this, you can shut down unneeded programs and services to free up memory. To identify the programs that are using up memory, open Windows Task Manager, click the Processes tab, and click on the Mem Usage column heading.

7. You are the senior system officer of your company. You are monitoring the performance of your XP system via the Task Manager. Your system currently has no application running. However, for some reasons you do not see the System Idle Process available. You suspect there is a problem with your system. What is the likely cause?
*A. This is not a problem. You can find the System Idle Process by selecting the Show Processes From All Users box in the bottom left corner of the Processes tab.
B. This is not a problem. You can find the System Idle Process by selecting the Show System Processes box in the bottom right corner of the Processes tab.
C. In this case nothing can be done except for rebooting the system.
D. A virus is probably eating up system resources at the background.
E. No Answer is Correct.

Explanation: Windows XP uses a "placeholder" process called System Idle Process that indicates when the CPU is not handling other threads. If this value is not visible, select the Show Processes From All Users box in the bottom left corner of the Processes tab. The key is; the total value always has to add up to 100.

8. You are the senior system officer of your company. You installed WinXP on a brand new HP PC. You used only the default settings. This PC has a 400MHZ CPU, 256M RAM and 5GB hard disk. You quickly fill up 4 GB of your drive with the XP system itself and the applications. What should you do to free more space and avoid system crashes, if you do not yet have the money to buy a new hard drive, and that the current hard drive is not to be converted to NTFS?
*A. Reconfigure the size of the paging file
B. Run scandisk on the drive
C. Run defrag on the drive
D. Uninstall the WinXP Program files
E. No Answer is Correct

Explanation: In a default Windows XP installation, Windows creates the page file in the root folder on the same drive that holds the Windows system files. The size of the page file is determined by the amount of RAM in your system. The default minimum size is 1.5 times the amount of physical RAM, while the maximum is 3 times that value.

9. You are the senior system officer of your company. You have installed WinXP on a brand new HP PC. You used only the default settings. Your tech support associate subsequently installed an additional piece of RAM to the system, making it a total of 256MB. You want to modify the size of the paging file. Under what condition can such modification be completed without the need to restart your system?
*A. Decrease the size of the minimum page file settings
*B. Decrease the size of the maximum page file settings
*C. Create a new page file on another partition
*D. Increase the size of the page file
E. No Answer is Correct

Explanation: If you decrease the size of either the minimum or maximum page file settings, or if you create a new page file on a drive, you must restart your computer to make the change effective. In fact, as long as you need to change the size of a page file, you will need to restart your computer.

10. You are the senior system architect of your company. You are responsible for tuning the performance of your in-house systems. You are using Perfmon to monitor the performance of your XP system. In the console, which of the following are available for adding into the view for tracking different elements of the system?
*A. Object
*B. Counter
C. Thread
D. Application
E. Process

Explanation: The Performance console can track everything in the form of an object and a counter:
Object - any portion of a computer's resources that can be assigned characteristics and manipulated.
Counter - types of information about the objects to which they are assigned.

11. You are the senior system architect of your company. You are responsible for tuning the performance of your in-house systems. You are using Perfmon to monitor the performance of your XP system. What view under Perfmon will plot all counters against a single vertical axis scaled by a default scaling from 0 to 100?
*A. Chart
*B. Histogram
C. Line
D. Pie
E. Bar

Explanation: System Monitor's Chart and Histogram views plot all counters against a single vertical axis scaled, by default, from 0 to 100. A default scaling factor is applied to each counter so that counters with large values can coexist meaningfully in a chart with low-value counters.

12. You are the senior system architect of your company. You are tuning the performance of your XP Pro system. You find that there are 5 instances of Svchost.exe appearing in Task Manager. You suspect that this is the cause of performance degradation. What should you do?
*A. Do nothing. This is normal.
B. Shut down 4 of them.
C. Keep the number of instances to 3 all the time.
D. Keep the number of instances to 1 per processor all the time
E. No Answer is Correct.

Explanation: Multiple instances of Svchost.exe appear in Task Manager is perfectly normal, as Svchost.exe is a core piece of Windows XP code that collects a number of lower-level system-critical services and runs them in a common environment. By gathering multiple functions together, this arrangement reduces boot time and system overhead and eliminates the need to run many of the low-level services.

 

Deborah Timmons is a Microsoft Certified Trainer and Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer. She came into the Microsoft technical field after six years in the adaptive technology field, providing technology and training for persons with disabilities. She is the President and co-owner of Integrator Systems Inc.

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