Windows 2003 – Page Faults (Soft and Hard)

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Here is one way you can determine if your server is doing soft or hard Page faults.

Hard vs. Soft

Hard Page faults indicate the server is going to the Hard Disk to retrieve needed data and place it in RAM.

Soft Page faults indicate it is going to RAM or Cache to get the data it needs. This is a normal for most programs

Performance Monitor

Setup Windows performance monitor with the following…

SOFT Page Faults = Cache Faults/sec & Page Faults/sec

Hard Page Faults = Page Reads/sec & Avg. Disk Sec/Read

As you can see from this screen shot this server isn’t doing any hard page faults.

If you notice consistent hard page faults, this could be by design, or you need to add RAM to the server or allocate appropriate RAM to the application.  Either way, I’d recommend consulting with the application owner or company who created the application for proper guidance.


4 thoughts on “Windows 2003 – Page Faults (Soft and Hard)

    Jo said:
    October 24, 2012 at 8:42 am

    Hello Mattman555,
    in your screenshot avg.disk read is .141 and page reads is 0.You said there is no hard said this becuase page reads is 0?

    the counter is showing some numbers in your screen .how much it is allowed to be for soft page faults?


      mattman555 said:
      October 24, 2012 at 3:04 pm

      Hey Jo – Great question – from the screenshot the Windows OS is using its memory for its main access, notice the total of 341 for Memory > Page Faults/sec.
      PhysicalDisk > Avg Disk sec/Read is .1 that pretty much means Zero… if the OS was accessing the disk while operating it would be a number greater then one.

      Here is another blog posting I found that might explain this a bit better –


    Jo said:
    October 26, 2012 at 8:05 am

    Dear mattman555,

    Thanks for the link.I understand little more but still I am not sure how to make a conclusion that I have soft fault.The documents says if it there is
    Page Reads/sec > hard faults
    Cache faults/sec >Soft faults .My system is always showing some numbers which are not constant some time 900 or 4000 etc .which number is to be considered as soft fault in MS point of view?


      mattman555 said:
      October 26, 2012 at 3:26 pm

      Hey Jo – I’ll send you an email explaining a bit more. Thanks!


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