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NCrunch creates brutal system disk usage
xmakina
#1 Posted : Friday, October 9, 2020 9:15:06 AM(UTC)
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Hey folks,

I've been using NCrunch for a fair few years now and I'm starting to get this major issue with it.

When Ncrunch is enabled, not even running tests, the System process is generating a huge amount of disk usage. As soon as I disable NCrunch, the usage stops, see attached image of how dramatic the drop is.

disk usage before and after NCrunch disabled

Any ideas?
Remco
#2 Posted : Friday, October 9, 2020 11:47:38 PM(UTC)
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Hi, thanks for sharing this.

Can you examine which process is responsible for the disk usage?

Under NCrunch, most of the disk usage usually comes from the MSBuild/compiler calls, which run continuously in the background when source files are being changed. Unless you have tests that do a lot of I/O, tests likely won't cause this. The sliding build delay setting can reduce disk consumption from builds, though this may slow your response times down slightly. Note that MSBuild can include a broad range of tasks in addition to the complier .. if this has recently changed for you, there is the possibility that one of your toolsets has an MSBuild task that includes some very expensive I/O.
xmakina
#3 Posted : Monday, October 12, 2020 7:49:46 AM(UTC)
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Quote:
Can you examine which process is responsible for the disk usage?


As I said, the System process is what is using the disk. I'm not sure how to dig into that further.

We have nothing in the Build Events of the csproj file and nothing has changed around MSBuild that I'm aware of.

The behaviour seems to tail off for about a minute if I disable NCrunch then re-enable it. It never happens if I keep NCrunch disabled.

Changing the sliding build delay to 10000ms did not affect the issue at all.
Remco
#4 Posted : Tuesday, October 13, 2020 12:01:32 AM(UTC)
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Can you check to see which files are being read/written when this goes crazy? (Under performance monitor, go to disk, choose the system process under the 'processes with disk activity' section, then watch the disk activity section).

My gut feel here is that there is something with deep access in the system (i.e. probably not NCrunch) that is triggering in response to NCrunch's activity. Perhaps a virus scanner or some device driver.

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