Memory Leak developed in XP SP3


T

Tenacity9

Lately, when I open programs or the computer is woken up from Standby, RAM
rapidly drops from, say, 300MB (out of 512MB total) to near zero. I can tell
because my Free RAM XP Systray Icon shows this extremely rapid dwindling.

Then the hard drive starts spinning nonstop, I guess because Windows is
frantically using virtual memory.

The problem gets fixed when Free RAM XP frees up memory and restores it to
approximately the original 300MB, and then it takes about 2 minutes for the
system to stabilize and the hard drive to stop spinning so the system is no
longer locked up and is usable again.

Then the pattern repeats itself as the memory dwindles again. This
dwindling is much faster and to a much greater extent than should be normal
for opening programs or waking up from standby. It is exacerbated even more
when streaming video, but opening even normal programs like Word cause the
same result.

I have not done anything or installed anything to explain this. As a
result, going to a System Restore point is not the answer, in part because I
would not know which point to restore to.

Appreciate any tips, help, utilities I can use, registry fixes, etc. which
could remedy this short of wiping the hard drive clean, and reinstalling
windows and all programs and data, which I would rather not do. Thanks.
 
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C

chas2209

Tenacity9 said:
Lately, when I open programs or the computer is woken up from Standby, RAM
rapidly drops from, say, 300MB (out of 512MB total) to near zero. I can
tell
because my Free RAM XP Systray Icon shows this extremely rapid dwindling.

Then the hard drive starts spinning nonstop, I guess because Windows is
frantically using virtual memory.

The problem gets fixed when Free RAM XP frees up memory and restores it to
approximately the original 300MB, and then it takes about 2 minutes for
the
system to stabilize and the hard drive to stop spinning so the system is
no
longer locked up and is usable again.

Then the pattern repeats itself as the memory dwindles again. This
dwindling is much faster and to a much greater extent than should be
normal
for opening programs or waking up from standby. It is exacerbated even
more
when streaming video, but opening even normal programs like Word cause the
same result.

I have not done anything or installed anything to explain this. As a
result, going to a System Restore point is not the answer, in part because
I
would not know which point to restore to.

Appreciate any tips, help, utilities I can use, registry fixes, etc. which
could remedy this short of wiping the hard drive clean, and reinstalling
windows and all programs and data, which I would rather not do. Thanks.


Hi
Uninstall "Free RAM XP" and add another 512mb of proper memory.

chas2209
 
T

Tenacity9

Sorry, that's not the answer.

Free RAM XP was installed after I had this problem so it's a measuring
device, not the cause. Also, this utility works fine on my other computers.
Also rated very high by download.com fyi.

Sure, 512 is a bit low nowadays, but this is a spare computer, and 512
should be more than sufficient, when operating properly, for the light weight
programs and computing I do on this machine.

I hope others in the Community will send more pertinent suggestions. Thanks.
 
M

Malke

Tenacity9 said:
Lately, when I open programs or the computer is woken up from Standby, RAM
rapidly drops from, say, 300MB (out of 512MB total) to near zero. I can
tell because my Free RAM XP Systray Icon shows this extremely rapid
dwindling.

Then the hard drive starts spinning nonstop, I guess because Windows is
frantically using virtual memory.

The problem gets fixed when Free RAM XP frees up memory and restores it to
approximately the original 300MB, and then it takes about 2 minutes for
the system to stabilize and the hard drive to stop spinning so the system
is no longer locked up and is usable again.

Then the pattern repeats itself as the memory dwindles again. This
dwindling is much faster and to a much greater extent than should be
normal
for opening programs or waking up from standby. It is exacerbated even
more when streaming video, but opening even normal programs like Word
cause the same result.

I have not done anything or installed anything to explain this. As a
result, going to a System Restore point is not the answer, in part because
I would not know which point to restore to.

1. The Second Question of Windows Troubleshooting: what is the malware/virus
status of the machine? If you think it is clean, what programs (and
versions) did you use to determine this?

Be sure the computer is clean:
http://www.elephantboycomputers.com/page2.html#Removing_Malware

2. Are there any clues in Event Viewer?
Start>Run>eventvwr.msc [enter]

3. Does the problem occur in Safe Mode? If no, then What is running in the
background (assuming the machine is clean) in Regular Mode? The free
AutoRuns program is great to use for troubleshooting:

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/sysinternals/default.mspx

4. What antivirus/security program do you have installed?

Malke
 
C

chas2209

Tenacity9 said:
Sorry, that's not the answer.

Free RAM XP was installed after I had this problem so it's a measuring
device, not the cause. Also, this utility works fine on my other
computers.
Also rated very high by download.com fyi.

Sure, 512 is a bit low nowadays, but this is a spare computer, and 512
should be more than sufficient, when operating properly, for the light
weight
programs and computing I do on this machine.

I hope others in the Community will send more pertinent suggestions.
Thanks.

:
Then I suggest you read the reviews here:-

http://download.cnet.com/FreeRAM-XP-Pro/3000-2086_4-10070530.html?tag=mncol#editorsreview

chas2209
 
G

Gerry

Chas

Makes you wonder why anyone downloads Free RAM when 5 of 5 says it is
not a substitute for more ram.


--


Gerry
~~~~
FCA
Stourport, England
Enquire, plan and execute
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
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B

Bob Harris

Your fundamental problem is using a Microsoft operating system.

Although XP is better about managing RAM than ME, 98, and 95, it is not
prefect.

In fact the last relatively stable Microsoft operating system that I used
was NT with SP4. And, despite claims that XP is of the NT family, it is not
as good as it ancestor, at least in terms of stability.

I have noticed similar problems to the one you are describing on several XP
system, original through SP3, with 256Meg to 2 Gig of RAM. Eventually all
need to be warm booted to properly clear memory.

In defense of Microsoft, part of the problem may be poorly written
application software, which fails to release RAM. Still, a perfect
operating system would know when a program is no longer running, and would
automatically release all RAM associated with that program.

As for your specific problem, realize that XP itself may be using that first
300 Meg or so. That does not leave you with much for all other programs.
Given this PC's hardware I would suggest that you should avoid opening
multiple applications, if any of them are RAM intensive. That is, avoid
graphics editors, and anything to do with creating or editting movies. The
PC should be OK for text emails, surfing the internet, but maybe not for
watching streaming movies, unless they are low resolution.

All that said, I must agree with one of the other replies: Get more RAM.
It is relatively cheap these days, and if you value your own time/happiness,
it will ultimately prove to be the better solution.
 
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D

Daave

Tenacity9 said:
Lately, when I open programs or the computer is woken up from
Standby, RAM rapidly drops from, say, 300MB (out of 512MB total) to
near zero. I can tell because my Free RAM XP Systray Icon shows this
extremely rapid dwindling.

I would *definitely* uninstall Free RAM XP. Ironically, it may be using
up some of your RAM that arguably you need for other programs! As a
diagnostic tool, it is useless since XP itself can give you the same
information.
Then the hard drive starts spinning nonstop, I guess because Windows
is frantically using virtual memory.

That is certainly possible. If you haven't ruled out malware, you need
to do this; follow the advice given by Malke.
The problem gets fixed when Free RAM XP frees up memory and restores
it to approximately the original 300MB, and then it takes about 2
minutes for the system to stabilize and the hard drive to stop
spinning so the system is no longer locked up and is usable again.

Then, that is not much of a fix. :)
Then the pattern repeats itself as the memory dwindles again. This
dwindling is much faster and to a much greater extent than should be
normal for opening programs or waking up from standby. It is
exacerbated even more when streaming video, but opening even normal
programs like Word cause the same result.

I repeat: Then, that is not much of a fix. :)
I have not done anything or installed anything to explain this. As a
result, going to a System Restore point is not the answer, in part
because I would not know which point to restore to.

Appreciate any tips, help, utilities I can use, registry fixes, etc.
which could remedy this short of wiping the hard drive clean, and
reinstalling windows and all programs and data, which I would rather
not do.

This diagnostic technique *always* works:

Open Task Manager (Ctrl+Alt+Del) and click the Performance tab. Then
note the three values under Commit Charge (K): in the lower left-hand
corner: Total, Limit, and Peak.

The Total figure represents the amount of memory you are using at that
very moment. The Peak figure represents the highest amount of memory you
used since last bootup. If both these figures are below the value of
Physical Memory (K) Total, then you probably have plenty of RAM.
In case you want to explore this further, you may run Page File Monitor
for Windows XP:

http://www.dougknox.com/xp/utils/xp_pagefilemon.htm

If you don't have plenty of RAM, purchase more. If up until recently you
had plenty of RAM and you don't anymore, determine which one of your
programs or processes or updates is responsible. Of course you need to
know *when* this problem started because it might involve uninstalling a
particular update from Microsoft.

If you suspect a runaway process hogging too many resources, click the
Processes tab in Task Manager and sort by Mem Usage. Or you can
configure a Clean Boot and use the process of elimination to isolate the
offender:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/310353

One last idea: Disable Standby and see if you still have this problem.
 

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