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[SOLVED] Physical Memory All Being Used

This is a discussion on [SOLVED] Physical Memory All Being Used within the Windows 7 Support, Windows Vista Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Recently my computer tends to be using all the physical memory for some reason, causing it to run very slow


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Old 04-13-2011, 06:48 PM   #1
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Recently my computer tends to be using all the physical memory for some reason, causing it to run very slow and making it near impossible to use sometimes. Naturally, this is quite frustrating. A restart will fix it for an hour or two but it just shoots back up again eventually.

I have six gigs of RAM so I really shouldn't be having this problem. It doesn't make much sense when I look at the processes running on task manager either. The thing using up the most memory is Firefox at 500,000 K, then Winamp at 181,000 K and everything below that not very much at all. It just doesn't add up to six gigs, not even close, yet Task Manager tells me it's at 98-100% physical memory usage.

I don't think it's a virus/malware issue since I run frequent scans with Avast and Spybot and they aren't coming up with anything.

My computer specs on my profile are up to date so you can use those for information about my computer. It has only started doing this recently though, past three weeks or so, and I've made no recent hardware changes in that time. If there's anything else you need, just ask. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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Old 04-13-2011, 07:00 PM   #2
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Hi Dragon Wizard,

Empty out the temp folders and also perform a check disk repair and see if that helps you out. Hope everything works out for you.

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Old 04-13-2011, 08:10 PM   #3
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Post a screenshot of Task Manager - Performance tab.
This will answer many questions and avoid much speculation.
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Old 04-14-2011, 12:15 AM   #4
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Spybot always empties out the temp folder when it runs, so that's fine. Here's the Performance tab:



I'll try running a chkdsk next time I restart.
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Old 04-14-2011, 02:17 AM   #5
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Check Resource Monitor - see what apps are using the most memory -
START | type perfmon /res
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Old 04-14-2011, 07:48 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragon Wizard View Post
Recently my computer tends to be using all the physical memory for some reason, causing it to run very slow and making it near impossible to use sometimes. Naturally, this is quite frustrating. A restart will fix it for an hour or two but it just shoots back up again eventually.

I have six gigs of RAM so I really shouldn't be having this problem. It doesn't make much sense when I look at the processes running on task manager either. The thing using up the most memory is Firefox at 500,000 K, then Winamp at 181,000 K and everything below that not very much at all. It just doesn't add up to six gigs, not even close, yet Task Manager tells me it's at 98-100% physical memory usage.

I don't think it's a virus/malware issue since I run frequent scans with Avast and Spybot and they aren't coming up with anything.

My computer specs on my profile are up to date so you can use those for information about my computer. It has only started doing this recently though, past three weeks or so, and I've made no recent hardware changes in that time. If there's anything else you need, just ask. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Just verify that you're not getting the physical memory usage confused with the CPU usage. I know for sure that Winamp used to suck up some memory back in the older days at least. Firefox seems to also suck with memory.

When it freezes again, can you show us the Task Manager > Processes tab sorted by the largest memory using process first?

Also, if it's ok, see if this freezing issue ever happens in Safe Mode. Also might want to try disabling some things on startup. Perhaps one of the applications are crashing or is bugged.

That's crazy... 5MB free according to the performance tab
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Old 04-14-2011, 09:13 AM   #7
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The system is obviously very heavily loaded. Only such a load would force the memory manager into such a state that less than 5% of total memory is available. A look at the running processes is necessary to identify the cause.

The Performance tab of Task Manager provides the context for further investigation. Among other things it shows there is an adequately sized pagefile.

One thing that is NOT a concern is the low value for Free memory. Free memory is wasted memory and Windows 7 hates waste. What is of concern is the low value for Available and Cache. Available memory is not free but can be reassigned quickly when needed. Only a very heavy workload would force this so low. Consistent with other factors Windows will always try to keep these numbers as high as possible.

Windows is likely doing the best it can with the heavy load and the memory resources available.
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Old 04-14-2011, 11:26 AM   #8
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Agree - you can't look at "Free 5 MB" physical memory and be concerned about RAM usage. The 'cached' & 'available' numbers 292, 284 MB respectively are low; should be in greater proportion to 6144 MB total RAM.

Kernel paged pool memory = 581 MB + 116 processes is on the high side, i.e., system overloaded.

Check Resource Monitor and see what apps are using the most memory.
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Old 04-14-2011, 11:56 PM   #9
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As I already stated, Firefox is using up the most memory at 500,000 K, then Winamp at 181,000 K and everything else is using an insignificant amount. Explorer.exe is third at 100,000 K, then svchost.exe at 72,000 K, then Messenger at 38,000 K, and it drops significantly very quickly. The things shown in the process tab/resource monitor simply do not add up to the amount of memory it says is being used.
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Old 04-15-2011, 12:40 AM   #10
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You have 116 processes running; 5.71 GB RAM

The Windows 7 x64 system I am on now - 55 processes running; 1.75 GB/ 4 GB RAM total. IE is using just under 450 MB RAM alone.

Under "Processes" tab, Task Manager, did you click on "Show processes from all users" (bottom-left screen)? Doing so runs T/M at elevated admin level.

Resource Monitor - "memory" tab; click on "working set" col to sort. Does graph show nearly 100% physical RAM in use?
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Old 04-15-2011, 07:27 PM   #11
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Yeah, show from all users is checked, and the thing is, I have 116 process running right now. The same ones in fact, and yet my memory usage is only at 46%. It's fine most of the time but it just randomly jumps up to 99% and goes slow out of nowhere with no additional programs being run and no change in the amount of memory it says is being used by the individual programs.

The resource monitor does the same as task manager, it shows the applications using the same amount of memory that task manager shows them using, which doesn't add up to the full amount, yet the chart shows physical memory at 100%.

Both show at 50% now, which is correct, even though I am running the same programs and it says they are using the same amount of memory as it does when it shows 99% usage.



It simply does not make sense. I assume that either there are processes I can't see for some reason using up the memory, one of my applications is randomly using up a lot more memory at times and the memory usage isn't being reported correctly, or there is something wrong with my computer that is causing it to use up memory on nothing.
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Old 04-15-2011, 08:00 PM   #12
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It is certainly possible that there are processes not visible in Task Manager. Malware often goes to considerable lengths to hide itself from most utilities. If there are no visible processes using high memory then this is a distinct possibility.
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Old 04-15-2011, 11:01 PM   #13
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See if SysInternals Process Explorer sheds any light -

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/s.../bb896653.aspx

RIGHT-click on procexp.exe, "Run as Administrator"

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Old 04-16-2011, 03:44 AM   #14
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Well I found the problem, it was an issue Windows has with handling the caching of disk writes. Thanks for the help.
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Old 04-16-2011, 04:29 AM   #15
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How did you determine that, please?
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Old 04-17-2011, 12:31 AM   #16
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Well, I just happened to realize that all the times that the physical memory usage went up I was writing to the disk. I just got a new hard drive so I was doing this quite a bit. So, I did some research and saw that Windows 7 sometimes has an issue with caching things you are writing to the disk that causes it to store an insane amount of data in RAM. I then disabled Windows caching of disk writes using this method and the problem has vanished.
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Old 04-17-2011, 02:55 AM   #17
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Thanks for posting back.

The kb you referred to mentions Windows 2000 - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/259716

Windows 7 -
Quote:
You disable the “Enable write caching on the device” policy for your hard disk on a Windows 7 computer, and then put the machine to standby or hibernation mode. After the machine resumes from standby or hibernation, you find that the “Enable write caching on the device” policy is enabled automatically.
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2004926

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