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Windows 7: explorer.exe using most of my RAM

12 Mar 2012   #1
writhziden

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 
explorer.exe using most of my RAM

I have a USB 2.0 external drive plugged into a USB 3.0 port and am running a disk check. My explorer.exe RAM usage is ~75% of the total RAM, and my RAM is nearly maxed out because of it. Edit:This behavior is normal, I've found. It does the same on another system of mine. However, the system in my system specs keeps hanging when I move the mouse, and programs are slow to respond. I am running Norton Internet Security 2012 and was wondering if this might be the cause?

Obviously, I could remove Norton and see if the problem exists again during a disk check, but I would prefer not to go this route just yet. Figured someone might know if this is a known issue...




Attached Thumbnails
-whysomuchramusageexplorer.jpg  
Attached Images
 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Mar 2012   #2
zigzag3143

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

Of course you can get more detailed info using resource monitor. Any chance of getting a screenshot of it?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Mar 2012   #3
writhziden

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 

The hard disk check came back clean; Windows checked the file system and found no problems. That rules out any hard disk corruption causing the problem.

The problem has returned in the same way it did last night. I was transferring files from a Macrium virtual disk created from one of my system images that exists on the external drive. The odd thing is, this time the RAM usage is high, but the culprit using all the RAM is not seen... I will post resource monitor images:

CPU:

-rm0.jpg-rm1.jpg-rm2.jpg-rm3.jpg-rm4.jpg-rm5.jpg

Memory:

-rm6.jpg-rm7.jpg-rm8.jpg

Processes with Disk Activity:

-rm9.jpg-rm10.jpg

Disk Activity:

-rm11.jpg-rm12.jpg-rm13.jpg-rm14.jpg-rm15.jpg-rm16.jpg


Edit: I tried plugging the USB 2.0 drive into a USB 2.0 port (I did not think this would make a difference), and it made no difference. Same problem remains. Next step is to uninstall Norton and see if the problem persists. Then I will try a clean install and see if the Sony software is interfering. If anyone has other recommendations based on the resource monitor images, please let me know.

Edit2: Tried all of the above. Nothing helped. I have decided to upgrade the RAM to 8 GB from 4 GB and see if that helps. I will post back when the new RAM arrives from Crucial.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Mar 2012   #4
cluberti

Windows Server 2008 R2
 
 

Note that commit is just the amount of memory reserved by an application or Windows - it doesn't mean it's actually been committed and used. In this case, with how odd this appears, it might be worth getting the output of RAMMap from sysinternals to get a raw view (screenies are nice, and file > save then uploading the output file would be cool as well).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Mar 2012   #5
fseal

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
 
 

Well you may be able to turn off Norton's real time disk checking if it can be. But...

The Disk Check is a MASSIVE amount of disk IO which will slow down everything in the system till it's over. Especially if it's an external drive. And the high ram usage isn't surprising, on Linux fsck has been known to fill all available ram then crash the system if the drive is too big. As slow as it is, it's only as fast as it is because it uses a huge amount of ram to cache the drive contents for checking.

Just leave the system alone and let it finish (or run it overnight). Really, you shouldn't even be using the drive it's checking while it's checking it anyway, that may slow it down even more.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Mar 2012   #6
writhziden

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by cluberti View Post
Note that commit is just the amount of memory reserved by an application or Windows - it doesn't mean it's actually been committed and used. In this case, with how odd this appears, it might be worth getting the output of RAMMap from sysinternals to get a raw view (screenies are nice, and file > save then uploading the output file would be cool as well).
This is exactly what I was looking for earlier. Thank you! I have uploaded the RMP file (or tried to, but it exceeds the forum size limit); I do not really know what I am looking for in the program snapshot of my RAM, so maybe you can help guide me. I do see that there is a lot of paging of data by Macrium Reflect, and I assume that since this is mapping the RAM, that means that data is being paged into the RAM.

I found some information from Macrium support representatives regarding this issue, and they blame the file system drivers, hard disk controller drivers, or the devices themselves for the slow down.

Macrium Support Forum - How do I stop reflect using entire RAM?
Macrium Support Forum - Exploring images slows down my computer

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by fseal View Post
Well you may be able to turn off Norton's real time disk checking if it can be. But...

The Disk Check is a MASSIVE amount of disk IO which will slow down everything in the system till it's over. Especially if it's an external drive. And the high ram usage isn't surprising, on Linux fsck has been known to fill all available ram then crash the system if the drive is too big. As slow as it is, it's only as fast as it is because it uses a huge amount of ram to cache the drive contents for checking.

Just leave the system alone and let it finish (or run it overnight). Really, you shouldn't even be using the drive it's checking while it's checking it anyway, that may slow it down even more.
Thank you as well for your info. I was not aware until yesterday that the disk check consumed RAM, especially from external media.

As I said, I have uninstalled Norton, disabled it, gone so far as to do a clean install where Norton never existed on the system, and the problem remains. The system becomes a bit sluggish as more RAM is used.

I also found some information regarding the disk check utilizing a lot of RAM. It appears to be normal behavior. I am hoping increasing my RAM will help. My desktop has 6 GB and does not slow down as noticeably, but it is still somewhat noticeable...

Windows 7 chkdsk memory leak?


Attached Thumbnails
-rammap00.jpg   -rammap1.jpg   -rammap2.jpg  
Attached Images
 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Mar 2012   #7
fseal

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
 
 

Normally it's not something you need to do very often if ever. So unlike backup or something that is meant to be run every day or every week, CheckDisk was not made to be "nice" and work in the background. It's more of a "Stop everything and emergency check the sanity of this disk" kind of thing.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Mar 2012   #8
writhziden

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 

That makes sense. I know in XP, it was able to run in the background, but I read in that link I posted that memory management changed in Vista for disk check tasks. In the future, I may just run the disk checks in the recovery environment if I need to. I was running one on this disk because of the Macrium hang ups and was wondering if it was due to file system errors or bad sectors. The drive came up clean, so it probably won't need to be checked again for a long time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Mar 2012   #9
Britton30
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

If you zip your file you should be able to upload it OK. A .zip can be up to 8MB.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Mar 2012   #10
writhziden

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 

The .zip was 8.50 MB. I posted the screenshots, so hopefully those will work.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 explorer.exe using most of my RAM




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