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Windows 7: Memory Leak: Insufficient System Resources


13 Aug 2013   #1

Windows 7 Pro 32 bit
 
 
Memory Leak: Insufficient System Resources

My practice is to turn off the machine at bedtime and reboot it every morning, so that it gets a fresh start every day. I upgraded to Windows-7 from -XP about a month ago, applied all available updates and thought it the right move until recently. Now after the machine runs several hours, when I try to invoke another program, I get, usually with reference to the invoking filename from Windows Explorer,

"Insufficient System Resources exist to complete the requested service"

It does allow the Windows Task Manager to start, after several seconds of black screen, where I see three things of interest:
1. Display resolution shrinks to 640x480
2. Memory utilization is above 3.9 GB (out of 4)
3. The program, iexplore.exe, keeps thrashing in and out every few seconds.

Another item of interest that begins shortly after system boot is the cursor on the display. Instead of the normal arrowhead pointing up at an angle of about 110 degrees, I see the arrowhead plus an hour-glass just beside it. The hour-glass is blinking on and off at a rate of several times per second. This behavior is more or less continual. When the hour-glass goes away, the next invocation gets the insufficient resource message.

Gentlemen, this is clearly what, thirty years ago on UNIX, we used to call a "memory leak" -- in this case, as atrocious as any I ever saw. Rebooting the machine, starting only the Windows Task Manager and watching the memory utilization, I see it rising at an estimated rate of a quarter gigabyte per minute -- with nothing else running!

Looking at how long this problem has been outstanding in this forum and the many times and many systems for which it has been reported without resolution, I abandon hope of a fix. Two things are clear:
1. Memory leaks are without question deficiencies in the OS, so it's a Microsoft software problem
2. Instead of fixing it, Microsoft wants you to buy Windows-8 -- as if that's any encouragement!

XP has its problems but at least it will run all day without rebooting. My recourse is obvious.
Thank you for your attention.

--rlsj

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

13 Aug 2013   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I've been using Windows 7 for several years and have never seen any evidence that the os has a memory leak. I have had some apps that had one, but not Windows itself.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Aug 2013   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I should also mention that I only boot my laptop once a week because of forced updates from my employer that require a reboot, and my desktop at home often runs for months at a time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


13 Aug 2013   #4

Windows 7 Pro 32 bit
 
 

Barnabas1969, I can see how you reach your conclusion. But an application running out of memory: i.e., trying to reach memory out of the address range, is a different problem and would not prevent the OS from starting other programs.

As to your second post, congratulations on your good luck!

--rlsj
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Aug 2013   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

When an application has a memory leak, it will fill all available memory. At some point, it will be impossible to start other apps. Eventually, the offending application will hang/crash.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Aug 2013   #6

Windows 7 Pro 32 bit
 
 

barnabas1969 wrote:
"When an application has a memory leak, it will fill all available memory..."

Whatever RAM is available, yes, then the OS assigns virtual memory -- swapping from real RAM into and out of disk, what Microsoft calls its "Page file" -- up to the limits of the addressing scheme, which in a 32-bit system like mine is 4 GB. At the end of the address range the application fails, the OS unassigns all its memory, terminates it and lets other programs run. I refer to a properly coded OS of course.

Please recall my reported observation of the steady rise in memory utilization even with no application invoked since reboot except the Windows Task Manager. This cannot be an application failure.

This is a Microsoft bug in Windows-7, probably in the system task controller, which in most systems is responsible for memory clean-up.

--rlsj
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Aug 2013   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 enterprise 64 bit, Windows 7 Pro 64 bit ,Windows 8 64bit
 
 

Now here is the problem with your theory that windows 7 simply has a memory leak, I have a system that will run for weeks on end and will never ever in the time I have used it (going on three years now) run out of memory, it too has four gigs of ram. Nor have I ever seen anything but third party software cause this kind of behavior. Now you say that nothing else is running but I implore you to take a look at this tutorial to ensure that nothing is running at start up except for the absolutely necessary programs (i.e antivirus).

Troubleshoot Application Conflicts by Performing a Clean Startup

If you find that nothing is running and there is still a memory problem, I would recommend replacing your anti-virus with something more lightweight like Microsoft Security Essentials.

Again if you find that there are still memory problems try working through the following tutorial for general trouble shooting:

Troubleshooting Steps for Windows 7

Last, and hopefully it does not come to this try doing a clean install, this tutorial should get you a perfect install:

Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Aug 2013   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by rlsj View Post
barnabas1969 wrote:
"When an application has a memory leak, it will fill all available memory..."

Whatever RAM is available, yes, then the OS assigns virtual memory -- swapping from real RAM into and out of disk, what Microsoft calls its "Page file" -- up to the limits of the addressing scheme, which in a 32-bit system like mine is 4 GB. At the end of the address range the application fails, the OS unassigns all its memory, terminates it and lets other programs run. I refer to a properly coded OS of course.

Please recall my reported observation of the steady rise in memory utilization even with no application invoked since reboot except the Windows Task Manager. This cannot be an application failure.

This is a Microsoft bug in Windows-7, probably in the system task controller, which in most systems is responsible for memory clean-up.

--rlsj
Yep, you're correct... it will fill up the page file too... and at that point, you won't be able to start a new app. You're point?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Aug 2013   #9

Windows 7 Pro 32 bit
 
 

Sigh. The page file -- Virtual Memory -- on my system is over 12 GB. No single application could fill that up, because no application can access more than the logical maximum memory address, which on a 32-bit system is 4 GB (the hardware address registers are 32 bits wide; 2^32=4G). The OS can, in effect, because it maintains a complex table of correspondence between page file disk chunks and the address chunks in separate applications. Besides, no application that I've installed could use anywhere near 4 GB, and none of them is new since Windows-XP, which had no memory leak.

As to your good fortune without resource errors in Windows-7, you obviously have different hardware-software combinations than I. Program bugs appear only for certain sequences of events, which depend on those differences.

As to DSprague's recommendation of a clean install, this began as a clean install, followed by application of all updates, followed by installing the same applications from -XP. With no other difference, how could a new OS install be effective?

Thank you, but I know how to recover from this debacle.

--rlsj
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Aug 2013   #10

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 enterprise 64 bit, Windows 7 Pro 64 bit ,Windows 8 64bit
 
 

so what your saying is you are running outdated programs that were designed for an 11 year old operating system and expecting them to operate at optimal conditions on an operating system that they were never designed to run on? also earlier you claimed it could not possibly be an application problem when you just stated that different programs react differently depending on what operating system they are running on. further more if you were aware that these programs were causing instability within the opperating system whay would you not :

A. seek to find updated versions of these programs

B. downgrade to an operating system that they were designed to run on

C. contact the company that manufactures the software to report the problem

D. come here to complain about a problem you obviously have no faith in our technical ability to help you solve then lash out at our users when they try to help you
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Memory Leak: Insufficient System Resources




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