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Windows 7: Physical Memory usage does not go above 45%

20 Mar 2013   #1

Windows 7 Home 64-bit
Physical Memory usage does not go above 45%

Recently my laptop started functioning very badly, slowing down suddenly, then crashing, even thought I wasn't running too many processes or taxing it too hard. For a while I thought it might be a virus or malware, but running any scan was an exercise in futility since the computer slowed down so much, even in safe mode, to the point where a single antivirus scan wouldn't finish after 24 hours. I finally managed to scan with spybot overnight and though it found some tracking cookies and other junk, there was nothing that seemed very serious and the problems persisted.

I then tried a different approach, simply monitoring the CPU and memory usage as I used the computer. I noticed that the % of physical memory used did not go above 45-ish% even when more and more processes started running and demanding memory. After a while of that is when the computer would crash.

So basically I have 4GB of memory, but the computer does not use more than 1.6GB or so even when it needs it and this keeps leading to crashes. This wasn't the case a few days ago. I tried switching the port the memory stick is in and that did not help. I added a 1GB memory stick I had lying around and that helped a little, because now the computer goes up to 2.2GB and 50% of physical memory. But expect any more and it crashes.

Why is half my memory unused? Any ideas? I'm leaning towards a physical problem with the memory stick or motherboard.

So I just finished running a memory test in BIOS and it passed. Not sure what that tells me.

Thanks in advance for your help.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Mar 2013   #2

Windows 10 Pro/ Windows 10 Pro Insider

To check your memory run memtest86+ RAM - Test with Memtest86+ It is best run overnight as you should run at least 7 passes which will take quite a few hours.

For a virus check, try running Windows Defender Offline. this will tell you how. Windows Defender Offline

If you run into problems with these tests or they do not help your issue, check back and we will try to help resolve your problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Mar 2013   #3

Windows 7 Home 64-bit

So the problem isn't the physical memory at all. I ran a hard disk test and it failed. I looked up the error on the HP website and it says that my disk is failing and needs to be replaced. The error is "Hard Disk 1 Quick (303)" if you want to look in to it. I am basically resigned to replacing the disk because it doesn't sound like much of anything can be done. I'm going to try to back it up sometime soon, then reformat the drive just to see if that fixes it before buying a new one. If you have any last minute miracle cures, they would be most welcome.

Thanks for your time again
My System SpecsSystem Spec

22 Mar 2013   #4
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

Post a picture of the color bar and the numbers below in Resource Monitor > Memory tab. Your RAM behavior is probably completely normal but we can only tell when you post that pic.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Physical Memory usage does not go above 45%

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