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Windows 7: chkdsk high memory usage / memory leak

05 Aug 2009   #11


I ran CHKDSK with sector repair from the properties window on one of my RAID 0 partitions, once all the way through and once cancelling. It used most of my 12GB memory soon after starting, but nothing bad - I could still surf the browser and such. When it finished and reported no errors, mem usage went back to normal. When I cancelled the second check, mem usage went back to normal after a few seconds.

I see no problem here in my case, just use of available memory, which probably improves performance.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Feb 2012   #12

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit

I have just found this thread and I have only skimmed it so I am not sure if a solution has been found just yet. I have the same problem. Windows suggested I run a check disk on my 500GB external hard disk. I have 16GB of RAM and it ate all of it up!!! It was crazy, although my system didn't seem to slow down. I foolishly opened control panel in this state an explorer crashed (also the check disk stopped lol). Any fixes for this??
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Feb 2012   #13
Hopalong X

Windows7 Pro 64bit SP-1; Windows XP Pro 32bit

There is no solution because there is no problem.

If you run Check Disk close everything else and let it run.
Do not open other programs while it is running.
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17 Feb 2012   #14

win 7 X64 Ultimate SP1
Chk Dsk

For me it usually runs as high as 90% of my memory and I have 12Gig
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24 Jun 2013   #15

Win 7 Ult SP1/Win 10 Pro (all x64)

Just discovered this for myself and goodness knows I've run many chkdsk's before and never noticed this (90%-ish of 12gb) usage of my RAM by this utility. Normally I would be running it in Vista and I don't recall it ever using that much there.

Oh well, as long as it is considered normal I wont worry about it. I would never have noticed except my desktop suddenly became sluggish.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jun 2013   #16

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit

I've even gone into the registry to change the Prefetch parameters to '2' instead of '3' so 7 doesn't load all my programs into memory on boot up.
Prefetch does not load applications at bootup. This is a rather widespread myth that has been around since the introduction of prefetch in XP, probably originating with a misinterpretation of some Microsoft article. It is a simple explanation of how prefetch works and appears to make sense. It even appears on a website with a good reputation written by an MCSE. I understand the author later came to a correct understanding and asked that the site remove the article. The request was refused. It even appears in a few books.

Application prefetch entries aren't even examined at bootup. This only takes place when the application is launched and the prefetch file is used to optimize the process. I will not attempt to explain how it does this here. It requires an good understanding of how a modern OS operates and this is not simple.

The default registry value of 3 is optimum for almost all situations.
The value is at:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management\PrefetchParameters\EnablePrefetcher

Superfetch does preload applications but this is very closely controlled and the memory thus used can be freed at any time if needed for other purposes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Nov 2015   #17

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Unbelievably annoying indeed

I know the age of the original post, but Windows 7 without SP1 on a system with 16GB of RAM takes up all 16GB of RAM while checking a 250GB HDD. Nothing running apart from that and once the RAM is taken up entirely, the process simply hangs (not without responding, but rather just kind of pauses and nothing else happens). What the hell, Microsoft? I'll try and check my drive with HDD Regenerator outside the Windows environment. I'll also update to SP1 and see if the problem persists - I'll update this post anyway.
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19 Nov 2015   #18

Win 7 Ult SP1/Win 10 Pro (all x64)

Just did a chkdsk /f here and CPU usage was 1% and RAM 5.15gb max. I'm up to date, however I don't see the connection between the OS and disk health.
Each drive has different characteristics. Maybe someone else can chip in here.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jul 2019   #19

Win 7 Pro x64

Just to confirm a few things : (sorry for topic-necro)

- This is still the case in 2019 with Win7 Pro SP1
- Happens with 2 external USB SATA 3 Tb disks (NTFS)
- OS did neither crash nor became unstable

Did a chkdsk / F /R on both drives simultaneously : error msg on stage 4 because no more memory (all 32gb used)
stopped one of them. The other one stayed at 19Go Memory usage for hours (he was already using 18-19 Gb approx before I kill the other chkdsk job) until job finished successfully (no errors found)

relaunched the other chkdsk seperatly once first one finished : ate up all my 32 Go memoy for hours. Finished successfully (no errors found).

Could still use computer for low memory intensive process. System couldn't free 1Go or more of memory
No games allowed, No VMs, No Big File Compression, etc.

MS confirmed the chkdsk isn't bugged and this is not a memory leak.
So let's confirm it : chkdsk is just poorly designed on Win7.

I made a batch too : echo blabla, increment variable from 1 to 256, relaunches an instance of itself, goes back to start until 256 is reached.

The "relaunches an instance of himself" is the key : it creates an exponential loops. this is just a 10 line ms-dos batch. it consumes all my ressources before hitting 256.
There is also no memory leak here (no malloc in batches), but this is poorly designed and leads to crash.
chkdsk does not leads to a crash. yeah !
But it still is VERY BADLY designed : it does not eat all memory on XP, neither in Win 10. Such a light process shouldn't eat 32 Go RAM. Would I have 64 Go RAM, it would have needed all of it. That's stupid !
But that works, you just don't own your computer for the next 12 hours, it belongs to chkdsk.exe

My 2 cents
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 chkdsk high memory usage / memory leak

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