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Windows 7: Weird mystery RAM leak!

04 Jul 2011   #11
zigzag3143

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jimdandy View Post
My Windows 7 installation has been perfect up until now. However, in the last week or two I've noticed this weird memory leak that I've never encountered before and am at a loss to explain! To be honest the only reason I even noticed this is because I use a program that displays system stats on your desktop (Rainmeter).

Essentially the system will be running fine and then I'll suddenly notice that the RAM use is at about 70%. This is usually when I'm just performing simple tasks: file management, web browsing etc. so nothing that should use anywhere near the 8GB I have installed. I'm used to seeing it hover at about the 12% mark.

Upon opening the Resource Monitor (screenshot below) I'm unable to see where all this memory is going . . the programs I am using do not seem to be causing the problem. Even if I close everything the RAM use will not return to normal and I'm forced to restart the system. I have very little running in the background, no anti-virus or update managers or anything.

Here's a screenshot of the problem in full swing; 6151MB of physical RAM in use and I've no idea where it's going (I've overlaid the Rainmeter stats for reference):





Interestingly, when I started Photoshop to save that screen capture the (overall) RAM usage dropped right back down again! I hadn't experienced this and it seems to defy logic!? I took a screen capture of this also:





To be honest this just confuses me even further! If you look at the overlaid stats for the memory and network there seems to be a correlation there: the network activity seemed to drop when the RAM usage returned to normal. Whether this has anything to do with my problem I'm not sure?

As I said the system has been perfectly stable and I keep it very well maintained :] The only change recently has been that I now access the internet through a wireless network instead of through a 3G modem. I have very little running, no weird services or anything (as far as I know) and my systray is nice and bare:





If you guys have any wisdom/ideas on this problem I'd appreciate the help! It's really got me stumped :]

Cheers!

you mean besides the 0.5 Gigs that firefox alone is leaking.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 Jul 2011   #12
Serapth

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by karlsnooks View Post
1. Stream was not listed.
2. If by Thunderbird you mean Mozilla Thunderbird, then be sure to update.
3. What do you mean by MS anti-malware?
Steam, not Stream, and it's listed. Steam is pretty much ubiquitous, so I highly doubt it as a suspect.

2. Yep, thats the one, and it's at the most current release ( which, for the record, kinda sucks ).

3. Windows Security Essentials. It has also been ruled out as a suspect ( uninstalled and the problem persists ).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jul 2011   #13
Serapth

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by zigzag3143 View Post

you mean besides the 0.5 Gigs that firefox alone is leaking.

Actually, thats pretty much normal with a couple tabs open. FF runs all tabs in a single process. Frankly IE9 and Chrome use similar ( though slightly less ) memory as Firefox. Used memory, even a high amount does not equal a leak.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 Jul 2011   #14
karlsnooks

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

Seraph,

Please download and run MalwareBytes. After running a full scan once, then you can remove MalwareBytes.

If after all of this you are still be plagued by freezes, consider posting in the Crashes and Debugging forum:
See https://www.sevenforums.com/crash-lockup-debug-how/66913-sf-diagnostic-tool.html for detailed instructions.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jul 2011   #15
Serapth

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

OK, may have a bit of a clue. As I thought it was a network related issue ( and thus caused by Steam or Thunderbird ), I just noticed the following... my network card is Page Faulting like mad, obscenely high. Sadly, I don't know what it means, but it is pointing at a likely suspect for my memory leak.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jul 2011   #16
jimdandy

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Heya Serapth!

Well, I don't have an answer as the problem seems to have stopped occurring, but I may have some clues!?

I haven't experienced the problem in weeks and as before I have made absolutely no change to that system. The only thing I have done in that time is slightly improve my wireless reception . .

I don't run Steam and never have on that system, which may give weight to your idea that Steam is acting as a catalyst but isn't the root of the problem. (My system specs are filled in if you wanna compare them)

The fact that the memory use wasn't being reported by Windows lead me to suspect that Windows itself might be behind it. I started to think that I might be seeing the behaviour of Superfetch, especially once I saw the RAM use drop down when I ran Photoshop . . the fact that you're not running Superfetch leads me to believe otherwise.

I haven't installed Service Pack 1, in fact I haven't installed any windows updates since well before this problem was noticed . . which points away from a recent update being the culprit.

I started suspected it had something to do with networking as I had only recently started using wireless networking on that system . . and also because of the apparent correlation between network activity and memory use in the second image I posted in my original post.

I'm curious as to whether there's any sort of malware attack/intrusion that's known to cause high RAM usage . . . I'm extremely vigilant with preventing that stuff but who knows?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jul 2011   #17
jimdandy

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by zigzag3143 View Post

you mean besides the 0.5 Gigs that firefox alone is leaking.
Hehe . . actually I would have had at least 100 tabs open so that's not too bad for the old fox :]

I have 255 tabs open at the moment and firefox 6.0a2 is at about 800MB . . pretty reasonable! I imagine a lot of them are unloaded from RAM by now :]


My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jul 2011   #18
Serapth

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jimdandy View Post
Heya Serapth!

Well, I don't have an answer as the problem seems to have stopped occurring, but I may have some clues!?

I haven't experienced the problem in weeks and as before I have made absolutely no change to that system. The only thing I have done in that time is slightly improve my wireless reception . .

I don't run Steam and never have on that system, which may give weight to your idea that Steam is acting as a catalyst but isn't the root of the problem. (My system specs are filled in if you wanna compare them)

The fact that the memory use wasn't being reported by Windows lead me to suspect that Windows itself might be behind it. I started to think that I might be seeing the behaviour of Superfetch, especially once I saw the RAM use drop down when I ran Photoshop . . the fact that you're not running Superfetch leads me to believe otherwise.

I haven't installed Service Pack 1, in fact I haven't installed any windows updates since well before this problem was noticed . . which points away from a recent update being the culprit.

I started suspected it had something to do with networking as I had only recently started using wireless networking on that system . . and also because of the apparent correlation between network activity and memory use in the second image I posted in my original post.

I'm curious as to whether there's any sort of malware attack/intrusion that's known to cause high RAM usage . . . I'm extremely vigilant with preventing that stuff but who knows?
Actually I solved my problem. It was BCMWLTRY.exe, which is the Broadcom Wireless networking tray app, and something is seriously wrong with it. It was leaking memory with any network activity. Disabling/removing this app is a right pain in the butt, in the end I simply renamed the EXE so it wouldn't run.

If your problem comes back, in task manager -> processes, enable Page Faults and Page Fault Delta, like in the picture above. If the delta is really high and sustained, that is probably your problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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