mysterious memory drain

Discussion in 'Operating Systems' started by Mr.Procrastinat, Nov 1, 2007.

  1. Mr.Procrastinat

    Mr.Procrastinat Member

    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey guys,

    I'm completely thrown by a RAM leak issue I've been experiencing over the last few weeks. Essentially, whenever Windows XP is operating in normal mode (as opposed to safe mode, where the drain does not occur), about 5 megabytes of RAM are lost from the pool of available general RAM every minute (as per task manager and cacheman). This occurs regardless of what I am doing in the process--just leaving the computer following logging in does not avert the degradation. I have heard of memory leaks in software before, but the bizzarre part of the story is that no software (as surveyed through task manager)/process actually uses increased amounts of RAM (about 5 MB/second increase). If left for a few hours, all 3 GB of my physical RAM are swallowed up, making the computer unusable (I have virtual ram set at 4.2 GB also). I used both the Windows Task Manager with 'show all users' processes' turned on and Process Explorer, but the sum total of the processes' RAM use is still not even remotely close to total expenditure.

    Here are the steps taken so far to try and find the source of my troubles:

    1. Ran a multitude of virus and spyware checks, including AVG, Pc Cillin, some online tests--nothing found.
    2. Ran a process explorer to find suspicious processes, disabled non-essential startup processes. Then manually shut off all processes that weren't listed as 'system'.
    3. Uninstalled recently installed software, including a video codec, bluetooth software and miscellaneous programs.
    4. Logged into safemode, noted no memory degradation--thus leading me to believe it may be a Windows core process of some sort doing this.

    Any help would be great--this is driving me rather crazy!

    My specs are below:

    FX 60 Dual Core AMD
    3 GB PC 3200 RAM
    2 Nvidia 7900 GS in SLI
    Windows XP SP2
    X-FI Pro soundcard
    All the latest drivers.

    I do not believe this is hardware related as nothing has been added in the recent past, but I suppose you know better.

    Thank you in advance for your help.
     
  2. dB

    dB Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    2,448
    Likes Received:
    0
    GPU:
    88GTS 512M@830/2050/2.2g
    Reinstall all your drivers. I had the same problem a long time ago and it turned out that the forceware drivers had a memory leak.
     
  3. Mr.Procrastinat

    Mr.Procrastinat Member

    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the tip. The only drivers I installed within 6 months of the problem occuring are the Nvidia drivers for the graphics card. I uninstalled them, used Driver Cleaner Pro, then did it again in safe mode, rebooted into windows--but memory was still going missing (with no graphics drivers installed). I then installed updated drivers, but it is still happening. I guess drivers are unrelated--although it really seemed like a winner suggestion (seeing as safemode doesn't cause leak problems and those drivers aren't operating there).
     
  4. dB

    dB Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    2,448
    Likes Received:
    0
    GPU:
    88GTS 512M@830/2050/2.2g
    Have you attempted to restore your system to a point before this started?
     

  5. Mr.Procrastinat

    Mr.Procrastinat Member

    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've had issues with corrupted system restore points a few weeks ago, which I fixed but had to delete older restore points. The ones since then have all covered periods after my problems started.
     
  6. dB

    dB Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    2,448
    Likes Received:
    0
    GPU:
    88GTS 512M@830/2050/2.2g
    Download process explorer, that should tell you exactly what program/service/driver has a memory leak (enable all memory viewing options if you don't see any programs using up large amounts of memory). If you can't find out whats causing it beyond that, you could use SOFTiCE, but its a very advance and expensive program, and i think it might be illegal for single user use now. If you don't want to go down that route, then the next suggestion would be to reinstall all your drivers (even though you've had some forever) or a reformat.
     
  7. Mr.Procrastinat

    Mr.Procrastinat Member

    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm already running process explorer, but after your post I did enable all the viewing categories. Two things I noticed: the Virtual Size column seems to roughly correspond to the total amount of RAM used (however it is not growing, so I think it might be a coincidence. Secondly, the 'page fault' category is growing in regards to each application (the only value amongst all the categories that is growing). What is this 'page fault' growth symptomatic of--and more importantly, how do I fix it?

    Thanks again for your help--you've been great.
     
  8. dB

    dB Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    2,448
    Likes Received:
    0
    GPU:
    88GTS 512M@830/2050/2.2g
    I don't know what "page fault" is :(. I am sure a quick google search could point you in the right direction though :).
     

Share This Page