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Abnormallly High Usage of RAM, but don't know why! RRS feed

  • Question

  • I'm going to start out with techs:  I've got a Toshiba satellite laptop A665-S5170 with 4 GB RAM, i3 2.53 Ghz processor, and I think 600 GB HD.  It's running Windows 7 64-bit.  I got the compy in April, after my old Toshiba laptop died an honorable death after a good 4 years of hard use. 

    A few days ago, my compy started running slowly.  It didn't tell me that I needed to close any programs, but it kept freezing on programs that use a fair amount of RAM (like corel Videostudio or corel paintshop or WOW) and then not responding and then closing.  I knew it had to be the RAM and stuff going on in the background, so I found the resource monitor and that bar that shows the usage.  I looked at the processes and so forth, but I don't know what any of them are, which makes it difficult to find the cause of the massive memory usage.  I'm really a novice at this and anything I've learned, I've learned on my own.  This has me a bit stumped.  The bar refers to hardware memory, used memory, modified memory, standby memory & free memory (which is frequently a big, fat 0)

    To give you an idea, as of this moment, I'm running windows explorer, the resource monitor, and I have two folders open.  The resource monitor shows the following: 

    Hardware reserved 206 MB

    Currently in use:  2546 MB

    Modified:  39 MB

    Standby:  1248 MB

    Free:  9 MB

     

    There is no sense in 2546 MB RAM being in use at this moment!!  And I don't know what's using it!  Nor do I understand why it just started a couple of days ago when I didn't put in any programs, updates, or anything.

     

    I do have Vipre Antivirus Deluxe, and I know that runs, but I try to make sure nothing else starts without my permission.  Obviously I've missed something. 

     

    If anyone has any ideas as to how I can find out what's going on, I would be forever in your debt.  I can save my files on a portable hard drive and take her back to factory settings.  I've done it plenty of times before and I've been told by several people a reinstall needs to be done every month or six (depending on who you talk to).  I just hate taking up all that time to do it again!

     

    What I'm looking for is how do I find out what's using the memory and then how do I locate it and shut it down.

     

    Thanks for your time!

    Iestra


    "In the sea where bickle shells grow, "Pretty & pearly blue..." Copyright 2010 Charlotte Haynes In loving memory of all that have "Gone back home & are waitin'"
    Wednesday, June 8, 2011 5:04 AM

Answers

  • Thanks for the response!  I didn't know that Windows was designed to use the RAM like that!  It's nice to have someone explain that to me!  It makes sense, too! 

    As to the Vipre.  It's a newer antivirus, anti-malware, anti-spyware firewall program.  It has the main things in it, such as the anti-spyware, which I failed to mention earlier.  I have used several programs of this nature, but I've found the Vipre outdoes them all, including norton, kaspersky....AVG was run earlier today and didn't find anything that Vipre missed.  As a matter of fact, Vipre found a couple of things AVG didn't.  (That's a preferred one of a friend who works with compys on a daily basis.)

    My friend was actually able to work with me today, and I believe he ran about 5 different deep system scans and the Vipre found 3 cookies, the other scans didn't find them. 

    I also apologize for not making myself clearer.  I was not intending on reinstalling windows....just going back to factory settings.  I'm sorry for that misunderstanding.  But I totally agree with you on the mess that's involved with having to reinstall everything!  It is a royal pain!

    After the scan were run, it was discovered to be sys processes brought on by 3rd party programs/apps.  He cleaned all of that out for me and now she works like a charm.  He didn't have the time to tell me what programs it was, but he'll tell me later.  And from here on out, I'll know.  And thank you so much for the info about how the memory works!!  Every tiny thing I learn just takes me one step closer to better understanding!

    Thanks!

     

    iestra

     


    "In the sea where bickle shells grow, "Pretty & pearly blue..." Copyright 2010 Charlotte Haynes In loving memory of all that have "Gone back home & are waitin'"
    • Marked as answer by Iestra Thursday, June 9, 2011 4:21 AM
    Thursday, June 9, 2011 4:20 AM

All replies

  • On Wed, 8 Jun 2011 05:04:13 +0000, Iestra wrote:

    A few days ago, my compy started running slowly.  It didn't tell me that I needed to close any programs, but it kept freezing on programs that use a fair amount of RAM (like corel Videostudio or corel paintshop or WOW) and then not responding and then closing.  I knew it had to be the RAM and stuff going on in the background,
    There is no sense in 2546 MB RAM being in use at this moment!!  And I don't know what's using it!  Nor do I understand why it just started a couple of days ago when I didn't put in any programs, updates, or anything.

    Wanting to minimize the amount of memory Windows uses is a
    counterproductive desire. Windows is designed to use all, or most, of
    your memory, all the time, and that's good not bad. Free memory is
    wasted memory. You paid for it all and shouldn't want to see any of it
    wasted.

    Windows works hard to find a use for all the memory you have all the
    time. For example if your apps don't need some of it, it will use that
    part for caching, then give it back when your apps later need it. In
    this way Windows keeps all your memory working for you all the time.
    You should look elsewhere for the cause of your problem. See below.

    I do have Vipre Antivirus Deluxe, and I know that runs, but I try to make sure nothing else starts without my permission.  Obviously I've missed something. 

    There's no way I can be sure, but I would strongly suspect malware
    infection. You mention your anti-virus program (which I don't know,
    and suspect is not one of the best) but you say nothing about
    anti-spyware programs. I recommend that you download, install, and run
    the freeware MalwareBytes AntiMalware.

    If anyone has any ideas as to how I can find out what's going on, I would be forever in your debt.  I can save my files on a portable hard drive and take her back to factory settings.  I've done it plenty of times before and I've been told by several people a reinstall needs to be done every month or six (depending on who you talk to).  I just hate taking up all that time to do it again!

    I strongly disagree with the several people who told you that. In my
    view, it's usually a mistake. With a modicum of care, it should never
    be necessary to reinstall Windows (7 or any other version). I've run
    Windows 3.0, 3.1, WFWG 3.11, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 2000,
    Windows XP, Windows Vista, and now Windows 7, each for the period of
    time before the next version came out, and each on two or more
    machines here. I never reinstalled any of them (with a single
    exception--a problem that I worked on for weeks unsuccessfully), and I
    have never had anything more than an occasional minor problem.
    It's my belief that this mistaken notion stems from the technical
    support people at many of the larger OEMs. Their solution to almost
    any problem they don't quickly know the answer to is "reformat and
    reinstall." That's the perfect solution for them. It gets you off the
    phone quickly, it almost always works, and it doesn't require them to
    do any real troubleshooting (a skill that most of them obviously don't
    possess in any great degree).

    But it leaves you with all the work and all the problems. You have to
    restore all your data backups, you have to reinstall all your
    programs, you have to reinstall all the Windows and application
    updates, you have to locate and install all the needed drivers for
    your system, you have to recustomize Windows and all your apps to work
    the way you're comfortable with.

    Besides all those things being time-consuming and troublesome, you may
    have trouble with some of them: can you find all your application CDs?
    Can you find all the needed installation codes? Do you have data
    backups to restore? Do you even remember all the customizations and
    tweaks you may have installed to make everything work the way you
    like? Occasionally there are problems that are so difficult to solve
    that Windows should be reinstalled cleanly. But they are few and far
    between; reinstallation should not be a substitute for
    troubleshooting; it should be a last resort, to be done only after all
    other attempts at troubleshooting by a qualified person have failed.
    And perhaps most important: if you reformat and reinstall without
    finding out what caused your problem, you will very likely repeat the
    behavior that caused it, and quickly find yourself back in exactly the
    same situation.


    Ken Blake, Microsoft MVP
    • Marked as answer by Iestra Thursday, June 9, 2011 4:20 AM
    • Unmarked as answer by Iestra Thursday, June 9, 2011 4:21 AM
    Thursday, June 9, 2011 12:24 AM
  • Thanks for the response!  I didn't know that Windows was designed to use the RAM like that!  It's nice to have someone explain that to me!  It makes sense, too! 

    As to the Vipre.  It's a newer antivirus, anti-malware, anti-spyware firewall program.  It has the main things in it, such as the anti-spyware, which I failed to mention earlier.  I have used several programs of this nature, but I've found the Vipre outdoes them all, including norton, kaspersky....AVG was run earlier today and didn't find anything that Vipre missed.  As a matter of fact, Vipre found a couple of things AVG didn't.  (That's a preferred one of a friend who works with compys on a daily basis.)

    My friend was actually able to work with me today, and I believe he ran about 5 different deep system scans and the Vipre found 3 cookies, the other scans didn't find them. 

    I also apologize for not making myself clearer.  I was not intending on reinstalling windows....just going back to factory settings.  I'm sorry for that misunderstanding.  But I totally agree with you on the mess that's involved with having to reinstall everything!  It is a royal pain!

    After the scan were run, it was discovered to be sys processes brought on by 3rd party programs/apps.  He cleaned all of that out for me and now she works like a charm.  He didn't have the time to tell me what programs it was, but he'll tell me later.  And from here on out, I'll know.  And thank you so much for the info about how the memory works!!  Every tiny thing I learn just takes me one step closer to better understanding!

    Thanks!

     

    iestra

     


    "In the sea where bickle shells grow, "Pretty & pearly blue..." Copyright 2010 Charlotte Haynes In loving memory of all that have "Gone back home & are waitin'"
    • Marked as answer by Iestra Thursday, June 9, 2011 4:21 AM
    Thursday, June 9, 2011 4:20 AM
  • On Thu, 9 Jun 2011 04:20:53 +0000, Iestra wrote:

    Thanks for the response!  I didn't know that Windows was designed to use the RAM like that!  It's nice to have someone explain that to me! 
     It makes sense, too! 

    As to the Vipre.  It's a newer antivirus, anti-malware, anti-spyware firewall program.  It has the main things in it, such as the anti-spyware, which I failed to mention earlier.  I have used several programs of this nature, but I've found the Vipre outdoes them all, including norton, kaspersky....AVG was run earlier today and didn't find anything that Vipre missed.  As a matter of fact, Vipre found a couple of things AVG didn't.  (That's a preferred one of a friend who works with compys on a daily basis.)

    My friend was actually able to work with me today, and I believe he ran about 5 different deep system scans and the Vipre found 3 cookies, the other scans didn't find them. 

    I also apologize for not making myself clearer.  I was not intending on reinstalling windows....just going back to factory settings.  I'm sorry for that misunderstanding.  But I totally agree with you on the mess that's involved with having to reinstall everything!  It is a royal pain!

    After the scan were run, it was discovered to be sys processes brought on by 3rd party programs/apps.  He cleaned all of that out for me and now she works like a charm.  He didn't have the time to tell me what programs it was, but he'll tell me later.  And from here on out, I'll know.  And thank you so much for the info about how the memory works!!  Every tiny thing I learn just takes me one step closer to better understanding!

    Thanks!

    You're welcome. Glad to help.


    Ken Blake, Microsoft MVP
    Thursday, June 9, 2011 8:30 PM