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Memory Leak in IE8?

    Question

  • I am currently having problems with IE8 running on Windows Server 2008.  It seems that the amount of memory in use continually grows.  This shows in Current Working Set and Private Working Set, in Task Manager.  The total amount in use in the performance tab also continues to grow.

    Eventually Internet Explorer gets unresponsive, and then Windows gets unresponsive.  When I kill all iexplore processes, Windows returns to normal.

    This happens in both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of IE8, but so far, only on one machine.

    This server is running Hyper-V.  Virtual machines are unaffected, except they slow down too when all the memory is used up.

    Has anyone else seen this?  Does anyone have any ideas where I should look to diagnose this?

    Server 2008 uses the same binaries as Vista, and for the most part, uses the same interface, so I think the question is appropriate here.

    Right now, the initial iexplore process is using 1.5 GB of memory, so I'll have to close it soon.

    Thanks, Brian.
    Thursday, June 25, 2009 2:59 AM

Answers

  •  

    Hi,

     

    Thank you for posting here.

     

    I understand that the Internet Explorer gets unresponsive, and Windows gets unresponsive.

     

    As for this system freezing issue, we generally need to analyze the performance monitor logs and memory dump files to locate the root cause. Unfortunately, debugging is beyond what we can do in the forum because of the nature of forum support. I'd like to recommend that you contact Microsoft Customer Support Service (CSS) for assistance so that this problem can be resolved efficiently. To obtain the phone numbers for specific technology request please take a look at the web site listed below:

    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=fh;EN-US;PHONENUMBERS

     

    If you are outside the US please see http://support.microsoft.com for regional support phone numbers.

     

    Having said that, I'd still like to provide the following analysis and basic troubleshooting steps for your reference and see if we can eliminate this problem:

     

    1.    Scan your system to make sure that the system is virus free. Temporarily disable your anti-virus software to see if this problem is gone.

     

    2.    If you have recently installed any software, hardware or drivers, please remove them. And please also check if they are compatible with the current operation system.

     

    3.    Please reset Internet Explorer 8 settings referring to the following document:

     

    Reset Internet Explorer 8 settings

    http://windowshelp.microsoft.com/windows/en-us/help/ff6cc789-e857-439d-a384-08bfa45354271033.mspx

     

    4.    If you have installed some toolbars or other Internet Explorer plug-ins, please also remove them completely. You may also check the items in “Tools - Manage Add-ons” of Internet Explorer 8.

     

    5.    Disable “Third-party browser extensions”.

     

    1)    In Internet Explorer 8, go to “Tools – Internet Options”.

    2)    Click the Advanced tab.

    3)    Clear the Enable third-party browser extensions check box.

    4)    Click Apply, click Ok, restart Internet Explorer, and then try to reproduce the issue.

     

    6.    Please also refer to the following document to trouble shoot this Internet Explorer no responding issue:

     

    Internet Explorer does not start or stops responding

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/926449

     

    7.    Please perform a Clean Boot to check the issue.

     

    Clean boot

    =================

    1)     Click the Start Button type "msconfig" (without quotation marks) in the Search box, and then press Enter.

    Note: If prompted, please click Continue on the User Account Control (UAC) window.

    2)   Click the "Services" tab, check the "Hide All Microsoft Services" box and click "Disable All" (if it is not gray).

    3)   Click the "Startup" tab, click "Disable All" and click "OK".

     

    Then, restart the computer. When the "System Configuration Utility" window appears, please check the "Don't show this message or launch the System Configuration Utility when Windows starts" box and click OK.

     

    NOTE: we can go back to normal boot by running msconfig again and checking on Normal Startup in the General tab.

     

    In the Clean Boot Environment, the third party services and applications are disabled, please check if the issue reoccurs at this time.

     

    If the problem does not occur, it indicates that the problem is related to one application or service we have disabled. You may use the MSCONFIG tool again to re-enable the disabled item one by one to find out the culprit.

     

    However, if the above methods still not work, I think it is better to call CSS for further troubleshooting. I hope the issue will be resolved soon. Thanks!


    Nicholas Li - MSFT
    Thursday, June 25, 2009 10:00 AM
  • I performed an in-place upgrade to Windows Server 2008 R2 RC and it fixed my IE8 problems.

    Note, WS08 R2 has the same bits as Windows 7.

    Unfortunately I now have "The virtual machine bus is not running" error message.
    Sunday, July 05, 2009 3:59 AM

All replies

  •  

    Hi,

     

    Thank you for posting here.

     

    I understand that the Internet Explorer gets unresponsive, and Windows gets unresponsive.

     

    As for this system freezing issue, we generally need to analyze the performance monitor logs and memory dump files to locate the root cause. Unfortunately, debugging is beyond what we can do in the forum because of the nature of forum support. I'd like to recommend that you contact Microsoft Customer Support Service (CSS) for assistance so that this problem can be resolved efficiently. To obtain the phone numbers for specific technology request please take a look at the web site listed below:

    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=fh;EN-US;PHONENUMBERS

     

    If you are outside the US please see http://support.microsoft.com for regional support phone numbers.

     

    Having said that, I'd still like to provide the following analysis and basic troubleshooting steps for your reference and see if we can eliminate this problem:

     

    1.    Scan your system to make sure that the system is virus free. Temporarily disable your anti-virus software to see if this problem is gone.

     

    2.    If you have recently installed any software, hardware or drivers, please remove them. And please also check if they are compatible with the current operation system.

     

    3.    Please reset Internet Explorer 8 settings referring to the following document:

     

    Reset Internet Explorer 8 settings

    http://windowshelp.microsoft.com/windows/en-us/help/ff6cc789-e857-439d-a384-08bfa45354271033.mspx

     

    4.    If you have installed some toolbars or other Internet Explorer plug-ins, please also remove them completely. You may also check the items in “Tools - Manage Add-ons” of Internet Explorer 8.

     

    5.    Disable “Third-party browser extensions”.

     

    1)    In Internet Explorer 8, go to “Tools – Internet Options”.

    2)    Click the Advanced tab.

    3)    Clear the Enable third-party browser extensions check box.

    4)    Click Apply, click Ok, restart Internet Explorer, and then try to reproduce the issue.

     

    6.    Please also refer to the following document to trouble shoot this Internet Explorer no responding issue:

     

    Internet Explorer does not start or stops responding

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/926449

     

    7.    Please perform a Clean Boot to check the issue.

     

    Clean boot

    =================

    1)     Click the Start Button type "msconfig" (without quotation marks) in the Search box, and then press Enter.

    Note: If prompted, please click Continue on the User Account Control (UAC) window.

    2)   Click the "Services" tab, check the "Hide All Microsoft Services" box and click "Disable All" (if it is not gray).

    3)   Click the "Startup" tab, click "Disable All" and click "OK".

     

    Then, restart the computer. When the "System Configuration Utility" window appears, please check the "Don't show this message or launch the System Configuration Utility when Windows starts" box and click OK.

     

    NOTE: we can go back to normal boot by running msconfig again and checking on Normal Startup in the General tab.

     

    In the Clean Boot Environment, the third party services and applications are disabled, please check if the issue reoccurs at this time.

     

    If the problem does not occur, it indicates that the problem is related to one application or service we have disabled. You may use the MSCONFIG tool again to re-enable the disabled item one by one to find out the culprit.

     

    However, if the above methods still not work, I think it is better to call CSS for further troubleshooting. I hope the issue will be resolved soon. Thanks!


    Nicholas Li - MSFT
    Thursday, June 25, 2009 10:00 AM
  • Nicholas, thank you for your detailed response.

    I realize that Windows performance issues are beyond the focus of this forum.  I mentioned it only as a symptom of what seems to be the basic problem:  Apparent memory leak in IE8 8.0.6001.18763, x64 edition.  Iexplore.exe keeps using more and more memory, until the entire system slows down and becomes unresponsive. 

    I have read you list and most of them do not seem to apply or I have already tried them.

    1.  I recently installed BullGuard Security and did a full scan.  Before that I did a full scan with Windows Defender.  I will try disabling both, but I don't think it will change anything.

    2.  I am going to have to do some digging to determine what software or drivers were recently added or updated.  I will post back about that.

    3.  I have tried resetting Internet Explorer, but I will try again.

    4.  I never installed any toolbars and disabled all non microsoft extensions.

    5.  I have never had 3rd party extensions enabled.

    6.  KB926449 suggests many of the same things.  I will try them all and report back.

    7.  I am currently running under clean boot.

    Memory used (working set) by one of the iexplore.exe processes continues to grow, at a MB about every three or four seconds.  I have seen it get higher than 2.5 GB.

    I checked iexplore x64 with the Resource Kit utility, Dependency Walker.  I don't know whether this is significant, but it came up with unsatisfied imports in ieframe.dll:  Warning: At least one module has an unresolved import due to a missing export function in a delay-load dependent module.
     
    Brian
    Thursday, June 25, 2009 8:49 PM
  • Hi Brian,

     

    Thank you for your update.

     

    May I know if the issue just occurs when accessing some specific webpages or all the webpages? If it just occurs on some specific webpages, please let me know the detail information about them, such as URLs. Thanks.

     

    Additionally, please also try the following:

     

    1.   Boot the system to Safe Mode with networking and see how it works.

     

    2.   Run Process Explorer and check what DLL files are loaded by Internet Explorer.

     

    1)   Download the Process Explorer

     

    Process Explorer

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653.aspx

     

    2)   After downloading, extract “ProcessExplorer.zip” to the Desktop and run “procexp.exe”.

    3)   Click View and select “Show Lower Pane”.

    4)   Click View and click “Lower Pane View - DLLs”.

    5)   Navigate to “iexplore.exe” and highlight it, then you can see the DLL files loaded by Internet Explorer. Please check them.

     

    If you want, you can also collect the information and we will help you check it:

     

    Please finish the steps 1)~5), then click “File – Save AS” to save the process data of “iexplore.exe” on your desktop as a TXT file; you can upload the file to Windows Live SkyDrive (http://www.skydrive.live.com/) and share its URL with us.

     

    If this issue persists, to solidly locate the root cause, debugging is needed. Therefore, it is highly recommended to contact Microsoft Customer Support Service (CSS) for further research.

     

    Thanks.


    Nicholas Li - MSFT
    Friday, June 26, 2009 6:34 AM
  • Thank you again, Nicholas.

    I have been running Process Explorer 64-bit and trying to make some sense out of it.

    As far as I can tell, when iexplore goes ape and starts taking over all the available memory, ieframe.dll seems to be the culprit.

    This happens in both "C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe" and "C:\Program Files (x86)\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe".

    I have put the information files on SkyDrive:  http://cid-08ec6ef1e1795d54.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/.Public/iexplore32.exe.txt and http://cid-08ec6ef1e1795d54.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/.Public/iexplore64.exe.txt.

    I might add I also have a Curious Windows Update Glitch.
    • Edited by Brian Borg Sunday, June 28, 2009 4:19 AM
    Sunday, June 28, 2009 3:36 AM
  • Hi Brian,

     

    Thank you for writing back.

     

    After checking the information you shared with us, I found the following in “iexplore32.exe.txt”:

     

    BGLsp.dll     BGLsp   BullGuard Ltd.    8.5.0.5  32-bit    8 K 60 K

     

    This means that the BGLsp.dll was loaded when Internet Explorer was running. Therefore, please completely remove the BullGuard software and check if the issue will be gone.

     

    If the issue persists, it is still recommended that you contact Microsoft Customer Support Service (CSS) for help.

     

    Additionally, I would like to share the contact information of our Internet Explorer 8 support with you:

     

    Internet Explorer 8: Help and support

    http://www.microsoft.com/windows/internet-explorer/support/call-us.aspx

     

    Thank you for your understanding and cooperation. Hope the issue will be resolved soon!


    Nicholas Li - MSFT
    Monday, June 29, 2009 10:51 AM
  • Yes, my bad.  I completely forgot about that.  I have now uninstalled BullGuard.

    Here is a new 32-bit log file:  http://cid-08ec6ef1e1795d54.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/.Public/iexplore32.exe.txt.

    And here is the new 64-bit one http://cid-08ec6ef1e1795d54.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/.Public/iexplore64.exe.txt.
    Monday, June 29, 2009 8:06 PM
  • Hi Brian,

     

    Thank you for updating and the information shared.

     

    May I know if the issue persists after removing BullGuard? If the issue persists, I also would like to know if the issue just occurs when accessing some specific webpages or all the webpages. If it just occurs on specific webpages, please also let me know the detail information about them, such as URLs.

     

    At this time, please also try reinstalling Internet Explorer 8 and see how it works.

     

    Note: When performing this, please also keep the current environment without the Bull Guard installed. 

     

    How do I uninstall or remove Internet Explorer 8?

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/957700

     

    Windows Internet Explorer 8 for Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008

    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=79154fb4-c610-4a1e-811d-dfe0f1dd84d1&displaylang=en

     

    If this still does not work, it's time to contact Microsoft Customer Support Service (CSS) or Internet Explorer 8 Support for further investigation.

     

    Thanks.


    Nicholas Li - MSFT
    Tuesday, June 30, 2009 10:46 AM
  • Thanks, Nicholas.

    I have removed BullGuard but it has nothing to do with the problem.  I had the problem before I installed BullGuard.

    I will try removing and reinstalling IE8.  While I'm at it, I can see if I have the problem in IE7.

    I have been trying to see if I could tell the conditions under which IE8 starts taking over the memory, but so far, I don't have anything definite.  As I said previously, it happens in both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions.  I usually have mmc.exe and Outlook.exe running, but it happens without either one loaded.

    It doesn't seem to matter what web sites or pages I am viewing, although most of the time I am on these forums or other Microsoft pages.  The amount of time before it happens varies from a few minutes to an hour, but it seems to happen sooner it I have multiple tabs.

    Right now, the iexplore *32 is stable.  The parent process is using some 700 MB and has peaked at about 1.5 GB.

    Brian

    Just an update.  IE7 works fine, except it won't show my Links toolbar without manual intervention and then it is temporary.  But then, that's the way IE7 always was.

    Next, to reinstall IE8.

    Tuesday, June 30, 2009 5:45 PM
  • I reinstalled IE8 and the problem is back in full force.

    In the 64-bit version, it only took about 15 minutes for IE8 to start grabbing all the memory.  This was with no other apps loaded.  By the time I closed it at about two minutes, it had about 3.3 GB and Windows was very sluggish.

    In the 32-bit version, it took over an hour before it seemed to get wonky.  It was approaching 1.5 GB in use.  But, then it started to settle down.  Currently the main, parent process is using between 100 and 300 KB.

    Does IE8 take memory to use for caching recent pages when that memory would otherwise be unused?  If so, maybe there is something buggy about the release of that memory when other processes need it.  Just a theory.

    I'll post back if anything changes.

    Brian

    No, I take it back.  IE8 x86 is now behaving.  To test it, I started two more virtual machines.  This pretty much used all the memory, but the good news is that IE released all the extra memory it was using, down to less than 50 KB per process.
    Tuesday, June 30, 2009 10:08 PM
  • Hi Brian,

     

    Thank you for your update.

     

    We have performed almost all the basic troubleshooting steps; unfortunately, the issue persists. Based on the current situation, to locate the root cause and resolve the issue in a effective manner, deeper investigation is needed. However, the further troubleshooting, such as debugging is beyond what we can do in the forum, please contact Microsoft Customer Support Service (CSS) or our Internet Explorer 8 Support for help.

     

    Thanks again for your efforts.


    Nicholas Li - MSFT
    Wednesday, July 01, 2009 10:42 AM
  • Thank you for all the help, Nicholas.

    I'll keep plugging away at it.

    The 32-bit version of Internet Explorer 8 seems to have been fixed, but the 64-bit still has it.  Maybe this will help point me toward the cause.

    Thanks again, Brian
    Wednesday, July 01, 2009 7:45 PM
  • I performed an in-place upgrade to Windows Server 2008 R2 RC and it fixed my IE8 problems.

    Note, WS08 R2 has the same bits as Windows 7.

    Unfortunately I now have "The virtual machine bus is not running" error message.
    Sunday, July 05, 2009 3:59 AM
  • Hi,

    Thank you for writing back.

    I am glad to know that the Internet Explorer 8 issue has been resolved after upgrading to Windows Server 2008 R2 RC.

    However, the "The virtual machine bus is not running" error message appeared in Windows Server 2008 R2 RC. To better address this issue, I would like to suggest that you post it in our Windows Server related forums:


    Windows Server Forums
    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/category/windowsserver

    I hope this issue will be resolved soon. Thanks again for your understanding and cooperation.


    Nicholas Li - MSFT

    Monday, July 06, 2009 6:52 AM