Copying large amounts of files uses up all physical memory


  • I tried copying some media files, pictures, videos, music and downloads (>2GB) from one drive to another and noticed memory usage soared.

    It seems to cause Windows to page out to virtual memory like crazy, adding to the traffic caused by copying or moving files around.

    Can someone explain why this is happening?  Is it a good thing for Windows to page out to virtual memory during heavy disk I/O?
    Thursday, October 01, 2009 8:23 AM

All replies

  • Hi, The reason it is using the virtual memory page file on harddisk is because there may be not enought Ram installed in your computer. You should if you can increase the ram. Let us know what your computer ram size is now. Slan go foill, Paul 
    Friday, October 02, 2009 11:24 AM
  • There should be a simple solution to this. Download a program called minimem and find the explorer process in it. Click the arrow in between the two windows, then click "Optimize now" and the "OK" That should keep explorer from clogging the RAM in your computer. You should also use this program for other programs that use alot of memory, but do not use it on RAM-clogging games that do internet play, it makes the connection lag like crazy. 
    Friday, October 02, 2009 12:02 PM
  • Not enough RAM...?  4GB is not enough for Windows 7?

    Intel Q9550 Core2 Quad (2.83Ghz)
    Gigabyte EP45-UD3LR
    G.Skill 4GB (2GB x 2) 1066Mhz DDR2 SDRAM
    Zotac Geforce GTX 295
    Western Digital Caviar Green 500GB x 3 for OS/program files (RAID 0 + 1 spare, planning on switch to RAID 5)
    Western Digital Caviar Green 1TB (file storage/backup, temporary files)
    Gigabyte i-RAM 4GB RAMdisk (virtual memory)

    Anyways, it's not good for Windows to be swapping out to pagefile during heavy file/disc I/O.  Especially, if the source of the page swap is caused by heavy  file/disc I/O.  It shows great inefficiency in Windows 7.
    Friday, October 02, 2009 6:34 PM
  • How did you notice that memory usage soared - what value of what tool/utility were you reading?  Did you user e.g. Perfmon or Process Monitor to determine that there is in fact "excessive" paging taking place?

    Have you tried the action, after uninstalling AV / security software?  (If you choose to do so, consider first disconnecting from any network...)
    Sunday, October 04, 2009 9:24 PM
  • Seriously?  The app just calls psapi!EmptyWorkingSet, which calls ntdll!ZwSetInformationProcess with the handle of the configured process and process info class ProcessQuotaLimits, with the QUOTA_LIMIT structure's min/max working set size members set to -1; this is equivalent to calling SetProcessWorkingSetSize with -1 for each param.  Hardly useful.  Hopefully no one is donating to the app, and I'd seriously advise against suggesting it... x_X...
    Sunday, October 04, 2009 10:34 PM
  • I use All CPU Meter gadget on Sidebar, which also displays memory usage.  I took a glance at it cause the system had slowed down considerably.  CPU usage was bit higher than idle, but I did notice memory usage had sky rocketed.  System performance was reminence of Windows NT 3.51 running on PentiumMMX 200 with 64MB of RAM. 

    I just tried copying a lot files over (100mbps) network to the Windows 7 Test machine and memory usage also shot up to near maximum (4GB), but I didn't see any noticable slow down on the test system.  I have Avira AV on it, since Windows 7 doesn't allow Microsoft Windows Live Onecare to be installed on it for compatibility reasons.  I was using AVG AV software on the main system.

    Windows 7 Test machine:
    AMD Athlon x2 4600+
    ECS Elitegroup Geforce6100SM-M (motherboard)
    4GB (2GB x 2) 800Mhz DDR2 SDRAM
    80GB Western Digital
    160GB WD x 2 (RAID 0, 320GB volume)
    EVGA Geforce GTX 260

    I'm not able to run any tests on the main system as I can't get back into Windows 7.  I moved the pagefile to the Gigabyte 4GB i-RAM ramdisk but I needed to pull the card out of the way when I moved in an additional drive (for RAID 5).  The RAMdisk didn't come with batteries (I bought it at a discount at $80, when I contacted the seller she offered another $20 off, so I kept it) and I didn't have any problems with it when I had temp and search files on it.  I thought Windows would not try to use the pagefile if it's not there on boot up.  Instead Windows 7 just blue screens briefly and reboots.  Windows 7 Safe mode doesn't boot either.  System restore to a time before I moved the pagefile to ramdisk also didn't work.

    I have dual boot, so I booted up to Windows Vista... same thing blue screen then reboots.  I tried Vista Safe Mode and was able to get in.  Reinitialized 4GB ramdisk, formatted, recreated pagefile.  Rebooted to Vista normal mode.  Everything as far as Vista is concerned is OK.

    Tried booting into Windows 7 normal and it takes me to System Repair.  Tried Windows 7 Safe Mode, no good.  Looks like I will have to reinstall Windows 7 and make a mental note.  Loose pagefile on Windows 7, reinstall OS.

    I took opportunity to image the RAID volume (just Vista, since Windows 7 doesn't work) to switch from RAID 0 + 1 to RAID 5 and upgrade the motherboard to ASUS P5Q Premium.  It will give me the opportunity to see if the problem I had previously with installing Windows 7 from DVD to RAID volume was the motherboard or Windows 7 Setup from DVD problem.

    I had to launch setup from Vista normal boot to install Windows 7 to a RAID volume, because if you boot with the DVD Setup shows the drives individually and not as a RAID volume.

    I tried loading Intel (RAID or AHCI) driver and they both come up with an error indicating the drivers could not be loaded.  This is a problem also on Vista Setup booted from DVD.  On Vista Setup though, it can see RAID volumes properly and AHCI support is native to Vista so this is not an issue.  On Windows 7 Setup booted from DVD, it doesn't see RAID volumes.  Rather it bypasses Intel RAID BIOS and detects and shows drives individually rather than as a RAID volume.

    I don't know how I would've gotten Windows 7 installed on a RAID volume properly without Windows Vista running.  Average users probably won't run a setup like this so it's not a huge deal.

    New System Config
    ASUS P5Q Premium (Intel chipset P45 & ICH10R)
    Intel Q9550 Core2 Quad 2.83Ghz (OC 3.4Ghz)
    G.Skill 4GB (2GB x 2) 1066Mhz DDR2 SDRAM
    Zotac Geforce GTX 295 (V2, new single PCB version)
    Western Digital Caviar Green 500GB x 3 (1TB RAID 5, 500GB is overhead for error correcting, previously RAID 0 + 1)
    Western Digital Caviar Green 1TB (single drive)
    Gigabyte i-RAM 4GB ramdisk

    1TB RAID 5   - C: drive - OS / Program files
    1TB single    - D: drive - page file / file storage
    4GB ramdisk - Z: drive - temporary file / search

    Also performance index on Windows 7 may not be accurate for hard drive, unless it was testing the single 1TB drive.  It should be a lot higher than 5.9, 5.9 is what I used to get with the single 1TB drive.
    Monday, October 05, 2009 1:44 AM