Windows XP Memory Leak?

eLinux

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Mar 6, 2003
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512mb RAM here... I was playing around yesterday with my Windows, and heavily modded almost everything ya can think of

So I started analyzing how much memory I was using just to have the pretty face on my OS...

While do that I started to watch the taskmgr and see what was going on with my memory...

It seems when you first start windows, without opening anything at all, both the page file and the memory usage are very minimal...

When you start opening things, the memory usage (obviously, duh) goes up. What bothers me is that when you close those programs, the memory usage seems to stay anywhere from 2-15mb higher than it was before you opened the program!

i.e., to give an example. If I load the comptuer and have a memory load of approx. 176mb (176892K, for example). Then I load IE and surf on HoFo for a while. When I close the browser (in essense bringing everything back to the way it was *before* I used IE), the memory usage is still higher than 176.

Keep in mind I'm not talking about page file usage history (which is what is shown on the graph in the taskmgr in XP), instead I'm talking about actual physical memory usage.

The page file also stays higher after using a program and then closing it, although that makes at least some sense.

What's going on? Why does the usage stay higher? Anybody have any input?
 

spyordie007

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May 28, 2001
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It's suppposed to be that way, many of the dlls, etc. gets casched in RAM so that if you use them again they are quickly available. I dont know if you've ever run Photoshop but the first time you load the thing up it seems to take forever, however if you exit and than load it back up it loads very quickly, this is why.

So dont worry that it shows more usage, since it's just casched stuff the OS will drop them as new items need space.

-Spy
 

Killbat

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Jan 9, 2000
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If it goes up right after boot and levels off, then it's normal.
More goes into memory when you load a program than just that program's code. The typical Windows application calls on lots of external libraries to get things done. When you start a program, Windows loads up the DLLs it asks for, then when you close the program, Windows keeps those libraries around in RAM in case they're needed again soon, and most are.
Nothing to be concerned about. If something asks for TONS of memory, Windows'll do a little house cleaning to provide it.
Free memory is lazy memory.

If it keeps going up 10MB at a time each time you run the program, there's a problem.


[edit] A CHALLENGER APPEARS!
 

eLinux

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Okay, that makes sense...

So it is normal for the page file to do the same?

I was simply concerned b/c it seems weird that windows is using 250mb+, especially when there's absolutely nothing opened...

Make sense?
 

Killbat

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Windows memory management is nothing if not overly complicated.
The pagefile is where Windows will stick a lot of boring crap from RAM until it's needed again, or if you've not enough RAM it'll swap in and out of there a whole damn lot. It gets used for a lot of strange stuff besides rubbing you physical RAM's shoulders, too.

But.

Are you saying that when you open up the task manager, with no major apps running, on the "PF Usage" diaplay on the "Performance" tab, it says 250+MB? That's a lot. It's not meltdown, but it seems high. I've been running some hardcore stuff today, plus I have eMule open right now, and mines only at 180MB. (I have half a gig RAM as well.)
 

eLinux

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Originally posted by: Killbat
Windows memory management is nothing if not overly complicated.
The pagefile is where Windows will stick a lot of boring crap from RAM until it's needed again, or if you've not enough RAM it'll swap in and out of there a whole damn lot. It gets used for a lot of strange stuff besides rubbing you physical RAM's shoulders, too.

But.

Are you saying that when you open up the task manager, with no major apps running, on the "PF Usage" diaplay on the "Performance" tab, it says 250+MB? That's a lot. It's not meltdown, but it seems high. I've been running some hardcore stuff today, plus I have eMule open right now, and mines only at 180MB. (I have half a gig RAM as well.)

No...it's not quite that bad.

Here, let me break it down...

I start my computer fresh and from scratch. At that point, when I open the task manager, here's the stats I get:
Page File Usage: 143mb
Physical Memory Stats:
- Total: 523276
- Available: 345132
- System Cache: 193896


After having used the computer for a while (surfed, e-mail, etc.), task manager shows the following:
Page File Usage: 170mb
Physical Memory Stats:
- Total: 523276
- Available: 292004
- System Cache: 312424

Seems...high. I'm not really running a whole lot (IE, Y'z Dock, and windows is skinned with Style XP). When I open a usual load, such as a few windows of IE, e-mail, and maybe Photoshop, PF usage jumps to about 250...

Usually never hits 300mb.

Thoughts?
 

spyordie007

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May 28, 2001
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I wouldnt worry about it as long as it doesnt continue using more, you'll know if there's a real memory leak.

-Spy
 

Killbat

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Yea, you're golden.

Gimme a minute and I could make you a memory leaking utility, if you want.
 

Killbat

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I assumed you'd want it Internet-ready, remote-accessable from your cell phone, with a holographic user interface.
 

eLinux

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Mar 6, 2003
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Originally posted by: Killbat
Yea, you're golden.

Gimme a minute and I could make you a memory leaking utility, if you want.

Forgive my stupidity (b/c I know this question is going to make me sound extremely stupid)...

By golden you mean "good," right?

Also, Killbat...what precisely would you consider "out of range" of normality when it comes to the PF usage?

Shouldn't PF usage generally go up (instead of down) since it will store things that the RAM is "temporarily" not using into a file?

That only makes sense to me...right now, I'm running a semi-usual load with a PF of 241... That seems a little heavy from the post you had before indictating maybe I'm using too many resources?
 

Killbat

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What I would consider out of the range of "normality" is just that. Not "normal". "normal" is a hazy average of all the different machines I've seen, something over 100 but definitely below 200 with no heavyweight applications open. It doesn't mean that if your PF is outside of that, there's something wrong, but if it's within that range, it's just like all the other computers I've seen that were in good health. That only applies to the "average personal computer", though.
What I mean is, what I think is totally meaningless. A heinously small statistical cluster.

And the Windows NT/2K/LOL/XP task manager isn't as informative as it could be. If you want to know, really, what's going on, you should seek out another utility, if one exists. I honestly don't know, I haven't looked. Something that gives a better breakdown of your system resources.

If you're genuinely interested, there are loads of documents out there written by people far more knowledgable than I, for sure.
I found this page high up on Google's Platinum Wonderful Victory website list.
 

eLinux

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Mar 6, 2003
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Can anybody add a more concrete statement as to a level of PF that is normal?

I figure the file could get huge and it wouldn't be a problem, so why is it that higher PF would = worse preformance?

Maybe I'm simply not understanding the idea behind PF correctly.
 

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