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Memory Leaks in Win NT Server 4.0

Posted on 1997-06-12
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Last Modified: 2013-12-28
When I install NTS 4.0 ( built 1381, SP3), it takes 22 MB RAM in idle.
In a month it takes 43 MB RAM with exactly the same services running in idle!
My system is Cyrix 68x6 120 MHz, 64 MB RAM, 512 KB Cache.
The Task Manager is not helping at all - I can see only more memory used and nothing else...
What is going on? How to get rid of this? The system is running out of resources and slowing down.
There is no disk activity in the process.
Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks, Steve.


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Question by:svet
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by:armands
ID: 1778850
To make complete analizing of your computer's usage you can use Performance Monitor. Use the following list of Performance Monitor memory counters to determine if RAM is a bottleneck in the system:
- Pages/sec
- Available Bytes
- Committed Bytes
- Pool Nonpaged Bytes
The last indicates the amount of RAM in the Non-paged pool system memory area where space is acquired by operating system components as they accomplish their tasks. If the Pool Nonpaged Bytes value has a steady increase without a corresponding increase in activity on the server, it may indicate that a process that is running has a memory leak, and it should be monitored closely.
The increase of used memory isn't unnormal by itself and may be taken by file cash. Anyway you have to make some research to find out the system's bottleneck.
If you are concerned that one applicatin is consuming a great deal of memory (paged or nonpaged) then you may want to use utility PMON.EXE (this is included in the Windows NT Resource Kit volume 3 utilities) to monitor its load on the system. PMON shows processor usage and memory usage for each process so you can find out the 'guilty' one.
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by:svet
ID: 1778851
The server is idle. No apps running. Memory usage increase.
What apps will I monitor, if there are no apps running?
How can I keep memory usage down?
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by:armands
ID: 1778852
Did you try PMON?
If you don't notice yet I'll tell you that in NT bisides apps there are processes running even when server is idle. Each of them takes memory. Look in Task Manager - Processes and column 'Mem Usage'.
Don't reject the answer only when you don't uderstand something. Make comment and you'll get the explanation.
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:armands
ID: 1778853
Did you try PMON?
If you don't notice yet I'll tell you that in NT bisides apps there are processes running even when server is idle. Each of them takes memory. Look in Task Manager - Processes and column 'Mem Usage'.
Don't reject the answer only when you don't uderstand something. Make comment and you'll get the explanation.
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by:svet
ID: 1778854
Thank you for your prompt answer. I accept it fully and I don't understand it at all.
Of course, there are 17 services running in idle.
So what?
I cannot stop them, I cannot get rid of them, because they make the server what it is, right?
So are you telling me, that they leak memory? This is not possible, they are the base of the server, somebody from Microsoft tested that, I guess.
Again, when the instalation is fresh -22 MB ram is taken, after 1 month - 42 MB of RAM is in use. That is my problem.
So how can I use your answer? Can I? I don't know.
But thank you very, very much.
Regards, Steve.
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Accepted Solution

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bcp earned 200 total points
ID: 1778855
Windows NT allocates Memory dynamically.  It knows if you have a lot of memory, and it will try and use it up whenever possible, better than letting it go idle.  This doesn't mean that the memory can never be opened back up.  Typically, if you do a backup on that machine to a tape you'll notice afterwards an increase in available memory (due to the rapid change of memory, it can't determine what to hold on to, so leaves more available).  This is the normal operation of Windows NT and shouldn't necessarily cause concern, unless your server isn't behaving correctly.
So your answer is, this is normal.  

This description is mine, but to find out more see:
(Windows NT Unleashed, Windows NT Core Technologies, Windows NT Server 4 Professional Reference)

Note:  Over time the biggest degradation of performance I have seen has been due to disk fragmentation, I am using Diskeeper Lite.
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Author Comment

by:svet
ID: 1778856
Thank you. That makes sense and for sure is a good starting poin for me  to learn more about the memory management in NT
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