Does memory leak comsume system memory ?

Dear experts

I'm using VC++5.0 on WindowsNT 4.0.
When my app is colsed in debug mode, some memory leak messages appeared in debug window.
I have to invoke my app repeatedly every day. So, I'm afraid that these memory leak may accumulated and at last exhaust all of system memory, then system will be shutdown.
Will this system crash happen ?
Or even though memory leak take place, all leaked memory will be returned to system when app is closed ? So, no problem ?

Any comments will be appreciated.
okgAsked:
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mikeblasConnect With a Mentor Commented:
The things that Try said are correct. For WindowsNT and Windows 9x, anyway. On Win32s, leaked memory isn't freed back to the operating system. On WinCE, it might or it might not be--I don't know.

You need to debug your application and fix the leaks. It's possible that the leaks are masking other, serious bugs in your application and you don't know about those bugs.

They'll bite you in the end, you know.

..B ekiM

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TryCommented:
The damage caused by memory leaks is only a concern when the program causing the memory leak is running.  When that program closes or is shutdown, ALL resources (including memory) are returned to the system.  IOW, the system gets back ALL the memory that the program was leaking.

Still, memory leaks are serious matters, since they can cause program crashes and even system crashes when they occur.  If a lot of memory leakage is occuring, you should make all efforts to try and find out where, and correct the problem.

Some of the lesser harms (but still significant enough) that the system may experience while memory leakage is occuring, are slower execution time for all programs, inability to start other application, and longer response time between users inquiries.
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TryCommented:
Since "okg" stated that he was using NT 4, my comments were directly in context to his concerns.

If you are planning a trip to Paris, how significant is it to know about the immigration laws of China?  Stick to the immediacy of the issue, "mikeblas"!

You really haven't stated anything new.
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okgAuthor Commented:
Thanks a lot 'Try' and 'Mikeblas' !
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TryCommented:
There is something very UNPRINCIPLED about you, "mikeblas".

You offered "okg" nothing new in context to his question, but saw the few words you submitted as a worthy answer.

I submitted my response as a comment because I wasn't interested in taking his points.  I answer (on the average) about two questions a month, and that's fine with me.  The rest of the time, I am NOT interested in points.

You came in after I had posted my comments, offered NOTHING new (that was relevant to his question), but was quite willing to take his points.

If you 're such a hot shot at answering questions, why didn't you answer my email I sent you over a year ago about a question on your book, "Professional MFC: Visual C++ 5"?

You didn't respond to my email, because you didn't have to; the sale was already made.  You responded, however, to "okg" question, because there was something in it for you!!

I see the footprints you've left behind, and they're DIRTY!!
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