Tracing a memory leak for a non programmer

Posted on 2006-04-21
Last Modified: 2010-04-17
I'm a PHP programmer, so I'm familiar with coding, but my problem is in windows, so I don't know where to start.

I run a number of pretty common programs all at once... Usually outlook, dreamweaver, winamp, act and a number of IE windows.  After a while or working, closing apps, re-opening them, I get to a point where it appears I'm out of memory.  I don't get any such message, and looking at taskman shows the Page File usage at about half.  I have a gig of ram, and the PF is set to 1.5G.  So the PF usage is around 780.  It's pretty obvious when I reach this point.  New IE windows open, but they don't load anything in the rendering window, the menus don't show... New programs show the splash screen, I get the windows 'error' sound, and they close (No error reporting messages)

In the process list in Taskman, I have Mem Usage and VM Size turned on.  Neither of these seems huge for any running program.  Any clues as to how I can find this missing memory?  I've been running the same type setup for 3 years, (I reformat and start over at least yearly) and it always comes back.  I don't have the patience to install my programs 1 at a time to see which is doing it ;)

Question by:bennybutler
    LVL 25

    Accepted Solution

    If it's not visible based on what's in the task manager (ie., the "Mem Usage" column in the "Processes" tab), then one option is to run a profiler on all of your applications - one at a time - to monitor their mem usage.

    This is quite a tedious task however.

    So, perhaps it would be worth testing out some sort of RAM free'er:,fid,22441,00.asp

    I used this application on my old XP machine - with just 256 MB RAM - and it seemed to do the job.
    I'm not too sure how effective it would be on a 1 GB RAM machine mind you; would be worth a go though.

    And if the worst comes to the worst, then perhaps upgrade to 2 GB ?  ;)
    LVL 1

    Author Comment

    I'll look into the ram program, I've always thought of those as 'snake oil' but maybe in this case it'll work.

    I'd love to have more ram, but I'm not sure it'd really help.  I get the feeling that something is growing behind the scenes to fill up my ram some how.  Right now I can't even shift click that link because there's not enough free memory to start a new IE process.  I can close a program or two and that will work, but eventually that free'd up space will be sucked down as well, and I'll just have to reboot.

    I think all of the programs I'm using have mac versions.  When apple comes out with an intel version of one of their 'big macs' I think it'll finally be time for me to switch back...
    LVL 1

    Assisted Solution

    use can try to use Process Explorer from and have a look on Page Faults, Heap, and so on properties. But not sure that it will pinpoint this kind of issue, specially if can't launch it :(
    Don't forget that you could exceed GDI maximum allowed objects number, maybe following link could help you :

    Pierre-Olivier BLU-MOCAER

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