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Running out of memory - leak?

Posted on 2009-07-13
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Last Modified: 2013-11-29
Every now and then, my system bogs down to a crawl, and I find that my memory usage is at 99%.  This seems to happen while I have a few apps open and am employing some memory intensive tasks.  Closing all of the open user applications does not free up memory.  Sometimes, when this occurs, an application on a networked machine is retrieving very large files from the problem machine.   Only a reboot seems to resolve the issue.  I'm running Vista 64, SP-2, with 16GB RAM, DDR2 PC2-6400 ECC, on a SUPERMICRO X7DWA MB.  I attached a screem shot that provides a list of most of the processes.  

snap10.jpg
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Question by:sjw601
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by:Callandor
ID: 24853795
Vista is not a server OS that is intended to run uninterrupted for months.  It is very likely an application has memory leaks and unless you can eliminate it, you will have to reboot periodically, perhaps once a week.
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by:sjw601
ID: 24854285
Thanks.  This machine usually gets rebooted daily.  If it's an application memory leak, wouldn't it disappear when I close all open applications?  
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by:Callandor
ID: 24855865
No, the point of memory leaks is that they are chunks of memory that not even the OS has access to, because they were reserved and never released.  They only get freed when a reboot occurs.
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by:johnb6767
ID: 24856409
Id be curious to...
A. See what services run under hte svchost at the top of the Commitable Memory columns....
B. See the CPU Time of the storserv.exe
If you kill storserv.exe, perhaps from a command line, you should be able to see the commit charge drop in the Performance tab.....
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by:sjw601
ID: 24859618
Thanks.  I've narrowed it down to one application.  When I use this application to create a disk image, the problem occurs.  I've been in touch with the author.  
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by:Callandor
ID: 24864912
Isn't that what I said in my first comment?  I don't have access to your computer, so I couldn't narrow it down to the specific one.
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by:sjw601
ID: 24865813
Thanks, but I don't so.  My question's title included my observation that it was a memory leak.  That was apparent.  While the expert agreed, he or she did not provide the instruction on how to pinpoint the application.  I suspected that a certain application was the culprit, and repeated my steps, which led me to confirm that the applicastion was to blame.  I also don't think that the sugestion to reboot periodically was helpful.  Even a novice user knows that rebooting will resolve many memory issues, and certainly will resolve a leak, until the problem application is run again.  Telling me that I had a leak and suggesting a reboot was, perhaps, a temporary fix, but not a solution.  
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by:Callandor
ID: 24870041
To be sure, the question title was in the form of a question - "Running out of memory - leak?" If you were sure that it was a memory leak, what was the question mark for?

The followup question "If it's an application memory leak, wouldn't it disappear when I close all open applications?" seems to indicate you wanted information, which was supplied. It is also at odds with your later comment, "Even a novice user knows that rebooting will resolve many memory issues, and certainly will resolve a leak". If it was so apparent, why did you ask the question?

At the very least, telling you you had a leak and only a reboot would clear it meant that you now knew how to prove which application was doing it. If you knew this beforehand, the questions you asked don't make sense, asking for information you already know.  Perhaps this question was worded very badly?
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by:sjw601
ID: 24873195
I wasn't SURE that it was a leak, hence the "leak?"  A leak was one likely answer.  Suggesting a weekly reboot is not a fix, but is a temporary solution to a problem that requires a cure.  Moreover, a leak would most likely require a reboot far more often than weekly.  The "wouldn't it disappear when I close all open applications?" was a question, which you did answer.  Of course, however, the leak would disappear on reboot.  It would then reappear when the application was run.  

I had hoped that my question would have yielded answers like explainig how to run tests, using tools like performance monitor or Process Monitor to diagnose the problem.  Telling someone to reboot is something like the Dell support desk would tell a customer who calls with any given problem.  I was actually looking for an answer more along the lines of what johnb6767 supplied.  He suggested specific things to investigate.

In any event, you did supply one answer, and I'll be happy to award points, if there's a way to do so at this point.  
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Callandor earned 250 total points
ID: 24873929
I appreciate the explanation.  You can still close this question normally yourself.
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