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High Memory utlization on win7 professional

Posted on 2011-10-23
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Hi Experts,

I have a system that starts to consume high memory and it takes about 3 to 4 days before it stops to respond. Not sure what is causing it and I have rebuilt this system 2 times already with the same result. I want to do the following in the meantime.

I want some sort of a trigger setup that when the memory reaches 92% utilization the system should restart automatically. Please can someone tell me how to do that?

many thanks.
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Question by:Habib Z
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:mlchelp
ID: 37015173
you should be ablt to run taskmgr and sort the processes tab by memory and see which program is on top or add the handles column and see which process is the culprit, you can also perform a scheduled resart say, every two days if you want.
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Author Comment

by:Habib Z
ID: 37015179
its hard to find which process is eating the memory. This happens over 4 days time frame and when I come one day in the week I find the computer is ON but not responding to even Ctrl-Alt-Delete.

Is it possible for the computer to monitor the memory and when it reaches above 90% it just restarts it self.
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Expert Comment

by:mlchelp
ID: 37015187
you should see one of the processes using alot of memory or handles as time goes by, say like on the second or third day.
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John Hurst earned 668 total points
ID: 37015192
>>> have rebuilt this system 2 times already with the same result.

Windows 7 will run for months on end and remain a < 5% CPU when idle. So it is not a Windows 7 problem per se.

Since it takes days, consider uninstalling your Anti Virus and replacing it temporarily with Microsoft Security Essentials.

Also look to see if you have any legacy or non-mainstream software installed.

Finally, look to your drivers:  Update BIOS, Chipset, Audio Driver and Video driver. Upgrade your wired NIC driver (via Windows Update). Also make sure Service Pack 1 is installed.

.... Thinkpads_User
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LVL 71

Assisted Solution

by:Qlemo
Qlemo earned 664 total points
ID: 37015261
Go into "Reliability and Performance", "Data Collector Sets", "User Defined",
create a new collector set choosing the "Manual (Advanced)" option,
choose "Performance Counter Alert"
add "Memory\% Committed Bytes in Use"
set the alert threshold, like 90 for 90 %
choose "Save and close" to finish the first step of setup, but do not close yet.
The next steps are not confirmed to work, but it is how it should do:
Create a Task in Task Scheduler containing the reboot command: shutdown -r -t 5 -d 0:5
Don't define a trigger. Provide a proper name for the task.
Open the alert you defined earlier, located under the collector set,
choose the "Alert Task" tab
type in the task name.
You might want to name the collector set and the alert in it, so you know what they are for. Start the collector set.
If that works, you might want to create another collector sets containing several process and memory related performance counters, and trigger those with another alert and a lower overall memory threshold.
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Author Comment

by:Habib Z
ID: 37015264
Guys I am not looking to troubleshoot it at the moment I have done all that you mentioned updating bios, chip set and ran all the windows update. I have something SVhost that keeps running which I can share on a screenshot but I just want this system to restart if it reached the maximum memory utilization. Is that possible to do or not? this is the most simple question I am asking?
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Author Comment

by:Habib Z
ID: 37015268
Olema,

Thank you for your input in creating alerts please let me know if there is any thing else I need to do but I will try the steps and get back to you
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Expert Comment

by:Qlemo
ID: 37015284
I want to emphasize that this (rebooting) is a emergency operation, and of course you should do your best to allow to drill down to the culprit. That is best done with a collector set recording key memory data, or creating memory consumption snapshots, with a lower threshold, as I have mentioned already.

The reboot threshold might be difficult to determine, as the machine will reboot too soon if too low, and not reboot if too high (and unresponsive already).
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LVL 99

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 37015304
A number of articles point to Windows Update as a cause for SVCHOST running high (99%) CPU.

Try turning off Windows Update (not even download) as a temporary measure while you are waiting for / trying other avenues. It will not hurt to disable Windows Update  for a few days. .... Thinkpads_User
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LVL 84

Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 37015339
The task is to find the offending process that is consuming too much memory..  to have it reboot when resources are low is just a crutch.
taskmanager is your friend,
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LVL 71

Expert Comment

by:Qlemo
ID: 37015364
"Taskmanager is your friend" is a useless recommendation if you get to the server only once a week, and it is unresponsive then. Taskmanager is ok for ad-hoc checks, or if you can check manually on a regular base. "Performance Monitor is your friend" would hence fit better.
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LVL 84

Assisted Solution

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
David Johnson, CD, MVP earned 668 total points
ID: 37015709
either way, perfmon or taskmanager you have to find the offending party and eliminate it. but just setting a task to reboot the system doesn't alleviate the problem it just masks it.

Firefox web browser has a known memory leak since version 4. It is better to find the offending app and restart that app than reboot the system.
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:-tjs
ID: 37015907
It's probably not even memory utilization which is causing the system to stop responding.  Windows 7 is very good at managing that - yes it can get slow, but if it is truely unresponsive then I would consider handle counts or Free PTEs or something more along those lines.  There are lots of processes that will allocate lots of RAM temporarily but give it back if the system needs it, so a trigger to reboot at 92% memory utilization may result in many more reboots than required.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Habib Z
ID: 37051459
I rebuilt the workstation in the end and it looks good.

Thanks
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LVL 99

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 37051499
Thank you, and thanks for the update. ... Thinkpads_User
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