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Available RAM decreasing randomly


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#1
Richiiee

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Hello,

I have 384MB of SDRAM on an older computer. By default as startup it usually has about 200mb of available RAM. I use a program called FreeRam XP Pro, which basically helps free up RAM and help against program memory leaks and what not. The weird thing is, my computer seems to just randomly start using RAM for no idea. I have to constantly free up RAM every few minutes. I could just have 3 tabs in Google Chrome open and Windows Media Player and my available RAM will drop down to like 80mb. I use FreeRAM XP Pro and it frees like 100mb of RAM and takes me back up to almost 200 again. Then just minutes later, even when I don't do anything and just leave the computer alone, the available RAM just slowly starts to decrease again. Think of it like a bleeding nose and FreeRAM XP Pro is the tissue.

I have no idea why this is happening. This is a very fresh Windows XP installation, just installed it yesterday and upgraded to SP2. I've even gone into services.msc and disabled some services I know I won't use with the help of Googling information before disabling things. In task Manager, there are no strange processes. Again, I installed a new version of Windows after a reformat just yesterday so I'm 99.9% sure this isn't a virus, and plus, Avira AntiVir and Sygate firewall haven't recognized anything bad anyway.

Does anybody have any clue why this is happening and how to fix it? I've even tried switching RAM sticks around, but available RAM still decreases even when I'm not even doing anything. I'm thinking it's a memory leak. I can post my Task Manager window if neccessary. I realize this is a very old machine with a very low amount of RAM but it's all I have right now, so please don't just simply say to purchase more RAM or upgrade my computer because I'm fully aware that an upgrade is desperately needed. Thanks.





Richiiee
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#2
Neil Jones

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FreeRamPro is making the problem worse. All it's doing is purging out a bunch of data that Windows will immediately load back in as soon as you do anything. The amount of available RAM falling drastically is usually a sign that you need some more memory in the computer. Constantly paging it in and out isn't going to achieve anything, it's kind of like trying to fill up a leaky bucket. Realistically more memory is the only answer. Memory leaks are typically caused by badly written pieces of software. XP doesn't have major memory leaks in its default state and when it does it's usually caused by some software that's designed to integrate with Windows.

Edited by Neil Jones, 10 January 2009 - 04:12 PM.

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#3
Richiiee

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Well if it's a program, this is my Add/Remove Programs list:

Adobe Flash Player 10
Photoshop CS
Adobe Reader 8
ATI Display Driver
ATI Tool
Avira AntiVir
CCleaner
Data Lifeguard Tools (Program for my hard drive from Western Digital's website)
DFX Audio Enhancer
Google Chrome
Java 6 Update 11
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
Microsoft Compression Client Pack 1.0 for Windows XP
Microsoft Usermode Driver Framework Feature Pack 1.0
Microsoft Visual Studio 6.0
Opera 9.63
PlayFLV
Sygate Firewall
uTorrent
vlc Media Player
Windows Installer 3.1
Windows Live Messenger
Windows Media Player 11
Windows XP Service Pack 2
WinRAR


Is it likely to have anything to do with any of those? Also, is there an option anywhere in Windows to increase available memory or virtual memory or anything? (My paging file amount is set to what Windows recommends).
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#4
Broni

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Download HijackThis:
http://www.trendsecu...ckthis/download
Click on Download HijackThis Installer
Install, and run it.

Click on Open the Misc Tools section button.
Click on Generate StartupList log button.
The list will open in Notepad.
Save it as startup.txt.
Zip the file, and attach it to your next reply.
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#5
Richiiee

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This is what the log says:

StartupList report, 1/10/2009, 11:28:18 PM
StartupList version: 1.52.2
Started from : C:\Program Files\Trend Micro\HijackThis\HijackThis.EXE
Detected: Windows XP SP2 (WinNT 5.01.2600)
Detected: Internet Explorer v6.00 SP2 (6.00.2900.2180)
* Using default options
==================================================

Running processes:

C:\WINDOWS\System32\smss.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\winlogon.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\services.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\lsass.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\Ati2evxx.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\svchost.exe
C:\WINDOWS\System32\svchost.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\Ati2evxx.exe
C:\WINDOWS\Explorer.EXE
C:\WINDOWS\system32\spoolsv.exe
C:\Program Files\Avira\AntiVir PersonalEdition Classic\sched.exe
C:\Program Files\Java\jre6\bin\jusched.exe
C:\Program Files\Avira\AntiVir PersonalEdition Classic\avgnt.exe
C:\WINDOWS\PixArt\PAC7302\Monitor.exe
C:\Program Files\uTorrent\uTorrent.exe
C:\Documents and Settings\Richie\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Update\GoogleUpdate.exe
C:\Program Files\Windows Live\Messenger\MsnMsgr.Exe
C:\Program Files\FreeRAM XP Pro\FreeRAM XP Pro.exe
C:\Program Files\Avira\AntiVir PersonalEdition Classic\avguard.exe
C:\Program Files\Java\jre6\bin\jqs.exe
C:\WINDOWS\System32\svchost.exe
C:\WINDOWS\System32\svchost.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\devldr32.exe
C:\Documents and Settings\Richie\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe
C:\Documents and Settings\Richie\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe
C:\Documents and Settings\Richie\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe
C:\Documents and Settings\Richie\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe
C:\Program Files\Trend Micro\HijackThis\HijackThis.exe

--------------------------------------------------

Checking Windows NT UserInit:

[HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon]
UserInit = C:\WINDOWS\system32\userinit.exe,

--------------------------------------------------

Autorun entries from Registry:
HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

SmcService = C:\PROGRA~1\Sygate\SPF\smc.exe -startgui
SunJavaUpdateSched = "C:\Program Files\Java\jre6\bin\jusched.exe"
avgnt = "C:\Program Files\Avira\AntiVir PersonalEdition Classic\avgnt.exe" /min
PAC7302_Monitor = C:\WINDOWS\PixArt\PAC7302\Monitor.exe

--------------------------------------------------

Autorun entries from Registry:
HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

uTorrent = "C:\Program Files\uTorrent\uTorrent.exe"
Google Update = "C:\Documents and Settings\Richie\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Update\GoogleUpdate.exe" /c
MsnMsgr = "C:\Program Files\Windows Live\Messenger\MsnMsgr.Exe" /background
FreeRAM XP = "C:\Program Files\FreeRAM XP Pro\FreeRAM XP Pro.exe" -win

--------------------------------------------------

Autorun entries in Registry subkeys of:
HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

[OptionalComponents]
 = 

--------------------------------------------------

Shell & screensaver key from C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM.INI:

Shell=*INI section not found*
SCRNSAVE.EXE=*INI section not found*
drivers=*INI section not found*

Shell & screensaver key from Registry:

Shell=Explorer.exe
SCRNSAVE.EXE=*Registry value not found*
drivers=*Registry value not found*

Policies Shell key:

HKCU\..\Policies: Shell=*Registry key not found*
HKLM\..\Policies: Shell=*Registry value not found*

--------------------------------------------------


Enumerating Browser Helper Objects:

(no name) - C:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe\Acrobat\ActiveX\AcroIEHelper.dll - {06849E9F-C8D7-4D59-B87D-784B7D6BE0B3}
(no name) - C:\Program Files\Java\jre6\bin\ssv.dll - {761497BB-D6F0-462C-B6EB-D4DAF1D92D43}
(no name) - (no file) - {7E853D72-626A-48EC-A868-BA8D5E23E045}
(no name) - C:\Program Files\Java\jre6\bin\jp2ssv.dll - {DBC80044-A445-435b-BC74-9C25C1C588A9}
JQSIEStartDetectorImpl - C:\Program Files\Java\jre6\lib\deploy\jqs\ie\jqs_plugin.dll - {E7E6F031-17CE-4C07-BC86-EABFE594F69C}

--------------------------------------------------

Enumerating Task Scheduler jobs:

GoogleUpdateTaskUserS-1-5-21-507921405-823518204-725345543-1003.job

--------------------------------------------------

Enumerating Download Program Files:

[{8FFBE65D-2C9C-4669-84BD-5829DC0B603C}]
CODEBASE = http://fpdownload.macromedia.com/get/flashplayer/current/polarbear/ultrashim.cab

--------------------------------------------------

Enumerating ShellServiceObjectDelayLoad items:

PostBootReminder: C:\WINDOWS\system32\SHELL32.dll
CDBurn: C:\WINDOWS\system32\SHELL32.dll
WebCheck: C:\WINDOWS\System32\webcheck.dll
SysTray: C:\WINDOWS\System32\stobject.dll
WPDShServiceObj: C:\WINDOWS\system32\WPDShServiceObj.dll

--------------------------------------------------
End of report, 5,586 bytes
Report generated in 0.187 seconds

Command line options:
   /verbose  - to add additional info on each section
   /complete - to include empty sections and unsuspicious data
   /full	 - to include several rarely-important sections
   /force9x  - to include Win9x-only startups even if running on WinNT
   /forcent  - to include WinNT-only startups even if running on Win9x
   /forceall - to include all Win9x and WinNT startups, regardless of platform
   /history  - to list version history only

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#6
Broni

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To start with, you can disable some startups:
- MsnMsgr.Exe
- GoogleUpdate.exe
- uTorrent.exe
- Monitor.exe

Also, what browser are you using?
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#7
Richiiee

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I use Chrome so I think GoogleUpdate is what automatically updates it do the next version rather than manual downloads.
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#8
Broni

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On a computer with 384MB of RAM, you rather want to save every possible drop of it, so I see no big deal with checking for updates manually. How often do they happen, anyway? 5 times a day?
Also, I'd curious to see a screenshot of RAM usage from Task Manager, when your memory goes low.
Another thing would be to uninstall useless FreeRAM, which only adds another process to the pile.
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#9
Richiiee

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Ok I've uninstalled FreeRAM and this is my Task Manager when there's just about 80k free memory available.

Posted Image
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#10
Broni

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Well, it looks like you really need more RAM. For instance, Chrome itself, consumes 70MB of RAM...
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