Author Topic: High CPU RAM Usage Out Of Nowhere  (Read 2459 times)

Offline lacene

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High CPU RAM Usage Out Of Nowhere
« on: November 30, 2014, 01:32:32 PM »
Hello all! I have an old WinXP Dell PC with 2GB of Ram, which is the maximum capacity that it can hold I guess (it was upgraded from 512 MB to 2GB a while back). I use Firefox as my default browser, and as I'm sure everyone knows it "grows" in commit charge size the longer I have it left on - sometimes to over 600,000K of usage from the 200,000K-300,000K it takes early upon opening.

When I would turn the browser off, I would monitor RAM usage on my Task Manager - with everything turned off but the manager, it would get down to around 500M/3997M that I have. Not a whole bunch. There was typically 35 or so processes still active.

Until recently, I started noticing a sizable bump up in committed usage on my PC, and the "Low Virtual Memory" warning has popped up a number of times. Lately regularly I'm seeing upwards of 2500M/3997M being used. I see the processes listed, and the amounts of usage each takes up, but they don't amount to that huge size. I turn off Firefox, and disable some annoying processes that I have to use from time to time - most of the ones that use the higher % of usage - and still it's hard to get the total usage under 2000M these days. The processes listed by my Task Manager don't even come close to totaling the amount shown....

Can anyone explain where the usage is now going to? I have Autodesk AutoCAD on my PC, which uses some memory and has 3-4 processes - some that I can stop temporarily until I need to use the AutoCAD again, but this does very little to drop down the usage. What has happened to cause the usage to leap up so high? Any help would be appreciated...



Offline Hoov

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Re: High CPU RAM Usage Out Of Nowhere
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2014, 02:43:41 PM »
Please download and install Speccy. Once that is done, then start it up. Once it is done analyzing, click on File and then on Save Snapshot. Save the snapshot to your desktop and then right click on it and select Send To and then Compressed (Zipped) Folder. I will send you a PM on what to do with the file.

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Offline lacene

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Re: High CPU RAM Usage Out Of Nowhere
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2014, 03:51:04 PM »
Thanks for your reply Hoov....I have saved the snapshot to a zip file and await your PM....


 :ty

Offline lacene

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Re: High CPU RAM Usage Out Of Nowhere
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2014, 03:54:45 PM »
 :o2

OOPS! You already left me the PM.....I have uploaded the zip file then. Thanks again!

Offline Hoov

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Re: High CPU RAM Usage Out Of Nowhere
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2014, 05:55:48 PM »
There are a few things I saw, first as you mentioned before Firefox is the 400 lb gorilla in the room. But you also have a few others. I will list them out for you.

Autodesk Content Service
Process Explorer (not sure why you would have this running other than for troubleshooting)

There are a few others that seem to be a touch high, but not to unreasonably so. You have two GB of memory and to be honest that is not a whole lot to work with. But there are a few things you can do to help out. You have a BOATLOAD of free space on your harddrive, lets use it.

First there is a program called CleanMem It actually works.

Next thing you can do is to increase your Virtual Drive and put it on its own partition. Do you know how to shrink the C: partition on your drive?

Also I would like to take a peek at what you have installed in Firefox.

Please download Extension List Dumper and install it. It is a Firefox extension.

Restart Firefox and then go to the addons list. There should now be a button in the upper right corner labeled Dump List Click it. Make sure all the checkboxes are checked, and the first drop down menu reads All and the second drop down list says HTML .

Now click the save button, save it to your desktop. Zip the file up and attach it to your next post.

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Offline lacene

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Re: High CPU RAM Usage Out Of Nowhere
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2014, 08:44:35 PM »
Hey Hoov thanks for the response.

I had the Process Explorer running at the time I did the Speccy snapshot, bc I was trying to find info on what was being used. I don't typically have it open - in fact I just downloaded it earlier today. Perhaps I should have turned it off before doing the snapshot: let me know if you want another one zipped up and I will do it again.

The autodesk contentservice is part of my autodesk, and has something to do with file/folder management with my autoCAD that I don't see any need for at this time. I will set it to manual in services, or perhaps just remove the program in control panel.

I once read up on partitioning HD storage but never did. My original HD (this is a newer one) was only 160GB in size, so I felt I needed most of it. I did have a 250GB external drive but it crashed on me. Perhaps I could use some instructions on partitioning my HD.

I downloaded Cleanmem - it seems to me that this program will be constantly running: it is another process that will use up my memory? I need to read up on how it works....

Apparently Extension List Dumper is at this time incompatible with Firefox 33.xx versions, which I have. Don't know where to go from there...is there another way to list to you the active addons I have for Firefox?


Offline Hoov

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Re: High CPU RAM Usage Out Of Nowhere
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2014, 09:31:13 PM »
About Firefox, you can just list them if you want. I need to know which addons you have installed. About CleanMem, yes it will be running all the time, but what it does is flush the memory of unused information. Windows and the programs that run in Windows is supposed to be doing it but it does not do a good job. I had a similar problem that you have and this fixed it.

Now about the partitions, go to the control panel and start the Administrative Tools, then start the Computer Managment and now go to the disk managment on the left side.

You will see something like the image below. Now right click on the C Drive (the block on the bottom half or the line in the top half doesn't matter) and select Shrink Volume.  The computer will figure out how much it can shrink the drive and give you a popup window with the information and asking how much you want to shrink it. In the box for the size to shrink it, type in 6000  (that will be 6GB) and then click Shrink. When the process is done, you need to right click on the new 6GB partition and select format. Format it in NTFS (if you have that option) or FAT32 (if NTFS is not available), and you will need to give it a drive letter.

Let me know when you get that far.

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Offline lacene

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Re: High CPU RAM Usage Out Of Nowhere
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2014, 10:02:23 PM »
Having some trouble here: first off, let's make sure we're on the same page. You've mentioned twice about the C: drive, but you're meaning the H: drive for me, as with my new HD it was assigned the H: designation by my PC upon initial Bios setup. So I need to right-click on the H: drive, right? I do this, but this is all I get:



I right-click on the H: drive at the top, and also on the H: drive (shown as "Disk 0") in the listing below, and get the same options

Also, I'm not sure how to list my add-ons for Firefox. I think they changed the features with updates (I rarely bother with my browser appearance, and haven't added addons in years) - I used to have a specific listinf for add-ons, now only have them for extensions and plug-ins. The only extensions I have are Last Pass and Adblock Plus. I may need some help here....

Offline Hoov

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Re: High CPU RAM Usage Out Of Nowhere
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2014, 10:28:39 PM »
Forget the Firefox addon list. It doesn't sound like you use a lot of them.

About the partition, I am not sure why the shrink is not showing up, unless it is just XP home that does not have it.

But there is another way, I have never used this software, but Partition Magic should do the trick. The best part is it is free. It looks like the basic instructions are the same.

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Offline lacene

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Re: High CPU RAM Usage Out Of Nowhere
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2014, 07:44:25 PM »
OK, sorry for the period of absence from me. I was unavailable yesterday. I downloaded the Partition Master prog., and will read up on it and see if I can create the partition on my HD for the virtual memory. Do you think 6Gb will be a good enough amount?

Offline Hoov

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Re: High CPU RAM Usage Out Of Nowhere
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2014, 08:08:31 PM »
I have read up on this, for myself. The recommended amount is generally 1.5 to 2 times the amount of memory you have.  A person, who's opinion on computers I respect, recommends 3 times the amount of RAM. That is what I have my Inspiron 1520 set to, and it worked great.

If you need more than that, chances are you are doing something on the computer that really needs newer hardware.

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Offline lacene

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Re: High CPU RAM Usage Out Of Nowhere
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2014, 07:40:00 AM »
It's strange how my commit charge and amount is growing, even as no processes are being shown, and I haven't really done anything different with my PC as far as using programs/downloading programs, from what I've been doing all along:



Used to be, I'd have 37-38 processes at idle (by idle I mean the PC is on but I have no programs turned on or running other than what automatically opens as processes at PC start-up, which should show in the task manager), and have anywhere from 400M-600M of some 3000M commit charge taken. This was right up thru the end of summer into September & October. Firefox would jump it up well over 1000M at times, but when I logged off of FF it would go back down. The total commit charge hardly ever varied.

Then I started noticing a lot of commit charge % being taken, and getting the "virtual memory is low" msgs at bottom right. It started jumping upwards of 2000M, even though there were no unusual processes being added to the total. I'd sometimes get a PluginContainer.exe pop up and use a lot of memory, but it would only last for 5 minutes or so then go away.

Lately I'm seeing the memory usage just creep up and up and up. The total commit charge is also growing, from 3000M to 4000M now to 5000M+ you see in the image. I guess that's the PC allocating memory from my HD to account for the larger memory usage? But now it's well over 4000M of usage when I'm doing nothing but staring at the desktop with no programs opened up (except task manager of course). Why is my memory usage growing so huge all on it's own??

Anyhow, I'm going to go ahead and use that EaseUS Partition Master and partition 6GB. I've already backed up my data using the EaseUS Todo Backup. So I may be asking for help here today. Thanks for all the help, by the way.

 :ty

Offline Hoov

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Re: High CPU RAM Usage Out Of Nowhere
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2014, 10:06:58 AM »
The image of your taskmanager is showing a commit charge of  3997M/5435M . What that means is that you are using 3997MB of an Available 5435MB. As the amount of data stored in memory increases, Windows increases the size of Virtual Memory used. You actually have a little more in memory than I do. But you have a boatload of stuff running that you may not need.  I would like you to run a tool called Runscanner. It will give me a better idea of what you have running and what can be turned off.

Please download RunScanner
  • Save it to a folder you create such as C:\Runscanner (this assumes Windows is installed on your C: drive).
  • Launch Runscanner by double-clicking runscanner.exe within the C:\Runscanner folder.
  • Vista users must also click Continue to open Runscanner when prompted by User Account Control (UAC)
  • Check Beginner Mode
  • Click Scan computer
  • Your will see a "Runscanner scan in progress" window displayed while Runscanner scans your system
  • At the conclusion of the scan, save the run file called runscanner.run to your documents folder or directly to the Runscanner folder. This is the file you will need to upload.
  • A runscanner.log file will automatically open in Notepad. Just close the Notepad window because, it is ONLY the runscanner.run file that we are interested in.
  • Next, zip up the runscanner.run file that you just saved.
  • I want you to upload the zipped runscanner.run file as an attachment in your next reply
  • To do that choose "Additional Options" under "Post Reply"
  • Browse to the zipped RUN file location and then click the "Post" button to attach the file.
  • I will review the run file, and then upload it back to you with items marked for deletion.
  • Please await my directions and the returned RUN file, and do not delete anything in the interim

Also I believe you may have some ideas about memory and memory usage that might not be correct. Please take a look at this article. It may give you a better picture of what is going on.

Former Consumer Security MVP
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Offline lacene

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Re: High CPU RAM Usage Out Of Nowhere
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2014, 02:58:23 PM »
Thanks. Here is the zip for the run file:

Offline Hoov

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Re: High CPU RAM Usage Out Of Nowhere
« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2014, 02:52:21 PM »
Do you use the Fax service at all? Do you need the partition manager running in the background? Dropbox?   Sansa Firmware Updater?  Do you use Autodesk often? Do you use the built in dialup modem? MSpaint also appears to be starting with windows.

Also you have two torrent distro's installed. I highly suggest you get rid of them. They can be a problem all on their own. 

There are other programs that are starting with windows that you probably do not use regularly. If you do not use them it is suggested that you turn them off. When you need them start them up, it usually only saves a few seconds to have these programs running in the background.

I am going to suggest a program to you, it is called WinPatrol.  If you install it, and then run it, the first two tabs will help you thin out your startup programs. The two tabs are Startup Programs and Delayed Start. In startup programs (which is where the programs will probably live) you can click on a program and then click the Disable button. This will stop the program from starting in future restarts. If you click remove, it will remove that program from the startup sequence all together.

Go in there and go thru the programs and disable the programs you do not need often. If the program is totally unknown then remove it. Once you have gone thru the entire list, restart the computer and see how it is running.

Let me know.

Former Consumer Security MVP
2011-2014

If I am helping you and you don't hear from me for 24Hrs, send me a PM Please!