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Apps Memory Not being Returned

Discussion in 'Earlier Versions of Windows' started by AocPro, Feb 11, 2003.

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  1. AocPro

    AocPro Thread Starter

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    I have Win98 for a couple of years. In the last couple of months
    I have found that almost all of the memory used to run any of my Windows programs is not being returned to RAM after the program is terminated.

    After running a couple of applications my memory is so low that I can't even run a browser.

    Right now I am using TurboMem to return memory to the pool without having to reboot.

    Interesting problem, isn't it?
     
  2. WhitPhil

    WhitPhil Gone but never forgotten Trusted Advisor

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    What happens when you "try to run a browser"?

    Having no available memory is not a problem. When Windows needs memory to run a app and there is not enough available, it will start moving some out to the swapfile.

    After running a program, the memory is not returned because the program and any files that it used (within the constraints of the amount of ram installed) is tied up in the file cache (vcache). Again, this is normal.

    This is why the second execution of a program starts faster than the first one. Or, reopening a file for the second time is faster than the first time. The program is being executed from the cache and/or the file is being opened from the cache. Ie: Windows does not have to go back to the harddrive in order to retrieve the files.

    Are you getting "Out of Memory" errors now?
     
  3. AocPro

    AocPro Thread Starter

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    It is a series of cascading events. As I open and close programs, programs which require a decent amount of memory will start too open very slowly such as excel. Eventually they will just stop working or I will get an out of memory error or not enought memory to run this application.

    I have 384 Meg. of memory.
     
  4. WhitPhil

    WhitPhil Gone but never forgotten Trusted Advisor

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    If the errors are Out of Memory errors, these are cause by low System Resources.

    After a cold boot, what is your System Resouce Percentage (Explorer > Help > About)
    If it is lower than the mid 80's range, you have too many unnecessary apps starting a boot time.

    This is a good FAQ on System Resouces.

    http://www.aumha.org/a/resource.htm

    And this is a good site to help you reduce your startups.

    http://www.pacs-portal.co.uk/startup_content.htm

    If you still need some help, download and run StartupList and then post back the contents of the file that it creates.

    http://www.spywareinfo.com/files/startuplist.zip

    And, once you cut down your startups, get rid of MemTurbo.
     
  5. AocPro

    AocPro Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the response but let's revisit the question. I can start up with zero apps running and have 90plus percent resources but as I open and close apps, almost no memory is returned until I finally run out of memory even with all apps but one left running. I estimate that only 20 percent memory is returned from the cache each time I open and close an app.

    Is there a possibility that there is a memory chip problem? I added more memory to the PC. I put the two larger chips in the currently occupied chip slots and the older chips in the back.
     
  6. WhitPhil

    WhitPhil Gone but never forgotten Trusted Advisor

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    What are you using to measure your available memory?

    As apps finish, windows does not return all of the memory to the available pool. As I indicated, programs and files will be left resident in the file cache in case they are required again.

    Windows should have no issues running with low to zero available. When it needs more ram, one of the first things it does is shrink the file cache. And, when you run memory "managers" such as MemTurbo, all they do is make exhorbitant memory requests, that are handled by Windows, NOT MemTurbo, and in doing so will force the file cache to be reduced.

    Start up the Resource Monitor (RSRCMTR) and periodically check what your System Resources are. It could be that you are running a particular app that is eating up System Resources, resulting in Out of Memory errors.

    As well,
    1. How much ram do you have installed?
    2. Have you made any changes to vcache, either manually or using a progam like CacheMan?
    3. Do you have lots of free space on your hard drive?
     
  7. AocPro

    AocPro Thread Starter

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    1. I have 384 Megs of memory.
    2. Yes, I have tuned cache using TurboMem but that was after I began having memory return problems.
    3. I have Gigabytes of free space.

    Hope this helps.
     
  8. WhitPhil

    WhitPhil Gone but never forgotten Trusted Advisor

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    Undo the vcache changes.

    Do Start > Run > SYSTEM.ini
    Scroll to the [vcache] section and
    Delete any MinFileCache and MaxFileCache lines.

    ***Out of interest, keep them and post them back here.

    Save, exit

    Also, download and run SpyBot and see if you have any Spyware "stuff" floating around.

    Also, update your virus defs and do a full scan.

    Online One, if required.

    Viruses and Spyware can cause the symptoms you are experiencing.

    Swapfile?? Windows managed or have you set it manually? If the latter, what parameters have you set?

    And, I would download Startuplist and post back the contents of the file it creates. I know you said you start with a high percentage, but lets have a quick look at the startups.
     
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