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Windows XP PF Usage Climbs Indefinitely

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by MaxAvion, Jun 25, 2009.

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  1. MaxAvion

    MaxAvion Thread Starter

    Apr 15, 2009

    I have been having a problem for quite some time and can't seem to be able to figure out what is causing it. My Dell Inspiron Laptop had crashed which forced me to do a format and re installation of the OS. This issue has been there right from the reinstall which makes it even more strange as few 3rd party applications were loaded at that time. I am running Windows XP Home Edition SP3.

    When I boot up my computer and check the task manager the PF usage is at about 330-350 MB and continues to climb until it is at 4-5GB which is when I start getting VM warnings and have no choice but to shutdown the computer and start again. Another problem is that I cannot properly shutdown the computer, well, it takes about 10-15 minutes for the PC to gracefully shutdown, usually I need to force it. I presume this issue has something to do with that. I set my registry not to clear the page file at shutdown but this did not help, I don't have APM (Advanced Power Management)

    Below is what I have already done to try and resolve the problem but have not had much in the way of luck.

    1. Deleted the page file and reset it to system managed size. Also created user set min/max values.
    2. Looking at the TaskManager no VM or MEM draining programs seem to be running. All seems normal.
    3. Since this problem had started soon after a format/reinstall there was no need to remove 3rd party applications since there were very few.
    4. Ran chkdsk /r /f, page file defrag, system defrag, cleanup, registry clean, malware and anti-virus scans.
    5. I also followed some instructions from MS KB which said to update the drivers and change the power options on them, did all that but no luck.
    6. Cleared items form MSCONFIG's Startup and Services.

    I am sure someone is going to tell me to format and reinstall again but the reason why I think there has to be some way to fix this is because I do not seem to have any problems when booting in safe mode, the page file usage does not seem to climb the same way and the system will shutdown/restart normally.

    If anyone has some insight, guidance or suggestions that they would be willing to share it would be very much appreciated. I do not expect a magic solution.

    Thank you in advance!

  2. WhitPhil

    WhitPhil Gone but never forgotten Trusted Advisor

    Oct 4, 2000
    The PF in TaskManager is really Commit Charge NOT Page File usage.

    So, if this number continues to get larger, one of your active apps is continuing to allocate more and more memory.

    From TaskManager, Processes tab, click on the column header VM Size to sort the Virtual memory allocation in descending sequence.

    Now, what app is at the top.

    BTW this symptom is frequently seen with a Malware infection. Have you done a recent scan?
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