hindesite
3 Silver

Windows 10, Memory leaks, solved, Alienware 17-R3

Not specifically an Alienware problem as such, but there may be others here with exactly the same configuration as my system, who experience the same problem, and this might help.

17R3, late 2015, 970m, 256SSD/1TBHDD i7-6700HQ, 16GB

Last weekend I spent some time sorting out a problem I've been experiencing for the past few weeks, which might possibly be related to the latest Windows 10 update, or not.

I've been getting increasingly frequent warnings that Windows was running low on memory, and programs (usually whatever I was using at the time) needed to be closed or information would be lost; I also experienced a few random freezes and restarts related to this. High memory use was not shown in Task Manager, or XTU; everything appeared normal. Diagnostics showed no problems, and benchmarks seemed normal.

To track this down, I enabled "Commit Size" as a column in Task Manager details tab, then looked for processes with high commit sizes, or things out of the ordinary.

Found that after a reboot, Service Host: Local System had high (commit) memory use; when I sighted it, about 400MB and steadily climbing. Since my uptimes are up to a week (if I'm lucky), this can grow to alarming sizes, almost unnoticed.

Windows event log showed events for Resource-Exhaustion-Detector, which indicated that it had detected high memory use by 3 processes; the highest of which was svchost.exe, which was using about 20GB of memory. 

Since svchost launches about 15 or so services, I had to systematically look at each service, to see if it was necessary, and what happened if I stopped or disabled it. There's a few unnecessary services running by default; turns out that IPHelper was the service with the memory leak. It isn't essential, so I stopped and disabled it, had no problems since.

Now, that instance of svchost has private memory use of about 17MB, and commit memory use of about 30MB, and it seems very steady. System is smoother and more responsive.

I hope this helps anybody who has a similar problem,

I find this kind if messing around really frustrating and a waste of time - at least I'm competent enough to fix it myself. How often would somebody have to call tech support, or pay somebody to fix this. Most computer users I know would not know where to start.

I also wonder if the Dell warranty covers on site support to clean the leaked memory out of the bottom of the laptop casing, I don't want it clogging up the vents and causing cooling issues.

Maybe Dell could supply me with 32GB of RAM to replace the memory that leaked? Now that would be a nice gesture.

service status.png

taskman.png

21 Replies
Moderator
Moderator

RE: Windows 10, Memory leaks, solved, Alienware 17-R3

Your thread has had 75 views but no replies. Which can only mean that the other Alienware laptop owners are not seeing the issue.

This is a strange statement, "to clean the leaked memory out of the bottom of the laptop casing, I don't want it clogging up the vents and causing cooling issues.". A memory stick cannot leak liquid so I hope that was some sort of joke.

Dell would only replace memory if it fails the Alienware Diagnostic test.

0 Kudos
purple397
2 Iron

RE: Windows 10, Memory leaks, solved, Alienware 17-R3

Hi,  I can understand your frustration.  Uh,  Did you say you went a week without rebooting?    Windows 10 is surely better about memory leak than say Windows 98.  Every time I hear 'memory leak' I do a double clutch, it is a poor description of what is happening.   It really refers to the OS not recovering memory that it previously used, and is not currently using and memory is not returned to the pool of available memory.   In the really old days of computers, We called the programs that did that "Garbage Collection."  M$ was correct in not implementing garbage collection in Windows 98, as it would cause the machine response to die.   In effect, whatever 'Garbage Collection" that needed would be accomplished by rebooting the computer.  In effect, when an office employee went to lunch, they should have automatically do a full power off, power on restart of their computer.  

I am not just recollecting, I am trying to give a context to this issue.  When I got my Apple Mac Book Pro in 2009, I had a discussion on this same issue with the MBP.   The trainer, said, taking the advice of the Geniuses (apple-speak for technical support people)  said that they never closed the cover of the machine without powering it off.   While the OS X was supposed to do that kind of thing without a hitch, it sometimes lost bits here and there.  Just knowing what was involved with the hardware caused them power the machine off and back on, rather than using save features, or letting it just lie around awhile and letting it idle-power save mode on its own.  

There is also the possibility of turning off as many programs on the start up list.  Not using a lot of programs at one time to stay out of using virtual memory.   Also, Mac OS X did a better job of recovering memory that previously had been in use. 

Bottom line.  Restart your machine every so often.  Don't let this power save features or just closing the lid to extend times between times of completely restarting the machine.   Look not at the task manager for what you can stop, but the large programs you are trying to run at the same time.   If you were doing something like video editing (a lot of memory) and you want to start doing something else memory intensive;  Power down the machine, and power it back on.  

Look at any back up programs, like the Windows file save, or cloud program that might be accumulating things to back up.  Not that backup is bad, just it can be a problem with limited memory.  

0 Kudos
purple397
2 Iron

RE: Windows 10, Memory leaks, solved, Alienware 17-R3

For the record, M$ does a poor job of helping us out with slow computers with things like: Task Manager does not show Windows Update is running.  We need complete visibility of what is going on in the computer.   Windows 10 using our resources to snitch back to Redmond what we are doing is also not cool.   Nearly all of our programs want to phone home to the mother ship frequently.  

I do not recall it off hand there used to be a way on powering the computer on that we can turn off the Windows Update for the session.  We need a program to control all of the updates on our computer.  But M$ is playing we have a secret of what we are doing for you, and we are so smart, you will have to let us do it.

0 Kudos
89fordprobee
4 Beryllium

RE: Windows 10, Memory leaks, solved, Alienware 17-R3

"to clean the leaked memory out of the bottom of the laptop casing, I don't want it clogging up the vents and causing cooling issues.".

i would also like to know what is meant by this comment...

being a 256 gig SSD' is it possible the drive is getting nearly full... (would like to see this)

i know i cant use anythign under 1tb  to much games Smiley Surprised

for what its worth id like to see whats using  all the ram.. it says  almost 50% so almost 8 gigs used...  but screen shots barely shows 1/8 of whats used....

also im running ark survival game servers on windows 10, and anyone that knows the game.. its a ram hog, the one server has an uptime of almost a year and still dosent see more then  6  gigs used at any given time.. so i would like to see whas hogging all your resources .. rather then  a tiny portion of whats used..

Alienware X51 R3 

M18X R2  Smiley Happy  (again)  

Inspiron 11 Flip , Studio 1535 ,Inspiron 6400

Previous Systems:

M18X R2, M17X R2 ,M17X R1, XPS M1730 & M1530, Inspiron 17R

Posting Tips:
- Always provide machine make, model, specs and software versions.
- Click the button if we answered your question.

I answer questions here, but
I'm not a Dell employee.

0 Kudos
hindesite
3 Silver

RE: Windows 10, Memory leaks, solved, Alienware 17-R3

Your thread has had 75 views but no replies. Which can only mean that the other Alienware laptop owners are not seeing the issue.

Has replies now :-)

Good news indeed, however it may be that my post is still helpful.

This is a strange statement, "to clean the leaked memory out of the bottom of the laptop casing, I don't want it clogging up the vents and causing cooling issues.". A memory stick cannot leak liquid so I hope that was some sort of joke.

That would be absurd, even bubble memory didn't have liquid in it.

I'd expect something more like a fine dust, made of lots of little bits.

Dell would only replace memory if it fails the Alienware Diagnostic test.

 

Uh, so no warranty replacement then? :-)

0 Kudos
hindesite
3 Silver

RE: Windows 10, Memory leaks, solved, Alienware 17-R3

 

for what its worth id like to see whats using  all the ram.. it says  almost 50% so almost 8 gigs used...  but screen shots barely shows 1/8 of whats used....

 

also im running ark survival game servers on windows 10, and anyone that knows the game.. its a ram hog, the one server has an uptime of almost a year and still dosent see more then  6  gigs used at any given time.. so i would like to see whas hogging all your resources .. rather then  a tiny portion of whats used..

 

Look, I described the problem and how it was fixed, and I'm happy with how my memory is being used; the problem isn't how much memory is being used as such, but how much memory is not being released after use, and that isn't really visible to the user.

You've missed what the screenshots show, which is just the different amounts of memory allocated to scvhost (before, and after the fix).

I expect memory use to be high, because I use Chrome and have many dozens of tabs open at the same time. Its no big deal, and the system runs fine used this way.

0 Kudos
Highlighted
Moderator
Moderator

RE: Windows 10, Memory leaks, solved, Alienware 17-R3

Dell would only replace memory if it fails the Alienware Diagnostic test. Memory does not physically "leak" anything into the case.

0 Kudos
DrIronRod
1 Copper

RE: Windows 10, Memory leaks, solved, Alienware 17-R3

Thanks for the writeup Hindesite, I landed on this page because I'm suffering exactly the same problem that you described with the same model Alienware.

I'm just about to have a look at your suggested fix...I thought I'd chime in to this thread as you seem to be getting excessive abuse for trying to help frustrated users like myself.  

I would also describe this problem as a memory leak and I don't think a modern operating system should require regular reboots to work properly.  I could easily go a month or more on Windows 7 without a problem and my Linux boxes probably go more than 6 months!  Regular reboots on Windows 10 machines are enforced by Windows update anyway....Although it may not be a coincidence that my Windows 10 machine that gets the least use is the one with the problem.

Anyway, I'll report back here if my fix turns out to be the same or similar to your write up.

Thanks

IR

0 Kudos
markshaheen
3 Silver

RE: Windows 10, Memory leaks, solved, Alienware 17-R3

I had the exact same issue with an Area 51 R2.  I could not go 24 hours without hitting 98% used RAM.  Sometimes within 6 hours.  I finally did a full format and reinstall of Win 10.  The issue has not recurred.  

I now have win 10 on a USB drive.  All the Dell downloads for my machine on another drive and rdy if it happens again.

Mark
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Area 51 R2

Alienware 17 R3

Alienware - Area 51 R4

0 Kudos