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Massive Memory Leak On WLAN Card Driver (BCMWLTRY.EXE)

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I have upgraded my Dell XPS M1530 laptop to Window 7 and have encountered a memory leak that renders my OS inoperable in a matter of a few hours despite having 4GB of RAM. I'm "losing" almost 1MB of RAM every couple of seconds. After doing some Google searching, I have discovered the very source of this huge leak is the bcmwltry.exe which is associated with the Dell Wireless WLAN Card Network Controller.

I'm running version 5.10.38.30 of this executable which came with this several month old laptop, running x64 Windows 7 Home Premium.

To demonstrate the leak, open the Windows task manager.
Click the processes tab
Click the "Show processes from all users" checkbox at the bottom.
Under the view menu, click Select Columns, and select all the Memory options as well as Page Faults.
Click OK to see the new columns and then click Page Faults to sort the processes by page faults.

For all my programs, this number of page faults is near zero and or static, with the exception of bcmwltry.exe which has some 10,000+ faults PER SECOND!!!! There's definitely a huge memory allocation problem that's causing this to spiral out of control. There are currently over 14 MILLION faults having only spawned this .exe about 15 minutes ago. Wowsers.

OEM02MON.exe associated with the Dell Live! Webcam tray control also appears to have a similar problem.

Would like some immediate resolution here. Rebooting does not help, and these problems occur in the absence of any other applications running.

Thanks in advance,
Evan

 

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24 Replies
JesseC
Bronze

Re: Massive Memory Leak On WLAN Card Driver (BCMWLTRY.EXE)

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Boot into safe more and uninstall drivers, download latest drivers and install.

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Re: Massive Memory Leak On WLAN Card Driver (BCMWLTRY.EXE)

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That's a great response except

1.) This is a newer laptop and the same drivers on my system are the ones on Dell's website.

2.) This is not  a driver issue, but the WLAN Card Tray application. The Wireless card still works after one renames this app in Windows\System, and yet the page fault/leak goes away.

 

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NemesisDB
Diamond

Re: Massive Memory Leak On WLAN Card Driver (BCMWLTRY.EXE)

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Uninstall the utility and let windows manage the connection.  Seems simple enough.

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popsypopsy
Copper

Re: Massive Memory Leak On WLAN Card Driver (BCMWLTRY.EXE)

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Hello,

I just got a brand new Dell Latitude E6510 with Windows 7 installed and I'm having the exact same problem!

I have 4GB of RAM and a Intel Core i5 processor.

I did as Evan suggested and watched the memory page faults increase over couple hours in my new laptop and soon my laptop was running super slow and issuing low memory warnings.

I see this posting was from November of last year.

Has anything been solved about this issue? I even found same problem in postings dating back to 2007.

And the best answer seems to be "unistall the driver". Well that doesn't sound like a fix to me, just a sorry excuse for a workaround...

Thanks!

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NemesisDB
Diamond

Re: Massive Memory Leak On WLAN Card Driver (BCMWLTRY.EXE)

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Popsypopsy,

As stated above, you only need to uninstall the broadcom wireless system tray application (though upgrading the driver is still a good idea).  In fact, there is hardly any reason to use the broadcom app at all -- windows has very good wifi management built right in (and in the rare chance that you need more, there are better free apps out there). 

Even if you wanted to install the latest driver, it's not the easiest thing to do.  Broadcom does not make these drivers publically available (like it does for its wired, ethernet products).  And Dell rarely offers the 'latest and greatest' in its download section.  Instead, people must look to every system-maker who releases broadcom products -- and see who has the latest drivers out.  This forum does a good job keeping track:  http://forums.laptopvideo2go.com/topic/14644-latest-broadcom-943xx-driver/

I suggest you download the most recent driver as listed on the above linked site.  It is currently 5.100.249.2 and can be downloaded directly from Acer:  http://global-download.acer.com/GDFiles/Driver/Wireless%20LAN/Wireless%20LAN_Broadcom_5.100.249.2_W7...

Use a program like 7zip, WinZip, or WinRar to extract the driver folders from the above file.  Uninstall the broadcom application (and driver if possible) via add-remove programs.   Reboot if needed.  Use device manager to manually update the driver for your network card -- use the 'have disk' method and point it to the driver folder you extracted.

For what it's worth, there may be a newer broadcom application bundled in the above file.  I've never actually run the installer.  It may or may not be specific to Acers.  I advise simply extracting and manually installing the driver -- but if you do go the automated route, please let me know if it works and what's included.

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millerd1
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Re: Massive Memory Leak On WLAN Card Driver (BCMWLTRY.EXE)

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I have been struggling through severe memory leaks on both a Vostro 32 bit OS machine fitted with 4 G on RAMM and subsequently a 64 bit OS Studio 17 fitted with 8 G of RAMM.  Both have wireless cards within them.  I know the Studio-17 has a broadcom card  within it.  The Studio was bought to try and deal with a 24 hour crash fequency rate for the Vostro.   I have been working through both Dell's small business and then the home groups to diagnose and fix this problem.  Today I pinned the leak source to the BCMWLtry program.

It is severely disgusting and particulary annoying to find the issue has been know on this Dell site for 3 years time., and should have been fixed by Dell a long time ago.  I bought these two machines in Sept. and October of 2010.   

1.      I have just pinned about a 2.4 GB per hour memory leak to some kind of code problem within BCMWLTRY on a 64Bit OS Dell Studio 17 laptop.  I strongly suspect the same problem occurs with wireless card within a 32 bit Dell Vostro. The cumulative page faults added by BCMWLTRY to the commit charges of a 64 bit OS will crash the computer when the accumulate exceeds the current sum of the RAMM plus vitual Memory allocation.   You can delay thos crashes by increasing your virtual memory maximum size.  I have not been able to Kill the BCMWLTRY program using MS Process Explorer, but have been able to suspend it.   The BCMWLTRY will reemerge after Process explorer kills it.  The composite commit charge accumulation average rate dropped to just 36,00 K per hour with BCMWLTRY suspended.

2.     Now what do I lose if I delete this program? 

This website confirms there has been a known Dell hardware memory leak associated with this program since at least 2007, way to go DELL!,  You owe me two months of my life to refind this issue myself!   Now fix it and get me replacement code!

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hrova
Diamond

Re: Massive Memory Leak On WLAN Card Driver (BCMWLTRY.EXE)

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"You owe me two months of my life to refind this issue myself!   Now fix it and get me replacement code!"

I am unsure if you are being literal or sarcastic here, but Dell does not warrant software.

The solution, as stated above more than once, is to delete the BCMWLTRY utility and use Windows to manage you internet connections. In practical terms, you'll lose nothing, other than a headache... The BCM tray *may* have some advanced settings that is doe snot sound like most would ever use, so just delete it.

For the record, I always use Windows t manage my connections if possible. It is much easier to have the same utility, especially if switching from computer to computer or adapter to adapter...  And why waste space and resources for something that is alreadsy handled fine within Windows?

Community Member Since 2003

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millerd1
Bronze

Re: Massive Memory Leak On WLAN Card Driver (BCMWLTRY.EXE)

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I appreciate your reply very much, but not your tone.

If I can keep others from living through what I have live i will get a minor pay back for what I have lived through.  If you work for or support Dell make sure the right people see this issue and fix it ASAP, otherwise stop selling wireless gear to soon to be very frustrated and mad customers.

I have spent literally man dayS on the phone with DELL Technical support on this crashing hardware (First the small Business for the Vostro then the Home group for the Studio) and still more days doing one off testing of the code I was running only to find the problem is the base code DELL recommend, preinstalled and sold me (twice).  Even had to buy a second laptop with twice the RAMM max'd out, an 64 bit OS to get past one lousy 24 hour period without the Vostro crashing! 

NEITHER Dell tech support group knew of this issue, yet here it was on their very own support website. 

By the way there is a recommendation to remove it, but it does no explain why Dell felt they should not have set up the default system to REQUIRE BCMWLtry code!

It is clear to me DELL is selling comparably fitted wireless equipped laptops that will have its customer far less tolerant of faulty gear, than this dogged buyer is and will return their purchases in hoards.  I should be selling short options in DELL stock for Christmas.

With the DELL "Technical" support esources expended I can guarantee you neither of us has profited from my purchases.  The Vostro will be returned this week.

 

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hrova
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Re: Massive Memory Leak On WLAN Card Driver (BCMWLTRY.EXE)

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Bummer that you didn't like my tone.

Regardless, this thread pretty clearly gives a solution, so your compalints will probably not help people in your situation. Posting about how to resolve it, or confirming that the resolution above works, would help them.

It is a strange issue, as three are some driver updates (which include the utility) going back to 2007 that say they fix the issue. Since it is not that widespread, it seems there must be something more than JUST the utility leading to the problem, perhaps something that is not compatible with it that is also running. Whatever it is, the utility is certainly not needed and removing it is a simple solution.

I am unfamilir with the Business side return policy, but Dell Home charges a restocking fee (or at least retains the right to) if there is no hardware defect, as the case is here.

By the way, no, I do not work for Dell. Dell employees are clearly marked with DELL right next to their name. This is primarily a user to user fourm, so almost all of what you get is users just like you trying to help other users. Since you have found these forums, and have learned that they are more helpful than Dell Tech Support, Hang around and ask questions as they come up. There are some helpful people here, and you will benefit from them if you choose to do so...

Community Member Since 2003

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