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.

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