Using Process Explorer and the Microsoft System Configuration Utility to Troubleshoot Memory Errors

Using Process Explorer and the Microsoft System Configuration Utility to Troubleshoot Memory Errors

This article provides the information on "Using Process Explorer and the Microsoft System Configuration Utility to Troubleshoot Memory Errors".

Memory leak and intermittent messages concerning low memory

You may encounter an issue with a system that is experiencing a memory leak as determined by intermittent messages concerning low memory.

A common example of the type of failure that would result in this issue is a corrupted Ethernet driver causing memory addresses to be used, but not released again to be recycled by the system. This particular example’s symptom would only display itself when the system is connected to the network via the onboard Ethernet connection. Often times, during the course of troubleshooting this error, an OS reinstall would correct the issue.

In this example, an Windows operating system (OS) reinstall may have been avoidable, if the user had installed the latest version of BIOS, System Software and Broadcom driver.

Process Explorer

For this particular case, a custom Windows XP image was in use and the user was unable to identify why the system seemed to crash at random, so they reinstalled the operating system.

By using Process Explorer from the Windows Sysinternals site, you can help you to pinpoint the process generating memory problems and potentially avoid losing data or time reinstalling the OS.

In particular, you can use the private bytes information to highlight a memory leak. Leaks are evident when the bytes committed to an application (The driver for the Ethernet adapter in this case) continue climbing until the application hangs or the system crashes. Once you identify a memory leak, you can use other tools like WINDBG to identify the leak type and what applications are affected.

EXAMPLE: Identifying Memory Leak With Process Explorer And Windbg

The Microsoft System Configuration Utility (MSCONFIG) was then used to disable all system services and startup items associated with the Broadcom device and this resolved the user’s issue


Process Explorer v16.04

How to troubleshoot configuration errors by using the System Configuration utility in Windows XP

Windows Debugger Tutorial

Quick Tips content is self-published by the Dell Support Professionals who resolve issues daily. In order to achieve a speedy publication, Quick Tips may represent only partial solutions or work-arounds that are still in development or pending further proof of successfully resolving an issue. As such Quick Tips have not been reviewed, validated or approved by Dell and should be used with appropriate caution. Dell shall not be liable for any loss, including but not limited to loss of data, loss of profit or loss of revenue, which customers may incur by following any procedure or advice set out in the Quick Tips.

Article ID: SLN70891

Last Date Modified: 02/02/2015 02:18 PM

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