[SOLVED] Why is my Windows using 85% of RAM (40 GB)?

Mar 24, 2022
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I only have a browser opened and a few app like Steam and Battle.net (browser is using 922MB RAM).

The task manager says it's using 40GB of RAM! I have 48GB of RAM total.
It had 16GB RAM before, it was working fine, and now that I upgraded it, it's using 85%.


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EDIT:

Solution:
NordVPN has a new feature called "Threat Protection".
When I turn it on, it creates a driver file C:\Windows\System32\drivers\mshield.sys
This driver is causing memory leak, especially if I launch a separate antivirus (in my case, Avira Antivirus).
I contacted the NordVPN Support via email and they said it's a known issue and hopefully will be fixed soon.
 
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Colif

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AFAIK drivers only run in non paged pool
your non paged pool isn't even in same ballpark as paged ram
673mb

it was first place I looked.

but clearly I am looking in the wrong place. Or don't know full story

it seems some parts of drivers can run on paged memory.

so if its a driver...

we best using poolmon -
its a Microsoft tool that looks at the paged and non paged pool
video has a link to where to download it and the command he shows in description is how to find the driver that the tag is associated with. The video explains it more. Problem with poolmon is finding a video that explains how to use it that isn't an hour long. Or too short, this is just under 4 minutes:

list of common tags - https://github.com/jjzhang166/windbgtool/blob/master/Dependecies/x64/triage/pooltag.txt

you only want to look at paged pool, and the tags with the biggest difference between Allocs and Frees. A lot of the tags you will find will be windows ones, as some parts of windows manage ram, so naturally they have a lot.

If you want me to look at it, go for it :)

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hardware/drivers/devtest/poolmon-run-time-commands
 
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Murissokah

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You can use resource monitor to see what is using memory. Launch resmon (windows button, type 'resmon') and check.

It's normal for an OS to allocate a lot of memory, it doesn't necessarily mean it's "consuming" that amount of RAM.
 
Mar 24, 2022
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You can use resource monitor to see what is using memory. Launch resmon (windows button, type 'resmon') and check.

It's normal for an OS to allocate a lot of memory, it doesn't necessarily mean it's "consuming" that amount of RAM.
It says 94MB Hardware reserved, 40782 MB in use, 222 MB Modified, 8094 Stand By and 10MB Free.
8136 MB Available, 8353 MB Cached.

Also, on the task manager, the sum of memory usage does not match the amount it's saying it's using
 

Murissokah

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Taken from a Microsoft forum:

task manager counts (on first tab) only a memory used by processes themselves. It does not count memory used by drivers, memory used by memory mapped file (some programs require such usage) and memory used by system.
But on performance tab all sorts of usage are counted.
Detailed analysis of memory usage one can get with RamMap tool.
RamMap should give you more details about how you RAM is being used.
 

Colif

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how big is non paged pool showing as? if its big, try updating LAN drivers as it might be a memory leak

the "In Use" total is what he is using. 10mb of ram free?

rammap uses ram itself - to map it - not sure it will fit in 10mb (forgets about the 8gb on standby).

browser using 922mb isn't much as all, in no way explains ram usage.

Also, on the task manager, the sum of memory usage does not match the amount it's saying it's using
task manager isn't as accurate as Process explorer, uses wrong value to track CPU usage.

Download Process explorer and run it as admin (it comes from Microsoft so its safe)

the default view is tree structure meaning like your task manager screen, it will show what processes are under each service, but unlike task manager, it shows the ram usage of each part so you can see what is eating your ram

Private bytes = Ram + page file usage
Working set = actual ram usage

This page shows what all the colours and headings mean, link at bottom of it shows how to use it to find problems.
 
It says 94MB Hardware reserved, 40782 MB in use, 222 MB Modified, 8094 Stand By and 10MB Free.
8136 MB Available, 8353 MB Cached.

Also, on the task manager, the sum of memory usage does not match the amount it's saying it's using
On Task Manager -> Performance tab -> Memory page, what does the "Non-Paged Pool" entry say?

Also the by default Task Manager is misleading in RAM usage if you try to count up the values. You have to go the Details tab and enable the "Working Set" header. The values in that tends to be more accurate.
 

ex_bubblehead

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Modern operating systems strive to find a use for ALL RAM. Free RAM is wasted RAM. Most of what's used is to cache most commonly used apps and data for faster access. This cache will be freed up by the OS for other tasks when and as required.
 

Colif

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Modern operating systems strive to find a use for ALL RAM. Free RAM is wasted RAM. Most of what's used is to cache most commonly used apps and data for faster access. This cache will be freed up by the OS for other tasks when and as required.
thats true but

I only have a browser opened and a few app like Steam and Battle.net (browser is using 922MB RAM).
shouldn't use 40gb of ram at idle. With such a light load on.
Standby is cached ram - 8094 Stand By
In Use is actually being used by something.


Programs mentioned don't add up to usage.

What is ram usage like after a restart? Not turn PC off and turn on again, I mean Power button in start menu, restart. there is a difference on Win 10.
 
Mar 24, 2022
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the default view is tree structure meaning like your task manager screen, it will show what processes are under each service, but unlike task manager, it shows the ram usage of each part so you can see what is eating your ram
The maximum value, filtering by "working set", is 1,566,164 K (Memory Compression). So apparently nothing is eating my RAM, idk why it's indicating 40GB then
 
Mar 24, 2022
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How often do you have this problem?
Every time I checked in the past few days it was high (> 50%). Weirdly, after restarting and opening the same apps and doing the same things, the ram usage is not increasing, it remains at 14%. Maybe some specific program is leaking memory?
I ran hitmanPro, as @Colif suggested, and it found nothing.

I'll leave the computer alone as @hotaru.hino said
 

Colif

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how often do you restart PC? if you running windows 10 with fast start up on, its only ever off during a restart so maybe it just hadn't released the ram until you did one.

do you ever use programs that do use that much ram? I have to assume you do, since you have it.
 
You can use resource monitor to see what is using memory. Launch resmon (windows button, type 'resmon') and check.

It's normal for an OS to allocate a lot of memory, it doesn't necessarily mean it's "consuming" that amount of RAM.
For Win10, once I turn off One Drive, P-Cloud, Google Drive, Drop Box, etc., with 32 GB of RAM available, mine uses 4.8 GB...(all the extra cloud storage apps, etc., consumed about another 1.5 GB of RAM)


For the OP:
If 40 GB of 48 GB shows used in task manager/performance/RAM, something is botched, or even possibly infected...(Perhaps you can get a pic of the above, click on RAM once or twice until the top memory resource users are listed on top, and post a link to pic hosted on one of the free pic hosting sites..)


(Take a look very carefully at every last entry for : registry startups, scheduled tasks, processes, services, svchost modules, browser extensions, etc. in a scan from www.freefixer.com )
 

Colif

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Maybe some specific program is leaking memory?
programs don't normally leak memory. Leaks can be seen this way - a process asks for ram and on finishing task, doesn't release the memory and instead holds it, and may ask for more still acting like it doesn't have any now. It keeps asking until windows cannot give anymore. And then windows crashes from no memory.

You can get out of memory errors with free ram as its not just ram windows sees as memory, there is also page file but looking at your PC
It says 894 MB Non-paged pool, 32.4 GB Paged, 6.6 GB Cached
I don't think you were using much of the page file at time, but those totals don't tell me anything really about Page file usage
  • In-use refers to the actual amount of physical memory being used.
  • The second number in the committed memory refers to the commit limit which is amount of physical memory + the size of page file.
  • The first number in the committed memory refers to how much memory applications requested to use.
    • When an application first requests to use a certain amount of memory, Windows makes sure that it can fit somewhere, either in the pagefile or memory. It doesn't mean that much memory is taking up actual physical memory or the pagefile space. It just means Windows reserves this space in the total commit limit, in case it is used. Most requested memory is used but not all.
  • Cached Refers to the amount of physical memory being used for speeding up file system access. On client OS, up to 10% of your memory is used for buffering writes ("dirty page threshold").
  • Paged pool is amount of kernel and device driver memory that CAN spill over from physical memory into the slow page file (source).
  • Nonpaged pool is the amount of kernel and device driver memory that must stay in physical memory. This type of memory cannot be offloaded onto the disk.
https://superuser.com/questions/1410289/what-are-commited-memory-cached-paged-not-paged-pool-how-they-are-d



it seems you can use the windows memory diagnostic app to check for memory leaks. Search for that in windows, and see what it finds/if anything.

Try a clean boot and see if it changes anything - make sure to read instructions and make sure NOT to disable any microsoft services or windows won't load right - https://support.microsoft.com/en-au/help/929135/how-to-perform-a-clean-boot-in-windows

all it does is pauses programs, it doesn't delete anything.

if clean boot fixes it, it shows its likely a startup program. You should, over a number of startups. restart the programs you stopped to isolate the one that is to blame.

next time you on 40gb, can you tell us the amount of committed memory, that will tell me how much page file its using on top of ram
 
Mar 24, 2022
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how often do you restart PC?
Very rarely. I have just disabled the fast startup, now the shutdown button is "freeing" the ram like the restart button did.

Yesterday, after restarting my PC and the ram usage going back to 13%, I noticed a slow and stead increase of ram usage until I turned the PC off again. It went up to 26% on idle.
Today, I turned it on to see it was at 11% ram usage and let it sit for 2 hours, without doing anything. Surprisingly, it stayed at 11%. So maybe it's not a problem on any process that starts along with windows?
With that said, the only thing I did differently yesterday was opening my browser (Brave) on youtube, playing Overwatch and trying to update Windows (it was giving me error 0x80073701 no matter what tutorial I tried).
I just reset the OS using windows media creation tool to try to fix the updates, they are now working fine and hopefully the ram issue had something to do with it? 😥 I don't know
I will monitor and if the problem persists, I'll have to try something else.

it seems you can use the windows memory diagnostic app to check for memory leaks.
I ran the Windows Memory Diagnostic today and it found nothing wrong.

For Win10, once I turn off One Drive, P-Cloud, Google Drive, Drop Box, etc., with 32 GB of RAM available, mine uses 4.8 GB..
I turned this all off too

(Perhaps you can get a pic of the above, click on RAM once or twice until the top memory resource users are listed on top, and post a link to pic hosted on one of the free pic hosting sites..
Next time it happens I'll post the image here

next time you on 40gb, can you tell us the amount of committed memory, that will tell me how much page file its using on top of ram
Sure! Thanks everyone
 

Colif

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which version of win 10
  1. right click start
  2. choose run...
  3. type winver and press enter
  4. current version is 21H2
one fix for failing updates is to pause updates for a day or so and then unpause. Weird, I know, but it can work.

right click start button
choose powershell (admin)
copy/paste this command into window:
Repair-WindowsImage -Online -RestoreHealth
and press enter
Then type SFC /scannow
and press enter


First command repairs the files SFC uses to clean files, and SFC fixes system files

SFC = System File Checker. First command runs DISM - https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hardware/manufacture/desktop/what-is-dism?view=windows-11
 

Colif

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is rammap still running? what shows on the file summary and file details pages if you sort by active column? that is probably the cause. Or one place to start looking anyway.

sure is hungry.
 

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