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Microsoft Windows OS (XP/NT/Vista/Windows 7/8/9/10) Forum

Memory hogging services killing machine
How to repair?

 5:32 am on Feb 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

I have a 4GB vista machine that normally boots up with 35-40% memory free, perfect.

However, a couple of weeks ago I started having issues with memory just magically being gobbled up into nowhere, not associated with any user task.

Ran AV scans and all that, it's a very clean machine, something simple has started failing.

Doing a little digging it was being hogged by 2 services.

The 1st badly behaving service turned out to be searchindexer.exe which was hogging a couple hundred MB or more and something I rarely if ever used, so I disabled that bad boy.

It appears the other culprit, currently using serveral hundred MB on the machine is SVCHOST.EXE and from other sources I've read this problem could be related to the auto update procedure. For some reason it just keeps piling on a little more data every now and then until it gets to the point it forces me to reboot after several days to start all over again.

Anyone else noticed this problem and if so, did changing automatic updates to manual fix the problem?




 5:53 am on Feb 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

Windows Search, on Vista and XP SP2 and up should be desired under most cases... but if the system has hundreds to thousands of new files generated daily Search will really slow operations if auto-index is activated. There could be two other processes running with Windows Search in addition to searchindexer.exe: searchhosts.exe and searchprotocols.exe. If you don't really require an indexed search facility for the local drive disabling Windows Search will solve that problem, but do not recommend removing it!

SCVHOST.EXE... you could have several of these running depending on what your application requirements are (editor, internet, networking, wp, data, etc)... have you run a process tree on each to see which application/service is using each svchost.exe?


 6:57 am on Feb 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

disabling Windows Search will solve that problem, but do not recommend removing it!

Amazingly, I rarely use indexed document search, it's kind of overkill so I whacked it.

Will dig deeper into svchost tomorrow, you can just sit and watch the resource monitor and see it keep adding bytes to it's size like the pennies accumulating on a mega jackpot machine in Vegas.

It's definitely the source of my problems, was just hoping someone knew some that happened with a recent update or something so I didn't have to dig so deep.


 7:16 am on Feb 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

Can't be of any help, though I look forward to what you find. I had a laptop about 1.5 year ago that was doing the same thing as you describe. I almost floated it off the top of a parking garage in Vegas I was so frustrated with it after it gave me grief during a presentation at a shareholder annual meeting.

Never did figure out what was going on. The machine in question died to a faulty power switch not too long after. (I think it was an HP if memory serves.)


 7:24 am on Feb 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

incrediBILL... does this happen when the machine is connected the web or does it happen when NOT connected? My Vista laptop does slow down if it is NOT connected. However, since I have it connected most of the time I haven't worried about it... but now I think I'll take a look. (Does not happen with the XP laptop)


 8:46 am on Feb 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

It's a desktop, always connected.

My wife is also having an issue that could be related with her Vista laptop that something is burning CPU cycles, posts I've read suggest the same two processes may be at fault.

I'll post back after some digging.


 8:55 am on Feb 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

You made me look... and I remain confused. It is POSSIBLE the WGA is at fault during this month's patch and update. Aggressive and, it appears, inflicted with a memory leak. No workaround suggested at this time, and killing WGA will kill Vista over time... Can we see an update on the horizon?

I did get a (marginal) answer to my connected v not connected slowdowns... the tcp/ip stack is (under Vista) not obeying a three strike and quit attempt to access internet on a machine that is set up to connect to the internet.


 10:37 pm on Feb 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

Vista updated last night and the problem seems to have subsided.

Not sure it's fixed yet, but the run amok memory accumulation seems to be somewhat under control at the moment.

I have the machine loaded with a bunch of apps at the moment and memory utilization has been stable at 55% for a long time, before this it would just slowly climb for no reason.

Will report back when I'm sure if it's fixed or not.

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