Windows 7 memory usage

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Hello,

I am noticing a weird behaviour in my Windows 7 since last 2 weeks.
I have 4gb DDR2 RAM in my laptop and when starting, windows gadget shows the usage to be 26%. After however 2-3 hours of usage, even when all the programs have been shut down, the gadget shows the memory usage to be 40-45%. A few percentage (2-3) higher wouldn't have worried me. But this difference is a bit too much I feel. What could be the probable cause for this? Any idea or any help to diagnose the problem would be much appreciated.

To add, there hasnt been any recent changes in my laptop except for regular Windows updates. Also I havent run any diagnostic tools yet.

Many thanks.

 
Question Info

Last updated March 15, 2018 Views 4,838 Applies to:
Answer

Remove the gadget and don't worry about RAM usage. Let Windows manage it :)

I'm serious. It's a waste of time trying to diagnose memory usage "problems" unless you are actually experiencing a problem and have pinpointed it to a memory resource problem. Windows 7 uses the memory very differently from XP and older versions of Windows. It does a lot of pre-caching. There are several scheduled tasks that run in the background when the computer is not using a lot of resources. Let Windows manage all this and worry about other things :)

 

 


Kerry Brown MS-MVP - Windows Desktop Experience
Kerry Brown MS-MVP - Windows Desktop Experience

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Answer

Hi,

It may be perfectly normal depending on what you have been running and even the accuracy
of the gadget.

Use Task Manager to check the Processes tab - Memory column - you can double click on it so the
higher memory (and even CPU) are shown. Also check the Performance tab. Compare the results
after you boot up to those after you have run some programs and then closed them and let the
machine stabilize for a few minutes. Some program may leave processes running or even Services
loaded. Added that other programs might have started to use more Resources such as, but not
limited to, you antivirus/security program(s).

=============================

If you continue to think this is a real issue here are troubleshooting methods :

References to Vista also apply to Windows 7.

What antivirus/antispyware/security products do you have on machine? Include any you have
EVER had on this machine including those you uninstalled (they leave remnants behind which
can cause strange issues).

----------------------------------------------------

Do these :

Try these to clear corruption and repair/replace damaged/missing system files.

Start - type this in Search Box ->  COMMAND   find at top and RIGHT CLICK  -  RUN AS ADMIN

Enter this at the prompt - sfc /scannow

How to analyze the log file entries that the Microsoft Windows Resource Checker (SFC.exe) program
generates in Windows Vista cbs.log
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/928228


Also run CheckDisk so we can rule out corruption as much as possible.

How to Run Disk Check in Windows 7
http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/433-disk-check.html

==========================================

After the above - its the process of elimination to rule out software :

How to troubleshoot a problem by performing a clean boot in Windows Vista or
Windows 7

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929135

Use Advanced Tools to Troubleshoot Performance Problems in Windows 7 http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/6152/use-advanced-tools-to-troubleshoot-performance-problems-in-windows-7/

Problems with overall system speed and performance
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx/gp/slow_windows_performance?p=1

Use Advanced Tools to Troubleshoot Performance Problems in Windows 7 http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/6152/use-advanced-tools-to-troubleshoot-performance-problems-in-windows-7/

Problems with overall system speed and performance
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx/gp/slow_windows_performance?p=1

How to troubleshoot performance issues in Windows Vista
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/950685

Optimizing Microsoft Windows Vista Performance
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/959062

To see all that is loading bootup - wait a few minutes without doing anything - then Right Click
TaskBar - Task Manager - take a look at Appplications - Processes - Services - this is a quick
reference (if you have a little box on Lower Left - Show for All Users then check that).

How to Change, Add, or Remove Startup Programs in Windows 7
http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/1401-startup-programs-change.html

A quick check to see which are loading is Method 2 there - using MSCONFIG then post a list of
those here.
--------------------------------------------------------------------

Tools that should help :

Process Explorer - Free - Find out what files, registry keys and other objects processes have
open, which DLLs they have loaded, and more. This uniquely powerful utility will even show
you who owns each process.
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653.aspx

Autoruns - Free - See what programs are configured to startup automatically when your system
boots and you login. Autoruns also shows you the full list of Registry and file locations where
applications can configure auto-start settings.
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb963902.aspx

Process Monitor - Free - Monitor file system, Registry, process, thread and DLL activity in
real-time.
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896645.aspx

There are many excellent free tools at Sysinternals
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/default.aspx

WhatsInStartUP - Free - This utility displays the list of all applications that are loaded
automatically when Windows starts up. For each application, the following information
is displayed: Startup Type (Registry/Startup Folder), Command -Line String, Product
Name, File Version, Company Name, Location in the Registry or file system, and more.
It allows you to easily disable or delete unwanted programs that runs in your Windows
startup.
http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/what_run_in_startup.html

There are many excellent free tools at NirSoft
http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/index.html

Window Watcher - Free - Do you know what's running on your computer? Maybe not. The
Window Watcher tells all, reporting every window created by every running program, whether
the window is visible or not.
http://www.karenware.com/powertools/ptwinwatch.asp

Many excellent free tools and an excellent newsletter at Karenware
http://www.karenware.com/

===========================================

Consider this an absolute must - manually updating your drivers.

Vista and Windows 7 love updated drivers so here is how to update the major ones.

This is my generic how to for proper driver updates :

This utility makes it easy to see which versions are loaded :

DriverView - Free - utility displays the list of all device drivers currently loaded on your system.
For each driver in the list, additional useful information is displayed: load address of the driver,
description, version, product name, company that created the driver, and more.
http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/driverview.html

For Drivers check System Maker as fallbacks and Device Maker's which are the most current.
Control Panel - Device Manager - Display Adapter - write down the make and complete model
of your video adapter - double click - Driver's tab - write down the version info. Now click UPdate
Driver (this may not do anything as MS is far behind certifying drivers) - then Right Click -
Uninstall - REBOOT this will refresh the driver stack.

Repeat that for Network - Network Card (NIC), Wifi, Sound, Mouse and Keyboard if 3rd party
with their own software and drivers and any other major device drivers you have.

Now go to System Maker's site (Dell, HP, Toshiba as examples) (as rollback) and then Device
Maker's site (Realtek, Intel, Nvidia, ATI as examples) and get their latest versions. (Look for
BIOS, Chipset and software updates at System Maker's site while there.)

Download - SAVE - go to where you put them - Right Click - RUN AD ADMIN - REBOOT after
each installation.

Always check in Device Manager - Drivers tab to be sure the version you are installing actually
shows up. This is because some drivers rollback before the latest is installed (sound drivers
particularly do this) so install a driver - reboot - check to be sure it is installed and repeat as
needed.

Repeat at Device Makers - BTW at Device Makers DO NOT RUN THEIR SCANNER - check
manually by model.

Manually look at manufacturer's sites for drivers - and Device Maker's sites.
http://pcsupport.about.com/od/driverssupport/ht/driverdlmfgr.htm

Installing and updating drivers in 7 (updating drivers manually using the methods above is preferred
to ensure the latest drivers from System maker and Device makers are found)
http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/43216-installing-updating-drivers-7-a.html

If you update drivers manually then it is a good idea to disable Driver Installations in Windows
Updates, this leaves Windows Updates ON however it will not install drivers which will usually be
older and cause issues. If Updates suggests a new driver then HIDE it (Right Click on it) and then
go look for new ones manually if you wish.

How To Disable Automatic Driver Installation In Windows Vista - Drivers
http://www.addictivetips.com/windows-tips/how-to-disable-automatic-driver-installation-in-windows-vista/
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc730606(WS.10).aspx

===========================================

Refer to this thread for many more excellent tips however be sure to check your antivirus
programs, update major drivers and BIOS, and also troubleshoot with the cleanboot method
first.

Performance and Maintenance tips
http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w7performance/thread/19e5d6c3-bf07-49ac-a2fa-6718c988f125

Hope this helps.


Rob Brown - MS MVP - Windows Desktop Experience : Bicycle - Mark Twain said it right.
Rob Brown - Microsoft MVP - Windows and Devices for IT 2010 - current
Windows Insider MVP 2016 - current

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