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Windows Vista using more and more physical memory over time

  1. Jul 18, 2012 #1
    I'm having a weird problem with my computer. I used to be able to leave my computer on for extended periods of time, and it would run fine. Now, I find that if my computer is on for too long, my svchost.exe processes get incredibly bloated and end up using 70% of my physical memory even when no applications are running. When I start the computer fresh, it's back down to 35% (right now it's 39% with Firefox open).

    Any idea what would cause this?

    I have a 4 year old gaming PC. It was above average for it's time, but now it's starting to be challenged by today's games. I have 4 gigs of RAM and a quad core processor. The system should NOT be using so much memory with no applications running.

    I guess restarting it isn't such a big deal. It's recently started giving me random BSODs shortly after start up, which is why I avoid doing it, but I'd estimate it only does that 10% of the time. Once it's been running for a while, it doesn't blue screen. It only ever blue screens within a few minutes of a restart for the times it does.

    I'm not as concerned about that as I am about the svchost.exe process that starts at 130k ballooning to 400k of memory.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 19, 2012 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    Still on VIsta? You have my sympathy.

    svchost.exe is not actually doing anything much - it’s just a ‘holder’ process for actual running services. It sounds like you've picked up some malware which is hiding behind svchost. You should be able to debug it from the task manager... it should show you all the svchost processes (there should be more than one) with their stats. Examine the ones that look suspicious.

    insert obligatory Microsoft denigrating comments here.
    insert obligatory gnu/linux promoting comments here.
  4. Jul 19, 2012 #3


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    Check your services: this is what the svchost.exe essentially is (i.e. a 'Services Host').

    Go into your services menu from Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Services and look at services are running. If you don't know what it does: don't touch it, but you will probably be able to spot a suspicious service in which you look at the description and look at what services depend on your service. If no services depend on the service, shut it off and observe what happens to the memory in task manager.
  5. Jul 20, 2012 #4
    Download "procexp" (PROCess EXPlorer) from Microsoft via their Sysinternals site. (*)

    It's a more full featured version of task manager for expert users. You'll need to read the guides for it (they make a lot of video ones) but you can drill right down through the system and find out exactly what the issue is.

    (*) It was written by a guy who was later hired by Microsoft for his work in the community. I don't know if they bought sysinternals from him, or not. But the software can be considered "officially supported" by MS.
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