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Excessive RAM usage 800MB Idle XP Pro

By dirtleg
Nov 4, 2007
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  1. Hello, new here. I am having an issue with excessive usage of memory on my system. First off system specs are;

    Dell E1505 T7200 2Ghz x 2 1G RAM ATI X1400 120G HD. XP Professional.

    When I turn on the computer and let everything fire up if I then go to task manager my memory usage is over 800MB with nothing else running. Now I do have a program that runs in the background for my work. It's Siemens HMI programming software and uses about 100MB. What I don't understand is why things like my anti-virus are consuming 300MB of RAM.

    It is TM Pc-cillin. One process in particular, PcCtlCom.exe, is using 183,xxxKb all the time. I can turn off all of the TM services and this amount of usage never decreases. Only if I turn of the anti-virus completely does it go down. Then it just goes away. I have contacted TM and of course they are of no help. They can't fathom what might be causing this. TMProxy.exe wants 75,xxxKb.

    Anyway, back on subject, I am having slow performance issues and computer lock ups. When I open My Documents it takes several minutes for the folder to open. I have tried Registry Mechanic but that didn't help anything. I have not updated my BIOS as I am not confident I would do it correctly. I cannot afford to screw this computer up right now as my work would suffer tremendously. But the slow performance is causing it's own set of issues.

    Here is a screen shot of task manager from a few minutes ago;

    "Screen shot removed for newb reasons. Will post later if needed"

    Anyway if I left out anything you need to know I will be glad to give you the info. I am not really very experienced at troubleshooting PC problems yet.

    Thanks for any and all help or ideas you may have.

    Greg.
  2. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 9,431

    First, every decent OS will always use all available RAM - unused RAM is wasted RAM. It is the memory usage that goes above the physical size that should be worrying you. Take a look at the swapfile usage and sort the processes by mem usage in Task Manager to see the top hogs.

    As for lockups, it is always a good idea to rule out the most common hardware failures: RAM and the HDD. Test your system RAM with memtest86(+), test the hard drive with the diagnostics utility provided by the HD maker.
  3. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,342   +49

    On the face of it, your solution is to junk Pc-cillin which probably conflicts with some part of your system or hardware, and replace it with something less demanding, such as AVG free edition.

    At least, you could try uninstalling and re-installing, making sure you remove every trace and vestige of PC-Cillin and reboot before a re-install.
  4. dirtleg

    dirtleg TS Rookie Topic Starter

    These are good suggestions and I would do them no problem but it raises a few questions.

    First, what is swapfile usage ? Yes total newb question. I have looked at the memory hogs in task manager. How will I make sense of this info when comparing it to what I find in swapfile usage? Hate to ask but I really don't know anything about it.

    Next questions. I realize in order to do a complete and total uninstall of Pc-cillin I will have to remove registry entries manually. Is there a good way to find all of them that won't take forever? How do I retain my license?

    Thanks for the help so far.
  5. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 9,431

    I don't think that you have to remove PC Cillin that thoroughly. Just try uninstalling it first. 300MB of RAM is way too much for anything but the most demanding programs.

    You can see the pagefile usage in Task Manager under the performance tab. Sorting the process list by mem usage shows you the biggest memory eaters. Any normal desktop application shouldn't go much above 50MB.
  6. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,342   +49

    Since you admit to being a new user, just a word of caution - DO NOT under any circumstances, go online whilst your PC is unprotected by PC-Cillin and firewall.

    In other words, if you want to try uninstall and re-install, you first make sure you have the installation package downloaded, and know the registration (if applicable). Then turn off your internet connection, find the uninstall which might be an option under PC-Cillin or else start control panel + add/remove programs and pick pc_cillin.

    Then reboot. Do not allow the network connection to restart. Install pc-cillin again (or other if preferred). Reboot again and you are back to normal.

    BTW if you have lock-ups, slow opening of folders, that itself is suspicious of a nasty attacker lurking in your PC.

    check out this excellent post

    http://www.techspot.com/vb/topic44306.html
  7. dirtleg

    dirtleg TS Rookie Topic Starter

    O.K. I uninstalled Pc-cillin and what do you know I have my old computer back. Less than 400 MB RAM at idle. Dell customer support won't give me the download so I can reinstall it though (my backup discs are in Virginia I am in Texas working oops). In fact they had the gall to give me a link to Internet Security 2008 instead. So much for my 3 year license. Oh well my wifes getting a new laptop for christmas this year and now it won't be a Dell.

    Since I can't go running around without any protection I put internet security pro on here instead. Now I am beginning to realize there is a much deeper problem. I cannot get any virus definition updates. Nor can I do a system restore??. What's that all about. I've tried several different restore points and they all failed.

    So what is it that hijacks anti-virus software ? It seems that is what I'm fighting with. Help.
  8. Cinders

    Cinders TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,313   +12

    Hello do you have Spybot Search & Destroy installed? Trend Micro doesn't like the Immunization feature of Spybot S&D, and you will either have to uninstall TM or undo the Immunization of Spybot S&D to get your computer to perform again.
  9. dirtleg

    dirtleg TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well I had spybot but uninstalled it while trying to deal with this for the reasons you mentioned. And to clear the air I am not a complete new user. I just haven't fooled around with this kind of crap much. I had not heard the term "swapfile" before. I have removed registry entries successfully (not this issue, not this computer) installed drivers in safe mode that I couldn't get to work any other way and I do write ladder logic, scripts and graph for industrial automation. I am just not strong in windows OS.

    I was reading a little about what anti-virus programs do and they don't remove trojans or malware. How do I determine if this is what's affecting my system. It seems I have something running in the background. Most of the time when I go to shut my computer down I get a popup window that says either eventviewer or cicerowndframe needs to close down. I should probably just start another thread this one is changing topics.
  10. Cinders

    Cinders TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,313   +12

  11. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,342   +49

     
  12. kristouk21

    kristouk21 TS Rookie

    just to let u know i was having a similar problem with my machine... i found that the reason my machine was useing so much ram and makin my machine run like crap was webcam software... and other applications trying to automatically update themselves from the net. the main1 my webcam software and the virus software.. they were constantly trying to update.

    i also found that by switching off windows automatic updates to update manually made a difference.

    Spybot is a good removal tool for spyware. but be careful.. i have found 1 of the updates for SPYBOT is actually a hack......
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