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High RAM usage and svchost.exe

By Belvadier ยท 5 replies
Jul 6, 2011
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  1. Hi,

    I am have been having some problems recently with RAM usage. Normally when my computer is just sitting at the desktop it is using about 23% of my total RAM (which is 8gb) However, within the last day or so whenever I boot up the computer will start at about the normal 23% but then work its way up to the 40-60% range.

    This will happen even if I am not using the computer or even if I just let it boot up and then sit there if I come back a few hours later the RAM use is sky high. In the process manager once I click the "show processes for all users" button and sort by the amount of memory being used I get an svchost.exe at the top and the RAM usage for this process will just grow and grow and continue to grow until I restart my computer.

    Again, this happens even if I don't use my computer to do anything.

    When I right-click on this process and select the "go to services" option the services that are listed are:


    Malwarebytes scan and Norton scan reveal no virus or malware.

    The most recent piece of software I installed was Alpha Protocol via Steam, however I did uninstall this software and re-boot to test and see if it was the problem and it still did it with it uninstalled.

    I am running windows 7 home premium 64 bit fully updated

    Sorry for the somewhat wordy description, I just didn't want to leave anything out. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    (I attached a screen capture of the offending process just in case that helps out and in the picture i do realize that there are more things using my RAM there than just that process but I think you get the point)

    EDIT: I just thought of this: my Norton Security Suite (provided by Comcast) just went through a MAJOR update where the whole program was basically changed. Not sure if this could be causing the problem or not, just thought I'd mention it.

    Attached Files:

  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,432   +801

    this may be related to another symptom: svchost high cpu usage.

    this fix will address the latter and may directly address yours as well.

    First, download the HOST file from mvsp.org
    get a command prompt under the admin login
    flush your tcp cache (ipconfig /flushdns)
    stop the dns service (net stop "dns client")
    unpack the downloaded file (if you got the ZIP version)
    copy HOSTS to \windows\system32\drivers\etc\
    (allow the overwrite)​

    set the HOSTS file to r/o
    restart the dns service (net start "dns client")

    be very carefull what you add to the HOSTS file, as it will become large, consume memory and slow down all dns requests when it gets too large
  3. Belvadier

    Belvadier TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 28

    Hmm, i followed all of these steps, it did not seem to solve the problem though...
  4. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    Seems to me there is evidence that you have what is called a memory leak in one or other of the software items you have running continuously.

    That can in turn be caused by either a 'bug' in the particular piece of software or a conflict with another piece of software.

    As to the first case, this will normally be recognised reasonably quickly by the software authors and corrected. All you can do about that is make sure everything running routinely is checked for the availability of updates, and for that purpose, a specific free software item called Secunia PSI has a well-earned reputation for excellence http://secunia.com/vulnerability_scanning/personal/

    The case of conflicts is more difficult. Norton in particular has a long history of conflicting with other software and especially other security software, and I would regard that as the prime suspect until proved otherwise.

    What you can do about that is download alternative free anti-malware such as recommended on this site - avira or avast! and also enable the built-in Windows firewall. Then disconnect yourself from the internet, uninstall Norton, install the alternatives and start up.

    In general, it is asking for trouble to run ANY two anti-virus, or firewalls or anti-spyware together. They are both trying to do the same job, it is obvious they can get in each-others way. One of each please.

    This link http://www.msfn.org/board/topic/97098-runaway-svchostexe-on-bootup/ describes a process of stopping all the items you have listed and restarting them one by one as a help in diagnosing this problem. The actual post is from 2007, but the principle for diagnosis is still valid.

    I would also suspect mbam as having a conflict potential. Why not just disable it for a while and see what happens?
  5. Belvadier

    Belvadier TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 28

    Thanks for the response, this was basically the problem. I also posted this question over at http://www.sevenforums.com/performance-maintenance/173609-uncontrolled-ram-usage-3.html#post1480520 just to get a wider variety of answers and it basically boiled down to the newest version of Norton the was pushed out to me being in conflict with something else (maybe it was mbam like you suggested since it is also a malware scanner) but I have since uninstalled Norton and switched to MSE and that took care of the unbridled RAM usage.

    Thanks for the suggestion in, you were right!
  6. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    Happy to have helped, and thank you for the feedback. It is very important that the knowledge of a successful solution should be widely known.

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