Vista uses all 4GB of RAM when Installing software

Discussion in 'Windows Vista Performance' started by Darkvette, Mar 15, 2008.

  1. Darkvette

    Darkvette Guest

    I have a unique issue. Whenever I install software such as games or various
    programs, Vista will take up all 4 Gigs of my RAM, but in Task Manager - it
    won't show anything taking up anywhere near that much memory. When the
    install is finished, I usually have to reboot my PC to get it to free up the

    I tried using a RAM Defrag program called Memory Zipper Pro the last time it
    happened, and it saved me from having to reboot. I think this may be a
    memory leak in Vista or Windows Installer. I had made a post on this issue
    on, but no one has experienced a similar issue on those forums.
    Also, the issue was happening way before Service Pack 1 was installed. It
    started sometime last year after Windows Update made an update one time, but
    I have no clue which update might have caused the issue, especially since I
    don't know exactly where the Issue is coming from within Windows.

    I know my PC can more than handle Vista. Here are the specs.

    CPU: AMD Athlon64 X2 6400+
    MB: ASUS M3A32-MVP Deluxe Wi-fi Edition
    RAM: 4x1GB GeIL DDR2-800
    HDD: 2x250GB WD Caviar in RAID 0, 1x500GB WD Caviar
    GC: ATI Radeon HD3870 512MB by ASUS
    OS: Windows Vista Ultimate x64 Service Pack 1

    I did a fresh install of Windows and SP1 the issue still happened when I
    installed software. Even without any other software installed. That's how I
    pinpointed that it's a Windows issue, possibly a memory leak. Any help or
    suggestions would be much appreciated.
    Darkvette, Mar 15, 2008
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  2. Darkvette

    Mark Guest

    How do you know the install process is taking up all 4GB of RAM?
    Is this causing a problem?

    Vista is designed to make use of RAM not in use by any other processes. What
    is the point of having 4GB of RAM if you are only going to use 1GB? It is
    this use that speeds up most other processes. When an application, such as
    installation, needs more RAM windows relinquishes the RAM to the
    Mark, Mar 15, 2008
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  3. Why are you trying to get it to free up the RAM?

    Wanting to minimize the amount of memory Windows uses is a
    counterproductive desire. Windows is designed to use all, or nearly
    all, of your memory, all the time, and that's good not bad. Free
    memory is wasted memory. You paid for it all and shouldn't want to see
    any of it wasted.

    Windows works hard to find a use for all the memory you have all the
    time. For example if your apps don't need some of it, it will use that
    part for caching, then give it back when your apps later need it. In
    this way Windows keeps all your memory working for you all the time.

    Are you experiencing a problem? If so, please describe it. Its cause
    is *not* that you have no free RAM.
    Ken Blake, MVP, Mar 15, 2008
  4. Darkvette

    JW Guest

    After making use of all available memory during the installs. The memory
    shows full since in still holds the last buffers written out in available
    disk cache and this memory will be made available to any new processes
    started when they need to be loaded into memory.
    JW, Mar 15, 2008
  5. Darkvette

    Darkvette Guest

    I see what everyone is saying, but perhaps I didn't explain the issue
    correctly. I understand that the PC will use more RAM when installing
    software or gaming or certain other things, that it will find the best use
    for it, and also that it will free it up when it's not using it.

    When my PC is idle, it uses around 25-35%(1-1.2GB) of my RAM. When Gaming,
    it'll use about 50-75%(2-3GB, depending on the game). When installing
    programs that don't max out my RAM, it'll take up about 45-50%(1.8-2GB).

    The issue comes when I go to install certain software programs, the software
    will start installing as usual, with no more than 50% of RAM being used.
    Then, part way into the install, the RAM usage will climb - 55%, 65%, 75%,
    and keep going up until it reaches 100%.

    Once it reaches 100%, the system performance will start to lag until the RAM
    frees up. The problem with that is, it never goes back below 95% usage until
    I restart my PC - even after the install is done. I can't game or even use
    simple programs like IE or Word because they'll lock up my PC with the RAM
    usage at 100%.

    I know that I have the 4GB for a reason, and I do want to see all of it
    used, but clearly there is an issue with Windows and how it's caching the RAM
    - especially if it's not freeing it up for other programs once it's done with

    Basically what's happening is that something is allocating all my free RAM
    when I install certain software, and it's not freeing up the RAM for other
    uses once the install is completed.

    So, yes there is a "real" issue, and I apologize that I didn't explain it
    correctly. The issue is, whatever is allocating the RAM is not deallocating
    it for other uses within Windows or other programs - it's not deallocating it
    AT ALL, unless I defrag the RAM which forces a deallocation.

    Being that it forces a deallocation that goes from 100% used RAM down to
    about 30% used RAM, that says to me that it's a Memory Leak of some sort.
    Wouldn't you agree?
    Darkvette, Mar 16, 2008
  6. Darkvette

    Darkvette Guest

    I know that all 4GB are being taken up by the Memory Meter on my sidebar.
    The problem as I wrote to Mr. Blake below, is this. The RAM is being
    allocated during the install to the point where it gets to 100% usage and
    starts to lag my system. When the install completes, the usage drops to
    around 95%. I can't use IE, Word, or anything else because the RAM is
    already allocated and there isn't enough free RAM for anything else to run.
    The issue is in the RAM not being deallocated or freed up after the install -
    unless I defrag it, then it drops from 95% usage to about 30% and Windows
    functions normally again. That says to me that it's a Memory Leak of some
    sort. Wouldn't you agree?
    Darkvette, Mar 16, 2008
  7. Darkvette

    Guest Guest

    Do these install programs look similar? Is your swap file set to anything
    specific? Is there anything in the event log?
    Guest, Mar 16, 2008
  8. Darkvette

    JW Guest

    Do you have the problem with all software you install or only with some? If
    only some then the problem is probably with that software and not with the
    OS. I have never had a similiar problem with any software I have installed.
    JW, Mar 16, 2008
  9. Darkvette

    Darkvette Guest

    To tell you the honest truth, I never really thought that they could be
    similar. I'll have to keep an eye out and watch to see if they are. I'll
    also do some tests to see if anything comes up in the event logs when this
    happens. I do have my swap file set to 64GB. 32 on C and 32 on D. Should I
    set it to automatic?
    Darkvette, Mar 16, 2008
  10. Darkvette

    Darkvette Guest

    It's only with some, not all. Certain games, productivity software such as
    Photoshop CS3, Acrobat, Unreal Tournament 3, Call of Duty 4, and a couple
    others I can't think of right now. I'll keep an eye on what programs exactly
    cause it.
    Darkvette, Mar 17, 2008
  11. Darkvette

    godius Guest

    i have the exact same problem... pc become unusable after installing
    large games. memory goes to 100% and a reboot is needed. FIX THIS
    godius, Mar 20, 2008
  12. Darkvette

    bigboi Guest

    joined this board for this exact problem, i recently installed Los
    Planet and about a quarter way thru, the ram maxed and all of th
    programs i was using in the back ground (firefox, messenger,my computer
    ALL ground to an almost lock up point. i walked away and let the gam
    finish the install thinking it would free up my ram to be able to i
    again came back and still my memory nearly maxed (256k had free'd up
    and i let it set for another half hour still ram all filled up tas
    manager showed my highest process only using around 150 megs an
    combined NO WERE near 4gigs. I ended up having to reboot to get m
    machine to behave correctly again.

    my specs are
    q6600 2.4 oc'd 3.1
    4gb corsair 8500
    and sli'd 8800gts

    way beyond anything vista should ever need
    bigboi, Apr 16, 2008
  13. Darkvette

    f/fgeorge Guest

    Vista manages memory differently than any other OS out there. MS
    thinks that free memory is wasted memory, so it uses it all, then
    releases it as other programs need it. It is also learning how to do
    it best on each of our pc's. This takes time and you should NOT be
    running other programs when installing programs anyway. I KNOW that is
    how we have 'always done it', but Vista is different.
    f/fgeorge, Apr 16, 2008
  14. Darkvette

    Darkvette Guest

    It's nice to see I'm not the only one having this issue. At first I thought
    that I was crazy or something because no one else seems to know anything
    about this issue - Microsoft included. I think there is a bug somewhere
    within Vista - either Superfetch, or Windows Installer or something that is
    causing this. There are probably more people out there that are having this
    happen, but either taking it up as normal, or unsure of how to report it.

    This is an issue that Microsoft should definitely look into.
    Darkvette, Apr 16, 2008
  15. Darkvette

    Darkvette Guest

    I understand that the memory manager is different within Vista. But that
    still doesn't excuse the fact that 100% or all 4GB of RAM is being used
    without an explanation as to what is using it all. The other curious thing
    is that it's only happening when installing programs? If it was Vista's
    Memory Manager, wouldn't it happen more frequently? Why only when installing
    programs? I would like to think that Microsoft is smarter than this, and was
    this something that they created to happen, it would happen more frequently.
    I do know from looking at my task manager that it does cache all 4GB of RAM,
    but that doesn't show up as all 4GB having been used. At this very moment
    for instance (straight from task manager):

    Physical Memory (MB)
    Total: 4094
    Cached: 3026
    Free: 10

    Physical Memory Usage: 29% - 1193MB

    So, this is what I'm talking about. Vista does have all 4GB cached, but
    it's not showing up as being 100% used. I would like to send someone at MS
    some screenshots of when this happens. If someone from MS could post me with
    an email address to send these screenshots to, I would love to send them.

    The other thing is that Vista IS different, but not that much.
    Darkvette, Apr 16, 2008
  16. Darkvette

    Darkvette Guest

    Almost forgot...

    This may help you out too. I've taken to using a program called Memory
    Zipper Pro to "Defrag" my RAM when this "Install Bug" happens. It really
    does work, and also shows that there is a memory leak somewhere in Vista or
    the Windows Installer that is causing this to happen. Try this program out,
    it does help and makes it so you don't have to restart after every major
    Darkvette, Apr 16, 2008
  17. Darkvette

    1morebogen Guest

    This problem is most likely to bother U if U installing the opperating
    system (Vista and XP) with more than 2 gig of ram.

    The best way to go around this problem is to Install Vista with only 2
    gig of ram. Instal the drivers, uppdate and so on, then U can install
    the rest of U ram. This fixed alot with my computer and it was a pc
    expert who told my to do it this way.

    I dont like to say that U have to make a clean insatall with only 2 gig
    of ram, but In my case it was the only thing that helpt my with a lot of

    Sorry for my bad English.


    Core 2 Quad Q6600 2,40 GHz, 8MB L2 Cache, 1066MHz FSB.
    Asus P5E3 Deluxe Motherboard.
    EN8800GT 512Mb Graphic Card.
    4 Gb DDR3 1800MHz and 4 Gb USB Ready Bost.
    Water coled, 18-20 Celcius normal load, 24-27 Celcius heavy loded.

    Rating as shown:

    1morebogen, Jun 10, 2008
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