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'System' process using up loads of memory

by knottshawk / February 3, 2009 2:45 AM PST

My task manager shows my 'system' resource using 60,996k of memory. The CPU usage is not high (basically absent) and the memory usage stays static at 60,996 regardless of what I do (even after a reboot). I need to know why this is happening! Thanks in advance...

BTW, it's XP home.. fully patched, and it's a very new install.

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Some one wrote that complaint when...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 3, 2009 2:54 AM PST

They were "testing out firewalls." I can only guess there was some remnant left behind.

There is no clear fix besides "stop testing" and do the old hunt down and destroy all old firewalls and files belonging to said firewalls.

Process Explorer when used tends to leak. At least we don't have to run it too long.

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More details...
by knottshawk / February 3, 2009 2:55 AM PST

BTW, also possibly of interest is that my 'system' process on this machine is experiencing I/O reads and page faults that are DRASTICALLY higher than my other XP systems...

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Read another discussion about this.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 3, 2009 5:14 AM PST
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by knottshawk / February 3, 2009 5:27 AM PST

That case looks different than mine... That guy's system process was small, but the sub processes were eating up memory. Mine is all in the system process itself...

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Yours is 60,996k, theirs was 59,736k
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 3, 2009 5:31 AM PST
In reply to: Yeah
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by knottshawk / February 3, 2009 5:41 AM PST
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Now you're getting somewhere.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 3, 2009 6:00 AM PST

See how all those processes are lumped under System?

You (not me) need to find out each and every one. I've spent many replies and must go now. You seem to think this is tech support but it's not. It's just a discussion forum where we can find people to help us out. You seem upset at times but I have some errands to do and will hope you find why the process under system is at 25M

I wonder if you are running a torrent app, skype or such.

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I appreciate the help...
by knottshawk / February 3, 2009 6:03 AM PST

I'm still not clear how these processes could be affecting this when the same problem occurs with all those processes off. Anyways, hopefully someone else can jump in here as well.

PS, what indication have I given that I'm upset?

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Your ludicrous reply.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 3, 2009 7:48 AM PST

You created the issue with some combo. It's up to you to peel back the layers until you find it.

The 22MB svchost is the clue it's some application that is using the network. Your Hijackthis log was helpful but there is far too much running still. Peel it back till its fixed. Use the scans of MBAM and SUPERANTISPYWARE to be sure.

Uninstall AVG, the firewall and stop software until you find it. This area of finding what that 22MB Svchost is up to you.

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I'm not understanding...
by knottshawk / February 3, 2009 10:03 PM PST
In reply to: Your ludicrous reply.

How can this be something I've installed when a diagnostic startup has the same problem. I can run process explorer after a diagnostic startup and the 22mb svchost isn't there... nothing is there but the system at 60,000k still. If none of the applications I've installed are running, how is my system still spiked?

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There is that issue with nvidia drivers.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 3, 2009 10:20 PM PST

But I missed where you share the system details.

Let's take this from another angle. What's broken? So what if this runs at 100Megabytes when we usually see 1+GB RAM machines today.

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I'm not sure what you're asking
by knottshawk / February 3, 2009 10:49 PM PST

What's broken?

Well, as you noticed earlier, it's an atom processor, 1GB ram, 160GB hdd...

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Maybe I have this machine.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 3, 2009 10:53 PM PST

I picked up an Acer Aspire One. But I can't find make or model in these posts.

Are you seeing the words in red? I went over your posts again and it's rather piecemeal as to the details.

Again, why would we worry about this memory use? What's broken, dysfunctional?

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Bob, I'm not following you...
by knottshawk / February 3, 2009 10:56 PM PST

You're telling me I'm not giving you details.. but I guess I'm going to need you to tell me what details you need. It's an Eee PC in the 900 series. Anything else?

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Those details are asked for everytime you post.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 3, 2009 11:11 PM PST

The words in red ask every time you post. I have the Asus Aspire One with XP, 1GB ram so let me check my too similar machine.

I asked a question and you are not replying so I must wait for that answer.

AHA! I see I have a 36MB SVCHOST running. Unlike yours it is not attached to System. So let me be clear I will not dissect why Microsoft sometimes attaches it to System and sometimes not.

But I will reveal it is affected by services that run under the System account. There is NO REASON to fix this issue.

Mystery solved1! You have a Svchost and other items running under System so it looks bigger than most.

Nothing busted, nothing broken.

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by knottshawk / February 3, 2009 11:24 PM PST

Can you explain how that can solve my issue when my diagnostic startup doesn't include that svchost at all, and yet my system is still at 60,992k? I don't get it...

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You found it!
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 3, 2009 11:41 PM PST

In your posts you discovered that some processes are lumped under System and that bloats it's displayed memory.

This is for YOU to research why this OS sometimes puts this processes under System and sometimes not. At the end of the day it's the same total memory footprint for the OS so it's just a matter of why Microsoft does this. That is your research.

Nothing is busted here.

I did ask a question and it does need an answer.

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by knottshawk / February 4, 2009 12:41 AM PST
In reply to: You found it!

What question was that again? If you're still talking about the 'red text' which states that I should include all my 'system info, including OS, model number and any other specifics related to the problem' I've done that. I told you my hardware config, my OS, etc. I asked you if there was something I'm leaving out and you didn't answer me...

I've asked you several times how processes that are not running could be affecting my problem, but you've not answered that. Minimal processes, with all others not running, still result in my system resource being at 60,992k.

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I noted it above but let's do it for the last time.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 4, 2009 1:05 AM PST
In reply to: lol

"I've asked you several times how processes that are not running could be affecting my problem, but you've not answered that. Minimal processes, with all others not running, still result in my system resource being at 60,992k."

Because you have child processes that are under the System process (the parent process) that on the other machine are not under the System process.

It's like this math problem:

Are these equal?
1. (A+B+C+D) + E
2. (A+B+C) + D + E

I've seen this and it's not a bug, it's not anything to fix, it is just another way that processes can be organized.

It will only bother those that think it's broken.

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Nothing is broke?
by joeyalbergo / September 3, 2009 7:19 AM PDT

Yes something is broke.

The average "SYSTEM" image process should only be using about 55k in an idle state.

I have seen this issue on a few machines and yes I believe they were at one point infected with something unknown or a type of malware un-detected by AVG.

Perhaps a string of code somewhere that it should not be.

If your "SYSTEM" image process is pulling anything from 50,000k - to 70,000k - SOMETHING IS WRONG.

I have been searching the internet for answers however I have not found anything to help resolve the issue - only a bunch of bloggers conversing about it.

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Let's say you're right.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 3, 2009 9:34 PM PDT
In reply to: Nothing is broke?

Since this is seen on many Windows machines what should be done next?

I've seen this and there is not much to write except that it is there and those that look under the hood and "find things that are wrong" often lose a lot of time.

Let me share another area I've seen people lose gobs of time over. The Event Viewer. I've watched others spend years trying to correct what they think is wrong.


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by joeyalbergo / September 8, 2009 2:09 AM PDT


If I could have the original poster or a few more people to respond to this question, I might have found the issue.

This maybe questionable to some however there is no doubt in my mind that AVG is the CAUSE of this problem. I inspected 2 machines over the weekend having the very same instance of high memory usage under the system image.

I removed AVG on both - the problem was gone!

Get back to me people - it's AVG that is the problem.
They need to be contacted

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Antivirus and memory use.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 8, 2009 2:19 AM PDT
In reply to: AVG FOR FREE

The questions swirl around where the memory should be reported. An antivirus may or should latch onto and be reported under the system memory total. I went under the hood on an AVG machine and found that AVG was tacked onto the system process. On another machine the antivirus still ate ram but was on it's own process tree.

Does it really matter which process tree the memory is consumed under?

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AVG is correct culprit
by BobSpornak / July 17, 2010 4:42 AM PDT
In reply to: AVG FOR FREE

I know its a late response to this issue, but this information about the high memory use being due to AVG is correct. Uninstalling AVG verified it.

AVG has addressed this issue in its free help forums; do a search for 'avg runs in memory' if one cares to read about it. AVG loads its virus database into memory so that the running AVG components can immediately access that database instantly. Like the OP, I was puzzled about what that strange 'System' process that now uses upwards of 100MB in my task list was doing there. Not sure if it is fixable, as 'bob' said it appears to be part of the normal scheme of things if you want to use AVG.



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system process usage
by shadow4002 / March 13, 2010 8:38 AM PST

Im also an xp user but my system process is using 90MB of my ram. Any idea as to whats going on. Ive run all kinds of viral and spyware checks all negative.

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Read above.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 13, 2010 11:18 AM PST
In reply to: system process usage

We went round and round with the discussion ending with the member disenchanted with the antivirus lumping its memory use under a system process.

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system process mem usage
by radu1341 / May 22, 2010 7:09 PM PDT

my system process was using from 77 up to 98 MB of memory, i suspected why so i uninstalled AVG Antivirus (it was the free version but anyway) now it is back to 244k Happy if you're having this issue try uninstalling the avg av ... for me it helped

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Can I ask?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 22, 2010 11:48 PM PDT

Why is this a problem? AVG's process memory can be reported as it's own process or under that task so where's the problem?

As a programmer this looks COSMETIC and not a big issue. But consumers would and do complain about it so maybe for them they should use something else?

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