Window XP Explorer mysteries

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by HandsOff, May 28, 2006.

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  1. HandsOff

    HandsOff Registered Member

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    Q: Is it normal for explorer to be present in the list of running processes even when no folders are opened? I am pretty sure the answer is yes, but just checking.

    Q: what is normal memory usage for explorer when there aren't any folders open. (I consider explorer manly a tool for viewing files and folders, I'm not sure why it is use 38MB for just sitting around).

    Q: if someone feels like it, it would be interesting to compare screen shots of there most memory consuming processes running. (snapshot of the top of the taskmanger list after sorting by memory usage...). It seems like mine are eating more memory than what I expected...


    -HandsOff
     

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  2. IMM

    IMM Spyware Fighter

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    It's normal for explorer to be running - it is probably your shell
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\\Shell

    My explorer.exe is more like 14 or 15 Mb for mem usage though. What service pack level and xp type (eg media ver.) are you running?

    Do you have lots of context menu items which load dlls? You might look at the dlls loaded by explorer.exe using sysinternals' Process Explorer which can be set to show sizes on the components
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2006
  3. HandsOff

    HandsOff Registered Member

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    Hi-

    It's running in an XP-Home sp1 environment. There has been some indication that explorer may be infected and injecting dll's. I might try process explorer. It always sort of overwelms me with too much information but maybe now that i have two suspects "explorer" and "winlogon" it will be more meaning full.

    Which leads to my next question dose winlogon look a bit heavy? I mean, for an O/S that supposedly can run fine on 128 MB, my top 10 alone are about 270 MB
    My Explorer + Svshost + Winlogon > 100 MB. and I'm not doing much!

    I don't like a lot of stuff in the context menu other than security I just have an mp3 tag editor, and music file converter, and create new Ulead 3D object, which i did not realize placed it there. I will probably remove that...oh, and WinRAR.

    I am starting to suspect either there is a trojan, or a conflict between Kaspersky (newly installed) and Trojan hunter guard - which I just remembered uses something like dll injection to monitor system files (or so I've heard).

    -HandsOff
     
  4. IMM

    IMM Spyware Fighter

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    Yes, it does look heavy.
    I'm 432K (fast user switching is off) - but it's sometimes higher than that
     
  5. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    I use Win 2000, but seems to me that you should reboot to get rid of extraneous handles, etc.

    Note the mem usage shortly after ALL apps have started after a rebbot.
     
  6. HandsOff

    HandsOff Registered Member

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    Good point Howard. I will see what happens.

    -HandsOff
     
  7. TairikuOkami

    TairikuOkami Registered Member

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    That is it, Windows does not do much, so it has no reason to release the free RAM.
    My 2 explorer take about 120 MB and my svchost up to 50 MB sometimes (screenshot).
    It is just the way, how Windows handles the memory usage, there is nothing to worry about.

    http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/winxppro/evaluate/xpperf.mspx#E4BAC

    Windows XP—like Windows 2000—regularly checks that the memory assigned to a particular application is actually in use, and maintains an estimate for each application indicating the amount of memory that could reasonably be taken away without affecting performance. A reserve of memory is kept on hand to be used as needed. When this reserve sinks too low it is replenished by trimming working sets. These estimates are used as a guideline to determine where memory should be taken from.

    When physical memory is scarce, you will pay frequent I/O penalties as you go from operation to operation. When physical memory is abundant, the system will use the memory to forestall these I/O penalties.

    The operating system is constantly assessing the current situation and choosing which pages to keep and which to get rid of. Thus, the number of pages in use alone does not represent a measure of memory required. The number of pages in use can be quite misleading, if taken in isolation. An application's working set, the number of pages it has in memory, can at times be quite large simply because there is no competition for the memory from other running applications. Conversely, the working set may be quite small, simply because all of the physical memory resources have been given over to other applications.
     
  8. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    And most aplications do not use enough available memory, likely 'cause they don't want folkes to yell at them for grabbing memorry.

    It is really painful to watch some apps plod along, when they could use available memory.

    Bye thee waye, anybody know what affect the priority option in TI has on memory use or process priority?
     
  9. HandsOff

    HandsOff Registered Member

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    Hi, and thanks for the information. I actually have a little understanding about how the memory management is supposed to work, but I was thinking in terms of there being a real-life range that these system files normally fall under. I watched the Winlogon.exe as Howard suggested, for a while and was surprised to see how dramatic the memory usage change is. you can look one moment ant it is 25 MB, and look 5 seconds later and its 700kb, so that one is explained.

    With explorer, again, it seems to be normal. I think Explorer, in practice, holds on to its memory longer than other apps because I thought there was some amount of time (5 minutes? i cant remember) after which the system will reclaim memory. As the file manager, it may appear to be using memory longer than it is.

    Along these lines, there seem to be a number of memory management programs out there. Most experts seem to believe that they are not worth using, however it would be interesting to be able to change parameters a little and see what happens.

    Today I found I only had 57mb free out of 1GB. I lowered Photoshop's allocation...anyway I just through that in because there are so many people that insist that you don't need more the 512mb or 1GB because it just sits there. Well, even if it just sits there, it changes the allocations and the number disk writes! I want another GB!!!


    -HandsOff
     
  10. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    Only very, very, ..., very experienced users should ever think about fiddling with memory, etc., and they should think again before doing so.
     
  11. HandsOff

    HandsOff Registered Member

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    Hi Howard-


    Don't get alarmed! I don't plan on overhauling the o/s. Sometimes I forget, not everyone has the same level of familiarity with photoshop as I have. In case you didn't know photoshop is one of the rare programs that allows you to allocate a percentage of your memory as being available for photoshop. You also specify the scratch disk where photoshop stores it's temporary files. These are preference settings that are there because many people need to play with them. If you didn't you would be doing what was mentioned above, not utilizing all you resources while the programs you are running procede at a snails pace. By the same token the page file allowcation, and a couple others, really do need to at least get reality checked. For most people the defaults work ok.

    There are several others that people have mentioned. Actual registry edits. And certainly I would advise caution, and certainly advise being able to undo whatever you do.

    All I meant was I would find it interesting to know what makes sense to change and why. If you just change a bunch of stuff and you don't know why or what for, then you pretty much won't know if the changes are having the desired affects. I would not change these settings on a whim!


    -HandsOff
     
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