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Last week I was playing a game when suddenly a warning appeared that my SDD was completely full. This was strange, because there was supposed to more than 25GB of free disk space.

After some investigating, I discovered that the pagefile.sys had ~23GB. I shifted it to my internal HDD with plenty of free space and thought that the problem would have been solved.

However, now, every time I play this game, after 45 minutes more or less, the computer get's extremely slow and unresponsive, while performing very simple tasks (opening Windows Explorer, web surfing). The game on the other hand continues working well for some time, but then eventually also gets unresponsive.

I tried to disable virtual memory completely, but it didn't change anything.

Here are my specs:

  • 8GB RAM
  • i7
  • Windows 8 64 Professional
  • GPU: Quadro K1000M

By the way, the game is DotA 2, and all the graphic settings are low, so it shouldn't be a problem with the hardware specs. Before the issue occurred, the game was working fine for the last couple of months.

Here are some images that might clarify the issue:

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Close Chrome man! Just look at how many chrome.exe processes are spawned on your system, each consuming a few hundred or so megabytes of RAM. Close Chome and you shouldn't be paging to disk anymore. – Breakthrough Feb 3 '13 at 19:03
I think @Breakthrough's comment is spot on. Just close chrome. As a general rule, if your RAM usage is nearing %100, the computer will slow down, period. This is normal. – terdon Feb 3 '13 at 19:10
That was one the first things I tried it, but it didn't help. Actually, when I start playing the game (with many chrome.exe processes running), only ~45% of the memory is used. Gradually, the memory usage increases until reaching almost 100% after ~45 minutes. Also, I was playing the game for months (with many open chrome.exe processes), without any problems. – donodarazao Feb 3 '13 at 19:41
Which game are you playing? It may be one with known memory issues. – Hand-E-Food Feb 4 '13 at 0:34
@Hand-E-Food, the game is DotA 2. I've been searching for other people having the same problem with this game, but couldn't find anything. – donodarazao Feb 5 '13 at 8:38
up vote 1 down vote accepted

You have a driver that leaks paged pool memory. So run poolmon and look which pooltag is the cause. I've posted the steps here:

98-100% memory use, no process uses more than 25MB

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The pooltag "Toke" is the cause. When I start playing, it has ~0.4GB, and over the course of an hour or so, it grows up to ~5GB, until all the memory is full. findstr tells me that netwew00.sys is the problem, which seems to be the driver for my Intel WiFi Card (drivers are up to date). Well, I'll see if a driver roll back solves the problem. – donodarazao Feb 4 '13 at 22:47

Looks like something is eating up your memory.

If you start your computer, how much RAM do you have in use? And after starting a game, is the memory usage constantly increasing? If so, you must find out which process takes it.

Could be the game itself, your anti-virus, a broken driver, or something else.

Also, there's no way a 23GB pagefile is normal. Reduce it to 4GB or so unless you have real needs for more. You want to keep it on your SSD to avoid worse slowdowns in normal use.

Edit: After seeing your process usage picture, I think you're just consuming a little too much memory at once. That forces windows to cache data to disk to give priority to most-used processes (eg. your game, chrome). So explorer, other OS processes and older chrome tabs end up relegated to disk. Things are slow when you request them again.

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I was under the impression that keeping a pagefile on the SSD is a very bad idea since paging involves many I/O cycles and could decrease the life of the SSD. Am I wrong? – terdon Feb 3 '13 at 19:08
After starting the computer, ~2GB are in use and ~5.5GB are available. There definitely seems to be some memory leakage, but I've got no idea how to identify the reason for this. Any hints? – donodarazao Feb 3 '13 at 19:10
@terdon You're technically correct, but that issue has been blown a little out of proportion. Under normal OS usage, the SSD will likely outlast a HDD, and we don't feel bad writing files on those. See conclusion of this article for instance:… – mtone Feb 3 '13 at 19:22
Response to your edit: Actually, I was just running Chrome, iTunes and DotA 2, which in the past never caused any problems, and shouldn't for a system with 8GB. Also, it wouldn't explain the gradual increase of memory usage, would it? – donodarazao Feb 3 '13 at 19:58

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