I'm having troubles with my laptop. I'm running Windows XP SP3 and after some days of uptime (the period seems to get shorter) error messages start to pop up especially when starting programs. Also letters in all programs start to disappear.

Here are some of the messages I gathered when trying to open a .rar file (I translated them since I have a German installation):

Cannot open C:\test.rar

The application failed to initialize properly (0xc000012d). Click on OK to terminate the application.

The application failed to initialize properly (0xc0000142). Click on OK to terminate the application.

C:\test.rar is not a valid Win32 application

Insufficient system resources exist to complete the requested service.

(hand translated) Image corrupt - The application or DLL C:\WINDOWS\system32\guard32.dll is not a valid Windows file. Check it with the installation disk.

Skype pops up with the following message:

Not enough storage is available to process this command

The errors appear with all applications. None of my processes leaks memory (the one that does I kill at start up). When the errors start appearing and I close my browser (which uses the most memory) it shortly seems to get better but just for some minutes. After restarting the laptop everything works normally. I monitored my resources with perfmon and the only counter that I noticed climbing up over night (no user interaction, just my processes at idle) was Pool Paged Allocs (233k to 316k in 10 hours). This doesn't seem normal as other computers I tested didn't show this behavior. I logged all memory counters and all process counters. According to the task manager there was still ~300 MB unused physical memory. My system partition had 1 GB of free space. My paging file size is system managed.

Any idea what the reason could be? What could I do to further diagnose my problem?

  • Two possibilities. 1) you have a virus that moves slowly and subtly; 2) your laptop is overheating?
    – Rolnik
    Nov 20, 2010 at 14:46

2 Answers 2


So I read up on the mentioned counter and figured that I have a kernel mode memory leak. I tracked the allocations with poolmon.exe and googled the offending pool tag. It turned out to be my virus scanner (Avira AntiVir) and it's a known problem with the current service pack. Turning off the specific feature resolved my problem. Also I've been able to find another driver slowly leaking memory, namely my battery driver. No idea why, I tried to update/reinstall it, nothing helped. Also no new drivers on the manufacturer's homepage. Since I always have my laptop plugged in I just deactivated it, problem solved. I hope this doesn't have any negative side effects.


Only 1GB of free space might be causing some issues. Use CCleaner to wipe out temp files to free up some space (look carefully at the options, though...browser history and passwords are checked for deletion by default, so uncheck those options if you want to keep all that)

Also, check for faulty RAM with memtest86+. Bad RAM can cause all sorts of wacky issues.

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