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I am expreiencing massive memory leaks with an internet explorer background process on windows 8. Some hours after booting into windows 8, it will start complaining about too little memory, sometimes forcing auto-logoff or causing a black screen for about two seconds and distorting sound (youtube videos, system sounds etc). The Task Manager sometimes shows high memory usage and sometimes not, but never more than 7 GB of the 8 I have installed. However, the ressource monitor tells me that there is only less than 200mb of free RAM, and that about 3 to 4 GB are "changed" (i don't know if this is the word used in the english version, I have german version and it says "Geändert"). In the taskmanager, I see that the process "iexplore.exe" has extremely many handles (what is this btw?) and page faults, at the moment it's at 206 milllion page faults and 475 thousand handles so I assume that internet explorer is the problem.

And Internet Explorer is started on boot. Some days ago I identified some auto-started exe from I2P as IE's parent process, so I deinstalled it and now the parent process doesnt exist: iexplore.exe has pid 5548 and parent pid 3772, 3772 is itself another iexplore.exe instance and has parent pid 2964, and 2964 "has no instances":

Q:\Users\Me>wmic process where (processid=2964)
Keine Instanzen verfügbar.

Killing the IE process frees the memory, but I don't want to kill a process every time I login.

So my question is: Can I do something about these memory leaks? If not, how can I prevent the iexplore.exe process from spawning on boot/login?

  • hey I don't mind if you downvaote my question, but I would really like to know your reasons so I can do better next time :) – user1950929 Mar 12 '14 at 19:27
  • pot some pictures of Taskmgr and ResouceMonitor. – magicandre1981 Mar 12 '14 at 19:32
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Maybe stating the obvious but I would try a new virus scanner, maybe an offline one. The only times I've seen IE start spontaneously in the background was caused by malware.

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  • Ok i try this out. Can you recommend anything except avast? – user1950929 Mar 12 '14 at 19:16
  • I've had good luck with MalwareBytes Anti-Malware (free version) though it does require an install. Try Kaspersky rescue disk too. – Spamwich Mar 12 '14 at 19:23
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By default, I2P starts your browser once it has started. If you installed I2P and enabled its Windows service (so I2P starts on boot), that would explain Internet Explorer being started on boot. I cannot explain the memory leaks, but I can show you how to turn off the browser-starting feature.

Once I2P has started:

  • Open http://localhost:7657/configclients in your web browser.
  • In the first table on that page, look for the row "Open Router Console in web browser at startup".
  • Untick "Run at Startup?" for that row.
  • Click "Save Client Configuration".
  • Restart your computer. This time, I2P should start but not launch Internet Explorer.
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  • I already uninstalled I2P – user1950929 Mar 12 '14 at 21:17
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1) Download clamwin if you don't have antivirus software WITH CURRENT UPDATES. Run that as administrator and scan all your drives.

2) Download spybot search & destroy if you don't have antispyware WITH CURRENT UPDATES. Run that as administrator and scan your entire hard drive.

Something is starting your browser in the background and sucking up a massive amount of memory.

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This was a problem with windows 7 and now also with Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. When you start IE, Microsoft will stat some background IE processes as well. This is NOT a virus issue.

These background IE processes will eventually stop IE from working at all and you have to shutdown all IE processes (using Task Manager).

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