How to Detect a Memory Leak

Over the weekend I had a customer that complained that by the end of the day  absolutely nothing would open on her laptop.  I thought “yeah right”…”customers always exaggerate”.

When I got to her house I quickly saw that she wasn’t bullsh*t’in!   Not a single .exe would open.  They all crashed.  I was clueless for about 5 minutes and then I saw “your system is running low on virtual memory”.  Right then and there I knew I was dealing with a memory leak.

Memory leaks suck…I barely see them.  Maybe once a year.

Here’s 1 way you can quickly detect a memory leak in any version of Windows (currently supported):

  1. Click CTRL-ALT-DEL
  2. Click Task Manager
  3. Click Processes
  4. Click View
  5. Click Select Columns
  6. Select Page Faults
  7. Click OK
  8. Use the laptop like normal and look for a HUGE increases in the page fault value for 1 of the processes.  In my case everything was between 1000-9000 except for the Broadcom wireless utility which was at around….30,000,000!   It was pretty obvious at that point where the leak was.

I got pretty lucky that time around.  The broadcom wireless utility wasn’t even needed so I removed it.  Problem solved.  I got paid.  Client happy!

Hope that helps someone else!