#112 Kernel Memory Exhaustion on XP

Ext2fsd (105)
Dustin Jones

I have an 500GB external USB disk that is about half full of large files, ~1GB each. I have software that simply opens each file, gets the size and then closes the file. As my code is running, using Process Explorer from SysInternals, I can see the kernel memory steadily increase until an "out of resources" exception is thrown and my application terminates properly. At this point the kernel memory is not freed, computer won't reboot and I have to hard power off.

I've narrowed it down to the opening of the file. I'm using C# and if I use FileInfo() to get the file size this issue goes away (or at least not as much kernel memory is used), however this issue still worries me. Kernel memory is properly freed under normal conditions when the drive is removed, but is there some other way to force it? Any help is appreciated.

I have been unable to reproduce this issue on Windows 7, but am still in the process of trying.

XP Professional, 2GB of RAM, core i7.


  • Dustin Jones
    Dustin Jones

    After some more testing and investigation, I've concluded this is an XP only problem. Using the following link (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa366778(v=vs.85).aspx), it seems XP has a hard limit on paged pool memory. Windows 7 32-bit has not set limit by default but one can be set via a registry key and setting it to 350MB, the driver still works properly in my test case; it runs up against the limit but does not result in an "out of resources" exception. Given that XP 32-bit and Win7 32-bit use the same ext2fsd.sys file, it's highly likely this problem will only appear on XP.

    It's be nice if this issue was resolved but given XP limited lifespan I don't think it's a top priority. I'm actually still using XP and will simply have to take care and keep in mind that excessive file opens could result in kernel memory exhaustion. Hopefully we're moving to Windows 7 soon and I won't have to worry about this.

  • msdobrescu

    In my case, similar issue occurs on Windows 7 64 bit.
    It eats up all the memory and windows crashes by becoming not responsive until I reset it or the video driver stops working and a black screen appears.
    I have 350MB..8GB files and I try to move them from one ext3 partition to another.
    I have tried Windows Explorer and Total Commander with the same results.
    This is from the .51 version.

  • Nick C
    Nick C

    I get a fairly similar error on Win 7 x64. Using the system normally results in kernel memory expanding until first programs start crashing due to lack of memory, then the system. This is also using 0.51.