99% RAM usage, 0% CPU -- HELP!!!

Hello forum, sorry to have my first post be a question, but I'm at my wits end. Please forgive me, and offer ANY advice you might have.

I have Win 7 - 64bit currently, and have been using it for about a year now. I have always had 4gb of RAM installed, and have done various "other" upgrades over the year, but the most recent upgrade came about a month ago, and this problem is brand new. So I'm fairly sure that none of my upgrades are causing this problem. I will list my "current" specs at the end.

OK, so what is happening is, my RAM usage will rise to 99-100% when I open Windows Explorer. I have ran a few virus scans, and they are all clean. It seems to conincide with the "indexing" that windows does (the little green bar that fills up at the top of the screen when you open a new file) In the past, this has always happened very quickly, and now, it starts to chew up my RAM, until it reaches 100%, the computer slows to a crawl, and I have to wait until it seems to be done. At which point the usage falls from 3.9gb, down to about 500mb.

NOTHING in the task manager is using this memory. Not even svchost.exe If I close the explorer window, it continues to max out for whatever pre-determined time it wants (about 4 minutes) Keep in mind, nothing about my system has changed. I have tried turning off indexing for individual hard disks, I have tried disabling the windows search and index option also. Nothing helps, it still has the problem. It's very annoying. However, it's just annoying right now, as like I said, once it finishes indexing, everything speeds up again. Crysis at max, video transcode, whatever. But, if I open windows explorer, BAM!! 100% RAM.

This is so odd, as I get 0-1% CPU during all of this. Please help!


AMD PhenomII - X4 3.4ghz
GSkill Ripjaws DDR3 - 4gb @ 888mhz
GeForce GTX 470
2 Hitachi 2 terabyte drives (generic, but in good health)
primary C: at 100gb, with 65gb free

That's likely an antivirus issue or malware.

Scan with Malwarebytes and let it remove anything it finds. If no help, reboot to safe mode + networking. Use the tool here to remove your current antivirus:

AV Uninstallers - Windows 7 Forums

(Use other tools for previous antivirus you may have ever had installed at any time, as well.) Norton? AVG?

Reboot and install MSE.

That should do it but if not, then you have some 3rd party software interfering that you have to figure out about.


Essential Member
Hello and welcome to the Windows7forums.

Explorer opens automatically when Windows starts. How are you opening Explorer?

Could you take a screen shot of Task Manager, expand it so all items are viable, then click on the Memory column to see what programs are using the most amount,

Explorer opens automatically when Windows starts.
Windows can be made to do this of course, but this is not default at all and is not normal.

If you mean explorer.exe as part of the OS (and not an Explorer navigation Window, then yep, for sure correct.)

TorrentG: I will download and try anything at this point. Up until the problem started a few days ago, I have been using NO anti-virus software. I find that if I stick with Google Chrome, I do pretty good. However, when the problem started, I grabbed an old favorite of mine - LavaSoft's AdAwareSE. Deep scanning with this tool revealed nothing. My machine was clean. I will try your solution now though.

RegHakr: I will take the pics that you request. However, I will say that you won't find any information from them. I have been scouring the task manager tabs religiously, I even installed Sysinternal's Process Explorer program, to get a more in depth look. The standard services are running, and using a total of about 1gb of RAM, like they should. However, as you will see, 3.9gb are actually gone and being used. Also, TorrentG is correct, although explorer.exe runs automatically, I'm referring to when I open up "Windows Explorer"

Pics up shortly

OK, so in the first picture, you can see how much RAM the computer uses after startup. The task manager shows all processes, and the windows sidebar gadget reads about 1.1GB of RAM being used.

The next shot is of "windows explorer" open, and the green status bar at the top filling up. You can see that my RAM usage has expanded to nearly 100%, and the computer has all but grinded to a halt. The "indexing" or whatever it is doing, takes ages to complete. And it does this EVERYTIME I open windows explorer. It NEVER used to do this until up to a week ago. It has always indexed, but it was quick and painless. My first thought was that it was a file I added, but it does it on ALL drives now.

The next photo is the task manager while the RAM is at 100%

The next photo is after the indexing has finished, my RAM drops down to below what it was when the computer was first booted. 600MB usage. And it will take and give RAM as it sees fit, as always, unless I open Window's Explorer. In which case, it expands to 100% again, until it finishes (about 5 minutes -- which is an eternity, if you're waiting....)


This is perfectly normal to take a little time when making/loading thumbnails for HD videos. You can disable thumbnails if you want.

I do see the ram meter though which looks high, of course. Does this only happen when looking at folders with videos?

We can fix that then by uninstalling and then installing proper codecs.

Or it even could be a poorly encoded video causing it.

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What you say makes perfect sense. Although I haven't installed any programs lately, I do add videos on a daily basis. Perhaps one of my more recent ones is causing it? The problem that I see though, is that this is happening with all folders in Windows Explorer. I just happened to pick one with videos.

If I move the "culprit" video to another location though, I wonder if my system will still do this? As of now, it does it even if I'm not looking at video folders.

Oh man!!!! You are a genius. LOL. I found the culprit video, put it in a folder in another location, and told it not to index. Now everything seems back to normal!! Awesome job TorrentG. Is there any way that I can give you +rep or anything?

Oh man!!!! You are a genius. LOL. I found the culprit video, put it in a folder in another location, and told it not to index. Now everything seems back to normal!! Awesome job TorrentG. Is there any way that I can give you +rep or anything?

You can mark his post "useful" and click "thanks" at the bottom of his post. : )

I'm a noob. I just realized that Windows Server automatically defaults performance to background services.

/me faceplams

I changed it to Programs. I think that will solve my problem.:eek:

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