Resource Exhaustion on Boot

This problem has persisted for quite some time now...
OS: Win 7 Pro 64 bit MSDNAA product key, all critical updates of course
Comp: MSI-171 GX710

Every so often, as in every other boot or every three startups, or as today would have it every single time I boot up until I get fed up enough to come here, my CPU frequency is peaked out at an invariable 100% and my RAM usage steadily climbs from where it starts around 900MB-1GB until it too is maxed, and that is where my system crashes (to better define crash, black screen for a few seconds, and then it powers off instantly). I have attached a screenshot for reference.


ugh, I hate seeing that chart. the cpu is maxed, its hard to see because its just a flat line hugging the top of the grid. lol.

I have analyzed my resource monitor to watch this unfold many-a-time, and the process that is eating RAM is non-other than svchost. My CPU is getting killed by dwm. I can end and restart the latter but srvhost or svchost or whatever it is, is a system process. Not that the first one proved effective, but dammit ill get this machine to do what its told one way or another.

That's where you guys come in :) I have taken my college cert course for Windows 7 Administration (not the advanced cert, thts what the teach had ;p) and so I am fully capable of obtaining any information or performing any experiments any reporting back, provided you have the ideas! Because I do not. I am not at all a programmer, I can do fun little things with HTML, play with databases, and I used to write rubikon scripts when I was remaking a GBA game back in the day, so Im sure there are things happening in powershell and visual basic that you guys will be better at troubleshooting than I am. Thanks in advance for anything!


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
Does it behave the same in safe mode?

Have you tried turning off Aero?

Any chance of getting more memory?

Have you run an anti-virus--if you can?

Have you checked MSconfig for the troubleshooting startup items, or checked to see what was starting up you might be able to uncheck so it doesn't.

I actually hadn't been using Aero until I installed the Alienware theme, but before that, yes it had. Even when I use Aero, I have snap and shake disabled, I only use the pixel shader and peek features.

According to MSI i cant upgrade my memory, but I have 2 DIMMs and each is a 1g stick, so I'd need either two 2g sticks, or to be more efficient, a single 4g stick so that I may retain one of the 1g sticks (the sodimms I have installed are at the max speed my motherboard can handle). Oh and I disregarded MSI because using PC Wizard (ik, it sounds gimmicky, it isn't) I can see ridiculously extensive amounts of information about each component of my computer, namely the MB tho. It reports that each module can handle a max of 8 gigs. It's actually a really nice application..

My antivirus is AVG free on my Windows partition and on my Linux partition I use avast to scan both partitions. I have certain areas that are exempt from scanning because AVG doesn't like to listen when it thinks its found something, and I get false flags on lots of my network admin tools. So in other words, I dont think I have anything, but a clever coder could have it look for exempt paths and relocate itself? It seems feasible to me, but I'm convinced its something else, as my avast scans everything, and the only flags are the usual culprits, nothing to worry about.

I checked MSconfig for startup items that could be causing problems; only AVG is enabled. I also checked Ccleaners list, as they don't always agree on what's set to launch on startup, but alas it only reports AVG as enabled. I did not try ticking the box in MSconfig for selective startup to only load critical services and drivers, but I will try that and report back. I will also try booting in safe mode.

Of course, as this anomaly does not occur every time, I will have to do several boots and reboots to be sure that either of those works/doesn't work. I will post back when I have determined something conclusive. Thanks for the suggestions!

I have tried rebooting in safe mode several times, but unsettling as it is, I CAN NOT EVEN BOOT INTO SAFE MODE! I can select it and watch as Windows loads the various drivers, and it hangs/freezes with the last listed driver being AVGIDSEH.sys, which is AVG's "IDS Application Activity Monitor Helper Driver".

I enabled boot logging, thinking I could then select safe mode to see if it was this driver causing the problem. (BTW, in what world are any AV drivers/services really critical to a machine rebooting in safe mode with no networking? Of course there are other ways to obtain viruses, but if you're Trojan hunting, wouldn't a more practical approach be the one I took of scanning the hard drive in question when we aren't currently using the operating system and applications residing on it? Just my two cents on that, almost certainly dripping with bias stemming from my current frustration.) Anyways, after a half hour of parenthetical sidenotes, I would like to report that I was not able to select safe mode after enabling boot logging - it went right ahead and started on its way to a normal boot. I will attach the logfile if anyone can tell me where to find it or what it's called. I thought it would just be on the root directory but I'm not seeing it. I thought it was called ntboot or something, but nothing on search.

Anyways, on to the next step. I did a normal boot and quickly fired up msconfig. I have three main options at the msconfig screen, they are Normal Startup - all drivers/services, Diagnostic Startup - basic drivers/services, and Selective Startup, which has three tick boxes that are labeled System Services, Startup Items, and Use Original Boot Config.

Diagnostic gives me a very stable boot with a system idle almost down to 500MB, not bad at all for Win7, and not a peep from the cpu. Boots quickly and fluidly, no waiting to see if my computer is going to keep climbing till it crashes, or climb and climb and then at the last second stabilize to a reasonable system idle state for me. AVG's Scanning Core Module - Server Part and Resident Shield Service are both running. It has Aero disabled though o_O so perhaps you were right. And although I am concerned about my inability to boot into safe mode, I can select an option in msconfig that pretty much does that for me. Under the Boot tab, I select Safe Boot and tick the option for Minimalistic. Upon reboot, I see a screen that looks exactly like when booting into safe mode. The same screen, the same drivers being loaded, even the same AVGIDSEH.sys as the last listed driver, except no hang. It goes on boot just fine with the awesome 800x600 resolution, safe mode written all over the screen, no Aero, and a system idle of 375MB (hold on, having XP flashbacks... & enjoying them... ok I'm back) and not a peep from the cpu. AVG is not running any processes..

I return to msconfig to return the service/startup settings to what I had previously configured, only to find out to my dismay that several of the entries for startup were missing (including AVG) and TONS of services were missing from its respective list. I rebooted several times, playing with the msconfig settings, thinking maybe it was just because I was currently in safe mode, but no cigar. My intention was to return these setting to normal, reboot normally, disable Aero, and see where that got me. This obviously did not work as I can not even enable Aero, nor my network listing service, and I now am faced with the daunting task of going through mmc > services and reconfiguring settings manually for scores of services, although I do not know which to enable, which to set to automatic, which to disable, which to start, which to stop, and the technical differences between these states. It also appears that some services are dependent on other services, so it's looking to be a fun time all around.

A more practical solution would be ideal, but just some info on the service config would do for now, as I have essentially eliminated my initial problem for the time being, she boots like a charm. I am just restricted to a very limited sphere of functionality, and will have to implement some careful troubleshooting in the process of re-enabling these services to see if it is something with the services that Aero depends upon. I am perfectly content using Windows 7 without it; as stated before I usually use Basic, and only switched to utilize the new Alienware theme for Win7, but they have a version for Basic so I'll just stick to that.

Thanks in advance for all help/ideas!

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Extraordinary Member
I would seriously suggest, for a testing purpose to follow the below (note this is a canned speech for the bsod forum, but the clean up methods still apply).

AVG is known to be a cause of BSOD's on Windows 7 systems. Suggest that you uninstall it. Download the correct AVG Remover for your system (32 or 64 bit).
If you have AVG ID protection installed, download the AVGID Protection Remover from the above link as well (it wouldn't hurt to download and run it anyway). Download BSOD friendly Microsoft Security Essentials as AVG's replacement.
Uninstall AVG through the Control Panel. Re-boot to Safe Mode and run the AVG Removal tool(s). Re-boot to normal mode and install MSE. Make sure your Windows firewall is enabled!

I suggest this as, as you've found, AVG sometimes doesn't like no for an answer. It's also a bit of a resource hog. MSE is very light on resources. I also think you should download Malwarebytes' Free. Run a full scan in Safe Mode. Once you can get in there.

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Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
As far as msconfig and the minimal option, did you uncheck that prior to rebooting or had you checked "make all boot settings permanent" on the boot tab?

Many services are started manually by other things. If the other things are not starting, then the services may not start.

But overall, the General and Startup tabs are the ones I use to troubleshoot. If you cannot boot into safe mode, that would seem to indicate a problem. Maybe trying to run a System File Check from an administrative command prompt, or even running one offline after booting into the Windows RE would help. Or running Chkdsk is recommended for possible file corruption.

But now you know something starting up is causing your problem. You just need to pin it down. Possibly Elmer's suggestion will help in that effort.

Joe S

Excellent Member
Do you have any automatic backup software running? The Smartware that comes with WD external drives is a real resource hog especially at startup. Sometimes it runs even with the drive disconnected scanning for changes.

First of all, thank you all for your various inputs.

@ Elmer
I actually do have MSE and Malwarebyte's Anti-Malware installed, they just do not run and are never run while AVG is running, for obvious reasons, but I keep MSE because it's by MS so it only makes sense that it will probably be the most stable and dependable, and I keep Malbyte's because I've had severe infections in the past that only it was able to pull me out of (it actually ate most of the core files, I had to reboot in safe mode, anyways it earned its spot no doubt). I did not know that AVG software had been associated with BSODs, that is very disappointing as I have been an AVG user for years. But yes, AVG does have drawbacks aside from the crashes, one being that it doesn't do what it's told, another being that you cannot disable it for more than fifteen minutes at a time...tsk, tsk. But thank you for your advice, I will download these uninstallers and seek other solutions for AV.

@ Saltgrass
I did uncheck the minimal option, as well as the safe boot option under the Boot tab, and I did not select make all boot settings permanent. As far as startup items starting services, this has never been my configuration. While I have many items added to my startup list, this only means that there is a registry entry or the like for a given application, not that it is active and starting up on every boot. In fact, the ONLY application I had had set to start on every boot was AVG. I would sometimes enable things like Peerblock or sMAC, but 99% of the time I don't - I would rather just use these as needed than bog down my system on startup, only to probably close them anyways (I don't do much Internet on Windows). So this has never been a problem for me, and I can't see where the change occurred. I ran a checkdisk, which didnt find any bad sectors. I occasionally move files between partitions from Linux though, and it seems each time I do, and subsequently boot into Windows, it asks me if I'd like to run Startup Repair. I have let it run, but all it ever does is remove my custom boot animation, so I usually ignore it as I don't particularly like replacing it. Note that re-installing the animation does not trigger this screen, it seems to be Linux intervention, as though Windows knew someone was in its room while he was sleeping. I don't think it's much of anything, but provide it in the interest of full disclosure so you guys have as much info as possible to work with. And yes, I am more or less convinced that AVG was the culprit, and moreover I hope that its deletion allows me to boot into safe mode the normal way via F8. Thank you for your suggestions/input, I will double-check msconfig for the sake of thoroughness.

@ Joe S
What you say is interesting to me because I actually used to have a WD external hard drive, and it did come with all sorts of bloatware that desperately wanted to take over my operations as soon as it was plugged in. I'm pretty sure nothing got installed to my local disk - the software seemed to be running from some sort of ROM or partitioned off space reserved specifically for the software, as it was undeletable (i.e., delete it, unplug & replug, and voila it comes back!). After a successful project of running 2008R2 natively from the disk, I found out my only 2.0 interface was being used for my camera, the rest are 1.1 (what am I in the stone ages? 1.1 really?). Anyways, I will check throughout my system for the presence of any such WD software.

Thanks again you guys, will report back any progress/results!

Joe S

Excellent Member
If you want to get rid of the VCD with the software just go into Disk Management find the VCD there and disable it, there is no way to get rid of it. The Smartware is something you would have had to actually installed on your PC. Having AVG and MSE may be a problem. It's never a good idea to have 2 antivirus programs installed. Sometimes they have process running even when you think they are shutdown.

If you want to get rid of the VCD with the software just go into Disk Management find the VCD there and disable it, there is no way to get rid of it. The Smartware is something you would have had to actually installed on your PC.
I do not know what you mean by VCD, and I assume the Smartware you refer to is the proposed backup utility for WD?

Joe S

Excellent Member
VCD is a virtual CD and it contains the unlocker for the password and sometimes the Smartware to install.That is what you see as another partition. It's actually on a circuit board not the actual HD.

Ahh, I see. Well, I had gotten everything sorted out with the services, and my whole machine seemed to be running just fine, I got rid of AVG okay and was doing some upgrades and housecleaning, when I left my computer to defragment using piriforms defraggler overnight. It was supposed to shut down upon completion and when I woke up it was off, so I thought nothing of it. Come to find out later someone had stepped on it and busted the hinge, rendering the screen not broken but entirely inoperable. I took it apart to try to fix it but the damage was pretty well beyond repair. I at least saved my hard drive, so I wouldn't lose the setup I slaved over. I put the HD in another laptop that thankfully had the same SATA interface and form factor and while my Linux boots and operates just fine, Windows crashes on startup right after the boot animation and restarts. in safe mode, it restarts right after the screen where it loads the various drivers. I can tinker with things from Linux, or use a PE disk I'm sure I have around here somewhere, but I'll have to move this whole project to the back burner, as the spare laptop I used is not mine, and it belongs to people who's jaws drop at the suggestion of things like taking laptops apart or swapping parts (I had to be sneaky) but I do want to thank all of you that helped me out, I did not expect to get this many replies! Always nice to have a good first thread at a new forum.

[my poor MSI, you were an old little terd and how I loved to polish you. R.I.P.]


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Essential Member
Microsoft Community Contributor

I see you did all the stuff I was going to suggest.
I got rid of AVG and it made a big difference in my boot times.

I also use defraggler.
Once you have defraged the whole drive use the File Defrag every day.

I've seen measurable improvements in my computers performance since I started doing this.
When I'm working with huge 3D files, and generating video, it can make the difference between operations succeeding and hanging before completion.

If you have any residual problems with AVG there are app designed just to remove it completely.


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