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Microsoft Admits WinME Memory Problems

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  • Microsoft Admits WinME Memory Problems

    Blatent rip from the Langalist newsletter...

    Reader Jim Barrett sent this along:

    Hi Fred, I spotted this today and thought it may be of use to
    you. By the way, if you're not already a visitor to the
    Extremetech website, it looks like something that would be
    right up your alley.

    "ExtremeTech Readers Uncover a Major Flaw in Microsoft's
    Windows ME Operating System Memory Leak Could Potentially Put
    Millions of Computers at Risk of Frequent Crashes; Microsoft
    Support Confirms They Are Investigating the Problem ( ), Ziff Davis Internet's site for
    hardcore technologists, reported today that its readers have
    uncovered a significant flaw in Windows Millennium Edition
    (Windows ME), the consumer version of Microsoft's flagship
    operating system. The flaw -- a memory leak -- could put
    millions of users at risk of frequent crashes. The full story
    can be found online in the site's news section at,00.asp ..."

    "According to the report, Microsoft support has confirmed that
    the problem exists and that they are currently researching a
    solution. The memory leak occurs when users open large
    programs or files in Windows ME and then later close them. By
    design Windows is supposed to "recover" the amount of free
    memory available to the system for other tasks. However, due
    to this leak, Windows ME never actually manages its free
    memory properly, thereby leaving a system unstable and highly
    vulnerable to freezes, crashes and "blue screens of death."
    The problem does not affect any other version of the operating

    Thanks, Jim.

    There are several errors in the Ziff story. First, WinME isn't
    Microsoft's "flagship" OS by a long shot; it's a stopgap OS designed to
    generate some extra revenue for Microsoft until the Win9X and NT/2K-
    based OS cores merge in the forthcoming XP operating system.

    Second, all Win9X operating systems suffer from memory leak problems of
    one kind or another; memory leaks in general are not unique to WinME.
    However, with this particular OS-level leak, it appears that WinME
    actually has regressed to a point where it's worse than earlier versions
    of Windows. ("Flagship." Hmmph!) In this area, as in so many others,
    Win98SE is a much better home/end-user choice; and Win2K a much better
    business-oriented choice.

    Core-level memory leaks are hard to fix--- it takes a very low-level
    fix, usually from the OS maker, to do the trick. But other memory leaks
    can be plugged: See, for example .

    And there are a number of other things you can do to work around WinME's
    many other limitations (see ).

    But my best advice still remains: Avoid WinME if you can. It's a dog.
    "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." -- Dr. Seuss

    "Always do good. It will gratify some and astonish the rest." ~Mark Twain

  • #2
    I think someone is full of shit. I have WindowsME on all three of my machines. I have been running it for well over a year and have never experienced the problems they are talking about and I do open and close alot of large files on my system. Plus my primary machine tends to run 24/7 without any of these problems also.

    Last edited by Joel; 25 July 2001, 23:39.
    Libertarian is still the way to go if we truly want a real change.


    System Specs: AMD XP2000+ @1.68GHz(12.5x133), ASUS A7V133-C, 512MB PC133, Matrox Parhelia 128MB, SB Live! 5.1.
    OS: Windows XP Pro.
    Monitor: Cornerstone c1025 @ 1280x960 @85Hz.


    • #3
      Now running a G... sorry not allowed to talk about it!
      hmm, would that be a G-string !


      • #4
        I had a lot of problems with ME losing all sorts of memory do the IE bug that is well known. I ditched ME last month for Win2000 and couldn't be any happer with the improved performance and stabilty.

        Why is it called tourist season, if we can't shoot at them?


        • #5
          I only had problems start after 2 months of having ME installed... after that it kinda stopped working properly... I put Win98SE back on in Febuary and I haven't had to reinstall yet... (6 months is almost a new record for this machine... maybe because I hardly play on it anymore...

          Wow a wife sure leads to PC reliability...

          Here's a quote "Everytime I go to play it you have f---ed it up, leave the god damned thing alone"
          AMD Phenom 9650, 8GB, 4x1TB, 2x22 DVD-RW, 2x9600GT, 23.6' ASUS, Vista Ultimate
          AMD X2 7750, 4GB, 1x1TB 2x500, 1x22 DVD-RW, 1x8500GT, 22" Acer, OS X 10.5.8
          Acer 6930G, T6400, 4GB, 500GB, 16", Vista Premium
          Lenovo Ideapad S10e, 2GB, 500GB, 10", OS X 10.5.8


          • #6
            WinME sucks! It will run stablily for 2-3 months then crap out, unless you constantly do maintanence to it. I've rolled back all my friends who were on WinME back to Win98SE.

            “Inside every sane person there’s a madman struggling to get out”
            –The Light Fantastic, Terry Pratchett


            • #7
              Just curious, is there any real difference between Win98SE and the orginal Win98 after updates?


              • #8
                Outside of ICS and the changes M$ made to SE's networking to incorporate it, No.
                "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." -- Dr. Seuss

                "Always do good. It will gratify some and astonish the rest." ~Mark Twain


                • #9
                  Memory leaks might be tough to fix, but are easy to detect. I am having a real hard time believing that, with WinME out for about a year, that this is just being 'discovered'. I am no huge fan of WinME, but I install it on a lot of customer systems for the System Restore utility. Clueless users need this utility. And by and large, 95% of the systems I have installed WinME on are happily chugging away without a problem.

                  The story is bullshit. Pure and simple slander from a MS basher.


                  • #10
                    I've been using Win Me for 8-9 months now and I haven't as yet seen this "memory leak" in action. Win Me has been pretty stable on my system, though I do run heavy applications, games etc.
                    I think most of the problems that users seem to face are generally due to the system restore and pchealth thing! (Though these are supposed to be the improvements over Win 98!) But then, many people don't experience any problems even with these features turned on, and actually benefit from them!
                    As for me,I disabled these "features" and So now I have more or less the same level of performance as Win 98!


                    • #11
                      Interesting that not only are there those who normally totally support M$ hands down mentioned in that article, but even M$ itself admits to this.

                      Now if M$ admits to it and is trying to find a solution, who in their right mind would call the article BS?

                      Just a thought
                      "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." -- Dr. Seuss

                      "Always do good. It will gratify some and astonish the rest." ~Mark Twain


                      • #12
                        Well, I must be on the minority that has problems with it.
                        I find myself with only about 50 or 60% resources free when I'm connected to the net and have 2 or 3 IE windows opened.
                        Only programs running in the background are ZA and PCAlert III (MSI hardware monitoring software).
                        After going offline if I don't reboot the PC I can find myself with only 30%-40% resources left after playing some UT or BFD.
                        And this with 384 ram.


                        • #13
                          Yep ... i had similar probs with WinME. After a couple of games of UT, some fiddling with PhotoShop or 3DSMAX my system would slow down to a crawl. Reboot. All ok.

                          Win2000. All proggies work perfectly, no slowdowns or such. Peachy.
                          Seth, are you ok? I`m peachy Kate. The world is my oyster. - Seth Gecko


                          • #14
                            WinMe can be a POS at times. Win2k is much more stable on my hardware.
                            Ryzen: Asrock B450M Pro4, Ryzen 5 2600, 16GB G-Skill Ripjaws V Series DDR4 PC4-25600 RAM, 1TB Seagate SATA HD, 256GB myDigital PCIEx4 M.2 SSD, Samsung LI24T350FHNXZA 24" HDMI LED monitor, Klipsch Promedia 4.2 400, Win11
                            Home: M1 Mac Mini 8GB 256GB
                            Surgery: HP Stream 200-010 Mini Desktop,Intel Celeron 2957U Processor, 6 GB RAM, ADATA 128 GB SSD, Win 10 home ver 22H2
                            Frontdesk: Beelink T4 8GB


                            • #15
                              WinME is wonderful for gaming machines. You turn it on, starts up very fast, play your games, then shut it down.

                              That way there is no problem if you do have a few memory leaks.

                              If you are doing real work, you wouldnt even consider having a 9x OS

                              My game machine at home has WinMe, and I love it. I dont leave that one on all the time (because it sounds like a jet engine with all the fans etc).

                              Also, I dont beleive MS would admit to any fault like that. Some one else would have to check with all the references before I would beleive it. Sounds like crap to me.