Ever have a program or process that doesn’t end properly and runs in the background continuously?
I recently encountered this issue with VLC on one Windows 7 machine where it keeps the process never terminates. Since I never reboot the machine for other than Windows Updates, this amounted to 633 copies of VLC running in memory. Each process only used about 633k so it wasn’t an astronomical memory hog but multiply that by 633, you begin to feel the machine slowing down. Task Manager doesn’t let you kill multiple processes in bulk and I didn’t want to go through killing them one by one or rebooting.
The solution? Good old command line. Open up command prompt (start -> run -> cmd.exe). This snippet will kill all processes that start with the taskname:
TASKKILL /IM [TASKNAME]* /F
To kill all VLC processes, you’d use:
TASKKILL /IM vlc* /F
All running VLC processes will be terminated automatically.
If you’re a power user like me, you’ll find Firefox will often balloon to about 1 gig of RAM usage after some time. Often times it’ll hit that point and then just crash.
I’m probably in the minority but my surfing habits tend to be open a mess of tabs and then come back and read later. I never go back to bookmarks (even though I do have a delicious account and actually tag stuff). At any time, I may 25-100 tabs open in my browser.
I’ve had to install add-ons like session manager just to ensure I don’t lose my tabs when working because Firefox’s built-in tools wouldn’t restore my tab session when it crashed.
I recently stumbled upon Firefox Plumber (http://www.rizone3.com/2011/firefox-plumber/). I’ve been testing it for a few days now and I have to say I’m completely blown away by how well the utility works.
Currently I have 32 tabs open in Firefox. Under normal loads, the browser would utilize between 800MB-1GB of memory. With Firefox Plumber running, which is only utilizing about 708k in memory usage, Firefox is currently fluctuating between 4 and 7 MB of memory usage.
The only caveat is that Firefox Plumber does utilize about ~5% of the CPU to keep Firefox tamed.
After some sleuthing, I found it accomplishes this by offloading the memory to the swap file which could present it’s own issues. I’m going to stick with it for now since Firefox appears to be more stable and see how things work.