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You are here: MacNN Forums > Enthusiast Zone > Classic Macs and Mac OS > HELP: Memory Loss in MacOS9

HELP: Memory Loss in MacOS9
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Dedicated MacNNer
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Feb 22, 2000, 01:35 PM
 
I have 192MB of installed memory; however, in MacOS9, after I have been working for awhile, the system loses track of how much memory is free. Right now, I am running BBEdit, Netscape, Outlook Express, and MacOS9 for a total of 108MB. However, the system reports I have only 32MB available. If I launch a program that is allocating 60MB (which SHOULD be available) it only gets 32...

I am running a fairly lean system with updated extensions. In fact, there are only 2-3 non-Apple extensions.

This occurs on a friend's machine with MacOS9 installed as well. This is my first mac in 7 years, and we had this same problem with MacOS 7.1! Hasn't this been solved? Is this what we get for our multi-finder roots?

Are there any workarounds?
Meh
     
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Feb 22, 2000, 03:39 PM
 
This is a problem that, as you say, has plagued the OS for a while now. I seem to remember it not being a fault of the OS per se, but that certain programs don't allocate their memory back to the system effectively when they quit. Thus, even though you have enough memory, its somewhat fragmented and the computer only reads the largest fragment availible. Anyway, this will be fixed in OS X, but meanwhile I use a program called "Quitter" to quit the finder. If no other apps are open, the finder restarts and the memory allocation problem is fixed. I'm sure there are more elegant ways of doing this, but I've had sucess with it. Hope this helps.

Chris
     
puttmutt
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Feb 23, 2000, 09:11 AM
 
You could always try the freeware called "MacOSpurge" which forces all quit programs to release the memory allocation that they grabbed when launched. Also try "AutoPurge" which will empty the temporary items folders and free up any memory they are holding on to.
     
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Feb 23, 2000, 10:55 AM
 
Thanks for the tips with the various utilities. I will d/l those and try them out. I was going to look for a MacsBug dcmd to force the MemManager to compact the heap...

Thanks!
Meh
     
ram
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Feb 23, 2000, 11:09 AM
 
I believe people are answering a question that wasn't asked. mudmonkey said that he/she had several apps open and couldn't see why the OS wouldn't allow all of the remaining free RAM to be used. The replies, on the other hand, addressed a different issue, one of the apps not giving back their ram when you quit them. I haven't had the latter problem but the former isn't a bug. It's just the way it works. Assume, for instance, that you have 4 megs of ram. the first meg is taken by the OS, so when you open app#1, it uses meg #2. Then if you open app#2, it'll use meg #3. But then, if you quit app#1, that leaves meg #2 open and meg #4 open. You do have 2 free megs of ram but they are fragmented because app #2 is right in the middle of them. So if you want to have another app that requires 2 megs of ram open right alongside app #2, you'll first need to quit app #2. That way, there is no memory fragmentation. You're back to 3 free megs of ram, and the next thing you open will once again take up meg #2.

now take this and apply it to your problem. The OS is going to take up your first chunk of memory. But the way the rest of your memory is used is determined by what order you launched your apps in. If, for instance, you tried to open a URL and Internet Explorer launched just because Microsoft wanted it to, then you launched BBedit and then quite IE because you wanted Netscape open instead, depending on the size of the subsequent things you open, that original slot that was used by IE for a short time might stay empty. It can only be used if you open something that takes the same amount of ram or less. So the OS will tell you that you have a chunk of ram left that doesn't include the chunk you lost by opening IE. Now if you had quit IE before you opened anything else, this wouldn't have happened.

To avoid all of this junk, just try to first open things you plan on using for quite a while, then open the other stuff after that. you'll get less memory fragmentation and will be able to avoid having to quit and reopen apps when you need more memory.
     
fthorsten
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Feb 23, 2000, 11:24 AM
 
Originally posted by mudmonkey:
I have 192MB of installed memory; however, in MacOS9, after I have been working for awhile, the system loses track of how much memory is free. Right now, I am running BBEdit, Netscape, Outlook Express, and MacOS9 for a total of 108MB. However, the system reports I have only 32MB available. If I launch a program that is allocating 60MB (which SHOULD be available) it only gets 32...

I am running a fairly lean system with updated extensions. In fact, there are only 2-3 non-Apple extensions.

This occurs on a friend's machine with MacOS9 installed as well. This is my first mac in 7 years, and we had this same problem with MacOS 7.1! Hasn't this been solved? Is this what we get for our multi-finder roots?

Are there any workarounds?
There is no problem. What you see is simple free memory fragmentation. The system is correct in reporting less as it clearly does not report "free memory" but "largest unused block" which you should read as "largest unused continuous block of free memory".
You can do a simple test: After reboot, start two applications. After the second one is running, quit the first one. You should still see the same "largest unused block" size. Now start an application which takes up the "largest unused block" of memory (i.e. set the memory requirements preferred size to/above the free amount). Shortly after starting the application the "largest unused block" size will change to the amount that was "lost".

Thorsten
     
   
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