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Memory leak in Flash with Win7, IE9, 64bit

Jun 21, 2012 10:20 AM

I have been having an issue for quite some time on 2 different computers. Both of them are Windows 7 64bit and use IE9.

 

Generally I have 1 - 5 tabs open in IE at any given time. Usually one of them is a tab for Yahoo Mail. Other tabs are related to whatever I may be searching for or doing at that time, so pretty varied. Throughout the day at random times I will begin to get a grey icon for anywhere on some tabs where there is supposed to be a flash video (like the ad in the right side of the Yahoo Mail tab)... When it happens I can open Task Manager in windows and I notice that 1 or two "iexplore.exe *32" processes have memory consumed in excess of 600,000K. When I end those processes I am again able to see any flash videos that need to be viewed.

 

If I leave Task Manager open throughout the day I can see the memory consumption increase on various tabs until I cannot see any more flash videos or even open new tabs in IE until I end those processes. Further, the memory does not get released if I just close the tabs in IE, but I must either end the specific process or close all tabs in IE so that IE is completely unloaded.

 

I have since uninstalled the Flash player and the issue has gone away. I can re-install the flash player and the issue returns. Can you please help? This has been a huge annoyance and I had hoped that it would be fixed sooner or later. Unfortunately it has not been fixed and has finally prompted me to post something....

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 21, 2012 11:29 PM   in reply to Ciege1313

    Did you try using IE compatibility mode? This may work around the issue.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 22, 2012 5:47 PM   in reply to Ciege1313

    I'll leave Yahoo Mail up with the latest version of Flash Player over the weekend to see if it reproduces.  If you have any other sites that you think might be suspects, let me know.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 25, 2012 4:29 PM   in reply to Ciege1313

    I didn't see any growth with Yahoo mail over time.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 26, 2012 11:29 AM   in reply to Ciege1313

    Win7 Enterprise x64, Service Pack 1, MSIE 9.0.8112.16421 32-bit with Flash Player 11.3.300.257. 

     

    I used perfmon to track memory usage, and saw no significant increase or spike over a 24-hour period.

     

    I'm not disputing that you're experiencing a memory leak, but I'm not seeing it with Yahoo mail.  I'm happy to keep looking if you have other suspects. 

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 28, 2012 7:48 PM   in reply to Ciege1313

    Yeah, I was having a hard time installing it directly from the Yahoo website.  I finally searched for it in the add-on manager and was able to install it there.

     

    I'm seeing a really slow increase with Yahoo Mail and Youtube windows open, but it also looks like it cleans up periodically.  I'm going to leave it running overnight and see where things are in the morning.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 29, 2012 10:58 AM   in reply to Jeromie Clark

    Okay, this is the weirdest problem I've seen in quite a while, but I'm successfully able to reproduce.

     

    I opened the following bug on it to get it investigated:

    https://bugbase.adobe.com/index.cfm?event=bug&id=3227590

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 1, 2013 4:04 AM   in reply to Ciege1313

    Hi,

    Can you confirm your ram -  Cp6 needs 4gb  compared to Cp .5. which needed  2gb!. (Interestingly Adobe have left off windows vista for Cp 5.5)

    Are you using IE 64 bit or IE 32 bit ?

    If 64 bit have you installed the 64 bits flash player?

    Check your version here

    http://helpx.adobe.com/flash-player/kb/flash-player-64-bit-operating.h tml

     

    Tech specifications

    http://www.equanet.co.uk/catalogue/item/it-equipment/Software/Software -Licensing/Adobe-Captivate/65124973AF01A00/PNC57165

    Windows for 5.5

    • 1GHz or faster processor • Microsoft ® Windows® XP with Service Pack 2 (Service Pack 3 recommended); Windows Vista® Home Premium, Business, Ultimate, or Enterprise with Service Pack 1; or Windows 7 • 1GB minimum RAM (2GB recommended)

     

     

    http://www.adobe.com/products/captivate/tech-specs.html

    Windows version 6

    • 1 GHz or faster processor Intel® Pentium® 4, Intel Centrino®, Intel Xeon®, or Intel Core™ Duo (or compatible) processor
    • Microsoft® Windows XP with Service Pack 3; or Windows 7 with Service Pack 1
    • 2GB minimum RAM (4GB recommended)
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 13, 2012 3:48 PM   in reply to Jeromie Clark

    I have a memory leak issue on www.bloomberg.com using 32- and 64-bit IE 9 on 64-bit Windows 7. The website reloads automatically at time intervals; each time, IE takes another 85 MB of memory. I have seen IE memory usage as high as 2.5 GB!

     

    This problem does not occur when the Flash add-on is disabled, or on Firefox.

     

    The same problem occurs on my Dell Latitude and Lenovo ThinkPad laptops.  The machines have similar Windows and IE configurations.

     

    I am using Flash 11.3.300.270, and I have installed the latest updates for IE and Windows.

     

    Thanks for looking at this issue!

     
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  • Chris Campbell
    9,455 posts
    May 4, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 13, 2012 11:51 PM   in reply to TigerNYC

    My first hunch would be that this could be actionscript related, and possibly a problem with the bloomberg site.  However, if this does not occur on Firefox (or Chrome) then we might be dealing with something else.  Could you please open a bug on this at bugbase.adobe.com so we can investigate further?

     

    Thanks,
    Chris

     

    PS.  I tried this out using the same config but IE leveled out at 210mb and didn't grow further (I left the browser alone for about 30 minutes, also tried refreshing manually 10 times or so.)

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 14, 2012 4:12 AM   in reply to Chris Campbell

    Just my five cents. Our team faced with similar issue in IE9 when after reload browser no memory released. Our investigations resulted that it is somewhere in "swfobjects.js" that is, JScript is not releasing SWF object in IE.

    After struggling with it, we ultimately dropped using "history.js" and the issue went away.

    This issue seems similar.

     
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  • Chris Campbell
    9,455 posts
    May 4, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 14, 2012 2:43 PM   in reply to SergStone

    Thanks for the info.  Do you recall if you opened an issue on this on the swfobject site?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 14, 2012 11:17 PM   in reply to Chris Campbell

    Nope, just fixed it in our product and moved on.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 23, 2012 9:43 PM   in reply to Ciege1313

    I have the identical problem with Win 7, 64 bit + IE8, 32 bit. Four to six tabs open, one of them is Yahoo Mail, and it's just a matter of time before I encounter the Adobe GCOD (Grey Circle of Death) signaling a shortage of memory available to the Flash player. I have a couple of add-ons including two or three toolbars, and have come to the conclusion that it's either:

     

    1. some glitchy interaction between one of my add-ons + Flash

    2. some glitchy interaction between one of my add-ons + the Yahoo Mail website

    3. some glitchy interaction between Flash + the Yahoo Mail website

     

    I've never once experienced this problem in Firefox, though I typically access Yahoo Mail using IE, and have less add-ons in Firefox. I've tried all the usual suspects, resetting IE to default settings, reinstalling IE, reinstalling Flash, Shockwave, Java... I assume it's not #3 because there must be many people successfully running the Flash player in conjunction with Yahoo Mail. I wish there some kind of software that could specifically pinpoint problems encountered when browsing in IE. One solution would be test each add-on separately to try to pinpoint the problem, but sometimes it may take 1 or 2 hours for the problem to occur, so it's somewhat lengthy to test each add-on... BTW, I'm focusing on Yahoo Mail, but perhaps a similar website that uses flash/scripting/ajax might bring about the same endgame.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 26, 2012 5:13 PM   in reply to handsomeprints

    2012-08-27-Image-001.jpg

    Unfortunately Flash has had a memory bug since CS3 as far as I know the problem has never been fixed. We are up to CS6 now and the bug remains but now instead of stopping at the 2GB limit it just keeps getting bigger and bigger   as Internet Explorer now has a 64-bit version. I feel sorry for the companies like in the picture above. Great games but hug memory bugs. They will probably go bust if you don't do something soon. Please fix the memory leak. Even after shutting the game window 2 gig remains in the temp area. If I clear everything from the tool area it goes back to normal.

     

    2012-08-27-Image-002.jpg

    Illustrator also has a line drawing bug where the whole screen goes white when drawing a line past the artboard. The autoscroll kicks in but you can't see the line being drawn. Why do't you work on these problems? 3 full suites later and no change. Just get rid of the bugs instead of adding more features. It seems silly having more options but not being able to draw a line larger than the screen area without a propper refresh.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 29, 2012 6:45 PM   in reply to handsomeprints

    For me the number of tabs does not make a difference. Using IE9 & Yahoo mail is the common theme. I will check if flash makes a difference but I went back to IE8 and did not have a problem.

     

    I get a memory leak with yahoo (so maybe with flash) on all the browsersthat I use (IE, Firefox, Chrome) but the main difference is that in IE9 the performance is too slow when editing emails. IE8 does not have the performance problem though memory does leak a bit. I am running Win7 latest services packs.

     

    For me it does not take very long for the memory to jump to 600+ I kill IE9 several times a day.

     

    I have recently installed ie9 again after removing it in september of last year / the only slight improvement with the problem is now I can kill a separate instance of explorer for when yahoo opens it seems to have its own instance - where before all tabs were affected.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 30, 2012 10:52 PM   in reply to greg.marsh

    Did a cold boot to ensure RAM was clear.

     

    I turned flash off and the only difference was the ram did not climb as fast. Still a problem though. For me the issue seems to be a problem with IE9 in general - problems increase with yahoo.

     

    I applied additional MS updates today so I can not report which fix is making the difference.

    Another cold boot

     

    So .. running IE64 - with no yahoo mail and flash turned off - seems to stabalize after growing very slowly.

    Turned Shockwave back on .....seemed to be fine.

    Ran site with video - big jump in ram but that was to be expected.

    Killed video and ram cam back to previous amounts used.

    Launched Yahoo - big jump in RAM use but probably due to all the ad's

    - with new patches the RAM seems stable - now adding more tabs to see the affect besides an increase in RAM

    - 5 tabs open - stable for first 5 min at least.

    - opened additional emails. still stable

    **** will continue to monitor but the constant gradual growth seems to be gone .... or I have not used the right combination of features that triggers the memory leak.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 1, 2012 12:13 PM   in reply to Ciege1313

    First, I just wanted to follow up on this thread and let you guys know that we'll continue to look into it.  I also want to clarify some player behavior, and provide tips for helping to identify a defect that we can take action on.

     

    Whenever you refresh/reload a tab, the browser should signal to us that our process is being destroyed, at which point we would release all of our resources and shut down.  SergeStone's comment above makes it sound like this might not be happening in a particular case.  I'm going to build out a few tests this week to explore this in more detail, and I'll follow up with results.

     

    Also, it's worth discussing the difference between memory consumption and memory leaks.  Flash Player is designed to consume a percentage of your available memory.  If you have a 32-bit machine with 2GB of RAM, we're going to consume a lot less memory than a 64-bit system with 16GB of RAM. 

     

    Not all Flash content is authored well.  If the ActionScript developer is continuously loading objects into their SWF and never releasing them (a slide-show is a good simplistic example), you'll see a steady usage increase as each new object loads in.  You should also see that evenutally, our automatic Garbage Collection process will kick in.  Memory will peak out, and then you'll see a short CPU spike as we look at all of the available objects and cull as many unused ones as possible, consumed memory will dip down significantly (as long as we can cull stuff), and then start growing again until the next time GC kicks in.  We tend to do this judiciously, as poorly-timed GC can cause games to stutter if it happens when lots of things are moving around on the display and you don't have a lot of available CPU.

     

    If it's our bug, it should be straightforward to fix, and I can follow up to this thread with a beta build for you guys to evaluate once we have one available.  In the meantime, it would be interesting to know if you're seeing the problem on our current Beta builds (which is where we would do the work). 

     

    Here's a link to the latest Beta download:

    http://labs.adobe.com/downloads/flashplayer11-5.html

     

    Also, the simplest example is the most actionable.  If you can find a situation where a site in a single tab reproduces the problem, that's a quick and easy thing to deal with.  If the repro case involves opening seven tabs and waiting six hours, someone needs to repeat that over and over, until they can isolate what content experiences the problem and then iterate a bunch more with a debugger attached to try and isolate the root cause.  The more complicated the content, the more difficult that is.

     

     

    Secondly, I wanted to offer some actionable suggestions that you could use now to work around this issue. 

     

    • Try Firefox or Chrome.  Both of these browsers run Flash Player as a separate process.
      • For those of you using Performance Monitor and other tools to measure, you can directly observe the resources used by Flash Player
      • For the folks concerned about Bookmarks synchronization, both Firefox and Chrome provide native bookmark syncing and import from IE mechanisms. 
      • Xmarks is a really nice, free utility that provides cross-browser, cross-platform bookmark synchronization.

     

    Thanks,

    Jeromie Clark

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 1, 2012 1:22 PM   in reply to Jeromie Clark

    Thanks for the update Jeromie - it is very frustrating going through this guessing process - I long for the old days where we could turn on a trace log that profiled the memory hogs and program locations. - it would be nice if something could be adapted for the browsers with out having to load IDE's and perfmon is basically useless when it comes to end user debugging for it is like working with a bunch of black boxes that are usually not the culprits anyways.

     

    I can try to run the different cases you suggest but it would be nice to know a bit more about isolating your application first. Just so I am comparing fairly.

    For example - How do I ensure that I have unloaded all of your app without uninstalling and rebooting?

    Is there a way to turn on some level of logging? Maybe with the beta version?

     

    My biggest problem seems to be Yahoo Mail - do you have any feedback on this.

     

    What is different with IE8 and 9? I mean 9 become unusable and even with a clean boot there are features in yahoo that do not work in 9 versus using firefox or chrome.

     

    Also - I just loaded some updates and the memory seems to clean up right away unlike before where there was a drop followed growth when I unloaded pages.

     

    Is there a switch that forces garbage collection?

     

    Is there a way to map the memory in such a way as to see what is taken up but not used - sort of like the old days when we would use overlays. - crude I know but I used to run full accounting systems in 28k of RAM.  Now I can't load my logo with that much

     

    All the best and thanks for XMarks - you just saved me some work syncing the 3 browsers I am running.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 1, 2012 1:25 PM   in reply to Glen Charles Rowell

    Hi Glen,

     

    Thanks for your note.

     

    The best way to get traction on the issue you're experiencing with Illustrator is to report it to the Illustrator team.

     

    Their bug reporting form is here: 

    https://www.adobe.com/cfusion/mmform/index.cfm?name=wishform

     

    Their forums are here:

    http://forums.adobe.com/community/illustrator/illustrator_general

     

    I've found it's particularly effective to file the bug, then post to the forums with a link to the bug.  This makes it easy for the person responding to your issue to route it to an engineer (in general, work is conducted and tracked through the bugbase), and the forum post is likely to automatically land in the inboxes of people on the product team who are subscribed to forum notifications.

     

    The more information you can include about your issue, a sample file where it reproduces (unless it happens everywhere), and as much information about your system as possible would be good.  Modern versions of most Adobe tools use Hardware Graphics Acceleration, and this drawing issue could be related to your graphics hardware.

     

    Without knowing much about your problem, I'd recommend you update to the latest available drivers for your graphics hardware as a first troubleshooting step.  If the problem persists, providing the output of the DirectX Diagnostic Tool will provide the engineering team with enough detailed information on your system configuration to investigate it fully. 

     

    To run dxdiag, do the following:

    Click Start > type "dxdiag" in the search box and hit Enter

    Click Save All Information, and attach it to your bug report

     

    You could also try disabling hardware acceleration to see if this resolves your issue (it would be an interesting data-point for the person triaging your bug report):

    http://helpx.adobe.com/x-productkb/global/disable-graphics-hardware-ac celeration-windows-1.html

     

    Best regards,

    Jeromie Clark

    Quality Engineering Manager

    Flash Runtime - Security

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 1, 2012 1:52 PM   in reply to Ciege1313

    We keep separate internal and external bugbases to maximize productivity on the engineering team.  When we have a widespread issue, we'll have hundreds of duplicate bug reports.  There's a dedicated team that consolidates and escalates the publicly reported issues to the engineering team. 

     

    Issues reported are prioritized by severity, number of users impacted, number of votes received, and the availability of a workaround.  We have not fixed this issue yet.   I have resurfaced the bug to the engineering team for consideration in the next dot-release.  There is a very straightforward workaround at this time, in that you can uninstall Yahoo Toolbar and avoid that particular memory leak.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 1, 2012 2:22 PM   in reply to greg.marsh

    As an end-user, you can't do anything about when GC happens.  As a developer, you can do things to request GC at optimal times during your application's execution, but older content doesn't have that capability, and skill levels and priorities vary between developers.

     

    The reason I'm suggesting Firefox or Chrome for differentiating the behavior is that there is no guessing.  With IE, Flash is running in the iexplore.exe process (there's one process for the host browser, and then one for each child tab).  There's no way to know whether it's Flash or the Browser eating all that memory (and it's mostly likely some interaction problem between the two). 

     

    In Firefox, Flash is running in it's own process (FlashPlayerPlugin_11_x_x_xxx.exe -- there's actually two, one is a broker and one is the child process that does the heavy lifting).  You can watch the process directly.

     

    With Chrome, the task monitor proposition is trickier, because all processes are named Chrome.exe, but some of them are the Flash Player plug-in.  Fortunately, there's a task manager built into the browser that shows you what plug-ins are running and what resources they're consuming.  Just click on the right-most icon (it's a wrench or a menu icon, depending on version) and choose Task Manager.  You'll see Plug-in: Shockwave Flash with the amount of memory being consumed.

     

    If you want gory details on the differences between IE8 and IE9, the IE Team has a blog: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ie/.  You'll have to go look around in the archives, though.  In general, the rate of change in the browser space has accelerated significantly in the last couple years.   Chrome and Mozilla ship feature-bearing releases on 6-week schedules.  IE has also made significant improvements to their browsers during that time.  Many of these releases make changes to how we interact with those browsers, and we communicate closely with all of the major browser vendors to try and stay ahead of those changes and keep everything working well.

     

    There are some automated tools you can run in the background, like Microsoft's DebugDiag (http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=26798) -- which can be configured to monitor process and catch memory leaks, but I don't think it's going to catch anything in this instance.  If you get the memory back after fully exiting the browser, then it's not really leaking by the strict definition of the term.

     

    If you're not seeing the issue with the latest IE9 and the current Flash Player, I don't want you to spend a bunch of time doing that, and it may have other stability side-effects anyway.  If you're really interested, I can write up some directions on how to configure it for IE9, but I don't think it's going to be fruitful in this instance.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 1, 2012 5:05 PM   in reply to Jeromie Clark

    Thanks Jeromie, I will continue to try because the leak just came back again. Don't know why but the RAM just started climbing again - seems to hit a level that afterwhich can't be stopped. I was not doing anything special exept that i also opened a PDF from yahoo mail.

     
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