I saw the “Case of the Unexplained” at Teched 2010 in New Orleans.  I was more than informed, I was entertained.

In the back of my head I kept thinking “I run into this kind of stuff, I should document the next one”

Well I had one.  I real head scratcher.

My Brand New Windows 7 Enterprise x64 laptop install was running out of memory!

4 gb is more than enough for Windows 7 and I’d been running 64 bit Enterprise for the past while since the RTM was available.  Office 2010 Beta to boot.

Never did I encounter this problem, never did I run out of memory.  But sure enough, I was losing my mind as the laptop lost it’s memory.

So did I panic?  Nope.  Panic is not a solution.  (Plus I had my towel with me)

I Uninstalled a few “suspect” apps I was questioning but still, no solution.

So pulled out my handy key with Process Explorer from Sysinternals and looked.   After all SOMETHING had to be eating the ram.  My task manager showed 3.9 of the physical 4 gigs in use.   But under Task Manager no single application stuck out.

Even under Process Explorer all seemed quiet.  A glance at the new “Resource Monitor” option in the Task Manager in Windows 7 showed that ram was being eaten big time.


But by who?


I was watching away at the Commit.  With no applications really opened up, my Commit was already climbing past the 2 gigabyte marker and the laptop was quickly becoming unstable.



Adding some additional memory columns in Process Explorer yielded somebody truly misbehaving in Page Faults.   His name was BCMWLTRY.EXE .  Try as I might I couldn’t pull anything up on the process.   It wouldn’t even terminate or pause


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But being this was a recently installed laptop, I guessed at a driver.   Either a driver or I’d been hitting some strange websites on the Corporate laptop, I knew THAT wasn’t the case.

(No really, it wasn’t! I swear!)

Running Powershell as Adminitrator (yes you knew I had to) I ran a

GET-CHILDITEM C: –recurse –include BCM*.*

I found several references to BCMWL files in my temp and drivers folder including a LOG file from the install.  But I just couldn’t find the stupid .EXE file.

Reading the BCMWL.LOG file revealed it was probably part of the Dell Wireless Lan Driver set.  There were only 150 other files starting with BCMWL, so logically it was probably that.  Wondering.

BCMWLTRY? Perhaps “Broadcom WireLess Tray”

I couldn’t see it in the tray but perhaps a badly released driver from the manufacturer?

No? That Never happens?

Enter Programs and Features, Uninstall the Present Dell Wireless Lan driver suite.

One reboot later and I’m happy to say my memory problems in my laptop are gone By manually adding only the DRIVER file for the Wireless (vs. the entire piggy suite) life returned to normality (Or as close to that as it ever gets for a Tech)

Now to back to enjoying the good life, and playing with a honking big Dell server.

Sometimes the greatest issue is caused by the smallest thing.

The Energized Tech