What are the Causes of Computer Memory Loss

By Lee Nichols

Memory loss can render your computer useless.
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You can resolve some computer memory loss problems with a simple restart, but others will require a more in-depth look for the causes of the memory loss. Loss of memory will cause your computer to run slowly and crash as the computer tries to keep up with the demands you place on it. Failure to find the cause of the loss render your computer inoperable so it is imperative that you locate the problem as soon as you notice the loss.

Program Malfunction

A malfunctioning program can cause a computer to lose memory when it begins to require more memory to work around the malfunction. To determine which program running on your computer is using the most memory, open the task manager and go to the "Processes" tab. Sorting the programs by clicking on "Memory" will list the programs by the amount of memory they are using. Alternately, go to the "Event Viewer" in the administrative tools. You can see error events by clicking on "Applications and Service Logs" in the left window pane. Double-clicking on the event will show a description of the problem and options to repair it.

Repeated Logon/Logoff

Repeatedly logging on and off your computer can cause a loss of memory if you do not shut the computer down often. The computer will allocate memory to one user and then not release it when another user logs on. This problem can occur on computers running Windows NT Server. Workstation and Hotfix KB191830--available in the Windows NT 4.0 service pack-- will repair this.

Memory Leak

According to Microsoft, "A memory leak in Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005 causes a gradual decrease in available system memory." The memory loss occurs because of a problem in the tcserver.exe service. The tablet user must restart the computer to fix the problem. Microsoft Hotfix KB895953 is available to repair the scserver.exe file.


A computer virus can cause a memory loss and other problems. Viruses attach to files on your computer, causing them to require more memory than normal. Protect your computer from viruses by using a firewall and anti-virus software and do not open email attachments from unknown senders. If you have a virus, update your anti-virus definitions and scan your computer. Some viruses will require virus specific removal software and possibly a computer technician to remove.