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Lion SystemUIServer Memory Leak

2155 Views 15 Replies Latest reply: Sep 4, 2013 6:22 PM by wigglefish RSS
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xboxwee Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Feb 2, 2013 6:27 PM

Hi I was wondering what could cause "SystemUIServer" to have a memory leak and how to possibly fix it?

I can temporarily fix it by opening "activity monitor" and force quitting it, but this gets annoying after a while.

I have had this problem ever since I upgrade to Lion from Snow Leopard.

I have taken my computer to the apple store 3 times and it still has not been solved.

Every time they basically did a clean install of Lion and the hardware test. I have also did the apple hardware test and no problems were found.

 

"SystemUIServer" has a memory leak during the following times:

  • Almost everytime when I plug in my time machine external hard drive and sometimes any other usb storage device (usually other hard drives)
  • Sometimes happens just randomly while I am working on various different things
  • Sometimes happens when I wake up my computer from sleeping

Screen Shot 2012-10-27 at 11.22.54 PM.png

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.7.5), Macbook Pro 15 Inch, 2010 Model
  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,660 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 2, 2013 11:09 PM (in response to xboxwee)

    You have Sophos and possibly some other commercial "anti-virus" software installed. Back up all data, then remove it or them according to the developer's instructions. Reboot and see whether there's an improvement. You should never reinstall Sophos, whether it's causing this problem or not.

  • Courcoul Level 6 Level 6 (11,150 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 3, 2013 5:18 PM (in response to xboxwee)

    False on the memory leak supposition. I have operated mine for months without reboot and have always recovered all the memory after shutting down all apps. For some reason, having over 8GB of it helps in the recovery, even if you don't use most of it all the time. I suppose some quirk in the memory manager. Here's a shot at my current state of RAM bliss:

     

    LotsaRAM.jpg

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,660 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 3, 2013 6:17 PM (in response to xboxwee)

    1. This comment applies to malicious software ("malware") that's installed unwittingly by the victim of a network attack. It does not apply to software, such as keystroke loggers, that may be installed deliberately by an intruder who has hands-on access to the victim's computer. That threat is in a different category, and there's no easy way to defend against it. If you have reason to suspect that you're the target of such an attack, you need expert help.

    2. All versions of OS X since 10.6.7 have been able to detect known Mac malware in downloaded files, and to block insecure web plugins. This feature is transparent to the user, but internally Apple calls it "XProtect." The malware recognition database is automatically checked for updates once a day; however, you shouldn't rely on it, because the attackers are always at least a day ahead of the defenders.
       
    The following caveats apply to XProtect:
    • It can be bypassed by some third-party networking software, such as BitTorrent clients and Java applets (see below.)
    • It only applies to software downloaded from the network. Software installed from a CD or other media is not checked.
    3. Starting with OS X 10.7.5, there has been another layer of built-in malware protection, designated "Gatekeeper" by Apple. By default, applications and Installer packages downloaded from the network will only run if they're digitally signed by a developer with a certificate issued by Apple. Software certified in this way hasn't actually been tested by Apple (unless it comes from the Mac App Store), but you can be reasonably sure that it hasn't been modified by anyone other than the developer. His identity is known to Apple, so he could be held legally responsible if he distributed malware. For most practical purposes, applications recognized by Gatekeeper as signed can be considered safe.
       
    Gatekeeper has, however, the same limitations as XProtect, and in addition the following:
    • It can easily be disabled or overridden by the user.
    • A malware attacker could get control of a code-signing certificate under false pretenses, or could find some other way to evade Apple's controls.
    For more information about Gatekeeper, see this Apple Support article.
             
    4. Beyond XProtect and Gatekeeper, there’s no benefit, in most cases, from any other automated protection against malware. The first and best line of defense is always your own intelligence. All known malware circulating on the Internet that affects a fully-updated installation of OS X 10.6 or later takes the form of so-called "trojan horses," which can only have an effect if the victim is duped into running them. The threat therefore amounts to a battle of wits between you and the malware attacker. If you're smarter than he thinks you are, you'll win.
        
    That means, in practice, that you never use software that comes from an untrustworthy source. How do you know whether a source is trustworthy?
    • Any website that prompts you to install a “codec,” “plug-in,” "player," "extractor," or “certificate” that comes from that same site, or an unknown one, is untrustworthy.
    • A web operator who tells you that you have a “virus,” or that anything else is wrong with your computer, or that you have won a prize in a contest you never entered, is trying to commit a crime with you as the victim. (Some reputable websites did legitimately warn visitors who were infected with the "DNSChanger" malware. That exception to this rule no longer applies.)
    • Pirated copies or "cracks" of commercial software, no matter where they come from, are unsafe.
    • Software of any kind downloaded from a BitTorrent or from a Usenet binary newsgroup is unsafe.
    • Software with a corporate brand, such as Adobe Flash Player, must be downloaded directly from the developer’s website. If it comes from any other source, it's unsafe.
    5. Java on the Web (not to be confused with JavaScript, to which it's not related, despite the similarity of the names) is a weak point in the security of any system. Java is, among other things, a platform for running complex applications in a web page, on the client. That was never a good idea, and Java's developers have had a lot of trouble implementing it without also creating a portal for malware to enter. Past Java exploits are the closest thing there has ever been to a Windows-style "virus" affecting OS X. Merely loading a page with malicious Java content could be harmful. Fortunately, Java on the Web is mostly extinct. Only a few outmoded sites still use it. Try to hasten the process of extinction by avoiding those sites, if you have a choice.
       
    Java is not included in OS X 10.7 and later. Discrete Java installers are distributed by Apple and by Oracle (the developer of Java.) Don't use either one unless you need it. Most people don't. If Java is installed, disable it — not JavaScript — in your browsers. In Safari, this is done by unchecking the box marked Enable Java in the Security tab of the preferences dialog.
      
    Regardless of version, experience has shown that Java on the Web can't be trusted. If you must use a Java applet for a specific task, enable Java only when needed for the task and disable it immediately when done. Close all other browser windows and tabs, and don't visit any other sites while Java is active. Never enable Java on a public web page that carries third-party advertising. Use it only on well-known, password-protected, secure websites without ads. In Safari 6 or later, you'll see a lock icon in the address bar with the abbreviation "https" when visiting a secure site.

    Follow these guidelines, and you’ll be practically as safe from malware as you can be.

    6. Never install any commercial "anti-virus" or "Internet security" products for the Mac, as they all do more harm than good, if they do any good at all. If you need to be able to detect Windows malware in your files, use the free software ClamXav — nothing else.
      
    Why shouldn't you use commercial "anti-virus" products?
    • Their design is predicated on the nonexistent threat that malware may be injected at any time, anywhere in the file system. Malware is downloaded from the network; it doesn't materialize from nowhere.
    • In order to meet that nonexistent threat, the software modifies or duplicates low-level functions of the operating system, which is a waste of resources and a common cause of instability, bugs, and poor performance.
    • By modifying the operating system, the software itself may create weaknesses that could be exploited by malware attackers.
    7. ClamXav doesn't have these drawbacks. That doesn't mean it's entirely safe. It may report email messages that have "phishing" links in the body, or Windows malware in attachments, as infected files, and offer to delete or move them. Doing so will corrupt the Mail database. The messages should be deleted from within the Mail application.
        
    ClamXav is not needed, and should not be relied upon, for protection against OS X malware. It's useful only for detecting Windows malware. Windows malware can't harm you directly (unless, of course, you use Windows.) Just don't pass it on to anyone else.
        
    A Windows malware attachment in email is usually easy to recognize. The file name will often be targeted at people who aren't very bright; for example:
      
    ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥!!!!!!!H0TBABEZ4U!!!!!!!.AVI♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥.exe
       
    ClamXav may be able to tell you which particular virus or trojan it is, but do you care? In practice, there's seldom a reason to use ClamXav unless a network administrator requires you to run an anti-virus application.
        
    8. The greatest harm done by anti-virus software, in my opinion, is in its effect on human behavior. It does little or nothing to protect people from emerging threats, but they get a false sense of security from it, and then they may behave in ways that expose them to higher risk. Nothing can lessen the need for safe computing practices.
      
    9. It seems to be a common belief that the built-in Application Firewall acts as a barrier to infection, or prevents malware from functioning. It does neither. It blocks inbound connections to certain network services you're running, such as file sharing. It's disabled by default and you should leave it that way if you're behind a router on a private home or office network. Activate it only when you're on an untrusted network, for instance a public Wi-Fi hotspot, where you don't want to provide services. Disable any services you don't use in the Sharing preference pane. All are disabled by default.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,660 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 4, 2013 11:57 PM (in response to xboxwee)

    Please read this whole message before doing anything.

     

    This procedure is a test, not a solution. Don’t be disappointed when you find that nothing has changed after you complete it.

     

    Step 1

     

    The purpose of this step is to determine whether the problem is localized to your user account.

     

    Enable guest logins* and log in as Guest. For instructions, launch the System Preferences application, select Help from the menu bar, and enter “Set up guest users” (without the quotes) in the search box. Don't use the Safari-only “Guest User” login created by “Find My Mac.”

     

    While logged in as Guest, you won’t have access to any of your personal files or settings. Applications will behave as if you were running them for the first time. Don’t be alarmed by this; it’s normal. If you need any passwords or other personal data in order to complete the test, memorize, print, or write them down before you begin.

     

    Test while logged in as Guest. Same problem?

     

    After testing, log out of the guest account and, in your own account, disable it if you wish. Any files you created in the guest account will be deleted automatically when you log out of it.

     

    *Note: If you’ve activated “Find My Mac” or FileVault, then you can’t enable the Guest account. The “Guest User” login created by “Find My Mac” is not the same. Create a new account in which to test, and delete it, including its home folder, after testing.

     

    Step 2

     

    The purpose of this step is to determine whether the problem is caused by third-party system modifications that load automatically at startup or login.

     

    Disconnect all wired peripherals except those needed for the test, and remove all aftermarket expansion cards. Boot in safe mode* and log in to the account with the problem. The instructions provided by Apple are as follows:

     

    • Shut down your computer, wait 30 seconds, and then hold down the shift key while pressing the power button.
    • When you see the gray Apple logo, release the shift key.
    • If you are prompted to log in, type your password, and then hold down the shift key again as you click Log in.

     

    Safe mode is much slower to boot and run than normal, and some things won’t work at all, including wireless networking on certain Macs.  The next normal boot may also be somewhat slow.

     

    The login screen appears even if you usually log in automatically. You must know your login password in order to log in. If you’ve forgotten the password, you will need to reset it before you begin.

     

    *Note: If FileVault is enabled, or if a firmware password is set, or if the boot volume is a software RAID, you can’t boot in safe mode.

     

    Test while in safe mode. Same problem?

     

    After testing, reboot as usual (i.e., not in safe mode) and verify that you still have the problem. Post the results of steps 1 and 2.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,660 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 8, 2013 7:45 AM (in response to xboxwee)

    Did you connect that same drive in steps 1 and 2?

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,660 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 8, 2013 9:49 AM (in response to xboxwee)

    Have you installed any third-party applications that create an icon in the menu bar? They might be listed in your login items.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,660 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 9, 2013 9:23 PM (in response to xboxwee)

    how would I find out which one is causing this problem (or if any of them is causing this problem)?

     

    Process of elimination. Remove half and test. If the problem goes away, the bad one is in that half. If it doesn't go away, the bad one is in the other half.

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