I am having the exact same issue as bigluc23.
Up until about the last 2 weeks, my Macbook pro was running fine. Now as soon as I boot the machine, atMonitor shows 1.5GB of wired memory. The biggest hog of course is the opaque kernel_task which is using about half of that memory. Since many posters replying don't seem to get it, THIS WASN'T THIS WAY BEFORE.
Activity monitor doesn't show any application running. More precisely, it shows dozens of commands running that seem like they're system commands. I have gone through and randomly forced quit some of them, to no effect (and who knows how much damage I'm doing to my system force-quitting random processes?) So how can we find out what's using the memory? How can I ask kernel_task to enumerate what it's reserving memory for?
Some things I've done, to no avail:
Run ClamXav across my homedir a couple of times because I also suspect a trojan or virus or something, but it keeps coming back clean, even if I run with virus signatures recent to the past few days.
Gone to system preferences, accounts, and removed every single login item from my account, and rebooted cold (power down and power up again).
Killed random processes using Activity Monitor. Anything I didn't recognise. But there are dozens, and some of them seem to respawn after I kill them. This seems really stupid, and I can't believe I'm doing it.
I'm out of ideas. I don't want to restore my system, because I use time machine, and I bet it'll restore it to its current (broken) state and I'll be back at square 1. I want to find out what's happening here and solve it.
A few more things I've tried:
Change my desktop background to solid colour. No change.
Move a ****-tonne of large files out of my FileVaulted homedir. No change.
Turn off FileVault entirely - it'll take 8 hours for that experiment to run. Might not have time to try it for a while.
Whatever you call that thing when you press fn+f12, the widget dashboard thinger. Deleted almost all of the weather/time widgets from around the world and all of the stickies I could afford to delete. Rebooted. No change.
Sometimes after a fresh reboot I have 1.5GB of RAM used. Other times only about 900MB. But no matter what, it isn't enough for me to do my job properly anymore. This is really... REALLY annoying.
A few things you are trying are to no avail. And some things are even slowing your Mac down.
First off uninstall any antivirus software, because if by some chance you are the first to discover a Mac virus, your Mac will imediatly detect it and either remove it, or send a report to Apple.
Next killing random processes is a bad idea, because it can and will do damage. Those processes need to be running for your Mac to run properly
Also changing your desktop background will do nothing.
Things you can do to improve memory usage:
- Disable Dashboard
- Disable Spotlight
- Turn animations to a lower setting
- Run CCleaner (google it, or find it on the Mac App Store). It will clean caches and other things that slow down your Mac. CAREFUL, as CCleaner has the power to remove browsing history and other things. Look carefully through what it will remove before you remove it.
Oh hold on. Are you saying doing those things fixed your problem?
For my part: disabling Dashboard (and rebooting): did not fix. Disabling Spotlight (and rebooting): did not fix. Do not understand how animations (which I did not change) would change the amount of wired memory used at boot-time.
I know killing random processes is a bad idea. I did it to see if people in this forum have a clue, and I'm discovering quickly, they do not.
As for viruses, you need to immediately stop giving anyone advice about viruses. You have a dangerous misunderstanding of how they work and how resilient OS/X is against them. The first virus couldn't be discovered by me, since I started using OS/X last year, and the first virus for Macs was found in 2006. A simple Google search turned that up.
Also note that earlier this year, 600,000 Apple computers were infected with a trojan. So that makes 600,000 people who've beat me to the punch, since I just started seeing this problem a few weeks ago. It's possible this problem is that I've gotten the Mac trojan and can't detect it.
First off, there is no "fix". To begin, there really is no "problem". At least for me, if I'm not at 100% memory and need more, then there is no problem. Disabling dashboard and spotlight are not "fixes", but they help.
You're saying people on this forum don't have a clue (when they really do) and your argument is that you are killing random processes? No quite seeing the logic there...
I have a very good understanding about viruses, and OSX is extreemly resilliant to them. You seem to have misunderstood what I meant. If by some chance you found a virus, Apple would have a fix, fast. You mentioned earlier this year 600,000 (estimate) were infected by a trojan. Apple very quickly released a fix. In fact, this virus wasn't in the acual OS, it was in Java. The virus software you are using right now, is slowing down your mac. Please get a clue before trying to dispute OSX security on this forum.