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Dell Vostro 5980/UHD Graphics 630/Windows 11: DWM memory leak, testing latest beta driver

NJDave
Beginner
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I've been experiencing the dreaded DWM memory leak on a brand new Dell Vostro 5980 (i7-10700, UHD Graphics 630) running Windows 11. Intermittently, but on about a daily basis, dwm.exe balloons in size (in one instance, 25 GB virtual memory; system has 16 GB RAM). The system quickly starts page thrashing and becomes unusable. (Dell's current rev of the Intel graphics driver is 27.20.100.8587.)

I've reported the problem to Dell support, but have had a hard time getting Dell—the techs at the leading edge of the support effort, at least—to take me seriously, or even understand the nature of the problem. I most recently posted my history of the problem on their community message board here. A day after my initial post, I ran across Intel's bug report of the memory leak problem (on Windows 10) and link to the 30.0.101.1121 beta driver, which got my hopes up. I've been TRYING to test the beta driver, but I can't get the driver to reliably stay on the system: I can't seem to permanently remove the 27.20 driver, which keeps taking the place of the one I'm trying to test. I repeatedly removed old instances of the driver in Driver Manager in safe mode, but it kept stealth-reloading while the system was running, and taking the place of the beta driver. I did have one memory leak occurrence with the new driver supposedly loaded, but it was immediately after switching (again) from 27.20 to the beta driver in Device Manager, and I couldn't be sure what the actual state of the system was.

To try and solve this latest problem of the nebulous driver version, I've re-installed Windows 11 on my system from USB media, breaking into the installation in Audit Mode to install the beta driver before the network was connected. Windows Update now wants to immediately replace it with the 27.20 driver. I apparently can't choose which updates, out of this initial batch just after installation, get installed and which don't, so I've paused ALL updates (even security updates, unfortunately). This way, the beta driver is the only graphics driver on the system (other than the Microsoft Basic one) and I can test the driver in relative peace. I realize I need to ultimately get my driver from Dell in the new scheme of things, but before I can plead my case with them, I need some confidence that the beta driver actually solves my problem. I have a couple of targeted questions::

  • The bug report specifically mentions Windows 10. Does the beta driver address memory leaks in Windows 11 as well?
  • Do you have any hints how I can get Windows to ignore the production driver for awhile, short of turning off Windows Update? (Is this a question for Dell? Microsoft?)

I guess my ultimate question would be, assuming this new driver fixes the memory leak problem, how can I run it on my system until Dell decides to catch up, without Windows Update trying to replace it with the older Dell driver? Again, I know I'm not supposed to run Intel's generic drivers, but so far I haven't noticed any ill effects, and it's better than the system hanging every day.

Thanks for any help.

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1 Solution
NJDave
Beginner
309 Views

Well... in the 10 days or so that my post has been languishing in the spam filter, I've managed to stabilize my system on the newest official rev of the generic graphics driver, 30.0.101.1191. This includes the memory leak fix that was in the beta driver. I followed the advice in this Intel memo: installing the older OEM driver first, then the new generic driver "over" it. Having the OEM driver still present in Windows' driver store prevents Windows Update from trying to revert to it.

I'm guessing that some corruption in the driver store is what led to the initial "stealth-reloading" problem and led to me reinstalling Windows. I suspect -- just based on my limited experience, no evidence I can point to -- that using Device Manager to uninstall the driver may be less clean/complete than running the installation/deinstallation routine that ships with the driver, if you're lucky enough to have it. (If the driver was installed in the background during the Windows install, you're limited to Device Manager as far as I can see.)

Dell is pretty cagey about what, if any, customizations are present in their OEM driver; they just say it's tested... and that if I'm happy running the generic driver, that's fine with them. I'm noticing no ill effects running the generic driver, and I'll switch to the OEM driver as soon as it incorporates the fix for the memory leak (and not before).

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NJDave
Beginner
310 Views

Well... in the 10 days or so that my post has been languishing in the spam filter, I've managed to stabilize my system on the newest official rev of the generic graphics driver, 30.0.101.1191. This includes the memory leak fix that was in the beta driver. I followed the advice in this Intel memo: installing the older OEM driver first, then the new generic driver "over" it. Having the OEM driver still present in Windows' driver store prevents Windows Update from trying to revert to it.

I'm guessing that some corruption in the driver store is what led to the initial "stealth-reloading" problem and led to me reinstalling Windows. I suspect -- just based on my limited experience, no evidence I can point to -- that using Device Manager to uninstall the driver may be less clean/complete than running the installation/deinstallation routine that ships with the driver, if you're lucky enough to have it. (If the driver was installed in the background during the Windows install, you're limited to Device Manager as far as I can see.)

Dell is pretty cagey about what, if any, customizations are present in their OEM driver; they just say it's tested... and that if I'm happy running the generic driver, that's fine with them. I'm noticing no ill effects running the generic driver, and I'll switch to the OEM driver as soon as it incorporates the fix for the memory leak (and not before).

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