Help With DWM.exe Problem

I've already read a ton of articles on my particular issue and it all seems hopeless right now, but I'm open to any suggestions that I haven't tried yet.

The Problem:

I recently connected a 3rd monitor to my on-board VGA out but when I have multiple windows strewn across my desktop, as I do often when programming, dwm.exe's memory usage hits 1GB and then it disables Aero. But it doesn't do this with only 2 monitors hooked up via the HDMI out and DVI out on the graphics card.


OS: Windows 7 Ult SP1
On-Board: ATI Radeon HD 4200 512MB
Graphics Card: XFX ATI Radeon HD 5570 1GB GDDR2
Memory: 6GB DDR2 800MHz
CPU: AMD Phenom 9650 Quad-Core 2.3GHz

PageFile Max: 10240
PageFile Start: 5024

Attempts To Fix:

I've tried changing the pagefile size, hence why it's so large now.

I've got the latest drivers for the graphics.

I've stopped using a web browser on the 3rd monitor connected to the on-board output (this allows me to do a little more than before but it eventually 'wigs out' anyway)

I've set the service to restart after failing

I've disabled transparency, I'm only using the colors now

I've nearly disabled all of the "features" under performance, the only things enabled are;
- Animations in the taskbar and start menu
- Enable Desktop Composition
- Fade or slide menus into view
- Save taskbar thumbnail previews
- Show shadows under windows
- Show thumbnails instead of icons
- Smooth edges of screen fonts
- Use drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop
- Use visual styles on windows and buttons

Potential Fix:

Is there anyway to allow DWM to use more memory? It seems that if it was allowed to use more than 1GB of memory this issue wouldn't occur. I don't really know if it only needs, 1.5GB or 2GB, because when it turns aero off it's usage drops to around 3 or 4 MB. I don't mind not having transparency but the basic color scheme drives me insane.

Any help with this would be greatly appreciated and a fix would be even better.
3 answers Last reply
More about help problem
  1. I believe it's exceeding the limited VRAM reserved for the integrated GPU. This causes swapping from VRAM to system RAM. Once this reaches a certain threshold, Aero shuts off to prevent the DWM from eating all your RAM. Get another discrete GPU or allocate a larger chunk of system RAM to your onboard GPU (if you can in the BIOS).

    EDIT: Wait a sec, why are you even using the VGA out on your mobo? You've got enough ports on your 5570 to run all your displays.
  2. My 5570 Doesn't support 3 monitors, only 2. I've tried connecting it via the VGA Out on the 5570 but it never picks up that the monitor is connected.

    If I unhook either the HDMI or the DVI it suddenly notices that there's one connected to the VGA and automatically extends the destkop.
  3. Well in that case I'd just grab another cheap Radeon (better to stick with the Radeons since you've got one already).
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