Wired Memory very high

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Tenz, Aug 1, 2014.

  1. Tenz macrumors newbie

    Aug 1, 2014
    Hi There,

    I have a 27" iMac Late 2009 model with 16 gb of Ram, running OSX 10.7. Currently I can only boot to safe mode and it is extremely slow. When I check the activity monitor for memory it is showing 1.70 gb of free memory, 13.28 gb of wired memory, 815 Mb active, 221 Mb inactive. VM size is 146 gb and the pages in are 188MB. Pages out and swap are zero.

    It appears the wired memory is taking up more then it should be. But I am unable to find a way to decrease it.

    Currently the only application loaded is the activity monitor. There are other applications such as photoshop and light room installed but not running at the moment.

    I'm wondering if anyone can assist.

    Thanks in advance,

  2. ScoobyMcDoo macrumors 65816

    Nov 26, 2007
    Austin, TX
    A quick google search showed that when running in safe mode, it is common for OSX to allocate a bunch of wired memory. I didn't go too far down that rabbit hole, but there were several guesses as to why.

    So anyway, that is not the real problem. The problem is you can only boot into safe mode. What is stopping you from booting normally?
  3. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    What happens when you boot normally?

    Safe mode stops and login and startup items from running, so if it won't boot normally but will in safe mode, that is usually a tip that you have a startup to login item that is causing the issue.

    Take a look at this.

    Did this issue start after you installed or update something?
  4. Tenz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 1, 2014
    HI guys, thanks for the replies.

    When I boot normally the mac hangs on a white screen that gets pix-elated as I move the mouse. I have tried a few benchmarks and it fails when trying to test the graphics so I am thinking the video card is the culprit.

    There wasn't any OS updates installed recently. It was souly used for photoshop and lightroom. With no application installs in quite some time.

    I checked the login items and only a hp scheduler was listed which I removed. This changed nothing. There is only one user who has full admin rights.
  5. unixwrocks, Aug 2, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2014

    unixwrocks macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2014
    From what you described it sounds like a video driver. Wired memory is memory dedicated to process running in kernel mode. Faulty hardware generally doesn't take more memory than needed. However, a bad driver can gobble up loads of memory.

    Also, your initial problem sounds like a graphics driver. The iMac (to my knowledge) only has discrete graphics and no integrated graphics GPU to fall back on like an older MacBook Pro. So... when you go into safe mode, it falls back on a driver that is less sophisticated, but more stable than the one loaded with OS X at a different run level. The driver for highest GUI run level used stuff like Core Animation, 3D acceleration, etc...

    How did this happen? I have no clue. I don't know how to reinstall an OSX driver for graphics, I've never had to. But either updating to 10.8, 10.9 or reinstalling 10.7 will probably fix your issues.

    EDIT: I'm wondering if you might have malware, or other software hooking into the video driver for a remote display. Something like VNC hooks into the graphics driver, and needs to run in kernel mode (kernel mode, is Intel's Ring0 where the kernel of the operating system and drivers have exclusive access to memory.) to get the remote display. Just a though......

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