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Kudos0

Norton Security Memory Usage Difference

I recently bought a Surface Pro 6 and wanted to download security on it because I'll be using it on the go a lot. I do use Norton on my computer at home, so I trust it and put it on my surface.

My Surface Pro 6 only have 8GB of RAM so I'm trying to monitor how much memory is being used because it's limit of RAM.

Keep in mind that this is 100% stock, no adjustment to any setting just download and install on both my computer and my surface. They both were not running scans and both were not idle when I checked the Memory usage (because I know Norton has background running stuff it does when it's idle).

On my computer, Norton is using just about 30-50 MB of Memory.

On my Surface 6, Norton is using just about 300 MB of Memory.

What could be causing the problem? or is there something I don't know?

But for now, I am going to keep Norton off my Surface til I figure out what the issue is. I would really appreciate any information to help with this because I am totally confused about this.

Replies

Kudos0

Re: Norton Security Memory Usage Difference

Randon, on both your devices disable "fast startup" in your power settings and reboot both. Here is how in case you aren't familiar with the setting. Having this setting enabled can cause software to not completely install correctly due to data being kept in memory to speed up the next boot process. Give it a go and let us know if things improve for you.

Cheers

"From DOS to Windows10 what a journey it has been" / MS Certified Professional / Windows 10 Home / Professional x 64 version 1903 / build 18362.295 / N360 Deluxe 22.18.0.213 / Norton Core v.282 on Android 2.00
Kudos0

Re: Norton Security Memory Usage Difference

I have disabled "fast startup" on my Surface and did a clean install of Norton on it. The Memory usage is still hitting about 200 MB. 

I also did try out the Windows Store version of Norton Security. That one hits under 100 MG usage. But the full desktop version comes with so much more features and I want those features.

Kudos0

Re: Norton Security Memory Usage Difference

Hi,Randon U. Most AV's will consume those levels of ram usage, especially when doing scans.

You have two different devices with no doubt, different programs as well ?

However, with 8GB of ram on the Surface Pro it shouldn't be an issue, and in normal usage you probably won't see any adverse effects from Norton.

A lot also depends on how many apps/programs are running at the same time, especially background processes.

My suggestion would be to set Full Scans manually, so you can run them at a time that suits you.

Norton will automatically run a quick scan after an update, which you can't disable.

Hope this helps. @Randon U

Windows 10 Home X 64
Kudos1 Stats

Re: Norton Security Memory Usage Difference

Randon U:

...On my computer, Norton is using just about 30-50 MB of Memory. On my Surface 6, Norton is using just about 300 MB of Memory...

 Hi Randon U:

I've never owned a MS Surface, but does your Surface 6 have a Win 10S operating system? Is the product name and version number of Norton identical on both machines, and are you sure you're comparing the same types of memory usage on each machine?

If you are using the Windows Task Manager in Win 10 to monitor your memory usage, see the How-To Geeks article Monitoring Your PC with Resource Monitor and Task Manager.  This article describes the different types of memory usage (e.g., private bytes, working set, etc.).  Here's an excerpt:

   Hard Faults – Also called Page Faults, this sounds bad, but it actually means that the application tried to access something in RAM that had been paged out to the paging file. If you are seeing a lot of hard faults, you need to think about upgrading your RAM.
    Commit – This column lists out the amount of space the application has needed in the paging file. It’s worth noting that applications will always use and reserve a lot of space here, even in ideal scenarios.
    Working Set – This is the actual amount of memory that the process is using in RAM. You’ll notice that this column is the same as Shareable + Private.
    Shareable – This is the amount of the working set that is or can be shared with other processes. This is also the part that can be given up if there isn’t enough RAM.
    Private – This is the amount of RAM that your application is using that can’t be used by other processes.

My Norton Security Deluxe v22.15.2.22 (an older legacy version for Win XP/Vista) typically reserves somewhere from 200 MB to 300 MB of private bytes of memory on my old Vista SP2 machine, but the actual working set used by Norton is much smaller and the system resources used by Norton don't increase significantly unless it is running a background or scheduled task (e.g., LiveUpdate, Quick Scan, disk optimization, etc.). Here's what Microsoft Sysinternal's Process Explorer shows today for memory usage for my Norton older v22.15.2.22 that has fewer features - and probably requires less memory - than the current Norton v22.18.0.213:

Please note that there should be two nortonsecurity.exe processes running if you view processes from all users - the main process that handles real-time protection (owned by SYSTEM) and a secondary process that manages lower-priority tasks like your graphical user interface and background tasks (owned by your Windows user account).  That way if your user interface crashes or freezes or a background task hangs it won't affect your real-time protection.
-----------
32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Firefox ESR v52.9.0 * Norton Security Deluxe v22.15.2.22
HP Pavilion dv6835ca, Intel Core2Duo T5550 @ 1.83 GHz, 3 GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS

Kudos0

Re: Norton Security Memory Usage Difference

@F 4 E
It is not that big of a problem. It's more of an understanding issue.
I'm just trying to understand why by default. No programs running on either devices. My Surface 6 uses more memory by a VERY big margin. 

I checked right now. No programs running. No Scans Running. Just Task Manager. The 2 Norton Processes combined.
Surface 6: 165.1 + 1.8 MB
Computer: 10.5 MB + 1.7 MB
While running a full scan:
Surface 6: Averaging at 300 MB + 2.3 MB
Computer: Averaging at 100 MB + 1.7 MB

F 4 E:

A lot also depends on how many apps/programs are running at the same time, especially background processes.

I really don't understand why there's that big of a margin. I would assume that my computer would be running it higher especially with how much more is running in the background. So shouldn't my computer be running higher in Memory?

Kudos0

Re: Norton Security Memory Usage Difference

@lmacri

Thank you for the reply.

My Surface 6 does use normal Windows 10. Not the 10S version. The Surface is also very new. I am not downloading anything that runs in the background except for Norton because I don't need anything extra on this, I have a computer with everything else. This is strictly for on the go purposes and I plan to keep this Surface as clean as can be.
Both running Norton Security Deluxe v22.17.3.50. These are both clean installs with no edits to any settings at all.

Thank you for the additional information about memory usages and the understanding of the two processes for Norton.
I took the initiative on taking a snip of both showing the working set and private set.
I try my best to isolate the program itself. So no scans running at all. Computer is not idle (because Norton does things when it's idle). Just them running, basically both CPUs are at 0%.

Resource Monitor
Computer:
Commit (KB): 295,788 // Working Set (KB): 26,308 // Private (KB): 22,176

Surface 6:
Commit (KB): 283,376 // Working Set (KB): 334,840 // Private (KB): 273,628

To add a little more to it, my computer also runs lower running a Full Scan compared to my Surface 6 not running a scan.
My computer DOES have more RAM. Could that possibly be the reason? I have the assumption that the same program should run at just about the same amount memory-wise when installed on two different computers. Because why would it need more memory on my Surface in comparison to my computer? I'll post both my computer and Surface info on the bottom just to get that out of the way also just to add more information, just in case it is in fact a hardware thing.

Again thank everyone for the replies and help towards me understanding what's happening. If anymore information is needed, let me know, along with how to get the information, just to make sure I get the information the same way you want me to and there's no discrepancies. I'm trying to eliminate every variable possible to get the most accurate information for you all to help figure this out with me.

--------------
MSI GE72MVR 7RG Apache Pro:
Windows 10 Home 64-bit // Intel Core i7- 7700HQ @ 2.80GHz // 16 GB RAM // Intel HD Graphics 630 & NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070
Surface Pro 6:
Windows 10 Home 64-bit // Intel Core i5 - 8250U @ 1.60GHz // 8 GB RAM // Intel UHD Graphics 620

Kudos2 Stats

Re: Norton Security Memory Usage Difference

Randon U:

Computer:
Surface 6:
...My computer DOES have more RAM. Could that possibly be the reason? ..

--------------
MSI GE72MVR 7RG Apache Pro:
Windows 10 Home 64-bit // Intel Core i7- 7700HQ @ 2.80GHz // 16 GB RAM // Intel HD Graphics 630 & NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070
Surface Pro 6:
Windows 10 Home 64-bit // Intel Core i5 - 8250U @ 1.60GHz // 8 GB RAM // Intel UHD Graphics 620

Hi Randon U:

I don't have Norton installed on my Win 10 machine and I'm not an expert in computer memory management, so keep in mind that most of the following is pure speculation on my part.

The main difference seems to be the large Private set on your Surface 6.  Recall Working = Private + Sharable, so the Private set (the amount of RAM that your application is using that can’t be used by other processes) is a better measure of how much physical RAM that Norton requires.  However, the StackOverflow thread <here> notes that Private Bytes refer to the amount of memory that the process executable has asked for, not what the process is actually using.

Also note that my Process Explorer image <here> has a column called Virtual Size, which is the total virtual address space occupied by the entire process and includes data that has already been paged out and is sitting in a paging file on the hard drive.

I'm not sure why the Private set is smaller on your PC or if it's even relevant that your PC has twice as much installed RAM as your Surface 6 (your images show both devices using ~ 40% of total physical memory).  However, you might find some relevant information in the EMSISoft blog Why Antivirus Uses So Much RAM – And Why That is Actually a Good Thing!, which explains how Windows tries to balance RAM usage versus system performance.

According to that EMSISoft blog entry, antivirus programs need about 200 MB to load the virus definition set into memory, and Windows can use the faster RAM (if available) or the slower paging file (the virtual RAM on your hard drive) to store files used by your antivirus.  The section in that blog titled "An Insider’s Secret: Antivirus Programs Tend to Hide Their RAM Usage" notes that most antivirus programs use a "cheat" and appear to be using less memory by asking Windows to move files that are used less frequently into the paging file on the hard drive.  Swapping data into the paging file on the hard drive instead of using RAM memory can sometimes result in decreased performance, especially if the computer has a slower HDD vs a faster solid state SSD.
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32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Firefox ESR v52.9.0 * Norton Security Deluxe v22.15.2.22
HP Pavilion dv6835ca, Intel Core2Duo T5550 @ 1.83 GHz, 3 GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS

Kudos0

Re: Norton Security Memory Usage Difference

Randon U. Imacri is an expert at delving into the specifics, whereas I'm only trying to simplify my thought on things.

Basically, computer has better specs. Faster processor, more ram so I would expect it to manage things more efficiently all round.

As long as the Surface machine is not noticeably lagging, I wouldn't be too concerned.

Edit---As a matter of interest, I see there are firmware updates for Surface machines as per the askwoody site info.

https://www.askwoody.com/2019/surface-firmware-driver-updates-galore/

Is your  Surface machine fully up to date with these ?

Windows 10 Home X 64
Kudos0

Re: Norton Security Memory Usage Difference

@F 4 E @lmacri
Thank you for all the replies.
I, too, am trying to simplify this myself. Honestly, the big number difference is what shook me. I understand the basics of computers, but not the in depth details of it all. There honestly noticeable performance issues with my Surface yet.
My Surface is up to date. I try my best to keep everything I have up to date.
It was concerning only because on Task Manager on my Laptop, I'm used to seeing Norton being like number 20 for memory use on that list. Then getting the Surface, installing it and suddenly seeing it at the top of the list over everything.

So I got Process Explorer on both just to get more information and it seemed to be a popular choice and was able to get this. Also since, SSDs and HDDs were mentioned. Surface runs on an SSD. Laptop runs on SSD(for OS) and HDD for everything else.

Laptop:
Surface:
Virtual Size and Private Bytes are fairly similar. The Working Set is the difference in this one.

You also mentioned that:

Imacri:
...a "cheat" and appear to be using less memory by asking Windows to move files that are used less frequently into the paging file on the hard drive.

Since my Laptop has been running Norton longer, it could have moved it to the paging file on the hard drive. Thus causing the memory to show as much lower? I think that might be the actual reason if that is true. Is there a way to check that?
I feel like we are about to solve this fully.
Thank you everyone for helping in trying to figure this out. I know it's more of a computer question than a Norton question. This has been a very fun learning experience. I hope this will help others understand how this program runs and everything down to it's very usage from this thread.

Kudos1 Stats

Re: Norton Security Memory Usage Difference

Just spit balling here...

Windows is smart enough to manage its memory to be used as necessary. You have focused on the Norton Security process memory use. But there could be other apps/processes running on each of your devices that are not the same and that would be using differing amounts of working memory. It could be that on the Surface, the other processes are not using that much working memory, which allows Windows to allocate more memory to the Norton processes.

Things happen. Export/Backup your Norton Password Manager data.
Kudos1 Stats

Re: Norton Security Memory Usage Difference

Randon U:
...Virtual Size and Private Bytes are fairly similar. The Working Set is the difference in this one....

...Since my Laptop has been running Norton longer, it could have moved it to the paging file on the hard drive. Thus causing the memory to show as much lower? I think that might be the actual reason if that is true. Is there a way to check that?...

 Hi Randon U:

I don't know enough about memory management in Win 10 to explain why your Working set for nortonsecurity.exe is so much larger on your Surface Pro 6 or whether it has anything to do the system specs (as peterweb and F 4 E noted, this might be normal), but assuming you have the same Norton Security Deluxe v22.17.3.50 and identical Win 10 edition (Home / Pro), version and build (see the TechSmith article How to Check Windows 10 Build) on both machines, you might want to try the following on your Surface Pro:

  1. Confirm the Fast Startup option is disabled as Soul Asylum suggested <here> (note that this feature can re-enable itself after a major Windows Update like a Version change).
  2. Run a few manual LiveUpdates in Norton until no further updates are available (note that you have v22.17.3.50; the v22.18.0.213 product update was released 29-Jul-2019 per the announcement <here> and a few LiveUpdates and re-boots might be required to finish the update).
  3. Re-boot and launch Process Explorer.  Use your system normally and allow it to go into idle mode a few times so your Norton background idletime tasks can run automatically (perhaps throw in a Norton Full System scan for good measure) and monitor your memory usage over time; if your Private bytes (commit size) or Handles count steadily increase over time that might be an indication you have a memory or handle leak on your Surface Pro.

It's normal for the size of the Working Set tends to fluctuate up and down as Norton runs various operations throughout the day on my Vista SP2 machine with 3 GB of RAM.  It might be due to swapping of data between RAM memory and the pagefile on my hard drive, but more often it's because Norton has to load system files into memory in order to perform a task.  I launched Process Explorer and ran a Quick Scan in Norton today; the Working set for the main nortonsecurity.exe process (the instance with the lower PID that's owned by SYSTEM) temporarily increased from ~ 14 MB to > 81 MB, and when I right-clicked that process and chose Properties from the pop-up while the scan was running I could see a thread for ntdll.dll (a Windows system file that contains NT kernel functions) had loaded into memory and was responsible for most of the high CPU activity.

I don't think you'll find a memory or handle leak (your Private bytes and Virtual Size are almost identical on the PC and Surface Pro 6) but it's always possible there's a glitch in the Norton installation on your Surface Pro.  If you're really bothered by that large Working set I can provide instructions for performing a clean re-install of Norton Security Deluxe to see if that makes a difference, or you can even contact official Norton customer support via Live Chat at https://www.norton.com/chat and and ask them if there's any known issues reported for MS Surface Pro 6 devices running Win 10 (not Win 10S).
-----------
32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Firefox ESR v52.9.0 * Norton Security Deluxe v22.15.2.22
HP Pavilion dv6835ca, Intel Core2Duo T5550 @ 1.83 GHz, 3 GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS

Kudos0

Re: Norton Security Memory Usage Difference

Randon U, I think Imacri and peterweb have given you some good advice, so I'll just say that it's easy to worry about stats and figures.

For example, many people query the History entries in Norton unnecessarily, as the bottom line with most software and Norton in particular, is to not get too hung up on stats.

So long as the program is correctly installed, kept up to date and is otherwise working well and not overtaxing your machines unduly, then relax and enjoy your devices !

Windows 10 Home X 64