I have been having a strange memory problem with Windows 7 ever since I installed (and re-installed) it.
Whenever I use a download manager - such as MiPony, Free Download Manager, Internet Download manager - the RAM/virtual memory seems very quickly to max out until the download manager (it's the same with all of them) stops working and reports "lack of system resources, unable to continue" type messages and then the whole system just stops working: i.e. unable to launch any application from the Taskbar or the Start Menu, including Task Manager.
Strangely, the Desktop is still available -but no application can be launched from it. Any application which was already launched will continue to work so long as no open/save dialog needs to be launched, except, as said, the downloader.
The only way to get memory back and start working again is to hard reboot the PC - that is, by turning off the power, since the Start Menu, Task Manager, or Desktop shutdown shortcuts cannot be accessed.
Note that this problem happens only with the download managers mentioned and only when multiple downloads are queued and running. All other working scenarios and applications never cause this problem.
I have investigated startups and running processes using fairly sophisticated analysers and I cannot find what it is that is draining the resources. It's as though virtual memory and/or the page file is not working - i.e. nothing being swapped out or in as resources are need by the downloader - but that can't happen in Windows 7, can it? There is no obvious cause and my system is clean of malware. I have done and examined Hijack This logs and found nothing untoward.
I should add that this problem occurs even if the download manager is the only process running other than the normal system tasks and processes. I have shut down every other running process and service that was safe to do so and still the problem occurs.
I am running Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit on a 500GB hard drive with 2GB RAM. Because of my BIOS setup, I am unable to use more RAM. My security is ESET Smart Security running constantly and Malwarebytes Antimalware for backup, on demand. My internet connection is Hi-speed ADSL2+ through a modem and a LAN switch.
I hope someone has some advice on where to start looking for the problem, and how to fix it.