Memory leak on Windows 11 caused by Zombie Processes

Note: I have also submitted this to Framework Support, just posting it here in the hopes that someone can help diagnose the issue or at least reproduce it.
Note: See below for detailed steps on how to reproduce the issue

I have recently noticed an issue with my Framework 13 (AMD Ryzen), where processes are never properly cleaned up after exiting. This leads to less and less memory being available over time, combined with the fact that the system process uses more and more CPU to handle the ever-growing list of processes/allocations.
Originally, I thought the issue is caused by some other software (specifically, Docker), where I reported the bug first. You can see the bug report with additional details & screenshots there: The only thing “wrong” about that report is that the problem is not specific to Docker, any process triggers the issue.

How to reproduce the issue:

  • Create a USB installer for Windows 11 using the Media Creation Tool
  • Copy the latest Framework driver package to the USB drive (Framework_Laptop_13_and_16_AMD_Ryzen_7040_driver_bundle_W11__2024_04_02.exe)
  • Copy the latest BIOS to the USB drive (Framework_Laptop_13_Ryzen7040_BIOS_3.05)
  • Copy the “FindZombieHandles” utility program to the driver, in order to be able to easily identify the issue occurring (
  • On a clean drive, install Windows 11 (skipping internet setup)
  • Restart just to be sure
  • Verify the issue does not yet occur: Run for /L %a in (0,1,100) do robocopy or similar in a command prompt to launch 100 processes, and check with FindZombieHandles that no zombie processes are around afterwards
  • Install the BIOS & driver packages and restart
  • Verify that the issue is now present: Run for /L %a in (0,1,100) do robocopy again, and verify with FindZombieHandles that the number of zombie processes increases by 100 each time the command is run. Notes:
    • The computer was never connected to the internet up to this point. So the only thing installed at this point is a clean Windows 11 install & the official framework driver package
    • After starting & exiting ~100’000 processes (which typically happens over the course of a couple of days for me), the issue will easily be visible also in RamMap (see also the linked bug report above), or simply by observing that more and more RAM is used without anything running & the fact that the System process is using more and more CPU while idling.

The above steps seem to make it clear that the issue is one of the drivers supplied in the driver package. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any luck so far to figure out which one. The issue currently forces me to restart the system once every 1-2 days, which is really annoying since I have to constantly reopen everything.

Can anyone reproduce this? Any ideas how to further diagnose or fix this?

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Hey, I have noticed the same issue with my FW13 with Ryzen 7.
In my case, it fills 32 gigs in about two days, pretty crazy.
Did you get any response from the Framework support?

Take the driver package and extract all the individual driver packages and install them one by one then do the Zombie process (you might check that the utility itself doesn’t have a memory leak)

It is much harder to have completely clean programs these days. Most programmers do not write everything themselves; sloppy code is everywhere because systems are so fast and memory is so plentiful efficiency is out the window just like everything is disposable these days.

IMO this is most likely the AMD driver’s fault considering it’s the only one under very active development.
Can you update it using AMD’s installer and see if the issue persists?

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Following a suggestion from this thread on the AMD forum, I am currently running the 23.10.2 version of AMDs Adrenalin Driver package. At least superficially, it has fixed the problem, but I am still observing to see whether it’s fully resolved.
So I’d suggest you also try to install that version, and see if that helps

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The drivers can be found here: AMD Ryzen™ 5 7640U Previous Drivers or AMD Ryzen™ 7 7840U Previous Drivers


Yeah, I was previously running the latest drivers directly from the AMD site, and after downgrading as Lukas suggested it seems to be okay for now.

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