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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    .Net 4.0

    Memory leak in multithreaded program


    A while ago I wrote a program to interface with a scientific instrument. The program works as intended but if I leave it on for long periods of time it behaves sluggishly, and task manager shows it using hundreds of MB of memory (it should use very little). I am wondering if someone could look at a stripped down version of my code showing the bare essentials and suggest what I could be doing incorrectly?

    The basic strategy of the program is as follows:
    - to send a command to the instrument, I have to send it a windows message
    - to obtain a response from the instrument, I have to listen for a windows message
    - I need to simultaneously listen for status updates while executing a function (the function depends on those status updates to execute correctly); therefore, I need to multithread
    - I wrap the variables that I need in the new thread in a mutex to avoid access violations

    The code looks as follows:

    #includes here
    // status updates
    #define IDT_CHECKSTATUS 333
    #define IDT_REFRESHSCREEN 334
    bool receiving_data = false; // Flag indicates that next message from instrument will contain data rather than status update
    HANDLE StatusMutex; // multithreading
    int WINAPI WinMain(HINSTANCE hInstance, HINSTANCE hPrevInstance, LPSTR lpCmdLine, int nCmdShow)
    	// window initialization, etc is here
    	// set timer for CheckStatus (function that asks instrument to report its status)
    	TimerID = SetTimer(main_hwnd,IDT_CHECKSTATUS, (UINT) 0.01* 1000, NULL); 
    	// set timer to refresh screen 
    	SetTimer(main_hwnd, IDT_REFRESHSCREEN, 1 * 1000, NULL);
    	while(GetMessage(&Msg, NULL, 0, 0) > 0)
    	return Msg.wParam;
    LRESULT CALLBACK WndProc(HWND main_hwnd, UINT msg, WPARAM wParam, LPARAM lParam)
    		// Omitting some standard messages such as WMCreate
    		case WM_PAINT:
    			// output the status to the window
    				RECT rcClient;
    				PAINTSTRUCT ps;
    				HDC hdc = BeginPaint(main_hwnd, &ps);
    				GetClientRect(main_hwnd, &rcClient);
    				DrawStatusUpdate(hdc, &rcClient, g_hfFont);
    				EndPaint(main_hwnd, &ps);
    		case WM_TIMER: // Timer has ticked!
    			switch (wParam) 
    			case IDT_CHECKSTATUS: 
    					CheckStatus(main_hwnd); // asks instrument for its status using current thread (no new thread created)
    					// Some other maintenance work here
    				InvalidateRect(main_hwnd, NULL, FALSE); // cause a paint message
    		case WM_COPYDATA: // CopyDataStruct incoming from the instrument!
    			// Some pre-processing to obtain string str from the WM_COPYDATA lpdata
    			ParseStatus(str, main_hwnd); // interprets message as status update or data
    		case WM_COMMAND: // One of these (the one below) sends a command to the instrument IN A NEW THREAD
    					exec_Parms *To_Pass = new exec_Parms();
    					To_Pass->hwnd = main_hwnd;
    					To_Pass->parsed_Commands = parsed_Commands;
    					CreateThread(NULL, 0,SendRequestToInstrument, To_Pass, 0, NULL); // SendRequestToInstrument is the function being executed in a new thread
    	return 0;
    void ParseStatus(const char* status, HWND main_hwnd) 
    	// Some string formatting here
    	// create  a  vector<std:string> called "info", populate it with components of the status string
    	if ( (PSEUDOCODE) status string actually contains a status, rather than data)
    		// mutex
    		StatusMutex = CreateMutex( 
    			NULL,              // default security attributes
    			FALSE,             // initially not owned
    			NULL);             // unnamed mutex
    		if (StatusMutex == NULL) 
    			printf("CreateMutex error: %d\n", GetLastError());
    		DWORD dwWaitResult = WaitForSingleObject( 
    			StatusMutex,    // handle to mutex
    			INFINITE);  // no time-out interval
    		switch (dwWaitResult) 
    			// The thread got ownership of the mutex
    		case WAIT_OBJECT_0: 
    			// Code here extracts information from the info vector & assigns it to global variables used elsewhere in the program
    			// Release ownership of the mutex object
    			if (! ReleaseMutex(StatusMutex)) 
    				// Handle error.
    			// The thread got ownership of an abandoned mutex
    			// The database is in an indeterminate state
    		case WAIT_ABANDONED: 
    	else // status string contains DATA rather than a status update
    		ParseData(info) // how this works not important
    		receving_data = false; // flag: data reception is complete.
    void SendRequestToInstrument(string command)
    	receiving_data = true; // Flag to expect incoming data and wait to receive it before continuing
    	// code to send data to the instrument goes here
    	while (receiving_data == true) { Sleep(100); } // Pause execution of this thread until event handler has acknowledged receipt of data
    	// do things with the data
    Is there anything apparently incorrect with this code?
    Last edited by Danja91; January 10th, 2014 at 06:28 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2003

    Re: Memory leak in multithreaded program

    Each call to CreateMutex() should have a corresponding CloseHandle() call.

    I also don't see the "delete" of "exec_Parms".


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