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“Unexpected Memory Leak” after “MyTestApplication.exe: Memory Leak Detected”

Posted by jpluimers on 2021/07/28

Sometimes after a regular FastMM memory leak test report you get a dialog like this:

Unexpected Memory Leak
An unexpected memory leak has occurred. The unexpected small block leaks are:

61 - 68 bytes: Unknown x 1

The normal FastMM memory leak reporting dialog looks like this:

MyTestApplication.exe: Memory Leak Detected
Note: Memory leak detail is logged to a text file in the same folder as this application. To disable this memory leak check, undefine "EnableMemoryLeakReporting".

Searching for “Unexpected Memory Leak” in RTL or FastMM code did not reveal results, but that might be me not doing a proper search.

One big problem is that the regular memory leak dialog is being suppressed by setting SuppressMessageBoxes to True (see for instance my blog post Application shutdown: wait for all threads to terminate or not? or [WayBack] delphi – Generating a FASTMM report WITHOUT the shutdown dialog – Stack Overflow).

However the “Unexpected Memory Leak” message box is always shown.


Location of the error message caption

  • GETMEM.INC has an identifier LeakMessageTitle:
    LeakMessageTitle: _PAnsiChr = 'Unexpected Memory Leak';
  • Unlike FastMM4.pas, GETMEM.INC does not take into account SuppressMessageBoxes.
  • Like FastMM4.pas, GETMEM.INC does take into account ReportMemoryLeaksOnShutdown.

More on GETMEM.INC: [WayBack] delphi – Reporting memory leaks on shutdown with a console application – Stack Overflow

Versioned FastMM4.pas.

Complicating the hunt

Not all allocations go via the memory manager. A complicating factor is that:

  • ALL TMonitor.Create allocations go through SysAllocMem:
class function TMonitor.Create: PMonitor;
  if CacheLineSize = 0 then
    AtomicExchange(CacheLineSize, GetCacheLineSize);
  if (CPUCount > 1) and (FDefaultSpinCount = 0) then
    AtomicExchange(FDefaultSpinCount, 1000);
  if CacheLineSize > SizeOf(Result^) then
    Result := SysAllocMem(CacheLineSize)
    Result := SysAllocMem(SizeOf(Result^));
  Result.FSpinCount := FDefaultSpinCount;
  • ALL TMonitor.Destroy deallocations go through SysFreeMem:
procedure TMonitor.Destroy;
  if (MonitorSupport <> nil) and (FLockEvent <> nil) then

Debugging this is easiest to set a breakpoint in the FastMM4.pas finalization section enabling a breakpoint group that has breakpoints on these methods inside GETMEM.INC:

  • function SysGetMem(Size: NativeInt): Pointer;
  • function SysFreeMem(P: Pointer): Integer;
  • function SysReallocMem(P: Pointer; Size: NativeInt): Pointer;
  • function SysAllocMem(Size: NativeInt): Pointer;

For inspecting for instance an asm construct like TSmallPoolBlockPoolHeader[edx], use a conversion PSmallBlockPoolHeader(Pointer(EDX))^,r

Poor mans shotgun approach

This will hide all the SysAllocMem related leaks:

unit FastMM4WrapperUnit;


{$ifdef UseFastMM4}
{$endif UseFastMM4}


// Disable GETMEM.INC reports that neglect SuppressMessageBoxes and NoErrMsg; this will effectively hide the leak as GETMEM.INC also does not write the leaks to a log file
{$ifdef UseFastMM4}
  if SuppressMessageBoxes then
    {$WARN SYMBOL_PLATFORM OFF} NoErrMsg := True {$WARN SYMBOL_PLATFORM ON}; // no ShowMessage from the RTL (except for memory leaks)
    ReportMemoryLeaksOnShutdown := False; // No ShowMessage from the RTL in the GETMEM.INC teardown
{$endif UseFastMM4}

IsConsole: needs linker option

Note that I tried embedding this in the then portion, but enabling IsConsole fails:

    IsConsole := True; // can only force run-time error messages to be written to the console if the "Project/Options/Linking/Generate console application" is set.

The reason is that this does not allocate a console handle, so you really need to ensure the linker has allocated a console for you by enabling Project/Options/Linking/Generate console application (or option DCC_ConsoleTarget in the .dproj file)

For more details, see my post console – When is System.IsConsole true in Delphi? – Stack Overflow.


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