Page File (swap file)

  Chris,M 16:32 22 Apr 2005

Virtual memory is made up of Page File and RAM. Page File is used by Widowns on systems that may be running low on RAM. By Default Windows locates the PF on the partition where the O/S is located and this can substatially increase disk activity and slow general performance. Windows can and does handle the PF size automatically. However, you can set the PF size manually or "user defined" and a general rule of thumb is that the initial and max size is 1.5 times the amount of your RAM up to 4,095 MB!
Whilst it is recommended to keep a small PF on the partition that holds your O/S (for Windows to process I/O requests more efficiently etc) it is also recommended to set up a PF on a seperate partition or better still a seperate volume (HDD). You should also leave a small PF on the O/S partition for Windows to create a CRASH DUMP in case of a KERNEL error. If you feel you want to create a secondary PF then resize your primary page file to 2 MB. If you need further info on how to do all this then it can be discussed in perhaps another thread. You WILL get better more imnproved performance.

  Chegs ® 16:53 22 Apr 2005

The argument over PF size has/will run forever.I have two websites(click here click here ) where they offer contradicting views.I decided that as I have 1.5Gbs RAM,an additional space for windows to play with was entirely useless.I also formed my own conclusion to M$ take on this,YOU WILL HAVE A PF!

Thats why the OS creates one during install,and does not offer the installer any options as to size/location,etc.Linux,on the other hand,will allow the user a swapfile of their choice of size/location.

I also temp allowed the OS a swapfile (as I was having trouble with DVD burning,and it was offered as a suggestion to reduce the quantity of coasters)and was running a swapfile usage app.Having had the PC on all day,running games/surfing,etc,I was amazed to see that my PF usage was only peaking at 69Mbs,yet the OS had allocated 1536Mbs.This explained to me why my old install of XP on a 7.2Gb partition had suddenly "run out of space" for my other apps.Instead of bleating at me about low space,the OS should have simply ceased hogging most of the root of C:\

  TomJerry 17:00 22 Apr 2005

If that partition or HDD is missing, Windows will never boot up again.

  Chris,M 17:03 22 Apr 2005

But Widows does not know how many HDD's or partitions you have or may install in the future does it! Thats why Windows installs the Primary PF on the volume that O/S is installed. Windows then gives you the option(s) to reconfigure later. As for "running out of space etc" it is why Microsoft recommend installing a secondary PF on a seperate volume. Besides Windows does indeed offer you the options of of size, location etc. Go to:Start> control panel> and then system> advanced> performance> settings,
In performance options dialoue box, on the advanced tab , under virtual memory click change.
In paging File for selected drive box, click customsize etc.......and the rest is self explanatory

  Chris,M 17:10 22 Apr 2005

In my first posting on this topic I said to leave a 2MB PF on the partition that your O/S is located! Did you indeed read the post?
As for no PF then Windows will Boot Up...where did you get that from. Please refer to Microsoft Knowledge Base....Still, thats what this siute is partly all about....differing opinions...Arf (sick of LOL)

  Chris,M 17:20 22 Apr 2005

I looked at those sites you suggested TA! and in essence they are saying the samne thing as above especially redarding installing a SECOND PF on a seperate volume to your O/S.

  Chegs ® 17:56 22 Apr 2005

Yes,you can alter the swapfile size/location,but only AFTER its installed.Linux offers you the choice DURING install.Both OS's can pickup additional HDD/partitions after installation,so windoze doesn't need the PF for that(I have mine off and can swap my partitions/SATA drives around at will)On older systems with only a few MBs of RAM,a PF would be of great benefit.On modern systems with 100's of MBs RAM,a PF is much less important(needless)If the BIOS(Basic...)can detect the presense of RAM quantity,why cannot a much more advanced code(the OS)and set it appropriately?

Those two links above,both give different advice on actual PF size,one says 2.5x RAM the other says "it is suggested that a sensible start point for the initial size would be the greater of (a) 100 MB or (b) enough to bring RAM plus file to about 500 MB"

It also goes on about switching off the PF,how this can tie up RAM that could be needed for another operation.I said,I run with no PF,yet also experience no problems running lots of apps together.These range from surfing/defragging/gaming/video rendering in resourse usage,and my PC rarely shows any hint of the level of work its performing,even with several of these apps running all at once(NFSU sometimes produces stuttering graphics)I have switched off a lot of XP's "background" services because of,a)Greater security and b)they tie up resourses I need for other things.Again,this is cfg'ed during linux installation,whereas XP stuffs the PC full of total crap(Narrator for one,"tellytubby" desktop another)I spend the greatest amount of time altering/customising XP to the way I want it,far removed from the way M$ would prefer. :-)

  Chris,M 19:12 22 Apr 2005

OK...thats for you. But what about those that have older models and indeed cannot aford to upgrade their Phsical Memory. It is those that the original tip was aimed at. Over the many forums that people were saying that their machines are suffering from slow performance etc and they only have 128 MB Ram. As stated organising ones virtual memory can indeed make an improvment on performance and indeed speed - i do not think you can deny that. Personally I have 2 GB of Ram and there is no need for me to have a Page File at all- as microsoft state/advise. Sites like The Elder Geek, Blackviper and many more state the same thing viz a vis that there are ways to economically improve performance. It is quite usual these days to expect I GB RAM when purchasing a PC, but one needs to remember that there are thousands of people out there that have machines that are 3 years old or more!
Perhaps I need to point out that the thrust of this thread is to offer a tip and NOT to get embroiled in a protracted discussion as to the pro's and con's of having a configured PF or not. Lastly, for TOMJERRY to state that one should NEVER put a Page File on another partition or seperate volume was because "you will never boot up windows again" was ridiculous in the extreme!
I rest my case.

  Chegs ® 20:53 22 Apr 2005

"Personally I have 2 GB of Ram and there is no need for me to have a Page File at all- as microsoft state/advise."

So,why not include the ability IN the OS files to recognise that and negate the PF?

"Cannot afford to upgrade their memory" At £35(ish)for 512Mbs DDR,why not(If you had used this point a few years ago,fair enough but not now)

Prior to XP,FAT32 OS's needed frequent reboots to clear the cache as they "took over" all RAM and rather than share it when asked,would throw up a BSOD.Their memory management was/still is crap,and often need 3rd party apps to assist their use of greater than 512Mbs/768Mbs(depending on where you read up)

"...organising ones virtual memory can indeed make an improvment on performance and indeed speed..." but only if you know what your doing(Sorry TOMJERRY)

"Perhaps I need to point out that the thrust of this thread is to offer a tip and NOT to get embroiled in a protracted discussion as to the pro's and con's of having a configured PF or not."

As I stated in my 1st response "The argument over PF size has/will run forever" There are so many differing opinions.You said your motive for this thread was to offer a tip,not get into a "protracted discussion" OK,but this is a discussion forum and my opinion differs to yours.My tip would be to let the OS organise the PF,but its crap at doing this so "bite the bullet" and sort it via manually cfg'ing PF.

At the same time,my responses have "bumped" this post back up the list,so more people can see it. :-)

  TomJerry 21:28 22 Apr 2005

no boot with lost partition with swap file

personal experience, not read from anywhere

  Mr Mistoffelees 21:39 22 Apr 2005

I have 1GB DDR400 ram and use Windows XP Pro SP2. I recently disabled the pagefile and noticed an immiediate improvement in program loading times and the Windows boot time and have not yet found any problems running like this.

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