Win XP and virtual memory??

  Bill Baker 16:50 08 Jan 2007

I'm a tad confused about how XP uses memory. Are there any differences between virtual memory, the swap file and the page file? And what should I set virtual memory to in device manager. I'm currently set to a custom size (768-2304MB).

I'm noticing drive c: gets fragmented quickly even though I defrag often. Also sometimes programs will take a longer than usual time to open with the hard drive light lit. I'm assuming it's memory related.

My PC is virus/spyware free.
Win XP SP2
512MB Ram

  Bill Baker 16:53 08 Jan 2007

Another thing, I have Cacheman and have it set to "Disable Executive Paging". Is that ok or could it cause issues?

  zarobian 17:08 08 Jan 2007

A rough rule of thumb is 1.5 X physical Memory your system has. I think you have 512MB of rams (512 X 1.5=786).
With the amount of memory fitted I should not recommend disablling paging.

Virtual memory,page file and swap file are diffrent names for the same thing.


  zarobian 17:10 08 Jan 2007


Sorry 1.5x512 =768.

  ed-0 17:20 08 Jan 2007

I run with 1Gb of memory and have my page file/swap file/virtual memory ( they are all the same ) disabled. So windows has to run on just physical memory. You would be surprised at how much faster programs load and operate.

If you want to set the page file etc, to optimum, then set the minimum to 1.5Gb and the max to 1.5Gb. This will stop the hard drive swap file partition from shrinking and expanding. Thus making more fragmentation on the "C" drive.

This takes into account that you can spare the 1.5Gb of the hard drive. The best option is to place the swap file on a different partition to the operating system, just for the benefits of access and fragmentation.

The ultimate way would be to use no page file and force windows to use all the ram but unfortunately you are a bit low and some programs demand that you use the paging file.

If you want a walk through the settings, let us know your free hard drive space and if you have a partition or slave hard drive in the system.

  ed-0 17:21 08 Jan 2007

" Thus making more fragmentation on the "C" drive."

should read

Thus making LESS fragmentation of files on the "C" drive.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 17:48 08 Jan 2007

The best option is to place the swap file on a different partition to the operating system.

Better still to place on a seperate drive.

  Bill Baker 17:53 08 Jan 2007

If you could let me know which settings to change I'd be grateful thanks.

I have a 80gb hard drive partitioned into c: and d:
c: total size 29.2GB - 8.5GB free
d: total size 45.2GB - 13.7GB free
XP is on the c: drive.
Games and music on the d: drive.

And should I untick the Cacheman option "Disable Executive Paging" ie. enable it again?

  ed-0 18:05 08 Jan 2007

right click my computer > properties > advanced > performance > settings > advanced > virtual memory > change.

Highlight you "D" drive and pick custom size click here Place 1500 in each box as shown. Click set and Ok. Hint click on the photo to expand it.

The highlight the "C" drive, click on the no paging file button. Set and OK. click here

It will tell you it needs to reboot to alter the settings.

I would disable cacheman till you get used to the new paging file, then see if you need it, you shouldn't.

  Bill Baker 18:55 08 Jan 2007

Thanks all for the replies.
ed-0, I've done as you suggested. Many thanks, and will see how things go from now on.

  ed-0 19:54 08 Jan 2007

Good luck.

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