Why is XP using my page file instead of RAM?

  Ben 216 12:04 23 May 2007


I have XP Pro, 2GB DDRII RAM (dual channel) and a Core2Duo. The ram being used is 600MB of 2GB, and my page file usage is 560MB. Can anybody tell me why Windows is using the page file instead of RAM and how I can make it used more RAM and less page file?


  recap 12:11 23 May 2007

Page file usage measures how much of the page file is currently in use. The page file is used by Windows to emulate RAM preventing the system from running out of resources, even if all physical memory has been allocated. Running out of page file or swap file space usually results in serious performance problems or even a crash.

  Ben 216 12:26 23 May 2007

I understand that the Page File is used as virtual memory, and I know I can shrink it or even turn it off, but then my PC would crash when I use up all my physical RAM. What I don't get is why it's being used when I still have 1.5GB of physical RAM left?

  €dstowe 12:40 23 May 2007

Is this causing a problem?

I haven't a clue whether XP is using page files or RAM - I'm not even sure I know what page files are.

What I do know is that my computers are working satisfactorily so I don't worry about it.

  Ben 216 13:02 23 May 2007

It's not a problem, but I like to know my PC's running as well as I can set it up to do, and using more RAM uses less Hard drive. Reading/Writing to RAM is also faster than to the hard drive, so maybe I'd notice a performance increase, and maybe I wouldn't.

  [email protected] 13:13 23 May 2007

i have had mine set to 512 min and max, had it turned off for 6 months never any problems, just seemed a lot faster i set it to 512 on advice for error log writing etc. i too have 2 gb.

  Ben 216 14:10 23 May 2007

Thanks, I have tried reducing page file to 512MB and have also tried turning it off (to see what happens). Both times I set the page file, clicked SET, Apply, etc., shut down and then switched my PC back on again, and both times XP has completely ignored me and although the page file is set right when I go back to check, the task manager shows I still have a page file usage >512MB!

I don't get it, and maybe this is something to do with the original issue of why Windows is using the page file instead of RAM.

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