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Partition order determine placement on drive?

By Mapilowee
Feb 19, 2007
  1. Hello, I was wondering if order of partition creation determined where the partition is placed on a hard drive ie. if I used XP boot disc to make multiple partitions, the first partition I make (C) would be on the outer edge of the disk while the next partition (D) would be in the middle of the disk and the third (E) would be on the inner radius of the disk?

    I want to make my pagefile on a separate partition from my boot drive so I don't have to worry about fragmentation. If order of partition creation DOES determine placement on drive, wouldn't it be best to make a 4 gb C drive and place the pagefile there while installing XP on the D drive? Would I also then not have to worry about using a special defrag program to move the pagefile to the edge of the disk since the pagefile is in a partition that's restricted to the outer disk edge?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Yes and yes. Mind you, do you really intend to make heavy use of the swapfile? You may get better performance from having often-used system files in that first 4GB instead of a seldom-used pagefile.

    More advanced partitioning utilities let you define the exact partition location, but usually the partitions are indeed placed in the creating order starting from the outer edge.
     
  3. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,351   +622

    XP will require a small pagefile on the boot filesystem. Adding the major
    space on any other drive is fine. The two (or more) pagefiles will act together
    as if you had implemented RAID-0 (Stripping).
     
  4. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    putting the page file on a separate partition on the same physical drive will significantly hurt performance. unless you have more than 1 physical drive, the page file should always be left on the boot partition.

    if you're worried about fragmentation, then set the initial size and maximum size to the same value. also, you can download pagedefrag v2.32 which will defragment your page file, if you want you can set it to defragment it every time you boot the computer up.

    cheers :wave:
     
  5. Mapilowee

    Mapilowee TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I thought XP only needed a pagefile on the boot filesystem for a memory dump (which I have set to no memory dump)?

    Thanks!
     
  6. Mapilowee

    Mapilowee TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Do you know why having a pagefile on a separate partition of the boot drive hurts performance or refer me to some place I can read up on it? Microsoft doesn't specify that it'd hurt performance to have it on the same drive in its pagefile optimization article, but they do indeed say performance is improved if the pagefile is on another drive. Unfortunately, I'm on a laptop w/only one drive.

    Also, I'm more concerned with making sure my pagefile stays on the edge of the drive than with fragmentation. I'm currently using software where I meet the min. RAM req. but not the recommended so I have a lot of pagefile usage.

    Thanks!
     
  7. Mapilowee

    Mapilowee TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Okay, thanks! And yes, I am using a lot of my pagefile, unfortunately, as specified in my post before this one.
     
  8. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    yes, for best performance, you want the page file to be located closest to where the drive heads will already be.

    if you put the page file on a separate partition on the same physical drive, then the drive heads will have to constantly move back and forth from the page file partition to the OS partition. the farther the heads have to move to read/write information, the slower the response time (which equals less performance)

    the page file become fragmented by when windows resizes it. if you set the initial size and maximum size to the same value, then windows will not resize it (unless you set the values too low) and fragmentation will not be a big issue. also, just download the free pagedefrag program from Microsoft that I linked earlier to routinely defragment the page file.

    :wave:
     
  9. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,351   +622

    XP will not configure w/o a pagefile on the boot disk

    YES, multiple pagefiles ONLY makes sence across HDs, not partitions :)
     
  10. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    That sort of depends.. Imagine a disk layout like this:

    |PPPPPPPPPP|SSSSSSSSSSPPPPPPPPPP|

    P is pagefile, S is system files, | is partition boundaries. As you can see, we have one pagefile on a separate partition and another non-fragmented pagefile on the system partition. It is clear that the "distance" from the system files of the pagefile on the dedicated partition is exactly the same as the distance for the system partition pagefile. And, the dedicated partition pagefile will have better performance because it is on the outer edge of the disk.

    It all depends on your exact system setup and the kind of workloads you have. Benchmarks anyone?
     
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