TechSpot

System maintenance, any tips?

By Richardw9
Aug 30, 2008
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Richardw9

    Richardw9 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 137

    Ok jolly good, that just leaves one question, Is it better to defagment the virtual memory or clear it completely, obviously clearing it will save me time.

    But are you sure there is ABSOLUTELY no advantage to keeping it? i would be in rather allot of trouble if i broke the family computer lol
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

    No, it's best to go with LookinAround's suggestion
    Make the Pagefile Min and Max equal the same.

    The 1.5 (to 2) x Installed Ram (for Min and Max) has changed a bit in MS original statement on this.
    ie if you have 512Meg of Ram 768Meg of Pagefile would be ideal.
    But if you had 4Gig of Ram, 6Gig (or more!) of PageFile would be too big.

    So what to do...

    Well you can put in a value like 1.5Gig (Min and Max) then check if your system works well, and basically play around with it (ie a bit more, or a bit less)
    There was a good thread I posted stacks of info on what to give your Pagefile (specifically) it was more around the 800Meg area (for large amounts of installed Ram) But my Posts were removed (this was an old thread I'm talking about)

    Anyway, it's a matter of playing around until you get it right to your Hardware, and running software requirements
  3. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,412   +315

    one can make work out of anything. LOO.

    VM is in the pagefile.sys and is unreadable by normal means. This is where the
    memory pages get written and read when there's not enough real RAM to perform
    all the tasks at the same time.

    Q.E.D. the space is useless to the user and only when the system gets stolen
    would anyone attempt to go 'dumpster diving' to retrieve passwords.

    Defrag of the pagefile.sys is very useful but needs to be performed very infrequently.

    see this post
  4. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

    Put it this way
    When Ghost (an imaging backup program) images (um backups!) the drive from using the Ghost boot up proceedure, it doesn't backup the Pagefile.

    So the Pagefile can be even removed fully without any consequences ie it just re-establishes a new one (as per your Min/Max settings) on next startup

    By the way I'm not suggesting you make Min and Max zero Meg (as some programs may not work) actually the absolute Minimum should be 50Meg
  5. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,372   +167

    so, to expand on other's expanding

    1. Clear the pagefile helps if you're concerned with the security risk (like someone stealing your laptop and trying see what was left behind in the pagefile). I don't believe there's any other pro or con for clearing it.

    2, Clearing just overwrites the data in it so no one else could later read it. Clearing doesn't do any defragging . And, since your computer is constantly swapping info from memory to/from the pagefile (which is basically just a disk file) think of the impact if this one file is fragmented (and maybe badly fragmented) vs. being one contiguous block of data for the file (making it easier/faster for the disk to do all those read/writes to it)

    3. About the only way to have a large pagefile in one contiguous space (vs. 2 or more non-contigous spaces) is to create it with maximum size at installation time (where you set min = max = the max value you figure you;d need)

    4. If the pagefile is ever re-allocated (e.g to make it larger such as if you set min to a small number and let windows grow it over time as needed) then you should run PageDefrag (which, by the way, lets you know how many fragments in pagefile before and after)

    5. Finally, i'd suggest the historical reason for min and max and growing the page file was, once upon a time (i'll say seeing as how you're 14 you wouldn't know that time!!) one only had small disk sizes and didn't want to give up all that pagefile space needlessly when you did your install. So windows just grew it as needed. These days you start with at least 80-160MB disks so should one really care if they commit 1 - 4GB of that to their pagefile, just in case?
  6. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 3,556

  7. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

    No that was the old days

    These days you start with at least 80-160GB

    Probably just a typo I suspect :)
  8. bomberman

    bomberman TS Rookie

    Whoa I did not know there was soo much to maintaining..... Thanks for the info guys... Just got a new laptop n wanted to keep it in good condition... This helps alot!!! Good work guys

    Thanks again
  9. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,372   +167

    oops! :eek:

    I think there's a misunderstanding somewhere. (btw i know and often use/refer to the petri site. fyi to thread readers. it's quite good!)

    The page file, like other files, has a "logical" size. But, in fact, that logical size is created by allocating the required clusters (which are fixed size) to give you your logical size. so if a disk cluster size of 4K and a windows 10K filesize, requires windows allocate 3 clusters.

    When you clear the page file it overwrites the data in the file (which is really overwriting the clusters making up the file) but that has nothing to do with whether those clusters are physically adjacent to one another or scattered around your disk (which is the defrag issue)
  10. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

    Quote:
    Actually, 'Clearing' is a wipe - there are no fragments to defrag - they are 0's or 1's completely. No data. Nada!

    No you miss understood
    Wiping usually means wiping the free space on the file as well, therefore defragging it (indirectly)
  11. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,372   +167

    ok.

    well, what can i say other then, uhhhh, thanks for clearing that up!!!

    but, in fact, that fact puts a whole new twist on the defrag topic.

    Don't confuse clearing with defrag functionality. Clearing is intended to wipe clear your data for safety. If in fact you delete your pagefile as part of the process it;s not known when it;'s recreated if you could then be WORSE off from a defrag standpoint.

    Consider one contiguous 4GB pagefile that your carefully created years ago during an install. Now you've cleared and deleted it. Does anyone know if you can guarantee that 4GB contigous clusters are or can be reassigned to the pagefile next startup?

    /*** Edit ***/
    Actually, i should say "every" startup since you're always deleting and running that risk with "every" shutdown
     
  12. Richardw9

    Richardw9 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 137

    ok ill just go with a defrag, ive down loaded that defrag thing , can i just confirm, its called pagedfrg and the icon looks like bits of a rubix cube are floating away. Is that the right 1? i got it from you're link earlier
  13. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

  14. Richardw9

    Richardw9 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 137

    Ok ive run it, it only took about 2 seconds and i read the top 1 and it said "already in 1 ????"

    Cant remember the last word sorry
  15. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

    Already in 1 fragment, means it cannot defrag any more
    ie 2 or more Fragments can become 1, and that's the limit !

    1 whole contiguous file

    contiguous file Definition: A file on disk that is not broken apart. All sectors are adjacent to each other. A contiguous file is faster to read and write than one that is fragmented
  16. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,372   +167

    The output should look something as shown below. You'll note it defrags more then just the pagefile, but pagefile is certainly largest. If it lists 1 Fragment, then, yes, that's the best possible. (All clusters are physically adjacent to each other). And.. (scroll below for more....)

    File...........................................................................Cluster(s)............Fragments
    C:\pagefile.sys............................................................614400.....................12
    C:\WINDOWS\system32\config\AppEvent.Evt...............32...........................1
    C:\WINDOWS\system32\config\default........................256..........................1
    C:\WINDOWS\system32\config\Internet.evt...................16..........................1
    C:\WINDOWS\system32\config\SAM.............................64.........................1
    C:\WINDOWS\system32\config\SecEvent.Evt.................48........................2
    C:\WINDOWS\system32\config\SECURITY....................64........................1
    C:\WINDOWS\system32\config\software.....................8256.......................2
    C:\WINDOWS\system32\config\SysEvent.Evt.................32........................2
    C:\WINDOWS\system32\config\system......................3904........................1

    If you have 1 fragment then i'm curiouis how large is the page file. If you could list the physical size (as in MB or GB) adn # clusters listed by PageDefrag

    For physical, My Computer ->Advanced-> Performance Settings->Advanced
    under Virtual Memory what is list as total paging size?
    Click Change.
    Are you set for Custom Size? or System managed?
    What do you see under total paging file for all drives
    ... What's the min?
    ... what's the max?
    ... What's current allocated?

    Finally, how much physical memory you have (you;ll see that when you first start My Computer Proeperties, towards the bottom
  17. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

    Wow
    That's way too much!

    I'd say do the PageDefrag yourself LookinAround

    Mine is 1 Fragment
    Running 2Gig of PF (Min and Max), on 3gig of Ram
  18. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,372   +167

    yes, you're right.

    This machine is more my test bed. Have been changing system/hardware/user config settings to experiment on various things of personal interest. And not paid much attention to pagefile frag state in the process.

    Wanted to give an example of sample output. Hadn't thought of the actual #'s shown when copying from this machine)

    So i should have said its "sample" output vs. "good example" output. :) (as you note )
  19. Richardw9

    Richardw9 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 137

    yea that's the initial report, i was talking about the one on reboot, The initial one said 180,000 and i cant remember how many fragments.

    but now they all say 1, except 1 that says 2. If that makes sence lol

    i have 1GB of ram , How do you see you're page file? im running windows xp home. it may be different to what was suggested earlyer
  20. Richardw9

    Richardw9 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 137

    oh by the way there are 4 profiles on this computer that might be why its 180,000
  21. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,372   +167

    Let’s do the following (I have an XP home test system also so I confirmed these steps should work for you)

    1. Confirm you have NTFS formatted disks
    - Start->Run, enter diskmgmt.msc
    - Look at the file system for your hard drives. Hard drives could be NTFS, FAT16, FAT32. Are they all NTFS?​

    2. Check those system numbers
    =>Right click My Computer. Select Properties.. At the bottom of the System Properties window you see, it should say 1GB RAM?

    => Next, click Advanced tab, then under Performance click Settings button. And then Click the Advanced tab. Towards bottom you see the label Virtual Memory it says total size for all drives. What is that size?

    => Click the Change button (under that size display
    - In the window at top labeled Drive: select your hard drive which holds Windows. Should be a column in the Drive window for Paging File Size (MB) and for your drive shows something like nnnn – yyyyy? What are the values shown for nnnn and yyyy?
    - In next window down labeled Paging File size for selected drive: what radio button selected? Custom? System? If custom, what values list for Initial and Maximum?:

    - And in next window down Total paging all drives: whats the min, recommended and current?​
  22. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,372   +167

    And...

    1 fragment is excellent
    even 2 is good
    just doing the math (i think is right. we'll see how it compares)

    if your pagefile is 180,000 clusters on an NTFS formatted disk (and NTFS is preferred) then =

    (180,000 clusters) * (4K bytes per cluster for NTFS) = 720MB page file.. which may be small for 1GB RAM. So we'll see how the system settings are set./
  23. Richardw9

    Richardw9 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 137

    i only have 1 hard drive its NTFS, how do i right click my computer
  24. Richardw9

    Richardw9 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 137

    Sorry just me being stupid i shall lay it out like this:

    1. Confirm you have NTFS formatted disks - YES

    2. Check those system numbers - What system numbers?

    =>Right click My Computer. Select Properties.. At the bottom of the System Properties window you see, it should say 1GB RAM? - YES

    => Next, click Advanced tab, then under Performance click Settings button. And then Click the Advanced tab. Towards bottom you see the label Virtual Memory it says total size for all drives. What is that size? - 720mb , yay well done


    - In the window at top labeled Drive: select your hard drive which holds Windows. Should be a column in the Drive window for Paging File Size (MB) and for your drive shows something like nnnn – yyyyy? - what is nnn--yyyy ?


    What are the values shown for nnnn and yyyy? - no idea you might have to give an example

    - In next window down labeled Paging File size for selected drive: what radio button selected? Custom? System? If custom, what values list for Initial and Maximum?:

    Custom
    - initial 720
    - max 1440

    - And in next window down Total paging all drives: whats the min, recommended and current?

    It says-

    Min allowed 2mb
    Recommended- 1485mb
    Current allocated - 720mb


    Hope that is sufficient
  25. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,372   +167

    Sorry. Poor wording on my part. just meant to say we were going to look for some system statistics using the instructions which followed

    Actually, i have the info i need from the other data. But for the record, in the window labele Virtual Memory is the sub-window with columns labeled Drive, Volume Label, and Paging File Size. From what tell me i would expect Paging File Size colum for your drive to be 720-1440
    (for your Custom settings, that collumn should show intial/max values for your custom settings)
    Hmm,,720MB pagefile for 1GB RAM is a low number to start at
    Which is confirmed as you see recommended is 1.5MB. (Tho off hand i would think windows should;ve at least tried increasing it to your max value. Don't know why it didn;t. Maybe someone else does?

    But i would say:
    - How big is your drive and how much free space?
    - Cause i think you should reallocate your pagefile to be larger
    - But before doing that you'd want to remove old stuff you can delete and all the temp/junk files that collect on your computer can be deleted (Can tell you how to do that using some tools). This is to free up more space so...
    - Next, when you do a defrag you have better chance at getting LOTS of contiguous, unused clusters available for the last step
    - Reallocate and assign a larger pagfile. Hopefully you can get it with only couple fragments... maybe just one again
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.


Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...


Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.