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By Thomas McGuire
Editor: Julio Franco

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Configuring the Page File

Now that you've configured all relevant memory management options it's time to get to grips with the Page File itself. Depending on what site or forum you visit, the question "What should I set the Page File size to?" - is sure to bring a variety of responses and ensuing arguments. A few things to bear in mind...

  • Vista automatically increases the Page File size should it be necessary (reducing it afterwards). This essentially means you can only notionally create a "Permanent Page File" (Initial size = Maximum size).
  • If you have a single hard drive split into multiple partitions, the Page File should be set to the partition Vista is installed to. You should not create multiple Page Files for different partitions in this case.
  • If you have multiple hard drives installed, it is beneficial to locate the Page File on the Hard Drive Vista is not installed to, but only if the other hard drive is of a similar or better performance.
  • The Page File should not be located on a mirrored Drive, e.g. RAID array, if possible as fault tolerance / backup is not required and may decrease performance.

Note any Page File restrictions on location and size as a result of the Write debugging information setting previously selected.

Although I have previously recommended using the Task Manager to determine an optimal Page File size, given the increased size of hard drives that procedure is now somewhat redundant. Instead I would simply recommend assigning 1 - 2 GB (1024 - 2048MB) to the Page File.

Once more open System Properties, select the Advanced system settings tab and press the Performance Settings button, selecting the Advanced tab, finally pressing the Change button.

Taking heed of the previous points, select the appropriate Drive, click Custom and set the Initial / Maximum size (MB), then click Set.

Now click Ok and restart your PC as required.