Paging Files

By lowman ยท 13 replies
Mar 15, 2004
  1. Some opinions please:

    My basic setup is an AMD 64 3200+ CPU, Gigabyte mobo, 2 GB corsair RAM, Windows XP Pro, and 3 hard drives - a 40 GB IDE for the OS, an 80GB SATA for applications and a 250GB SATA for my soundfiles (It's a digital audio workstation).

    Regarding paging files, I know that the best tweak is 1.5 times the RAM for the paging file size, and setting the minimum and the maximum as the same size is recommended as well.

    With 2 GB of RAM, is a paging file size of 3 GB too much, and should I set the same size paging file on each drive?

    I've heard 3 or 4 different scenarios of what the best practice is, but i wanted to hear what the experts on this site have to say...

    Any feedback is as always, most appreciated. (And I hope I put this in the right forum...if not, sorry).
  2. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    You do not need one pagefile per drive. One pagefile per OS is enough ( you can even use the same pagefile for different OSes of the same familly, if you have multiple XP installs for example ).

    Having a pagefile of 1.5 your Ram is really necessary when you have a small or reasonnable amount of Ram. Above 1GB of Ram, you won't be using the pagefile very much ( especially if you've tweaked the system to use the pagefile as much as possible ).

    Have a look at the Registry Tweaks @ for more info on how to tweak your system.

    You can also read the following guide -> Tweaking your system memory @ TechSpot
  3. lowman

    lowman TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 380

    Many thanks Didou...I'll check out those links...
  4. lowman

    lowman TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 380

    Would you recommend just leaving the value blank for the 2 drives that I don't want the pagin file on? I am going to put the paging file on my fastest drive, even though it;s not the same drive as the OS.
  5. lowman

    lowman TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 380

    I should have bee a bit clearer - what I meant by my last reply was, do you think I should select "No paging file" for the rest of the drives, or should I span the paging file over my 2 SATA drives since they are faster, and over 2 discs, the system will be able to access both simultaneously.
  6. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    With the amount of Ram that you have, the pagefile settings will not affect you as much as you seem to think.

    The trick is to tweak the system in order to use the memory as much as possible & only use the pagefile when the Main memory is almost full ( which shouldn't happen very often with your Rig ).

    I myself would do a pagefile the size of the Ram ( a 2GB pagefile is quite sufficient for any "normal" utilisation ) & put it on a separate partition of the system partition. It doesn't really matter if it's on the fastest HDD or not since with the amount of memory that you have, it will not be accessed very often ( if you've configured the system decently ).

    In other words, concentrate on tweaking that system & then you can worry about the pagefile settings.;)
  7. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Maniac Posts: 2,244

    with your amount of RAM, you can probably disable paging alltogether, although some applications may have a fit about that and give you errers or refust to start till you set a pagefile. Keeping a small pagefile is a good idea if you have a large amount of RAM and use image editors or 3D graphics applications.

    If you do a search here in the forums you can come up with several discussions we have had in the past about the pagefile and some links to more information, as well as associated tweaks.
  8. lowman

    lowman TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 380

    Will do...I'm going to take a look at those prior discussions right now...

    Thanks again to Didou and Storm...
  9. edsel918

    edsel918 TS Rookie

    Since this is a pagefile discussion, I thought I'd throw this in here.
    Has anyone had any experience with copying a drive with drive image 7 and have the pagefile not copy over? I'm thinking that's what happened to my system. Although the registry shows the pagefile on C, the physical file is on an external D drive. All attempts to delete, move, reconfigure, or otherwise correct the problem have failed. If I disconnect the drive that is controlling the pf, the computer will get to the winxp splash screen. However, when I attempt to log in, the computer beeps once, at which point I have to hit ctrl-alt-del, which gets me to the desktop (I guess this is the equivalent of creating a temp pf). If I power up the external and reboot the problem goes away. Is this a case of "Mommy, the nasty d-drive took my pagefile and won't give it back!"? I called Micofrost and right now it's a dead heat between them and a bottle of Heinz ketchup to see who will come out first.
  10. Liquidlen

    Liquidlen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,094

    A quick search at Symantec got this
    However I am not sure since I don't know if you have any of this other software running.
    There is one thing though.You do not need to copy your page file ,it only contains files needed as you run applications this is dynamic and nothing is saved there.
    Before I run Drive Image I defrag my disks and page file before backing up, by shutting off the page file ,defragging then turning the page file back on.
  11. edsel918

    edsel918 TS Rookie

    Thanks for the info. I understand your point about a pagefile not needing to be copied. However, should the file still not physically exist if the registry shows an entry for it? Also, why would the computer be intent on freezing when logging on if the pagefile isn't a condition to logging on. As always, on the search for truth, knowledge, and Bill Gates real email address.

    Race update: The bottle of Heinz ketchup has taken the lead (ie.,still no word from Micofrost )
  12. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    Driveimage uses "Smart Sector" copying which copies live files while you are booted into your OS. Unfortunately, some files are simply impossible to copy. The pagefile being one of them because it changes every second you use the computer.

    Actually, you are better off NOT having it copied. Windows will create a new pagefile if necessary. All the pagefile does in a backup image is take up space.

    I apologize if this isn't exactly the info you were looking for.. Didn't really read the post. :) Silly me.
  13. Liquidlen

    Liquidlen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,094

    Ricks post I think answers the first part of your Question.
    As to why a computer is crashing if there is no pagefile set(If I have understood your question)
    Can be a couple of things from ,Demands of what software is loading at boot, system needs, etc. I have read that microsoft recommends leaving a small 10 mg page file on the system drive if your main pagefie is on another drive.(I don't know ,does the little one just point to the big one?)
    I think the point is you need to tweak your environment variables to your machine characteristics period. Also understand ,each time you boot your machine windows will look for a pagefile and make a new one if the old one is lost. this is one reason Drive copy won't bother to copy it.But drive will copy the' settings' that are in place via registry entries etc
    I'm tired now and I need a beer .Let us know what happens
  14. DarkNoise

    DarkNoise TS Rookie

    Well, from my experience (512 ram), a setting of 750MB for the pagfile has been best, and it's set on a second hard drive. So with 2GB or RAM I'm going to agree with the general consensus that you shouldn't need a whole lot. The most pagfile I've ever used was 600 or so, and since you have 4x what I do... unless you're running higher stuff than I (though I have photoshop, 3d studio max, and reason) I'd say even 1GB would be fine.
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