Physical memory dump - big files left over

By Brighter Hell ยท 16 replies
May 10, 2004
  1. A few days ago my computer restarted and did a physical memory dump. This has happened only once. I didn't think much of it until I defragged my hard drive and discovered some rather big files that couldn't be defragmented. On the C drive (Windows 2000) C:\WINNT\MEMORY.DMP is 383 MB. There are also 5 small files that won't defragment and the drive is 10% fragmented with 21% file fragmentation. On the D drive (also Windows 2000) is D:\pagefile.sys and it's 384 MB. The drive has 11% fragmentation and 22% file fragmentation. My other partition has files and programs and it's fine.

    What exactly is a physical memory dump and why does it happen? I just did a clean install of Windows, I don't know if that means anything. What can I do with these big files that seem to be left over? Thanks for the help.
  2. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    Delete memory.dmp, unless you are a PC-guru it is of no use to you. W2K must have had a startup-issue, hence the dump.

    Is the pagefile.sys fragmented or is it other files?

    Get Diskeeper to sort your defrag-problems.

    Alternatively set your virtual memory to 0, reboot, defrag D-drive, set VM back to 0.5 x physical memory, reboot.

    What are the file-names of those biggies?
  3. Brighter Hell

    Brighter Hell TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 44

    D:\pagefile.sys - 384 MB
  4. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    I thought you had more big fragmented files than those 2.
    I gave you the solution then already!
  5. Goalie

    Goalie TS Booster Posts: 616

    Actually, I'd recommend Norton for dealing with the pagefile, it does decent on defrag.

    If in doubt, I'd leave the pagefile.sys file alone. Messing with it can indeed cause major problems with your system.
  6. Brighter Hell

    Brighter Hell TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 44

    I was at work so I couldn't fix it right then. The other fragmented files are smaller - C and D both have WINNT\ShellIconCache which is 627 KB on C and 111 KB on D. There are a couple more files that are 1 KB each.

    I deleted MEMORY.DMP and now C is defragmented. But Diskeeper couldn't do anything about pagefile.sys. Yes, it's fragmented, it's not other files.
  7. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Go to system properties and disable pagefile altogether or set it to be on a ifferent partition from c:, Reboot. Delete pagefile.sys if it's still there on c:. Full Defrag (you need a decent defragmenter program for this). Set the pagefile back to c:.

    Go to system properties->advanced->startup and recovery. Set "write debugging information" to none.

    You can turn off the pagefile only if you have enough ram - 256 or more for XP.
  8. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    If you go and change your pagefile location, move it to the first partition on another harddisk, preferably at it's beginning, and set the min and max to the same value. It will never defragment again.
  9. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    Yes, but this is for Win2k, it creates a temporary pagefile if you disable the normal one.
  10. Brighter Hell

    Brighter Hell TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 44

    It took me a while to get back about this, but I've tried Nodsu's solution. I set "write debugging information" to none and rebooted. Pagefile.sys was no longer on my D drive (it was always on D, not C - C is where I have Windows and D is where it was until recently) but here's the thing - when I went to defragment, using Diskeeper, it didn't defragment it at all. It said that the 1 file that was fragmented was pagefile.sys, even though that file supposedly isn't there anymore. I haven't set debugging information back yet. Am I missing something here?

    The other thing is that in Diskeeper, a big chunk of the C drive shows up as yellow in the drive map and is identified as "paging file." There isn't any pagefile.sys on the C drive either so what's going on there?

    btw I only have one hard drive to work with.
  11. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Heve you enabled showing hidden and system files in Expolorer?

    The pagefile doesn't have to be in the root directory of the drive.
  12. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    In Diskeeper Help, select Index/Defragmenting/Paging Files. In there click on "Click here" highlighted in blue.
    It tells you how to defrag the page-file
  13. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    If you disable paging file in Win2k, it creates a temporary paging file to your Windows directory - in this case it would be in C:\WINNT, I think.
  14. Brighter Hell

    Brighter Hell TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 44

    Wierd. When I click help in diskeeper nothing happens. I tried to schedule a boot-time defrag for the D drive (the one with the fragmented pagefile) but it wouldn't let me check off "defragment the paging file." is this because the pagefile is enabled on the C drive (system properties) but not in the D drive? When I enable pagefile in D it tells me that it will overwrite the existing pagefile. Is this safe to do?
  15. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Yes. It is safe.
  16. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    Go to Control Panel/System/System Properties/Advanced/Performance Options/Change which will bring you to the Virtual Memory settings.
    There you can see (and change) how your pagefile is setup.
    It can be split over more than 1 partition if you want.
    My (W2K/SP4) settings are: W2K installed on both C and F partitions on my first HD. A fixed Pagefile of 768MB on first partition G of my second HD, which is shared by both W2K's.
    I run Diskeeper 8 for Workstation, with all the updates.
  17. Austin44

    Austin44 TS Rookie Posts: 67

    Guiness Rocks!
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