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Virtual Memory Paging File - Change

  1. #1
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    Virtual Memory Paging File - Change
    How to Change or Move Virtual Memory Paging File in Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8
    Published by Brink is offline
    18 Feb 2008
    Virtual Memory Paging File - Change

    How to Change or Move Virtual Memory Paging File in Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8

    information   Information
    If your computer lacks the random access memory (RAM) needed to run a program or operation, Windows uses virtual memory to compensate. Virtual memory combines your computerís RAM with temporary space on your hard drive. When RAM runs low, virtual memory moves data from RAM to a space called a paging file. Moving data to and from the paging file frees up the RAM to complete its work.

    Windows manages the virtual memory size automatically by default. This will show you how to manually change the size of virtual memory if the default size is not enough for your needs, and how to change what drive is used for the paging file.

    For more detailed information about the page file, see:

    Mark's Blog : Pushing the Limits of Windows: Virtual Memory

    and

    The Pagefile Done Right! | Citrix Blogs

    For more information about the new swap file in Windows 8, see:

    Windows 8 / Windows Server 2012: The New Swap File - Ask the Performance Team - Site Home - TechNet Blogs

    Note   Note
    The more RAM your computer has, the better your programs will generally run performance wise since Windows may not have to use virtual memory as often. If a lack of RAM is slowing your computer, you might be tempted to increase virtual memory to compensate. However, your computer can read data from RAM much more quickly than from a hard disk, so adding RAM is a better solution. Plus, Windows usually does a great job at managing virtual memory for you.

    The Virtual Memory Paging File is hidden protected operating system file at this location: C:\pagefile.sys

    Tip   Tip
    To improve the performance of Windows, you can place the page file on a second physical hard drive instead of the same C: drive that Windows is on. Doing this allows Windows to dump temp junk onto one drive while not having to interrupt reads or writes on the other drive.

    You will not gain any performance by moving the page file to just another partition on the same HDD that Windows is installed on.


    To Reset the Page File:

    Turn the page file off and on for the drive it's on with restarting the computer after each time.

    warning   Warning
    If you receive any type of low memory error message like below, then you need to either add more RAM or increase the size of the page file so that you can run the programs on your computer.

    I would advise to not turn off the page file even if you have a lot of RAM installed. Some programs will still require using the page file to run properly.

    Virtual Memory Paging File - Change-low_memory_error.png





    Here's How:
    NOTE: You will need to be logged in as an administrator to be able to modify the page file.
    1. Open the Start Menu.
    A) Right click on the Computer button and click on Properties.

    B) Go to step 3.
    OR

    2. Open the Control Panel (Classic View - Vista or Icons view - Windows 7).
    A) Click on the System icon.
    3. Click on Advanced system settings. (See screenshot below)
    NOTE: While your here, note how much Memory (RAM) you have installed under the System section.
    Virtual Memory Paging File - Change-system.jpg
    4. If prompted by UAC, then click on Continue (Vista) or Yes (Windows 7).

    5. In the Advanced tab, click on the Settings button in the Performance section. (See screenshot below)
    Virtual Memory Paging File - Change-advanced_system_properties.jpg
    6. Click on the Advanced tab. (See screenshot below)

    7. Under Virtual memory, click on the Change button.
    Virtual Memory Paging File - Change-advanced_performance_options.jpg
    8. To Turn Off Automatic Virtual Memory Management for All Drives
    A) Uncheck the Automatically manage paging file size for all drives box. (See screenshot below)
    NOTE: This turns off automatic virtual memory management by Windows so you can manually change the drive and size to what you want instead.
    Virtual Memory Paging File - Change-automatic_yes_no.jpg
    B) Go to step 10.
    9. To Turn On Automatic Virtual Memory Management for All Drives
    A) If one of the listed drives (ex: C: ) is set as System Managed already, then check the Automatically manage paging file size for all drives box. Click on OK and go to step 17. (See screenshot below)
    Virtual Memory Paging File - Change-automatic_yes_no2.jpg
    OR

    B) If one of the listed drives is not set as System Managed already, then uncheck the Automatically manage paging file size for all drives box and do step 10 and step 12.
    10. To Select a Drive to Add or Change the Paging File
    NOTE: By default, Windows uses the same drive letter that it is installed on. This system drive is usually the C: drive.
    WARNING: If you have another internal NTFS drive listed and want to use it instead, then make sure it is as fast or faster than the drive Windows is installed on. Make sure you only use a separate hard drive, not another partition on the same hard drive as Windows is installed on. This will cause a decrease in performance if you do. You cannot move the page file to an external or removable drive.
    A) Click on a listed hard drive you want to change or add a paging file to for Windows to use. (See screenshot below step 9A)
    11. To Have a Custom Paging File Size for the Selected Drive
    NOTE: You would do this if you do not want to use the automatic system managed size by Windows.
    A) Dot Custom size. (See screenshots below step 15)

    B) Type in a size for the Initial size in MB (1 GB = 1024 MB).
    NOTE: This will be the minimum size.

    C) Type in a size for the Maximum size you want in MB (1 GB = 1024 MB).

    D) Go to step 14.
    12. To Have a System Managed Paging File Size for the Selected Drive
    NOTE: This will let Windows automatically manage the size of the paging file for this selected drive as needed.
    A) Dot System managed size. (See screenshots below step 9)

    B) Go to step 14.
    13. To Remove the Paging File from the Selected Drive
    WARNING: Make sure that you have at least one drive selected to have a paging file on. Otherwise your computer may slow down dramatically.
    NOTE: You would usually only do this if you have more than one drive that you already added a paging file to from step 11 above.
    A) Dot No paging file. (See screenshots below step 15)
    14. Click the Set button. (See left screenshot below)
    NOTE: Repeat steps 10 to 14 if you would like to make more changes to the paging file, or add a paging file to another listed drive.

    15. Click on OK. (See right screenshot below)
    Virtual Memory Paging File - Change-custom.jpgVirtual Memory Paging File - Change-custom2.jpg
    16. If the Paging File Size was Decreased
    NOTE: If the paging file was decreased, the computer will need to be restarted before the changes can be applied. You will not see this if you increased the size.
    A) Click OK. (See screenshot below)
    Virtual Memory Paging File - Change-decrease_ok.jpg
    17. Click on OK. (See screenshot below step 7)

    18. Click on OK. (See screenshot below step 5)

    19. If the Paging File Size was Decreased
    NOTE: You will not see this if you increased the size.
    A) Click Restart Now. (See screenshot below)
    NOTE: Be sure to save and close anything open first. This will restart the computer immediately.
    Virtual Memory Paging File - Change-restart_now.jpg
    That's it,
    Shawn



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    Brink's Avatar
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    Applies to

    All Vista Versions
    64 Bit & 32 Bit


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  3. #1



    Junior Member
    Join Date : Feb 2008
    Posts : 11
    Vista Home Basic 32bit
    Local Time: 01:25 AM

    Re: Virtual Memory Paging File - Change

    I followed this just for the heck of it.

    I have Vista Home Basic.

    I increased the min and max, I was told I needed to restart. The tut says restart ONLY if decreased.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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  5. #2
    Brink's Avatar

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      Thread Starter

    Re: Virtual Memory Paging File - Change

    Hi MicroMan,

    Interesting. I just played with mine some more, and I could only get the restart if I decreased the min/max. I even tried multiple increases in a row, but still had no restart notice.

    What were your numbers originally, and what did you increase them to? I'll try that and see if I can trigger a restart notice. Include any other details you think may apply to.

    Thank you,
    Shawn

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #3



    Junior Member
    Join Date : Feb 2008
    Posts : 11
    Vista Home Basic 32bit
    Local Time: 01:25 AM


     

    Re: Virtual Memory Paging File - Change

    it was somewhere around 3300 to start, sorry I didn't keep track.

    I uped it to 4500-7000, then changed it again to 5000-7000. That's where it's at after reboot.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #4
    Brink's Avatar

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    Join Date : Apr 2007
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    usa us texas

      Thread Starter

    Re: Virtual Memory Paging File - Change

    I'm not sure what may have triggered the restart for you since you only increased the sizes. I tried with what you stated and still did not get a restart notice. Must be a fluke. If you increase it more again, does it give you a restart notice?

    Shawn

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #5
    chuckbam's Avatar

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    Re: Virtual Memory Paging File - Change

    I was testing a dedicated SATA paging file drive and my PCMark05 bench reduced. I am back to system managed (default).

    I do believe I get better performance with Prefetch: Cache Boot Files Only: 2 ... I think Prefetch is no better than the Adobe quick launch I delete in the startup. I disable indexing also. I don't know how having the hard drive running all the time in an Idle process speeds up a computer.

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  9. #6
    swarfega's Avatar

    da Cleaner
    Join Date : May 2008
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    Re: Virtual Memory Paging File - Change

    Having pagefile on C: is a really bad idea because it will cause fragmentation and thereby slowing Vista down because of having to move the hard drive arm around more for the same files.

    solution 1: make pagefile a static size. In other words if you have 4Gbs of phsyical memory, create a pagefile of 4096kb in both min and max size.

    solution 2: buy a small fast hard disk and move the pagefile over. In this scenario it wont matter whether the pagefile is fixed or variable as it wont affect the drive that Vista is on and thereby reducing fragmentation. With hard disk prices so cheap at the moment it would make sense to follow this approach. [In my case I got the Western Digital Raptor 36gb 10,000rpm hard drive]

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  10. #7
    chuckbam's Avatar

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    Re: Virtual Memory Paging File - Change

    da Cleaner, I hear ya about fragmentation. I just moved my MMC recording to a dedicated drive. Talk about fragmentation writing and deleting large media files It took a good while just to move them over.

    Right now, in the case, I have 2 RAID 0 and a single 250 Gb. I m going to hold off till I go Nehalem and dump a RAID and replace w/ 2 1TB drives.

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  11. #8
    swarfega's Avatar

    da Cleaner
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    Re: Virtual Memory Paging File - Change

    ah nice. btw Im swarfega, da cleaner is a custom title

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  12. #9
    chuckbam's Avatar

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    Re: Virtual Memory Paging File - Change

    Sorry swarfega, I just thought "da cleaner" was a cool name.

    I have been doing a little reading and the new large drives seem to have some very good performance. I need more and more HD space all the time (like many of us). The 750 GB drives are really going down in price and 1.5TB will soon be out.

    I plan to do a new build in Spring 09. I think by then the 1 TB drives will be a good deal. I may keep one RAID 0 as my C drive with 2x 500GB drives I am using now. But, that may change. I like Seagate drives.

    I plan to have 12 GBs of memory. And cross fire my little HD3850 512MB. A second one by then should be cheap. It supports PCI-x 2.0 and I am not a gamer. I do- do a lot of video editing and converting etc.

    I want the lower end Bloomfield 2.66 GHz 4 cores and Hyper-Threading. may be the lower end Bloomfield, but in no way will it be a low end LGA1366 CPU.

    OK pagefile, hmmm, will I really use it much?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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