Page File

Discussion in 'Windows Desktop Systems' started by coathanger007, Sep 8, 2003.

  1. coathanger007

    coathanger007 Tomorrow Tweaking Today

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    I have 1GB of RAM and I have disabled my paging file. Even if I run many programs simultaneously (including windows intensive games) Windows reports at least 400MB RAM free. Before disabling my page file I had approx 500MB memory in use and greater than 500MB page file. Therefore, now with the page file disabled shouldn’t the entire IGB RAM be in use?
     
  2. Petros

    Petros Thief IV

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    Maybe Windows feels more free to delete things from your RAM, since doing so wouldn't slow your computer down like a hard drive pagefile would.
     
  3. Bman

    Bman OSNN Veteran Original

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    yea, handy makes sense there.
     
  4. grimman

    grimman Guest

    I have 1 GB too, and I use a 512 MB swap-file (divided over two disks). It's quick, I tell you. And as far as I know, windows will ALWAYS create a page-file, that might explain the low mem usage.
    You could try making a RAM-drive and put the page file on that. ;>
     
  5. JJB6486

    JJB6486 Retired Mod Political User

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    You should keep the swapfile on no matter how much RAM you have. Even if you have a lot of physical RAM, if somehow it should all fill up, the computer will just crash since data has nowhere to go.

    JJB
     
  6. Perris Calderon

    Perris Calderon Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    wow

    I don't want to go over all of this again, but so be it

    disabling the pagefile simply forces the os to use .exe's and dll's for backup files and address translation instead of the pagefile (the pagefile is a backup file)...there cannot possibly be less paging without the pagefile then there is with the pagefile, and there should never ever be a smaller pagefile then the amount you have in ram (unless you have more then two gigs, and then the os automatically creates no bigger then a 2 gig pagefile)

    here's the Microsoft documentation for those of you that think you can disable the pagefile on this virtual memory operating system, or those of you that think you are "getting over" on xp by creating a "pagefile smaller then the default"...you are not, you are only forcing the os to page all over the disc, or establish address translation all over the disc, instead of the more contiguous and efficient environment that's supposed to get the action. (the pagefile)

    from the Microsoft knowledge center

    No matter what your system configuration is, Windows NT will create and use a paging file.

    The paging file is not necessarily a single file; it can be a group of files stored in various locations, across hard disks and partitions. The files are collectively referred to as "the paging file."

    ...Windows NT requires "backing storage" for everything it keeps in RAM. If Windows NT requires more space in RAM, it must be able to swap out code and data to either the paging file or the original executable file.



    pretty simple but let me point out the imprtant text for this conversation;

    ...Windows NT requires "backing storage" for everything it keeps in RAM.



    in point of fact

    the os might actually write more to disc without a pagefile then with a pagefile

    the pagefile gives the os an area to swap your ram...this doesn't mean it's going to swap, it just wants to be able to swap if it needs to...this is just what makes xp so stable and reliable, and thwarting this strategy, you might as well go back to a dos os

    in addition, each bit of memory needs it's own address translation, not shared address translation

    just like you need a different apartment then I do, even though you work in the day time and I work at night, I still want my own space

    same thing with your memory

    2 mbs need at least 2mbs of apartment space to be efficient

    4 mbs need for at least 4 mbs of apartment space

    INDIVIDUAL ADDRESS TRANSLATION, NOT SHARED ADDRESS TRANSLATION...APARTMENT SPACE IS NOT SHARED, AND ONCE YOU REALIZE THIS, YOU REALIZE LOWERING THE PAGEFILE TO A LOWER FIGURE THEN THE AMOUNT OF RAM IS COUNTER PRODUCTIVE.

    in addition, obviously, the os needs room to work above the amount of ram...and this is why ms documents "no less then 1.5 ram with expansion enabled"

    enyo

    tis true, the os is more responsive with less ram available not more, and the ideal situation is that the os has every bit of memory in use

    as close to an "everything always on" operating system as you can get is the objective


    the more information in memory, the less the os has to go to disc to get this information

    information in your longest ago used memory is both in memory and on the hardrive...therefore, in use and available for a swap

    this is very sweet, and it's the reason the amount of "free ram" is a deceiving figure..there is much more ram "avail ab;e" then there is reported as "free" and as I said, ideally, all of your memory is in use, with an abundance "available" at the same time
     
  7. Perris Calderon

    Perris Calderon Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    storing your ram in ram is counterproductive, causing the os to go to the pagefile sooner then if it had the memory available for the os to see and use

    the ram disc will obviously hide your memory from the os, the os will trim working sets sooner, go to the pagefile sooner, and in general, with xp, is a very bad idea
     
  8. Petros

    Petros Thief IV

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    Dealer has spoken.

    :) Pagefile questions are a sure-fire way to get your attention. You should make a pagefile FAQ if you haven't already!
     
  9. coathanger007

    coathanger007 Tomorrow Tweaking Today

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    This seems to go against all the material available on the web which state with a gig of RAM, the paging file can be very small. Are you saying that the best setting is Windows default? This means a very large paging file for 1GB of RAM !
     
  10. Perris Calderon

    Perris Calderon Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    no, it's not going against all information on the web...microsft information is pretty darned clear on this concerning the nt kernal

    it's people that want to make believe xp is a dos os that take those old ideas about virtual memory forward in nt

    with every single incarnation of the nt kernal, and as memory increases on the majority of computers, microsoft has increased, not decreased the recomendation for the minimum pagefile

    this is a virtual memory os...just add up the memory used in your processes, and it's clear, xp has over two gigs of memory in use...even when you have much less installed on your box.

    pretty simple to see this in your taskmanager too

    those myths have pretty much been made extinct as of late, though people still want to beleive it's somehow a good idea to reduce the size of the pagefile becuase their "9x experts" told them so

    but mark these words;

    xp is very good at making up for mistakes you make on your box, and having a lower pagefile then the amount of ram will hardly ever be noticed by most people as a performance hit

    but as a fact, no one will gain from lowering the pagefile
     
  11. coathanger007

    coathanger007 Tomorrow Tweaking Today

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    Thanks for the quick response. Will be following your most comprehensive advice. :)
     
  12. Perris Calderon

    Perris Calderon Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    coathanger007

    you will love this practical example I have to show you, but before I do, a quick point

    the very mechanism that makes xp superior to 9x is the method it handles your memory

    nt handles memory completely differant then 9x, and this memory management gives xp stability and speed...this memory management allows xp to use at all times, much more memory then most people will ever have installed

    so it's amazing 9x recomendations have gone forward isn't it.

    then when someone we have learned from in the past says something, we repeat it don't we, and again and so on, and myths go forward

    anyway, here's a great proof for yourself;

    you'll like this example even more then mere documentation...a real live and practical demonstration

    set your pf to 0x0

    reboot

    now, open INTERNET explorer, or mozilla, or a word document.

    OK, follow along

    now, you must minimize this window...it must be minimized.

    now, go on to another browser window for a half hour or so.

    it's actually less, but a half hour will do for demonstration.

    now, after a half hour, maximize the old window

    and there you will be able to watch your window be paged back into memory, even though you don't have a pagefile

    this happens because xp will assume a minimized window will not be in use, and it agressively releases the working set of whatever is minimized
     
  13. grimman

    grimman Guest

    Actually, when you create a 0 MB swap it'll say "No, stupid user, since you didn't make a page file for me I'll just hi-jack the disk myself."

    Oh, and there's a veeeeeeeery simple way of forcing the OS to create a page file anyway. I did this;
    + Start my web server.
    + While(1=1)
    Response.write("line of text, weee")
    Wend
    + Toss open my browser, being mozilla.
    + Open the site...

    and VOILA: [​IMG]
    This threw EVERYTHING to the swap file + whined about there being too little RAM available. Didn't take very long either. ;D
     
  14. Perris Calderon

    Perris Calderon Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    nice demo

    I liked mine too
     
  15. coathanger007

    coathanger007 Tomorrow Tweaking Today

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  16. Perris Calderon

    Perris Calderon Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    actually, that's alex nichole, a microsoft mvp

    at the time of that article, in direct conversation, I had to correct that article on a number of points, and alex agreed, as you can see in this conversation

    back rhen, I didn't have the microsoft paper that I quoted on this thread to make some points, and mostly addressed the issues that are mistakes in that paper with common sense

    check it out, I come in about page two

    a very nice conversation...I wush I had the white paper then that I quoted from on this thread

    the point of the whole conversation is, the experiment to lower the pagefile in xp if successfull, gives you nothing back as a reward.

    and if it's not successful, brings harm to the user

    an ebntirely counter productive proceeduire, with no trade whatsoever for the gain, and the possibility for harm

    did you try my experiment?
     
  17. coathanger007

    coathanger007 Tomorrow Tweaking Today

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    I didn't try the experiment but I see what you are getting at and fully agree. As for your conversation, the link is invalid. Could you please fix this. Thanks
     
  18. coathanger007

    coathanger007 Tomorrow Tweaking Today

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    What if I were crazy enough to get 2GB of RAM. Then I could create a 1GB RAMdisk and place the paging file on this mirroring the 1GB actual memory. Splitting 1GB into 2 512MB halves would be insufficient but with 2GB...?
     
  19. Perris Calderon

    Perris Calderon Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    ah, it seems the data base with that conversation was purged

    too bad

    to address your question about 2 gigs of ram and a ine gig pagefile

    for wht gain?

    yourt operating system will go to the pagefile sooner with one gig of ram ovver 2...so yes, pagfile activity will improve, but you will need pagefile activity in sooner positions

    the only real gain you will see with that situation is that weh you minimize windows, xp won't be allowed to release the working set, and those programs will keep in residence all memory, and therefore, they will come back from minimized faster

    so if you want that gain< with so much memory, yo won't noitice a hit by allocating that mjuch ram to the pagefile.

    though I would rather the os use it, and not take it out of use
     
  20. coathanger007

    coathanger007 Tomorrow Tweaking Today

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    With 2 GB, I'd probably create a ramdisk anyway for temporary files, zip working folder, CD burning, Temp files etc and might as well use it for paging as well- not that Windows will need it.