Question about PAGE FILE and INDEX service.



Ok this is something thats been bugging me when it comes to performance.

If i have 3 sticks of 512 DDR 333 Memory what speed do i run them at in the bios? 133,166 or 200?

Also how big should my page file be if my C drive is 120 gigs and has a 8meg cache, my D drive is 60 gigs and F is also 60 gigs.

Wich drive should the page file be on?
And how big should it be?
Also should I disable the Disk Indexing service on all my hard drives or is that something that helps the speed of my hard drive?

Thank You.

Perris Calderon

Staff member
Political User
I'm on a slow connection, and I can't bring up the article.


should answer all your pf questions

As far as turning off indexing, I am not a proponent of this tweak, and I don't turn indexing off. (off is default in xp)

I use the search on my drives often...indexing is a boon to me, though some think turning it off is worth it, I don' should experiment, and make a personal decision on this one.

be advised, in the beginning, the hardrive has to be indexed and this will create plenty of hardrive activity.

but once my hardrive is indexed, this service I do not notice one bit.

as far as you bios settings, I'm gonna have to let someone else with more knowledge then I have with bios to help:blink:


Adjust your memory to 166 (x 2 =333)
I use 512 DDR and use page file ( virtual memory) of 650 Mb
On lower amounts of memory you would use 2.5 times Ram for the page file as a rule of thumb ,ie 160Mb for 64 Mb Ram. etc.
I use a lot of multimedia apps and find that enough.
If you op system files are on C Drive , zero out the setting on that drive in Virtual memory option , and reset to D Drive for page file, or whichever drive has the least file activity.
On your last question I would leave the setting alone, as you want windows to catalogue your system and find files as soon as possible when required.
The small difference is not worth the reduction in the "search and find"capability of XP.


ok a few more questions.

In virtual memory do i want the system to use the memory for

Programs or System Cache?


For the proccesor do i want it used more for
Programs or Background Services ?

My specs are

P4 2.8 GHZ
1.5 gigs of DDR PC 333
120 GIG 8 Meg Cache


Select "programs " in both cases as windows uses most of its memory for that purpose.
Some memory will still be used for Caching etc as needed.

Perris Calderon

Staff member
Political User
I'm going to comment on the vm suggestion by roger.

don't take offense roger

there is absolutely no benefit to lowering the initial minimum not do it.

the default is 1.5 ram, expansion is enabled, and you should in no way lower the initial minimum, or dissable expansion.

these are old ideas that are counter productive in xp...the only benefit in adjusting the pf from the default would be to raise the initial minimum if you are a power not lower the initial minimum...this cannot help, and can hurt

as far as setting a box priority, most users will do better with programs


No offence taken , dealer.
Just one question , what percentage of your pf do you find yourself using ?
I have found 650Mb low / high settings, works better than 750Mb on each, and is in no way detrimental.( tried and tested over 13 months XP usage)
I use ram defrag software also , and pf usage shows as approx 150Mb ,running multiple multimedia apps.
This suggstion was approved by a professional computer mag writer for XP.


psx - If you have 1.5Gb ram, then 1.5x pf is silly. Feel free to set it at 512mb (either min & max or open ended, your call).

Indexing service - if you have lots of data and do lots of searches it's your call. Otherwise I'd suggest turning it off. And there's a super utility I first read about in PC Mag named Rocket Retriever. It does instantaneous searches and puts XP's search utility to shame. Might be worth a look.

Perris Calderon

Staff member
Political User
#9 is the idea.

there is no penalty for a pagefile that is too big..this is documented.

most users, like yourself, will infact never use more then 75% of their pagefile...this point of yours is true.

just like most corvette owners will never put their foot on the floor.

same thing.

if you have alot of ram, hopefully, one day, you will use alot of ram, and that is the purpose of having the pagefile the correct size.

their is no performance harm in being ready to use all of your ram, but their is harm in not being ready..and that is the point

as far as your ram defrag

roger, I have to ask you not to get offended again.

this is a marketing ploy, there is no such thing as defragging your ram.

this program is releasing your ram...that's what it is doing.

now, these programs typically create their own pagefile, which they call a backkup file, but it's a pagefile.

they then write the information of your longest ago accessed ram into the backup file, and eliminate that use from ram.

this does not speed you up one bit, and in many cases will slow you down.

in most cases, the ram that these programs releases is allready available for release by xp.

when you get short ion ram, xo writes the ram to pf, but keeps it in ram untill absolutely neccessary.

in this regard, the ram is released, yet if the resident information is called before the ram is calle4d, it's in ram, and available.

these ram optimizers cricumvent that strategy.

you are having slowdowns that you don't attribute to the ram optimizer.

for instance, a program that was launched a while ago.

your ram still has this information in residence, until this ram is used.

ram optimzers take that information out of residence.

so, you are trading

the appearance of more available memory, for keeping the ram in constant use.

this is what speeds your box roger...the more ram you are using, the faster these things perform, (obviously).

the addage is "free ram is wasted ram"

and that is what most people don't appreciate.

whatever ram you have available, could be doing something...there is no reason to keep it out of use

and so, while you might think you have not slowed down, in fact, the moments you have slowed down, you would not have recognized

Perris Calderon

Staff member
Political User
allans suggestion of an aftermarket search utility is a good one...give that a shot.

as far as his suggestion that 1.5 ram is silly...interesting choice of words...anyway, it's far from silly, it's correct

it's silly not to use your resources to their full potential, or have them ready for their full potentialisn't it,...could aybody even argue this point without being siily?

a few years ago, 64mbs of ram was a ton of ram...ha...I bet that there were siily people then also that thought a 1.5 pagefile was silly they were...same silly thing


This is information written specifically for xp, IT IS THE LATEST INFORMATION.

in point of fact, as ram has become more abundant, and with every nt version, ms has increased the recomendation for the initial minimum, they have not lowered it...hmmm..silly boys over at microsft.

now, I will grant, that if you are like most users that have your amount of ram, you have installed more ram then you use, and you will not as yet be accessing the proper pagefile, and do not as yet need one as big as the absolute minimum 1.5.

doesn't change the FACT that lowering the absolute minimum that microsoft suggest for your pagefile is as silly as installing a turbocharger in a car, and then not adding the bigger fuel line that will let it run...and your reason would because you don't expect to use the extra horsepower that the turbocharger gives you...just as silly...this analogy is exact

Perris Calderon

Staff member
Political User
I'm going to add this, so there is better understanding of why you need a bigger pagefile when you have more ram, not a smaller pagefile, as so many people seem to believe.

xp is designed to use as much ram as possible.

if you have a gig of ram, your box is putting more ram to use then mine, with 512.

this is the nature of efficient use of ram, as microsoft believes that free ram is wasted ram...

it is a waste of ram when ram is not put to use, and this is an easy concept to appreciate once it's realized

now, your box actually needs quite a bit more memory to run the way it runs, then it has, no matter how much or how little ram you actually have.

xp makes addresses for every bit of memory that every process might use, so it will have a place to put the information that is in ram, if one of the many needs of ram arises...

obviously, the more ram you have, the more use your computor will find for ram, and again, obviously, the more address space needs to be available for these uses, the more ram you have.

the idea of lowering the available area for these addresses when you have more ram seems a little silly now, doesn'it.

if the area is not available, your ram will not be used as efficiently in certain situations..

yes, of course some users can get by with a smaller pagefile..these are the users that have installed more ram then they will ever ever use...,

but, there is no reason whatsoever to lower the pf for these users either, is there, as they would be lowering the potential of their box, and in return, they will recieved nothing...silly