Windows 2000 Servers with 4 gig RAM

Electronic Punk

Staff member
Political Access
2 Dec 2001
Ok so as the title suggests I have two Windows 2000 server with 4gig or RAM and a SQL server / webserver running from the D drive (striped) as well as a mirrored C drive respectively on both machines.

Horrible virtual memory practice at the moment. Not only is the pagefile running from a mirrored system drive but it currently set to 2046/4092

It is, every now and then, experiencing slowdowns for the general application and we can't find the cause of the issue anywhere as both machines seem to be running fine, so could it be the pagefile...

Sadly moving the pagefile to a striped drive isn't really possible at the moment! Might be something to look at in the future especially for the web server as its no. of writes won't be high.

Recommended value would be around 5728/11456 but doesn't a 6 gig pagefile seems a little excessive. Don't you think? But certainly better than the current value which is infact LESS than the amount of RAM.

We also have it set for Background Services, is this correct? As technically both BEA Weblogic and SQL server are running as background processes!
Have you tried looking at The Performance Monitor (perfmon) - great tool for diagnosing hardware slowdowns.
Yup hasn't been any help :s
The application just seems to randomly slow down whenever it feels like it.

Will be using to do a baseline for the max virtual memory tho when we get around to changing it, we will be making the changes on a dev server to test, but it just doesn't get the kind of traffic the main one does.
If it's software can also have a look at filemon and process explorer, both from Sysinternals. Can be a bit of a nag to work with but very effective in most cases, just have to sift through all the crap unless you narrow your scopes down :D
I am using Quest's Spotlight and just can't see anything wrong.
Is bizarre :)
Thats why I am hoping sorting out the pagefile will help.,
of course your pagefile has to be at least the same as the amount of memory you have, especially on a server where new information is going to sit dormant for a long time, that information needs to have some hardrive area to image so the memory can be used somewhere else

under load you obviously need more then the amount of memory

the problem is you can't have a 6 gig pagefile, the largest is 4 gigs...a 32 bit issue

the size of the pagefile is there for new information, which a server will have plenty of so the pagefile will usually get hit more on servers then workstations

when you need more pagefile area then 4 gigis the only way to do it is to break the pagefile into 2 or three files, set the first one to 4 gigs which is the max, set the others to zero by infinity, (infinity is 4 gigs anyway)

this way if it's not using a bigger pagefile then your initial 4 gigs you won't be using unnecessary hardrive area since the other pagefiles are set to zero

then under heavy load, double check which page files have expanded...go to those and increase the initial minimum to about 50 percent more then where the pagefile expanded to, making sure to leave an open end


if you have a 64 bit os you can probably have a pagefile bigger then 4 gigs, I don't know, i never experimented, if you could experiment on your 64 bit os I would appreciate it.

I see they are server 2000, which is not 64 bit, highest possible pagefile on 32 bits is 4 gigs
Last edited:
Thanks Perris, so set the initial to 4096 on and the maximum to 4096 on teh C drive but on the C drive set the inital on D to 0, but wouldn't setting the max to 0 cause it to be empty or will be infiniate like you say?
set your other pagefiles zero minimum, and max on the maximum

then the zero minimum pagefiles won't get hit untill the big one gets about 90 percent capacity, when that happens, the next pagefile will resize accordingly

if any pagefile ever resizes, set the resized pagefile to about 50 percent more then that as the initial minimum and max on the top end

whenever you resize the pagefile, up or down, give it an offline defragment, then don't defrag it again less you do another resize

could you experiment on your 64 bit os for me electric?

try setting a pagefile bigger then 4 gigs, tell me what happens

Last edited:
Will have to try it at home for you mate.
Surely max won't have to be the capacity of the drive? :eek:

The 2k servers we are looking at are of course 32bit.
the max is four gigs electric, it won't ever max out more then that

you can put the max to whatever you want, set the max on the secondary pagefiles to zero by one gig or zero by two gigs as the max, it doesn't matter, it will just go to the next pagefile when that max is hit

I would set up 4 pagefiles, the first 4 by 4, the next three 0 b y 2

I would probably do that if I had more then one hardrive anyway

I would set the first 4, the next to 0 by 2

or maybe even the first pagefile 2 by 2 instead of open ended and the next three pagefiles sey zero by two gigs

I think that's probably the best scenario by the way, making sure heavy pagefile use is dispersed among as many hardrives as you have
well basically I have two arrays, one mirrored and one striped so will set one up on each. Currently only two partitions as well.

May have to try this on my XP machine at home as well, although I only have one pagefile and have it autmatic, but I have two arrays and two gigs of ram.
avoid splitting the pagefile on one drive unless neccessary, always better to use a seperate drive for each pagefile, but sometimes that's not possible

off for a few hours

catch u L8ter m8
Exactly :)
One partition on each array, the striped array is running the SQL database tho so there isn't really one that jumps out.

So it will be 4/4 then 0/4
Thanks for your help ;)
are these 2000 advanced server or standard? Are you using the /3GB switch?

Hope you have good backups for the data on the striped drives :)
Yeah full backups every single night to a silo - moving to a EMC san soon tho which will be nice.

2000 Standard, no switches I am aware of.

Members online

No members online now.

Latest profile posts

Also Hi EP and people. I found this place again while looking through a oooollllllldddd backup. I have filled over 10TB and was looking at my collection of antiques. Any bids on the 500Mhz Win 95 fix?
Any of the SP crew still out there?
Xie wrote on Electronic Punk's profile.
Impressed you have kept this alive this long EP! So many sites have come and gone. :(

Just did some crude math and I apparently joined almost 18yrs ago, how is that possible???
hello peeps... is been some time since i last came here.
Electronic Punk wrote on Sazar's profile.
Rest in peace my friend, been trying to find you and finally did in the worst way imaginable.

Forum statistics

Latest member