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Optimal WinXP "pagefile.sys" Setting

By godzillex ·
1. I'm running WinXP on a laptop equipped with 1GB of RAM. What is the best way to optimize the "pagefile.sys" size? (the hard drive is divided into C: and drives)

2. Are there any automated programs that can help me determine the ideal pagefile size?

3. With so much RAM, do I even need a pagefile ?

4. Will I be better off to move the pagefile to drive ? (Note that Drive is practically empty, and therefore does not become fragmented like the C: drive)

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by timwalsh In reply to Optimal WinXP "pagefile.s ...

1. A general rule of thumb is to create a pagefile twice as large as the amount of physical memory you have instaled. This generally becomes less critical the more memory you have installed.

2. "Ideal" tends to be somewhat subjective. Because of this there are no outside utilities to help you determine the "ideal" size. Windows does show you a recommended size for your pagefile, based on the amount of physical memory installed (this is found in the same window where you set the location and size of the pagefile). I usually accept this recommendation unless I have reasons not to (i.e. lack of disk space, experiencing problems).

3. Windows XP requires that you have a pagefile of at least 2MB. There are some Windows programs that will NOT operate correctly if a pagefile is not detected.

4. If I have the space available, I always move the pagefile to at least a different partition to alleviate the fragmentation issue. Otherwise, if it must be left on the system partition, I always set it to a fixed size (rather than let Windows detemine the size.

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by TheChas In reply to Optimal WinXP "pagefile.s ...

I basically agree with everything that Tim said in his post.

The 'optimum' size for the page file depends on how you use your PC.

If you open a lot of files at once, large files, edit large image files, do CADD work, etc.

Then you still WANT a large page file.

If you use the PC for memos, e-mail and web browsing, you might be able to do well with a small page file.

One thing you can do, is enable Performance Monitor, and track the size of the page file while you use the PC as hard as you ever plan to.

Add 10 percent or so to the largest size the page file ever is, and that will be enough until you install new programs, or change how you use the PC.


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