What's the best way to set up windows and paging file with XP?

By wonderworm1 ·
I have an older XP system (Athlon 2800, 512 ddr 2100 ram) that I am trying to make more responsive but am not sure which method will give the fastest performance.

The OS is on a 40gb 5400rpm drive and I will be adding a 2nd 7200RPM drive.

My question is this?

Should I image the OS over to the 7200 rpm drive and put the pagefile on the 5400rpm drive?

Or should I leave the OS on the 5400 drive and put the pagefile on the 7200 drive? I have read once that the pagefile should be the faster drive, but it seems to me the OS might benefit more by being on the faster drive.

Also, if the pagefile is put on a fat 32 partition, does it run any faster than if it was on NTFS? I will be using a fixed sized pagefile. Any recommendations as to which size will provide the best performance? The machine will be used to stream audio files.

EDIT: Also, If I were to up the ram to 1GB, would that sway it more towards putting the OS on the faster 7200rpm drive and the pagefile on the 5400 drive since the pagefile will be substantially less utilized on a system with 1GB RAM compared to a system with 512mb RAM?

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Which Drive for What

by gsquared In reply to What's the best way to se ...

Personally, I'd put the OS and the pagefile both on the faster drive, and use the slower drive for storage. Put system backups on it, either as backup files or a drive image of the newer drive.

There's no reason you have to have the pagefile on a different drive than the OS, so I'd put both on the faster drive.

Also, split the new drive into separate partitions, 1 for the OS + pagefile and any apps you want, then put user files (like your audio files) on a separate partition.

NTFS is more secure and at least as fast as FAT 32, so use NTFS.

Upgrading the RAM will improve overall performance, but doesn't really change how I'd configure the drives.

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Page Partition

by TheChas In reply to What's the best way to se ...

Start by taking a look at these 2 articles:



While the platter speed (RPM) of the drive is important, the critical number to look at is the access time. You want your OS and page file on the drive with the fastest file access time (lowest number) which may not be the drive with the higher RPM.

Then, set up a fixed page file equal to the amount of RAM you have on the boot partition.

Then, on a separate partition or drive, create a Windows Managed page file to take over when you need extra virtual memory.

This does 2 things:
It keeps a managed page file from getting fragmented.
It allows for a memory dump in the event of a crash.


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