Why does XP page apps it doesn't need to?

By inet32 ·
My system has 2G of RAM and typically I'm using half, according to Task Manager. "Available Physical Memory" is usually around 1G.

But say I leave an app open, e.g Visual Studio or Adobe Flash CS4 (developer), and go away for awhile, say to eat lunch. When I return and try to do anything in the app I have to wait around while the disk chatters loading it all back in from Virtual Memory.

I can see it in Task Manager - when I leave, Visual Studio might be 90M/124M physical/virtual. When I come back it's 20M/128M, and as soon as I click on something in VS it slowly goes back 90M/124M.

But with a gig of free RAM why does XP page it out??!! (and how can I stop it?)

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All Answers

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XP routinely moves unused data to the Virtual Side of things

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Why does XP page apps it ...

When it remains unused for longer than a certain length of time. This is Computer Logic which the computer understands to free up resources for what will be used next not what is currently open and inactive.

Windows moves the previously active and unused Data to the Virtual so that when the computer is used there are as many free resources as possible available to use.


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It's going too far

by inet32 In reply to XP routinely moves unused ...

With a gig of free space there's no need to page it out. Does it do this no matter HOW much unused RAM there is? Is there some registry setting that will prevent it or delay it?

The system is up 24/7 and might need to be accessed at any time so these delays waiting for apps that haven't been used in an hour waste time.

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It may very well be a waste of your time

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to It's going too far

But it is how Windows works. The entire idea is that a used application isn't left open and running for long periods of time unused. if it's used it's available but if it's idling in the background it gets Paged out of the Current Operation and stored as a Virtual Operation.

This also happens when you have 4 GIG of RAM loaded but it's a bit faster to load into Memory from the Virtual. That is the only difference.


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There are no answers to "Why" questions

by oldbaritone In reply to Why does XP page apps it ...

except "go ask mommy."

Way back in W-95 days, I had a system with 32M RAM, and it ran fine with a 64M pagefile.

So I upgraded it to 128M - and because (32 + 64) < 128, I figured I wouldn't need to use paging at all. After all, everything was fine in 96M total.

The system wouldn't even boot with paging disabled with 128M RAM. I asked MS why, and was told "that's the way it works. You must have a pagefile."

So - "that's the way it works."

And if you don't like that answer, go ask mommy.


Way-way back in Win-3 days, the way to get screaming system performance was to upgrade physical RAM and disable paging.

You haven't been able to do that for the last 15 years or 8 versions of Windows.

I agree, it's stupid. But "that's the way it works."

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That's How the Kernel Is Written

by TheChas In reply to Why does XP page apps it ...

Because, that is the way the Windows Kernel was written for handling virtual memory.

The ONLY way to force Windows to not use virtual memory is to configure your system to use no virtual memory. However, that will actually make your system unstable and more apt to crash.

The best way to deal with virtual memory is to dedicate a small and fast hard drive for virtual memory.


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