Getting a better understanding of paging files

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How does the paging file affect PC performance? How does one customize this setting?

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Best Answer by Sharath Reddy
Answered By 0 points N/A #95900

Getting a better understanding of paging files

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Hello Wexler.

The paging file is the virtual memory of your operating system.  If your system runs out of physical memory, it swaps out some of the data to your hard disk preventing your programs from ever running out of usable memory.  By default, Windows places the pagefile.sys (the filename of the hidden paging file) on the partition where Windows is installed.  When the paging file is in the boot partition, Windows will also use this paging file as the memory dump in case of a system crash (blue screen).  If the paging file is in a different hard drive or partition, Windows will be able to access the paging file faster at the cost of not being able to use it for core dump.

Here's a link from microsoft.com that explains paging files and how you can optimize it for performance:  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314482

 

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Best Answer
Answered By 562865 points N/A #95901

Getting a better understanding of paging files

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The Windows page file is the one responsible or the part of Windows that helps in balancing the memory load of the entire system. This is the virtual memory of the computer and acts as an extension of RAM to increase the memory capacity of the machine. This greatly helps if your computer is running on a very small amount of RAM like for example 256 MB or 512 MB.

If the total amount of available RAM installed on your computer is almost full and has very little left, some of the data loaded in the physical RAM will be sent over to the virtual memory or page file and vice versa. While this process is happening on the computer, the page file or virtual memory constantly expands and shrinks. It expands every time you open another application and shrinks each time a program is closed. You can customize the page file’s settings by right-clicking on My Computer then selecting Properties. Select Advanced tab then click on Settings under Performance. Select Advanced tab then click Change under Virtual Memory at the bottom of the window.

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