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Windows 7: Q: Page File questions


13 May 2010   #1
DarkStar GT

Windows Home Premium (64)
 
 
Q: Page File questions

I'd like to ask a couple of Page File questions:

a) Is the Page File effectively initialized each time the PC is restarted?

b) What happens if Windows 7 is expecting to find a Page File but cannot (say it has become corrupted somehow, or it is on another disk, that has failed)?

c) Does the Page File have to be on a single disk or can it be spread over, say, 2 or 3?

[I hope that this is the right forum. if not, please move this thread.]


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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13 May 2010   #2
Wishmaster

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

(A) I believe so.

(B) Depends. Some apps will expect to find one. If it can not it will cause an error and will not work. Other apps. may be ok.
Some games will not work properly either.
One good example was EQ2. With 8GB of RAM, I would get periodic Crashes to desktop because of being "Out of virtual memory"
Turn PF back on,problem solved. No crashes at all.
Its really is best (especially with 7) to leave the PF alone. There is simply nothing gained by disbaling it.
In some cases, reducing the size of the PF may be OK. Such as if you have a SSD and space is limited but have plenty of RAM. Maybe use a 2GB PF, or just leave it to Win7 to manage. But I would NOT disable the PF completely.

(C) If its 1 physical disk with partitions, PF should be on the 1st partition with the OS.
Having it on seperate partitions on same physical disk will hurt perf. more than help.

You can spread it across multiple disks. Theoretically, it will use the least busy disk for the PF.
I would just use 1 PF however.
If you have multiple spinning drives, some small gains can be had if you have the PF at the front of the second physical Drive, especially if that drive isnt very busy.
If SSD, leave it with the OS on the SSD.

Others may have more to share, but this is my understanding of it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 May 2010   #3
Bill2

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86
 
 

Page file is a dedicated area on your hard drive that the computer calls on when it needs extra memory for programs and apps.It is the slowest aspect of the memory process since the hdd needs to be accessed.The page file size can be managed automatically by windows or specified by the user.Each time you adjust the size, you'll need to restart for the change to be effective, so it that sense it initializes.

The PF comes into the picture only when additional memory is required. Its not absolutely necessary for running windows.So, in many cases one can boost performance by doing away with the page file since that does away with hdd access. OTOH, it can also cause instability if sufficient RAM is not available. Also, there are some programs which are coded to look for a page file, so they wont even run without the PF enabled. Also, i think most programs request much more memory than what they need. Disabling the page file will mean that whole amount gets allocated to RAM and then suddenly a lot of RAM may seem small.

Since the hd controller can read and write from more than one hd at one time, moving the PF to a separate hard drive (other than the one on which 7 is installed) improves your computers performance. With your PF on a second hard drive the load is split between reading and writing system and program files and reading and writing the paging file.If you move the PF, it should always be moved to a different physical hard drive. Never use a separate partition on the same hard drive as the C: drive. This will slow your computer down.

You can have 2 paging files. Each paging file must be on different physical hard drives though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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13 May 2010   #4
DarkStar GT

Windows Home Premium (64)
 
 

Thanks guys. Sorry I was not clear in question (b). I was not talking of turning off the Page File.

Here's a scenario. Say you have moved the Page File to a different disk. So far so good. Then that disk fails. Will Windows 7 boot OK the next time to give me a chance to sort things out and create a new Page File?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 May 2010   #5
woebetide

WIN 7 x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DarkStar GT View Post
Thanks guys. Sorry I was not clear in question (b). I was not talking of turning off the Page File.

Here's a scenario. Say you have moved the Page File to a different disk. So far so good. Then that disk fails. Will Windows 7 boot OK the next time to give me a chance to sort things out and create a new Page File?
No problem, the system will boot !
Windows will make a pagefile elsewhere.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 May 2010   #6
Wishmaster

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DarkStar GT View Post
Thanks guys. Sorry I was not clear in question (b). I was not talking of turning off the Page File.

Here's a scenario. Say you have moved the Page File to a different disk. So far so good. Then that disk fails. Will Windows 7 boot OK the next time to give me a chance to sort things out and create a new Page File?

It will boot just fine.
Worst case scenario, you may need to tell Windows to relocate the PF to another desired location, if it doesnt automatically put it where you want it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 May 2010   #7
Bill2

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86
 
 

With 8GB RAM, you should be fine. Another option you have, though is to have 2 pagefiles, one on each drive. You can have a small one (say 128 MB) on your system drive and the bulk one on the other hard drive. By default, windows will use the one on the least busy disk.

The advantage of keeping a small PF on your primary drive is that your crash dumps will still work.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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