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Windows 7: Determining virtual memory usage & load balancing


28 Apr 2012   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Determining virtual memory usage & load balancing

I got two questions about paging files:
  1. Is there a command in Windows 7 (or even earlier versions of Windows) that will tell you how much of the total Windows paging file is being used? For example, you might have a total of 10,000MB of virtual memory, but 7000MB might only be used. The Advanced Settings tab under Computer Properties only tells you the total amount of virtual memory you have, but not how much of it is actually being used.
  2. If you have multiple internal hard disks, and you decide to spread the virtual memory workload around, you would create a small amount of paging file in several of those drives. So for example, if you have 4GB of RAM and 4 drives, you might give each drive a minimum of 1GB each. My question is how does Windows make use of each of those separate paging files? Does it do it sequentially, where it uses up all of the space in first drive's paging file, and then uses up the second drive's paging file, etc.? Or does it do it simultaneously, where it uses each file in each drive simultaneously, allocating them in some sort of round-robin fashion?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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29 Apr 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 SP1
 
 

I can help you with #1 (I personally let windows manage the page file until I got my SSD. I now have it set to 1GB and no issues)

Start> In search box type perform

Enter

Click on Performance Monitor in left pane

Determining virtual memory usage & load balancing-pm.jpg

Click on the add button in top toolbar (The green plus sign)

Determining virtual memory usage & load balancing-add.jpg

Scroll to find paging file on the list and click on it

Click the add button at bottom

Determining virtual memory usage & load balancing-add2.jpg

Click the OK button at bottom will get you the page file graph. The red line represents the percentage of page file usage.

Determining virtual memory usage & load balancing-usage.jpg

A Guy


My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 May 2012   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Thanks "A Guy", right on the mark, what I was looking for!
BTW, how do you save this arrangement? It seems I have to redo it everytime I restart Perfmon.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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01 May 2012   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 SP1
 
 

I don't know if you can. But I'll ask the Gurus to see if someone knows, and if they know the answer to your 2nd question in the 1st post. A Guy
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 May 2012   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 

I would not recommend spreading paging files over multiple drives. While it may be faster assuming that Windows uses each in parallel, I have seen it cause systems to stop working correctly, and it can interfere with .dmp files being created for analysis if you have any blue screen crashes.

Performance Monitor perfmon save settings / session may help with saving the settings.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 May 2012   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 SP1
 
 

Thanks Mike

A Guy
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 May 2012   #7
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

You can get a quick glance in the bottom right graph of Performance Monitor > Memory tab. There you can also see which process triggered the hard page fault.


Attached Thumbnails
Determining virtual memory usage & load balancing-2012-05-01_2335.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 May 2012   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by writhziden View Post
I would not recommend spreading paging files over multiple drives. While it may be faster assuming that Windows uses each in parallel, I have seen it cause systems to stop working correctly, and it can interfere with .dmp files being created for analysis if you have any blue screen crashes.

Performance Monitor perfmon save settings / session may help with saving the settings.
Thanks for the tip on saving the settings.

Regarding the memory dumps, I usually only save the mini-dumps which are only 128KB, rather than the full memory dumps. I think a mini-dump will easily fit into any of the multiple page files, without having to go across drives.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 May 2012   #9

Windows 7 home premium x64
 
 

I believe that Windows uses multiple pagefiles in the order of least used partition\drive first and so on. I can't see the advantage unless you have other physical drives that are faster than the boot drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 May 2012   #10

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bbbl67 View Post
Thanks for the tip on saving the settings.

Regarding the memory dumps, I usually only save the mini-dumps which are only 128KB, rather than the full memory dumps. I think a mini-dump will easily fit into any of the multiple page files, without having to go across drives.
The problem is that when the pagefiles reside on other drivers, the .dmp files are not always created in the C:\Windows\Minidump folder. Sometimes they can be found elsewhere, but often, they are never created at all...



Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by A Guy View Post
Thanks Mike

A Guy
No problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Determining virtual memory usage & load balancing




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