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Windows 7: Windows 7 does not add physical memory to pagefile


12 Aug 2012   #1

Windows 7 RC build 7100
 
 
Windows 7 does not add physical memory to pagefile

I have a Dell XPS 9000 desktop with 12GB physical memory. I use this desktop to run 2-3 VirtualBox VMs simultaneously for testing. As time went by, I found that I need to run still more VMs. When I start up the 4th VM, all 12GB memory is exhausted and I get an error that the VM cannot allocate memory.

Memory upgrade was expensive so I thought that I will buy a SSD and create a 12GB pagefile on the SSD. If I run the 4th VM, Windows will use pagefile and I will still get an acceptable performance because pagefile is on SSD.

After adding SSD and shifting entire 12GB pagefile to SSD, I found that Windows 7 (Professional) did not make use of the pagefile at all and starting up the 4th VM still leads to memory exhaustion.

I clearly remember that in XP, Windows used to add the pagefile size to physical memory to report total memory size. Windows 7 stubbornly fails to utilize the pagefile.

Since pagefile was the only content of the SSD, I monitored the SSD activity in resource monitor as I was starting up the VMs. There was 0 activity against the SSD while the VM ran out of memory.

Any ideas on what is going on?

Thanks...
Arun

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Aug 2012   #2
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello Arun,

Unfortunately, virtual machines use only the physical memory and not the host's page file.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Aug 2012   #3

Windows 7 RC build 7100
 
 

Thanks, that is what I thought was going on. Now I will not feel guilty about adding memory...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


12 Aug 2012   #4
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

You're welcome. It's always nice to have a reason to get hardware.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Windows 7 does not add physical memory to pagefile




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