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Windows 7: How Can I Determine The Location of The Page File In My Computer?

02 May 2017   #1

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit SP1
How Can I Determine The Location of The Page File In My Computer?

I am planning to do a clean install in my Windows 7 HP 32 bit desktop computer and as part of the process, would like to know how to determine the location of the page file and how to make it contiguous.
I would like to be able to increase its size but do not know how to find the location of the setting.

Also, should I update Windows before or after the clean install and would it be better to make it automatic or manually.

Lastly, should I put the firewall up first?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 May 2017   #2

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

If you're going to use Windows Firewall, it should be automatically running - unless you have a 3rd party firewall installed.
Unless you are going to "lock in" a size for the page file, which resides on the root directory of what is often called "c drive", the OS partition, I don't know how to make the pagefile stay contiguous, let's see what others have to input.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 May 2017   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I don't see how you're going to update windows BEFORE a clean install. So, do it after. Make sure you have all the drivers for your machine before you format the disk though, or you will regret it.

The firewall is enabled by default, on both Windows, and likely your router as well.

To change the size of your page file:
  1. Open start menu
  2. Right click My Computer and open Properties
  3. Open advanced system settings, and go to the advanced tab
  4. Open performance settings, and go to advanced tab
Should be able to manually configure the size of the page file from there
My System SpecsSystem Spec

02 May 2017   #4
Wandering one

Win7 sp1 Pro 64bit / XP sp2 Pro (games only)

With a SSD does it really matter about the page file ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 May 2017   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Wandering one View Post
With a SSD does it really matter about the page file ?
Depends on thee amount of physical RAM you have - With computers that have 8GB or more it's probably unnecessary. In fact, if you have a standard HDD, you're disk speeds will improve with the lack of a page file. Some applications may still require a page file if you lack sufficient amount of memory. Like adobe cs6
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 May 2017   #6
Wandering one

Win7 sp1 Pro 64bit / XP sp2 Pro (games only)

I was not questioning if P-F is needed, the question was for the OP's original entry regarding location. I am fully aware of the need for a P-F as I have a video edit program that won't do even the smallest work without a page file.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 May 2017   #7

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit

In a system with more than one drive it is best to physically disconnect those you are not going to install the OS on. This ensures that all partitions will be on the desired drive. It also avoids the possibility of accidentally installing the OS on a data drive, particularly bad if it contains data. People have done this, and not just novices either. All it takes is a moments carelessness and it is done.

Regarding pagefile location:
With a conventional drive it is often said that the pagefile should be at the beginning of the drive as this maximizes transfer rate. The thing is that transfer rate is the least important of hard drive parameters for pagefile performance. This maximizes performance of something that doesn't matter at the expense of something that does, seek time. You would really want the pagefile near your most often used files. You can't really know that and pagefile location isn't normally controllable anyway. Let Windows put it where it wishes. None of this matters at all with an SSD.

If you have an SSD that is where the pagefile should be. SSD performance characteristics are an almost perfect match for typical pagefile usage patterns. The performance characteristics of a conventional drive could hardly be more wrong. Don't be concerned with limited writes of an SSD. It takes a lot of work to kill an SSD with excessive writes and they usually die for unrelated causes. Or more likely it is replaced because it is too small.

Even with a conventional drive having the pagefile contiguous matters little. It won't impact performance unless the number of fragments are truly huge, thousands. That won't happen unless you are desperately short on disk space. And with an SSD even that won't matter. If the pagefile is initially contiguous it will stay that way, even after extended heavy use.

Bottom line is just install the OS without regards to pagefile considerations. Unless you have a specific need to do otherwise and you understand what you are doing just leave it on system managed, the default setting. Otherwise you are just making things more complicated for no gain. Most attempts at optimizing the pagefile are a waste of time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 May 2017   #8

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1

You can see where the pagefile is using:

Start > Run then type sysdm.cpl press Enter. Advanced Tab > Performace > Settings > Advance Tab > Virtual Memory > Change

Or you can use swapadd utility available here:

Tools and utilities for Windows

From my machine:
How Can I Determine The Location of The Page File In My Computer?-swapadd.jpg
How Can I Determine The Location of The Page File In My Computer?-virtual-memory.jpg
Anyway ignore the pagefile swap as everyone says that it doesn't work unless moved to another drive but I find it works okay for me using a RAMdisk.

Basically you can make your pagefile a fixed size if you want to but I don't believe you can make it contiguous as it shrinks and grows in size anyway.

Should be okay if you stick to using system managed size.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 May 2017   #9

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit Build 7600 / Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP3

Just for the record, programs like Photoshop, Illustrator and all the Corel suite cry like babies if they don't see a paging file... I have 16 Gigs of RAM in my newest laptop which I rarely pass over 25% or 35% usage, even having a virtual machine open I never use more than 50% (That is, having Photoshop, VMware Player -with a Windows 7 SP1 Machine, 2 gigs-, Clips Studio Paint and Firefox -playing a stream-, open at the same time)

But... even having plenty of RAM, I found that Photoshop starts behaving oddly and lagging if it doesn't find a paging file... so I had to set one of 2 gigs just for the program to not start acting weirdly...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 May 2017   #10

windows 7 64bit

You can make it contiguous by defining the initial size=maxsize.
Note I did not put it on my C drive which was SSD, but had issues with BSOD and windows did not save log file because pagefile must be on boot disk and at least size of ram. Thus i moved to C drive and made 17 mb initial =max.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 How Can I Determine The Location of The Page File In My Computer?

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