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Windows 7: Why do I need 2nd pagefile.sys for 2nd physical HDD (w/16 Gb RAM)

29 Jan 2012   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Why do I need 2nd pagefile.sys for 2nd physical HDD (w/16 Gb RAM)

System Specs:
Win 7 Ult. x64
Ver.6.1.7601 SP1 Build 7601
CPU Intel Core i7 Q740 @ 1.73Ghz
16 Gb RAM
NVidia GTX 460 M
BluRay Burner
USB 3.0

I've got 2 separate physical hard drives in this laptop, each is an SSHD (Seagate Model ST95005620AS 500 Gb traditional storage plus a 4 Gb SSD hybrid), for a total of 1 terabyte of storage, divided into 1 logical drive for each SHHD.

Momentus XT Solid State Hybrid Hard Drive | Seagate

I completely understand why the operating system (and some other hillbilly software) still needs a paging file, at least the size of the RAM (16 Gb of wasted space, ugh, plus the slowdown of the HDD).

So here is my question (finally)... WHY do I also need a 2nd paging file, given the specs above, for the 2nd physical drive? Could that really make anything better?

* EDIT: I neglected to mention at first the HISTORY OF ACTIONS TAKEN.

STEP 1: No Paging File

Previously, I had turned off the paging file completely on both drives (keep in mind here, that my logical drives precisely correspond to my physical drives on this pc). The system had trouble, so I researched it.

STEP 2: Let System Manage it

Next, based on research, I let the system manage the completely. When I did that, the OS created two 16 Gb pages files (one on each drive) for a total of 32 Gb.

Again, I am somewhat frustrated by this, since I've never seen a total MAX PEAK SYSTEM MEM go over 9 Gb (with tons of stuff open), and I've got almost double that in physical ram available.


Reference Articles:

  1. LifeHacker
  2. TweakHound
  3. Microsoft
NOTE: The problem with most reference articles, is that they don't address a system configuration like mine, with such high specs ~OR~ that they don't provide much detail on the pros/cons of paging file usage on other non-system physical drives, dedicated for that drive (the 2nd page file situation).

NOTE 2: I'd rather not have to twiddle the old eyes on page after page of life-sucking config instructions for setting up performance counters (eg., the MS formula for calculating paging file size). I'm not that good with hardware and have rarely used it.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jan 2012   #2

Windows 7 x64 Professional SP1

Hello Paul,

You don't need a page file for the 2nd physical drive.. In fact with 16 GB RAM installed your pagefile should only be a maximum of 1 GB tops...

Having 8GB RAM myself, and not having any applications that require it, i opted to disable the page file, but others will disagree with my choice, for each system has a unique set of requirements in terms of the applications that are used on it...

Moving the page file from your system drive(partition) to the 2nd one will be beneficial also...


My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jan 2012   #3


While having a large amount or ram one can do without a pagefile but....Some programs require one, years ago maybe 2000-2001 I had a large amount of ram over 2 gig[back then huge], every thing ran fine w/o a pagefile, except Photoshop and proggies like that. With Win 7 I do not, it handles everything pretty well stock, although I do miss hacking the os to death as one could do with xp, can with win 7 but don't need too.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

29 Jan 2012   #4

Main - Windows 7 Pro SP1 64-Bit; 2nd - Windows Server 2008 R2

I keep a 1GB Page File on my C: drive just in case (hillbilly software! ).

That's it. :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jan 2012   #5

Windows 8 Pro

I recently upgraded my RAM to 6 GB.Would it be wise to disable pagefile or limit it in size??
I have only 320 GB HDD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jan 2012   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dreamer View Post
I recently upgraded my RAM to 6 GB.Would it be wise to disable pagefile or limit it in size??
I have only 320 GB HDD.
I would not disable it.

I"d let Windows manage it or perhaps set it to 1024 mb minimum and 2048 maximum.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Jan 2012   #7

Windows 8 Pro

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post

I would not disable it.

I"d let Windows manage it or perhaps set it to 1024 mb minimum and 2048 maximum.
I set my pagefile as you suggested.
If ever i feel some software's are acting up then will change it back to system managed.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Jan 2012   #8

Windows 10 Pro x64

System managed will set it to 1x RAM, which is fine if you have 4GB of RAM, for example. But if you have 16GB, the only time you should ever need 16GB of paging file is to capture system crash dump data in the event of a BSOD. If you need 16GB of paging file during regular usage, you need more RAM or you have a horrendous memory leak somewhere .

I usually recommend setting it to 1-2GB (fixed min and max size, to avoid fragmentation if on a mechanical HDD) on a machine with 6GB - 8GB of RAM, and with >8GB it comes down to the user and the usage patterns - with 4GB or less, though, setting it to be managed by Windows is probably the best choice. To be safe, 1-2GB is fine. For reference, and again this is just my own thing, on my 8GB workstations I find 1GB to be sufficient and on machines with 12GB or more I set it to disabled. I'm mostly doing performance log analysis or running VMs, so my analysis of my usage patterns showed me that under those loads, I didn't really need a paging file at all. If you do feel like getting rid of the paging file entirely, there are ways via perfmon to determine under your usage patterns if you can do so safely, but that is totally up to you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Feb 2012   #9

Windows 8 Pro

@cluberti i have a question here.Is pagefile in windows 7 same as swap in linux??
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Feb 2012   #10

Windows 8.1 Pro RTM x64

Yes. It is an area of the HDD that is set aside where data can be written to and from the system RAM if there is insufficient free RAM to store the currently required data. In other words, it is an extension of the main system memory, and the data stored there is that which was formerly in the main RAM. This data is moved to the paging or swap file if there isn't sufficient free (unallocated) space in the RAM to hold the data currently required. The data moved to the file is that which is currently not required. When that data is subsequently needed, it is moved back to RAM and, if there is still insufficient unallocated in the RAM, data that is not currently required is simultaneously moved back to the file (hence one of its names, Swap file). The data is transferred in what are called Pages, hence its other name, Paging file.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Why do I need 2nd pagefile.sys for 2nd physical HDD (w/16 Gb RAM)

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