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Windows 7: Advice needed re. Page File

16 Sep 2013   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit
Advice needed re. Page File

I wonder if the way I have my current page file(s) set up is really the best that I could arrange. There are so many different (and contradictory) recommendations on websites that I am not sure any more which to follow. This is what I have at the moment:

1. Page File on my C Drive set at min and max 1000MBs. The C Drive is a 50GB partition on a 120GB SSD. Ideally I would rather have no page file on the C Drive - both for space reasons and because I think the read/writes may shorten the life of the drive (but I am sure some will disagree!).
2. Page file (system managed) on a physically separate drive (SATA). This is on a small partition (10GBs) reserved for the PF only at the start of the 1TB drive, which has two other partitions of almost 500MBs each
3. Another page file, exactly as (2) above, but on a third (SATA) drive.

So, I have three page files. I have not removed the file on the C drive as I understand it is needed there for crash dump files etc. But what is the minimum size for that? I set it at 1000MBs after reading various threads advising this as the smallest one should allow, but given that I have 2 x 6GBs of virtual memory on other drives...? Is it possible somehow to dispense with the page file on the C drive entirely?Maybe I don't need so much virtual memory, but the two 10GB partitions are tiny compared to the overall space I have available (some 5TBs), so I might as well keep them. (Can a page file be TOO large??).

My physical RAM is 6GBs...

Be interested to see what people say - and how many people disagree with each other!!

Thanks for any input,


My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Sep 2013   #2
Microsoft MVP


I would want the Paging File on the SSD. Is it divided so that you keep data on D for purposes of keeping the C image smaller? If not I'd make it one partition and include the Paging file. Set it to System Managed on C drive. Let Win7 decide until it creates a space issue then you can trim it a bit if it doesn't affect performance, which it shouldn't with 6gb RAM.

Virtual Memory Paging File - Change
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Sep 2013   #3

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit

I must agree with gregrocker.
From a performance perspective the typical usage patterns of the pagefile are an almost perfect match for SSD performance characteristics. A conventional drive could hardly be more wrong. If you can spare the space an SSD is the best place for the pagefile. SSDs do have limited writes but under typical situations this will not be a problem. If you were to believe some misinformed articles you might get the impression that Windows is madly reading and writing to the pagefile all the time. This is not the case.

For technical reasons if you wish to have crash dump files you must have a pagefile on the Windows partition, no exceptions.
Placing the pagefile on a separate partition of a conventional drive is a bad idea with no redeeming qualities. This is often suggested as a means of minimizing pagefile fragmentation. This is a solution looking for a problem. Under typical conditions pagefile fragmentation will be virtually non-existent, even after years of heavy use. Even when the pagefile is system managed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

17 Sep 2013   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit

Thanks for the replies. I tend to agree with what you say. The problem is that I do not have so much space on the C drive now - if I keep my system restore points down to three or four then I have about 8GBs of free space on a 50GB partition. The other partition on the same SSD is also quite full (about 80%) so I don't really have the option of trying to redistribute free space on the drive.

With 6GBs of RAM (and a desktop 'gadget' which shows that there is rarely less than 2GBs of physical memory free at any one time), I suppose the page files are not accessed to any great extent (although of course they are being constantly accessed even so, as shown by the Task Manager). If I left 1000MBs of virtual memory on the C drive (clearly, as I had thought, it would not be a very good idea to set the C drive PF at zero and use the two PF partitions on the SATA drives) and deleted the other two page file partitions? I can add their small free space to other partitions on the SATA drives I suppose.

My thinking in creating the latter was based on habit and recommendations in such publications as "Windows XP Inside Out" (relatively reputable) rather than just website 'gossip' as to what was best for performance, but no doubt Windows 7 is very different from XP in this respect? Or perhaps what was written was not even true for Windows XP...

My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Sep 2013   #5
Microsoft MVP


What is so important you need it stored on a data partition on an SSD?

The point of an SSD is to first run the OS and Programs on it. Sure, User folders can benefit a bit from the speed but they suffer less if need to be moved to a HD as shown in User Folders - Change Default Location.

To have a data partition on an SSD which is squeezing out important functions of the OS like paging file, System Protection - Change Disk Space Usage, or the perfected Hibernate feature in Win7 is having one's priorities backward.

I would move the data off of D, delete it, extend C into the space, use System Managed Paging and System Protection. If space becomes tight move the User folders to HD as needed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Sep 2013   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

If space is really that much of a concern, make the C Drive PF 512MB.
Then have a system managed PF on another disk. BUT, as a last resort.

I agree with the advice given thus far.
You really are better off leaving the PF on the SSD.
Ideally, with space concerns, you'd want to have the PF, OS, and apps only on the SSD and put all other User DATA, Games, etc elsewhere.
This will give the best overall performance.

I would do as GregRocker suggests. Just use the entire SSD as a single partition.
While games and USer DATA can benefit from the faster speed, its insignificant in comparison to the OS/Programs advantages.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Sep 2013   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit

Hi. The other partition on the SSD contains just Microsoft Flight Simulator X, so it's not 'data storage' (which I quite agree would be a waste of SSD space). I have FS9 on another SSD on the PC (which I only use for flightsimming)..

In fact, I have already moved a number of very large FSX 'data' folders, some 120GBs worth onto one of the SATA drives, linked by simlink/junctions I set up (which work fine). Maybe I can find more folders within FSX which I can move and link via a junction in the same way.

I would be a bit frightened about re-allocating free space from the FSX partition to the C partition though - it's never guaranteed to work (and I have had disasters before). Am not sure what tools are best for Win7. I have some old tools that worked in XP but don't in Win7. To be honest, I don't want to buy software for what would be most likely a one-off use.. maybe someone has some suggestions?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Sep 2013   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit

Thanks .. last two posts overlapped!

I think that, rather than start reinstalling FSX on a SATA drive, I'd be best, as I said, using dynamic linking to move folders off the SSD drive, freeing up space that I could (when I find a way) move to the C partition. I'd need a stiff brandy before hitting the 'Go' button though! (There's no native tool in Win7 to do this is there???).

Anyone used this, for instance:
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Sep 2013   #9
Microsoft MVP


OK, Flight Simulator explains it then. But still not sure why you want it on a second partition.

A favorite tool to borrow space between partitions - even if they're not contiguous - which we use here since beta that never fails and is one of our most reliable: How to extend partition easily with partition magic ? Partition Wizard video help.. Use the boot CD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Sep 2013   #10

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit

OK, thanks for the advice. All done. I moved another 40GBs of folders from the FSX partition using a dynamic link and then used Mini Tool Partition Wizard (Boot version, as you suggested) to take about 20GBs from there and added the space to the C drive. Rebooted ... Slight panic as my FSX partition had gone. But Windows had simply changed the drive letter!! Fixed in a few mouse clicks..

Then, removed the Page Files from the two 10GB partitions, deleted them and used Mini Tool Partition Wizard to add the space (waste not, want not!) to the adjacent partitions on the same physical disc. Finally, set the Page File on the C drive to be managed by Windows.

All seems just fine. I can re-enable hibernation now!

I didn't even need the brandy

Thanks again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Advice needed re. Page File

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