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Windows 7: Pagefile.sys

10 Aug 2011   #91
GeneO

Windows 10 Pro. EFI boot partition, full EFI boot
 
 

I have an SSD with 8GB of memory. I have the pagefile set to approx. 640MB on it to cover my ass. I have an additional 8192 MB pagefile on a high speed scratch disk (low end SSD) because I have the space, though I don't think it is necessary.

It is a good idea to have enough pagefile on your system disk to be able to take a core dump.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Aug 2011   #92
Digerati

Windows 7 Profession 64-bit
 
 

Quote:
Well the truth of this matter falls into two different categories...

1. If you have an SSD with 8GB of Ram, disable the pagefile. By having a pagefile on an SSD will wear it down over time and this is a fact. So this relates to me and I have it disabled with no issues whatsoever. I have a second traditional hard drive on my ThinkPad within a drive adapter and have virtual memory set to that. This works perfectly!

2. If you have a a traditional hard drive with 8GB of memory, I would disable it. Why? Because before I bought my SSD, I was running Virtual machines with no pagefile and running other programs which did not take up more than 4.5GB of RAM with no issues at all.

However, everyone's case is different so test out yourself and narrow it down to possibilities. Remember, if you have 8GB of Ram and disable pagefile, you are literally freeing up 8GB of space on your hard drive. If you are a serious gamer and run other programs, I recommend using the Windows 7 monitoring program just to see how much Ram is being taken up. If you're not going over the 5GB or 6GB or Ram, disable pagefile. Windows 7 and Vista does a much better job than XP without pagefile with 8GB or more of Ram.
I disagree with all of that. There is no reason whatsoever to disable the page file. The page file is designed to optimize the use of RAM. It is silly to pretend any of us are smarter than Windows or Microsoft, a company with master programmers like Mark Russinovich with 20+ years of experience using swap/page files. This is Windows 7, not Windows 3.0. Microsoft software engineers and designers have spend countless manhours figuring this out and fine tuning the process.

If you disable the PF, that forces Windows to put everything it wants into faster RAM. Sounds good, but it is not. Why? Because the PF is used for lower priority data - like open Word documents, and unused pages. Forcing it all into RAM means less room for more important data - which means the CPU and OS will have to wait while data is dumped out of and read into system RAM, and normal (not PF) drive locations.

If you disable the page file, you can't use all the RAM you have because Windows preallocates virtual memory in the expectation it may need it, even though it may never be used. Without a PF, that allocation must be made in system memory, tying it up and preventing it from being used for anything else, like important data.

If the PF is not needed, it will not be used. It does NOT drag down the system when not used. Therefore, there is no benefit to disable it. Don't confuse allocated memory with used memory.

@medeiom - Show us one article, white paper, or report (not some poster on a forum) that shows disabling the PF improves performance. Just one is all I ask.

Quote:
Remember, if you have 8GB of Ram and disable pagefile, you are literally freeing up 8GB of space on your hard drive.
If you are worried about the page file taking up too much disk space, then the correct solution is to free up space, or buy more space. Disabling the PF is bad advice, I don't care how much RAM you have.
****

You are also incorrect about PFs on SSDs - at least with today's SSDs with load leveling. Yes, it will wear it down over time - but that's like 10 - 20 years!!! Or more! Let's not forget that some computers are now coming equipped ONLY with SSDs and that trend will continue as prices continue to drop.

See Engineering Windows 7 - Should the pagefile be placed on SSDs?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Aug 2011   #93
medeiom

Windows 7
 
 
response

I should have mentioned that this only applies to 64bit OS. I also should have made it clear not to disable pagefile on 32bit OS simply because we all know 32bit can not allocate more than 3.39GB or RAM.

The suggestions to disable pagefile on any SSD is recommended by ALL SSD makers..Crucial, Corsair, OCZ, etc. Solid State Drives are in a sense flash memory.

This site from Microsoft seems to suggest and I quote "However, as the amount of RAM in a computer increases, the need for a page file decreases". So you can interpret this article from Microsoft any way you like..

How to determine the appropriate page file size for 64-bit versions of Windows

Let me also re-phrase that those who are using traditional hard drives, should experiment THEMSELVES on whether or not they need a pagefile with more than 4GB of RAM. However, if you have an SSD with more than 4GB...personally, I would disable it and I stand by that. Why? because I have been running without it and have experienced NO ISSUES whatsoever. I have not come across any papers to suggest my theory, but most users with SSD's on forums have done the same..so this is just my opinion.

Please tell me on one occasion where Windows Vista or Seven decided to use over 6GB of RAM while running on an SSD? Again, this is debatable and your answer is NOT a fact. Most users like yourself, fear of some kind of corruption or crash if pagefile is set to "none". But again, I stress that users should experiment themselves on the truth. Isn't that how we learn and experiment from tests??

Conclusion, you look up on every site on what to do with pagefile and they all will tell you disable OR do not disable. Again, your suggestions draws interest and at the same time it DOES NOT explain why I have been so successful on running Win7 64bit with 8GB of Ram with no Pagefile for the past 18 months.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Aug 2011   #94
Digerati

Windows 7 Profession 64-bit
 
 

Quote:
Most users like yourself, fear of some kind of corruption or crash if pagefile is set to "none".
Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! I NEVER said or implied anything of the sort. So please, do NOT put false words in to my mouth, twist my words around, or imply I said something I did not!

I said, and I will say it again, there is no advantage to disabling it. Disabling does not improve performance, but instead may degrade it, and there is plenty of documentation out there to support that.

Disabling the PF on the boot disk prevents dumps from being saved - dumps that may be beneficial when troubleshooting. And as your link notes, that could be critical on mission critical systems.

Quote:
"However, as the amount of RAM in a computer increases, the need for a page file decreases". So you can interpret this article from Microsoft any way you like..
I interpret it exactly the way it was written. And NO WHERE does it say to disable it. Not once! So even your own link does not support your position.

So I ask again,
Quote:
@medeiom - Show us one article, white paper, or report (not some poster on a forum) that shows disabling the PF improves performance. Just one is all I ask.
Quote:
The suggestions to disable pagefile on any SSD is recommended by ALL SSD makers..Crucial, Corsair, OCZ, etc. Solid State Drives are in a sense flash memory.
Come on! You cannot make a wild claim like that with no substantiating evidence and expect no one will check it out!

You are absolutely WRONG. Over and over again, all those providers give instructions on how to setup the SSD as the boot drive. And NONE, NOT ONE, says to move or disable the PF. If I am wrong - show us!

Crucial - Maximimize your SSD's capabilities as a boot drive
Corsair - No settings within your operating system need to be adjusted for a Corsair SSD drive to run at optimal performance.
OCZ
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Aug 2011   #95
seth500

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote:
Disabling the PF on the boot disk prevents dumps from being saved - dumps that may be beneficial when troubleshooting. And as your link notes, that could be critical on mission critical systems.
Agreed Digerati I have an SSD the only thing about the page file is that it takes up space which in my opinion is minimal to say the least.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Aug 2011   #96
Digerati

Windows 7 Profession 64-bit
 
 

Quote:
which in my opinion is minimal to say the least.
Exactly! And if the page file in encroaching too much on your free disk space, it is time to free up some space by cleaning out clutter and installing programs no longer needed, or buy more space.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Aug 2011   #97
medeiom

Windows 7
 
 
response

When Microsoft's link stated "as the amount of RAM in a computer increases, the need for a page file decreases". The words "the need for a page file decreases" seems to me that sounds like you don't need Pagefile with a huge amount of Ram.

You can debate about this all you want. I'm just telling you that IT WORKS for me. So the question is still unanswered..why is it that for 18months, I have not experienced any issues with respects to Pagefile set to disable. Why is that?? No crashes, no freezing, no error messages and no BSOD. It works perfectly for me!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Aug 2011   #98
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

This subject has been beat on for years and if one wants a certain answer you can find it on the net. For me let Windows 7 handle the page filling and ram usage; it does it quiet well.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Aug 2011   #99
Wishmaster

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

If you need extra space on the SSD that badly, my advice would be:

Leave at least a 500MB PF on the SSD with the OS.
Move the main PF to a secondary HD or disc.

The PF can be System managed (which is prefered) or you could lower its size.
A 4GB Static if you have 8GB RAM for example

Ideally, leaving it as system managed is the best way to go, especially if space is not a issue.


However, do NOT disable it. You will eventually run into issues even though it may not be immediatly apparent.


If you ever run into a issue where a application or game crashes to desktop with a "Virtual Memory Error" its usually because there is either:
1) No Page File
2) Page File is too small.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Aug 2011   #100
Digerati

Windows 7 Profession 64-bit
 
 

Quote:
When Microsoft's link stated "as the amount of RAM in a computer increases, the need for a page file decreases". The words "the need for a page file decreases" seems to me that sounds like you don't need Pagefile with a huge amount of Ram.

You can debate about this all you want. I'm just telling you that IT WORKS for me.
"The need decreases" does not imply it goes away completely, nor does that suggest in ANY WAY, to disable it!

It also does not suggest disabling the PF improves performance. Therefore, why disable it? Especially when there is documented downsides to doing so - dumps for example, and some programs actually look for a PF.

Quote:
I'm just telling you that IT WORKS for me. So the question is still unanswered..why is it that for 18months, I have not experienced any issues with respects to Pagefile set to disable. Why is that?? No crashes, no freezing, no error messages and no BSOD. It works perfectly for me!
So what? You have failed to show where there is ANY advantage whatsoever to disabling it!!!! So why do it? For a couple gigs of disk space??? And more importantly, why recommend others disable it when their computing habits and programs they run are unknown? Especially when there's nothing to gain?

The PF works perfectly fine for 100s of millions of Windows users who let Windows manage it. They get memory dumps. They never have to worry about VM as long as they have free disk space, there's no issues with a program looking for a PF. And if Windows wants to use it for mundane stuff, it can, and will - and again not impact performance.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Ladyback Bear
This subject has been beat on for years and if one wants a certain answer you can find it on the net. For me let Windows 7 handle the page filling and ram usage; it does it quiet well.
And many years ago, 500Mb was a monster and very expensive drive too, and Windows memory management was not so refined. I always used to recommend a fixed size PF with XP. But Ladyback is right. Windows 7 is here and it does an outstanding job at managing resources. But for her comment that any certain answer can be found on the net, we are still waiting for one to show disabling the PF is a good thing.

@medeiom - If you could show ANY reason, proof or supporting document that says disabling the PF is a good thing, then I am all ears. But your only point being your computer did not crash or freeze with it disabled is just not cutting it. It is not a valid reason. Computers don't crash or freeze because it is enabled either.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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