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Windows 7: pagefile & hyberfil

24 Apr 2010   #11
CarlTR6

Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit
 
 

Digerati's advice is spot on. Win 7 is not XP; MS has page file management down pat in Win 7.


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24 Apr 2010   #12
Digerati

Windows 7 Profession 64-bit
 
 

Quote:
Has my system with 8GB of RAM ever used the virtual memory? Yes.
It does not matter how much you have - Windows expects to see, and will use VM regardless.

I move my PF off my boot drive too.
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24 Apr 2010   #13
CommonTater

XP Pro SP3 X86 / Win7 Pro X86
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pasquanel View Post
Well thank you all for the input and info! Interesting range of thought on this subject.
Just to satisfy my own curiosity I have turned off the page-file and so far so good but I may turn it back on
just to be on the safe side. I checked the WEI and there was no change there and I can't say I notice any appreciable increase in performance. So it may well be something I should leave alone!
I've run without pagefiles on 3 OSs since 1999. I've never once had a problem because of it but I don't run any big resource hungery apps. I'm no gamer and the biggest job I do is from time to time reprocessing a video so I can get away with that even on surprisingly small amounts of memory... WinXP Pro and Win7 Pro... 2gb ram and never a problem.

Depending on the software you are running you may or may not run into a problem... I would suggest you wait till is screws up then turn it back on.

One of the reasons you probably haven't noticed a performance boost is that your pagefile wasn't being used. And that's just a horrible waste of disk space!
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24 Apr 2010   #14
CommonTater

XP Pro SP3 X86 / Win7 Pro X86
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by CarlTR6 View Post
Digerati's advice is spot on. Win 7 is not XP; MS has page file management down pat in Win 7.
Not to be overly contrary -- but, given Digerati's perspective, how do you explain that I can run without a page file on a mere 2gb of ram?

The thing is that Windows will use a pagefile if it's there, it will fill it with bits and pieces of operating system, chunks of data and so on. But it will do that even if memory is not "full to the brim"... it swaps stuff when a window loses focus, when a DLL is inactive, when the system is preparing to standby and under a dozen other circumstances, even if there is a ton of space left in memory. This may be safer from the view of data loss, but ultimately it does take time and space to manage and houseclean a pagefile...

The thing is that when everything is fresh the pagefile is basically a 0 filled file but as Windows starts putting bits and pieces of memory into it it has to set up a system not unlike a disk directory to find them and swap them back into ram as needed. This starts out nice and tidy and slowly gets more and more messy over time. Killing the pagefile may not do anything obvious on a new machine... but try it on one that's 3 years old and in daily use... It's quite the revelation... (Of course Win7 isn't there yet)

Yes Win7 appears to be much better at pagefile management than XP was but the same core elements are still present in the kernel and can be tweaked via the registry in exactly the same way... so I'm guessing they may have cleaned up their code but not written anything new.

This is why I advised that he should give it a go and switch back if it screws up...
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24 Apr 2010   #15
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

I think best is to observe the Hard faults count in Resource Monitor > Performance tab. Then you know what's going on. Interestingly enough you get the odd page fault even if there are tons of available RAM - MSE (msmpeng.exe) is notorious for that.
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24 Apr 2010   #16
Digerati

Windows 7 Profession 64-bit
 
 

Quote:
And that's just a horrible waste of disk space!
No it isn't. And so what if it is? If you are that low of disk space where the few gig taken up by a PF matters, then you have other problems - and certainly you are not a typical user - for most users have plenty of disk space. And I note, used disk space has zero impact on performance.

Quote:
Not to be overly contrary -- but, given Digerati's perspective, how do you explain that I can run without a page file on a mere 2gb of ram?
Whoa! That's not my perspective - please don't twist my words around, or insinuate something I did not say. I never said or implied ANYTHING approaching you could not run without a page file! And furthermore, 2Gb of RAM, even by today's standards, could hardly be called, "mere".

Quote:
The thing is that Windows will use a pagefile if it's there, it will fill it with bits and pieces of operating system, chunks of data and so on. But it will do that even if memory is not "full to the brim"... it swaps stuff when a window loses focus, when a DLL is inactive, when the system is preparing to standby and under a dozen other circumstances, even if there is a ton of space left in memory. This may be safer from the view of data loss, but ultimately it does take time and space to manage and houseclean a pagefile...
No. Loses focus? No. It uses very refined algorithms to guess what data it might need next, or to temporarily store data it knows it will need again soon. You did not read what I said earlier. As I said, the priority stuff goes in RAM. But more to the point, stuffing stuff in there is what it is supposed to do! Forcing everything into RAM, by eliminating the PF, causes your total memory to be used up faster!!! Why? I said it earlier - because many programs (the OS, Office, your security programs) use VM. If no VM, your system RAM will be used, and locked out from other uses.

Quote:
The thing is that when everything is fresh the pagefile is basically a 0 filled file but as Windows starts putting bits and pieces of memory into it it has to set up a system not unlike a disk directory to find them and swap them back into ram as needed. This starts out nice and tidy and slowly gets more and more messy over time. Killing the pagefile may not do anything obvious on a new machine... but try it on one that's 3 years old and in daily use... It's quite the revelation... (Of course Win7 isn't there yet)
Oh wow! Sorry, but that's not how it works. The contents of the Page File are cleared the tables at every shutdown. The contents are then rebuilt during next use and from there, constantly evolve, depending on the expected tasks - not time. Yes, that has to be managed, but unlike data stored normally on the drive, that mapping is done in fast RAM, not the slow MFTs.

This "same core elements" argument is so old and just as flawed. Just because the NT kernel is still used, it does not mean it is the same, or suffers the same limitations for EVERY aspect of older versions. And for the record, for the vast majority of XP users, Windows managed PFs worked just fine too - with no problems - as long as there was sufficient free disk space for the page file, and the creation of OS and program temp files.

But hey! If you want to limit the virtual memory resources your fully capable OS has access to, that's fine - but don't believe for a minute you know better than the eggheads at Microsoft - or that it improves performance, as suggested. I ask again, if you believe disabling the PF improves performance, please show some substantiating evidence - like links to a real test report from Tom's HW or Anandtech or some reputable review sites.

Yes, Windows will use every byte of memory it can find - I call that a good thing.
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24 Apr 2010   #17
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote:
And that's just a horrible waste of disk space!
At less than 10 US Cents for 1GB of disk space that does not sound like an earthshaking problem.
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24 Apr 2010   #18
CommonTater

XP Pro SP3 X86 / Win7 Pro X86
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Digerati View Post
Quote:
And that's just a horrible waste of disk space!
No it isn't. And so what if it is? If you are that low of disk space where the few gig taken up by a PF matters, then you have other problems - and certainly you are not a typical user - for most users have plenty of disk space. And I note, used disk space has zero impact on performance.
I love this mentality... "There's lots of space so don't worry about it"... take a look at the rest of the world and tell me where that got us? There's lots of water our there, who cares if we piss in it?


Quote:
No. Loses focus? No. It uses very refined algorithms to guess what data it might need next, or to temporarily store data it knows it will need again soon.
Think about what you just said... "It uses very refined algorithms" ... these things do not come without taking up some CPU time and much slower disk time to administer. It's not magic... a pageFILE is a file... and it suffers all the speed and management limitations of any other disk file. Again... think what you said... "Knows it will need again soon"... like the data in a window that has just lost focus, perhaps?


Quote:
You did not read what I said earlier.
Believe me, I did.


Quote:
As I said, the priority stuff goes in RAM. But more to the point, stuffing stuff in there is what it is supposed to do!
It's what it's supposed to do when it's low on memory... swapping to disk with 70% memory available is nothing but a waste of time and space.

Quote:
Forcing everything into RAM, by eliminating the PF, causes your total memory to be used up faster!!! Why? I said it earlier - because many programs (the OS, Office, your security programs) use VM. If no VM, your system RAM will be used, and locked out from other uses.
But if you have enough memory that it never fills completely up, why is this a problem?

It all sounds good on paper, it's theoretical excellence... but born of windows 3.1 when 64megs was a gawd awful lot of ram.

My system's typical memory load running IE, a couple of compilers and and IDE, Windows SDK help files, playing tunes to work by and compiling a couple of hundred thousand lines of source code typically runs about 650megs... I have 2 gigs... Why do I need a swap file?

You may be right that I'm not a typical user... in fact, given the way most of my customers use their machines, I'm absolutely the one most likely to hit the end of ram.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Apr 2010   #19
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote:
I love this mentality... "There's lots of space so don't worry about it"... take a look at the rest of the world and tell me where that got us? There's lots of water our there, who cares if we piss in it?
Common Tater, I usually like your professional comments and read them with attention. But this is not an appropriate comment and a very poor analogy. If the man has a 1TB disk which he probably will not fill in the next 10 years, what is all the hype about a bit of pagefile or any system file. The space is there, he might as well use it. Or do you want him to save it for a rainy day.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Apr 2010   #20
CommonTater

XP Pro SP3 X86 / Win7 Pro X86
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
Common Tater, I usually like your professional comments and read them with attention. But this is not an appropriate comment and a very poor analogy. If the man has a 1TB disk which he probably will not fill in the next 10 years, what is all the hype about a bit of pagefile or any system file. The space is there, he might as well use it. Or do you want him to save it for a rainy day.
It's the lack of forethought that always gets us in trouble...

For example: 5 years ago when we decided to become a TV-less home I would have laughed right in your face if you'd told me I would end up with 2.5 terrabytes in a NAS, 8 computers on a network and a HTPC loaded with movies and music... Not only did the "new plan" suck down 4 hard disks, it ran us completely out of space three times along the way... At the beginning of this we had less than 500mb of data between us and only two computers in the house... things changed a lot and in a big hurry.

Yes, I am suggesting that economy of space is an important consideration... There were several times along the way that I would have killed for that extra 3gb taken up by a hybernation file or preyed for a way to regain a few megabytes of space in one of my data drives... Sure drives are getting bigger all the time, systems are becoming more and more powerful... but in the long run it's all a finite resource that I strongly disfavor squandering.

I apologize if my way of driving the point home was offensive... that was not my intent. It's just my normally gruff manner rising to the surface...

To put a pin in this... my point is that I see no reason to waste CPU cycles or hard disk space and time on something that I absoulutely do not need.
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 pagefile & hyberfil




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