Swap file to 2nd physical HDD?

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

Just heard an interesting suggestion I've not seen/heard before -

If a pc has two physical hdd's - transfer the "swap" file from C: to the 2nd
HDD - this speeds up a pc.

Anyone know of this - and, does it work? If so, How does one transfer the
swap file ?

Len
13 answers Last reply
More about swap file physical
  1. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    The swap file (pagefile.sys) can be on any partition on any internal hard
    drive.

    Whether it really speeds up the PC yto have it on a second hard drive
    depends on how much you use the swap file. If you have enough RAM, the is
    almost no need for a swap file, and even the slowest RAM is a lot faster
    than than any hard drive.

    However, if you want to "move" it, do NOT use copy&past; that will not work.
    Instead, use MyComputer, properties, advanced, performance, settings,
    advanced, virtual memory, change. Then set the amount of swap space on each
    partition. To "remove" it from C:, highlight C: and then click "no paging
    file" near the bottom of the window. Click "set" to apply that change. To
    add it to some other partition, highlight that partition and set a finite
    min and max size. Click "set" to aplly the change. I suggest that you set
    the min and max to the same number, as this prevent fragmentation of the
    pagefile. Then, close the windows, and reboot.

    "Yabbadoo" <lsdolby@ignore.ntlwor.com> wrote in message
    news:R3GRd.307$_5.46@newsfe4-gui.ntli.net...
    > Just heard an interesting suggestion I've not seen/heard before -
    >
    > If a pc has two physical hdd's - transfer the "swap" file from C: to the
    > 2nd HDD - this speeds up a pc.
    >
    > Anyone know of this - and, does it work? If so, How does one transfer the
    > swap file ?
    >
    > Len
    >
    >
  2. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    Yes, if it is indeed a separate physical drive.
    No, if it is a different partition on the same physical drive.

    In any case, the improvement will be quite negligible unless your actual RAM
    is very low for how you are using the computer.

    --
    Frank Saunders, MS-MVP, IE/OE
    Please respond in Newsgroup. Do not send email
    http://www.fjsmjs.com
    Protect your PC
    http://www.microsoft.com/security/protect/


    "Yabbadoo" <lsdolby@ignore.ntlwor.com> wrote in message
    news:R3GRd.307$_5.46@newsfe4-gui.ntli.net...
    > Just heard an interesting suggestion I've not seen/heard before -
    >
    > If a pc has two physical hdd's - transfer the "swap" file from C: to the
    > 2nd HDD - this speeds up a pc.
    >
    > Anyone know of this - and, does it work? If so, How does one transfer the
    > swap file ?
    >
    > Len
    >
    >
  3. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    Hi, Len.

    Bob Harris told you how to "move" the swap file. My only quibble would be
    that I like to check the System Managed Size. But this is one of those
    "religious" questions on which expert opinions vary, so I don't want to
    start an argument about it. ;^}

    Each physical hard drive has a stack of platters that spin on a single
    spindle. Do you remember jukeboxes? A typical jukebox has lots of discs
    but only a single head with a needle to track the grooves in a record. The
    analogy is not perfect, because a computer hard drive has multiple
    read/write heads and can access the top and bottom of multiple platters at
    the same time. But the multiple heads are all on a single arm assembly and
    they all move as a unit. They all must access the same cylinder (same track
    number on all platters) at any one time. If you have multiple HDs, then you
    have multiple spindles and multiple gangs of heads that can move
    independently of the other spindle(s).

    If your swap file is on the same spindle as your working program, the heads
    must move to the swap file and then back to the program. This is true
    whether the swap file is in the same partition or in a different partition
    on a different platter, so long as it is on the same spindle using the same
    heads. But if the swap file is on the other spindle, those heads can be
    writing simultaneously while the main working heads are reading.

    As Bob and Frank said, today's HD speeds and RAM sizes make the question
    academic for most of us, most of the time. If it's easy to arrange in your
    case, do it. If it's a hassle for you, don't bother.

    RC
    --
    R. C. White, CPA
    San Marcos, TX
    rc@corridor.net
    Microsoft Windows MVP

    "Yabbadoo" <lsdolby@ignore.ntlwor.com> wrote in message
    news:R3GRd.307$_5.46@newsfe4-gui.ntli.net...
    > Just heard an interesting suggestion I've not seen/heard before -
    >
    > If a pc has two physical hdd's - transfer the "swap" file from C: to the
    > 2nd HDD - this speeds up a pc.
    >
    > Anyone know of this - and, does it work? If so, How does one transfer the
    > swap file ?
    >
    > Len
  4. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    If the two drives are IDE drives on the same controller you will not see
    much advantagle. If they are on different controllers or are SATA drives
    then there would be an occasional gain. With more than 512mb of ram I would
    leave the swap file alone and let the system manage it.

    --
    Colin Barnhorst [MVP Windows - Virtual Machine]
    (Reply to the group only unless otherwise requested)
    "Yabbadoo" <lsdolby@ignore.ntlwor.com> wrote in message
    news:R3GRd.307$_5.46@newsfe4-gui.ntli.net...
    > Just heard an interesting suggestion I've not seen/heard before -
    >
    > If a pc has two physical hdd's - transfer the "swap" file from C: to the
    > 2nd HDD - this speeds up a pc.
    >
    > Anyone know of this - and, does it work? If so, How does one transfer the
    > swap file ?
    >
    > Len
    >
    >
  5. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    Bob, Frank, thank you. I have 256MB + 512MB chip added (512 chip in first
    slot) and no problem.

    Take your point that "sufficient" RAM avoids extensive swap-file usage, so I
    guess there's little or no benefit for me. However, for those poor souls
    who are trying to use XP with only 256MB, this seems to be a short-term
    work-around while they save up the pennies to get another RAM chip!

    Thanks again, Len.

    "Yabbadoo" <lsdolby@ignore.ntlwor.com> wrote in message
    news:R3GRd.307$_5.46@newsfe4-gui.ntli.net...
    > Just heard an interesting suggestion I've not seen/heard before -
    >
    > If a pc has two physical hdd's - transfer the "swap" file from C: to the
    > 2nd HDD - this speeds up a pc.
    >
    > Anyone know of this - and, does it work? If so, How does one transfer the
    > swap file ?
    >
    > Len
    >
    >
  6. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    In news:R3GRd.307$_5.46@newsfe4-gui.ntli.net,
    Yabbadoo <lsdolby@ignore.ntlwor.com> typed:

    > Just heard an interesting suggestion I've not seen/heard
    > before -
    >
    > If a pc has two physical hdd's - transfer the "swap" file from
    > C: to
    > the 2nd HDD - this speeds up a pc.
    >
    > Anyone know of this - and, does it work? If so, How does one
    > transfer
    > the swap file ?


    You've already been told how. Let me address the "whether."

    The slowest part of using the page file (or of using any file) is
    moving the drive heads to and from it. So with a single drive,
    you want the page file close to the other frequently-used files
    on the drive, and that should be the partition with Windows on
    it.

    For the same reason, if you have more than one drive, it's best
    to put the page file on the least frequently used drive
    (normally, *not* C:), and on the most-frequently-used partition
    on it.

    Two points, though:

    1. If you do this, you need to keep at least a small portion of
    the page file on C:.

    2. How much this will help performance depends on how much you
    use the page file. Many people running Windows XP these days have
    enough RAM to hardly ever use the page file, and the actual
    benefit of making this change is very slight.

    --
    Ken Blake - Microsoft MVP Windows: Shell/User
    Please reply to the newsgroup
  7. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    Salut/Hi Ken Blake,

    le/on Sat, 19 Feb 2005 16:05:10 -0700, tu disais/you said:-

    >The slowest part of using the page file (or of using any file) is
    >moving the drive heads to and from it. So with a single drive,
    >you want the page file close to the other frequently-used files
    >on the drive, and that should be the partition with Windows on
    >it.

    That makes eminent good sense.

    >For the same reason, if you have more than one drive, it's best
    >to put the page file on the least frequently used drive
    >(normally, *not* C:), and on the most-frequently-used partition
    >on it.

    Yup, again, that makes excellent sense.

    >1. If you do this, you need to keep at least a small portion of
    >the page file on C:.

    Why?

    >use the page file. Many people running Windows XP these days have
    >enough RAM to hardly ever use the page file, and the actual
    >benefit of making this change is very slight.

    I have 512Mb RAM, and often have 4-5 different applications open at the same
    time. Apart from the obvious method of messing about with the swap file to
    see what happens, is there any simple way of checking any system parameters
    to see whether changing the settings would be likely to benefit me? I know
    that I often had memory problems when running Win 98 on the same machine.
    --
    All the Best
    Ian Hoare
    http://www.souvigne.com
    mailbox full to avoid spam. try me at website
  8. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    Ian Hoare <ianhoare@angelfire.com> wrote:


    >>1. If you do this, you need to keep at least a small portion of
    >>the page file on C:.
    >
    >Why?

    Simple reason is because Windows just seems to be happier when there
    is one. Windows uses the page file for a variety of different
    functions, including the "system failure memory dump". For that item
    specifically the swap file must be on the boot drive because what
    Windows does is to dump the RAM content to the page file and then
    rename it. Much faster than creating a new file.


    >
    >>use the page file. Many people running Windows XP these days have
    >>enough RAM to hardly ever use the page file, and the actual
    >>benefit of making this change is very slight.
    >
    >I have 512Mb RAM, and often have 4-5 different applications open at the same
    >time. Apart from the obvious method of messing about with the swap file to
    >see what happens, is there any simple way of checking any system parameters
    >to see whether changing the settings would be likely to benefit me? I know
    >that I often had memory problems when running Win 98 on the same machine.


    Get the free Page File usage utility written by MVP Bill James from
    http://www.dougknox.com/xp/utils/xp_pagefilemon.htm or from
    http://billsway.com/notes_public/WinXP_Tweaks/ and use it to see how
    much actual usage is being made of the page file.

    This is also the best way to assess the potential benefits from adding
    more RAM. Generally an actual page file usage of 40 mb or more on a
    regular basis is an indicator that more RAM would have a beneficial
    effect on overall performance.

    Good luck


    Ron Martell Duncan B.C. Canada
    --
    Microsoft MVP
    On-Line Help Computer Service
    http://onlinehelp.bc.ca

    "The reason computer chips are so small is computers don't eat much."
  9. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    Salut/Hi Ron Martell,

    le/on Sun, 20 Feb 2005 01:57:56 GMT, tu disais/you said:-

    >Ian Hoare <ianhoare@angelfire.com> wrote:
    >
    >
    >>>1. If you do this, you need to keep at least a small portion of
    >>>the page file on C:.
    >>
    >>Why?
    >
    >Simple reason is because Windows just seems to be happier when there
    >is one.
    [snip]

    >Windows does is to dump the RAM content to the page file and then
    >rename it. Much faster than creating a new file.

    Thanks for the explanation, Ron.

    >>I have 512Mb RAM, and often have 4-5 different applications open at the same
    >>time. Apart from the obvious method of messing about with the swap file to
    >>see what happens, is there any simple way of checking any system parameters
    >>to see whether changing the settings would be likely to benefit me? I know
    >>that I often had memory problems when running Win 98 on the same machine.
    >
    >
    >Get the free Page File usage utility

    [snip]
    > and use it to see how much actual usage is being made of the page file.

    Excellent information. Thanks very much indeed.

    --
    All the Best
    Ian Hoare
    http://www.souvigne.com
    mailbox full to avoid spam. try me at website
  10. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    "Yabbadoo" <lsdolby@ignore.ntlwor.com> wrote in message
    news:R3GRd.307$_5.46@newsfe4-gui.ntli.net...
    > Just heard an interesting suggestion I've not seen/heard before -
    >
    > If a pc has two physical hdd's - transfer the "swap" file from C: to the
    > 2nd HDD - this speeds up a pc.
    >
    > Anyone know of this - and, does it work? If so, How does one transfer the
    > swap file ?
    >
    > Len
    >
    >
    To transfer or change the swap file. Open system properties-
    advanced-performance options- advanced- virtual memory and change location
    or sizes of page files.

    I have not noticed any performance benefits in terms of speed. However as I
    have the Windows page file on the second hard drive in it's own partition I
    have never had to de-fragment this volume and the main drive hardly ever
    needs defragmenting. In addition I have set up separate "Scratch files" to
    take care of the huge working files that can be generated when using Adobe
    Photoshop.

    Richard.
  11. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    It's also a good place to put the print spooler, if you use it. You will
    not get any benefit from the second drive for the page file if both drives
    are IDE using the same IDE controller. You will get some if the drives are
    on different controllers (different ribbon cables).

    --
    Colin Barnhorst [MVP Windows - Virtual Machine]
    (Reply to the group only unless otherwise requested)
    "Richard" <hawkinsfamily3@DIGITbtinternet.com> wrote in message
    news:cv9ojn$lfn$1@sparta.btinternet.com...
    >
    > "Yabbadoo" <lsdolby@ignore.ntlwor.com> wrote in message
    > news:R3GRd.307$_5.46@newsfe4-gui.ntli.net...
    >> Just heard an interesting suggestion I've not seen/heard before -
    >>
    >> If a pc has two physical hdd's - transfer the "swap" file from C: to the
    >> 2nd HDD - this speeds up a pc.
    >>
    >> Anyone know of this - and, does it work? If so, How does one transfer the
    >> swap file ?
    >>
    >> Len
    >>
    >>
    > To transfer or change the swap file. Open system properties-
    > advanced-performance options- advanced- virtual memory and change location
    > or sizes of page files.
    >
    > I have not noticed any performance benefits in terms of speed. However as
    > I have the Windows page file on the second hard drive in it's own
    > partition I have never had to de-fragment this volume and the main drive
    > hardly ever needs defragmenting. In addition I have set up separate
    > "Scratch files" to take care of the huge working files that can be
    > generated when using Adobe Photoshop.
    >
    > Richard.
    >
    >
    >
  12. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    Yabbadoo wrote:

    >Just heard an interesting suggestion I've not seen/heard before -
    >
    >If a pc has two physical hdd's - transfer the "swap" file from C: to the 2nd
    >HDD - this speeds up a pc.
    >
    >Anyone know of this - and, does it work? If so, How does one transfer the
    >swap file ?

    See www.aumha.org/win5/a/xpvm.htm

    Unless you are decidedly short on RAM, it is unlikely that moving it
    will make much difference in practice

    --
    Alex Nichol MS MVP (Windows Technologies)
    Bournemouth, U.K. Alexn@mvps.D8E8L.org (remove the D8 bit)
  13. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    Salut/Hi Ron Martell,

    Following up on my previous..
    le/on Sun, 20 Feb 2005 01:57:56 GMT, tu disais/you said:-


    >Get the free Page File usage utility written by MVP Bill James from
    >http://www.dougknox.com/xp/utils/xp_pagefilemon.htm or from
    >http://billsway.com/notes_public/WinXP_Tweaks/ and use it to see how
    >much actual usage is being made of the page file.
    >
    >This is also the best way to assess the potential benefits from adding
    >more RAM. Generally an actual page file usage of 40 mb or more on a
    >regular basis is an indicator that more RAM would have a beneficial
    >effect on overall performance.

    I got the utility, and copied it to its own little subdirectory. I then ran
    it, and got the little window with the parameters to be filled in. However,
    no matter what I filled in, the program fails to recognise that it isn't
    being run for the first time, and doesn't show a window with or without swap
    file usage.

    Do you or does anyone else know what could be causing this odd behaviour?


    --
    All the Best
    Ian Hoare
    http://www.souvigne.com
    mailbox full to avoid spam. try me at website
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