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Optimizing the Swap/page file in Vista

Last response: in Windows Vista
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October 21, 2009 9:11:31 PM

Hi,

I saw this artical a short while back via madshrimps.be and wondered if anyone else had read it?

http://www.techradar.com/news/software/operating-system...

I'm curious what "6Gb Small PAge File" which appears at the top of the benches each time is. This appears to be advocating having a realtively small pagefile. Unfortunately the author makes no comment that I can see regardign this permutation, which I find odd.

Any of you lovely folk seen anything to contradict or substantiate this?

Also, anyone know how to get windows Vista (home premium 64 bit) to mount a ram disk on boot so that you can use it to plop your page file on? I've drawn a blank, and can only find commercial software to create a RAMDISK. Surely the facility is still part of Windows much like it used to be when we used good old DOS.

Help would be appreciated

Mike
October 22, 2009 2:02:59 PM

Creating a ram disk for a page file would be a bad thing,
It would defeat the 4g of memory that you have.
If you are thinking that a 6G page file is small then a 2G page file would be much too small.
The standard formula for a page file is 1.5 times the amount of ram that you have.

Another problem would be in the event of a BSOD. Without a page file windows wont write an error log to be used to debug the problem.

If I am correct I think that you may be wanting the page file to be deleted when you shut down and there are other ways to do that.
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October 25, 2009 9:10:57 AM

Thanks - that does somewhat fly in the face of what is being proposed by this article. The first place score in the tables puts a small page file as the performance leader, and I'm dead curious to find out the how's, why's and wherefores.

I'm now on a Core i7 rig with 6gb Ram and after seeing the performance increase of SSD's am on the lookout for one. HOWEVER, I'm terrified that with having the page file on the drive that there will be read/write problems after say 18 months - This really puts me off making that purchase, especially when I have 2x WD Velociraptors which have been great to date, and I can improve the my system performance by re-allocating a chunk of memory to act as virtual. Problem is, I don''t know how!

After you read the article what were your thoughts?

I'm not overly concerned about debugging BSODs. I must be one of the few Vista users that doesn't suffer with them. Only had 1 or 2 EVER on the 3 machines I have it installed on, and that has usually come as a result of overclocking just a little too far, or forgetting to plug the fan header in on my Shuttle unit.

Can you advise HOW to create a RAM drive to test these theories out?

Thanks for taking the time to reply.

Mike
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October 25, 2009 9:15:25 AM

Just adding a test post to see if my spec has updated. Apologies
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October 28, 2009 1:35:54 PM

As stated in the article a small page file is good up to a point, but I think the point he was trying to make was that it was a fixed size file.
The dynamic pagefile is much more prone to fragmentation than the fixed size file and would thus cause slower throughput while it has to search for the next read.

I would also tend to agree with you about the concerns of longevity of the SSD and the possibility of lost data.
But taking that idea to the next level, having the pagefile on a ram drive could potentially cause some of the same issues.
The SSD and the RD (ram drive) could both potentially drop data packets due to outside influences, the SSD due to age and the RD due to powerspikes or outages.
Either way the data is not written to a physical medium and will be foreever lost.
In the event of a BSOD the RD may not get a chance to write its data back to hard storage where a pagefile on a HDD would still be there and windows could potentially pick up the pieces. I have not tried this and cant say for sure, but it would be interesting if you do this and try it to find the answer.

As for the how to do it part of your question I found this article that looks interesting and may have to try it myself.
I am in the process of building another system that will be multi boot as this one is, but will have additional HDDs so that I can have clones of the same Op Systems so as to be better able to do expeiriments without the potential for complete system loss.
I used to run a ramdisk a long time ago on a 286 with Win 3.1 and it was fairly easy to do. The program listed below seems to have a GUI as part of it and would seem to be much easier to implement.
http://www.mydigitallife.info/2007/05/27/free-ramdisk-f...

Please post back with your results as I would be interested to see how it goes.
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