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Paging File Location Question

Last response: in Windows XP
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August 28, 2010 3:07:51 AM

I have read on a few places, (here included) that some performance can be gained by dedicating a small partition on a seperate hard-drive to the paging file (XP Pro).

My question is: if I only have a single hard-drive, would I see any benefit from separating the paging file into a small partition?

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August 28, 2010 3:43:48 PM

Short answer: No.

Long answer: probably not.


The main reason for moving the pagefile to a 2nd hard drive is to try and reduce the movement of th drive head. eg Say you have a disk 'C:' witch contains your system an program files, and second disk 'D:' which holds the pagefile. When your machine needs to use the pagefile it is almost always already performing some disk operations (on C:) . Having the pagefile on D: means that the C: drive head does not have to move from it's current location to the pagefile location and then back again.

The only reason I can think of to put the pagefile on it's own partition when you have only one physical drive is to eliminate the possibility of pagefile fragmentation. But I would suggest that this would likely result in more distance for the head to move between partitions.
If you are intent on trying it out I would suggest a partition just large enough to hold the pagefile at the beginning of the disk, and a defrag program that moves the most used files (mainly system) to the beginning of the disk (eg MyDefrag).

I don't know what the level of your understanding about disk operation is, but if the above sounds confusing then I would suggest you try to read up a little more on the topic before attempting any changes.
If you don't already defragment your disk then this alone will likely make a noticeable improvement to your system operation.
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September 4, 2010 12:55:05 PM

Best answer selected by Wolfe9128.
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