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Windows Virtual Memory Settings

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Anonymous
a b G Storage
March 11, 2003 8:02:54 PM

Any recommendations? I have 2x RAID 0 Setup with 30g ATA133 7200rpm hard drives.
March 11, 2003 11:30:15 PM

But how much MEMORY do you have in your system? Virtual memory (or pagefile) is space allocated on your hard drive for your OS to swap data out of memory to make room for other applications when your RAM gets used up. Some programs are designed "swap" to the pagefile by default when they're actively being used.

The standard settings are to have 13MB more pagefile than you have memory in your system. So, for example, if you have 256MB of RAM, then you would set your minimum pagefile size to 256MB and your maximum pagefile size to 269MB (256+13).

Now some will agree with this and I'm sure some will not.

If you have enough memory, you can actually run your system with NO pagefile or virtual memory. I wouldn't suggest doing this unless you have atleast 1GB of RAM. Windows XP actually has this capability built in. Windows 2000 will not allow you to do this natively. If you try setting your virtual memory settings to zero, W2K will present an error message when you boot up, and will actually create a default pagefile for you of 20MB in size.

I know all this because I recently tried to get my W2k Machine configured with no Virtual Memory. I finally managed to get it to work by fooling W2K into thinking that it actually has a disk based pagefile, when in fact its all contained in RAM. I accomplished this by setting up a RAM Drive using a program called <A HREF="http://www.cenatek.com/product_ramdisk.cfm" target="_new">RAMDiskNT</A> and configuring the pagefile to be located on this "virtual", memory based, hard drive.

What RAMDisk does, is sets aside a portion of memory (size specified by you in the config) and Windows sees and presents this as another hard drive, even though its actually located in memory. I immediately noticed an increase in performance. Its not HUGE, but definitely noticable.

This "drive" will actually show up in Windows Explorer as an actual drive letter, and you can copy files to it, just like any other hard drive. Mind you, once you reboot, anything stored on this "drive" will be lost, unless you select the option to save the contents to an actual hard drive before shutting down.

Hope this helps and doesn't add to your confusion. If you're interested in setting up W2K with no pagefile, you can see my recent thread about it <A HREF="http://forumz.tomshardware.com/software/modules.php?nam..." target="_new">here</A>. And I'll also try to answer any other questions you may have about setting one up.

-Javic
March 12, 2003 1:40:22 AM

if you are using win2k or XP, just leave it at default size and move it to the raid array.

Honestly though ram is very cheap now, and if you have 512mb or more then the swap file usage will be minimal at best. And that will give the best performance.

<b><i>Poloticians and Nappies should be changed often... For much the same reason.</b></i>
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