Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

HDD Partition and Page File??

Last response: in Windows XP
Share
June 6, 2003 7:47:04 PM

I have read so many different opinions on using mulitiple partitions on your HDD. Some things I do not understand.

1. If your OS is on its own partition and gets messed up, when you format and fresh install the OS, you will still need to reinstall ALL of your Apps, even if they are on a seperate partition, to put the entries back in the registry.

2. Page File. From what I gather, the placement of the Page File from best to worst:

Separate HDD on Separate IDE Cable
Separate HDD on Same IDE Cable
Different Partition on Same HDD as everything
Same Partition on Same HDD as everything

Can someone recommend any good articles and benchmark info on my above comments? Is the real world performance difference worth using Non Raid Multiple HDD??

Thanks for your help.
CCW
June 6, 2003 8:51:46 PM

Quote:
1. If your OS is on its own partition and gets messed up, when you format and fresh install the OS, you will still need to reinstall ALL of your Apps, even if they are on a seperate partition, to put the entries back in the registry.

Yes, that's exactly right ... unless you use an imaging program to back up your data, such as Powerquest <A HREF="http://www.powerquest.com/driveimage/" target="_new">Drive Image</A> or <A HREF="http://www.symantec.com/sabu/ghost/ghost_personal/" target="_new">Norton Ghost</A>. Then it is possible to reinstall all your partitions, with a minimum of downtime. The "trick" is to reinstall the images on all the partitions, leaving the OS partition for last, so the shortcuts to the programs are intact, and then to use the same drive letters for the partitions. For example, if you have two partitions, C: and E:, with your games and programs on E:, even if you wipe the drive clean and start over from scratch, be sure to install the E: image back in a partition with the drive letter E:. Also, the partitions created <i>must</i> be the same size or larger than the original partitions.

Quote:
2. Page File. From what I gather, the placement of the Page File from best to worst:

Separate HDD on Separate IDE Cable
Separate HDD on Same IDE Cable
Different Partition on Same HDD as everything
Same Partition on Same HDD as everything

The optimal configuration would be to place the paging file on the first partition of a second hard disk on a separate IDE channel, (which infers a second IDE cable.) This is because of the IDE read/write limitations, which was discussed <A HREF="http://forumz.tomshardware.com/hardware/modules.php?nam..." target="_new">here</A> in the Hard Drive forum. Having this partition contain nothing but the paging file would give the best overall results, because the paging file fragmentation would be minimized.

The next best configuration would be on the first partition of a second hard drive on a different IDE channel, but <i>without</i> the partition being specifically dedicated to the virtual memory.

The third best configuration would be to place the paging file on the first partition of a slaved disk on the <i>same</i> IDE cable. Again, either the partition could be dedicated to the file for the best results, or just placed on a partition where other data would eventually be located.

The fourth option would be to place the paging file on the boot partition of the primary, bootable disk.

In all of the above scenarios, it's automatically assumed that the paging file would be customized in size, both minimum and maximum, in order to stop Windows from changing the size of the file, which is known as paging (hence the name of the file.) It should also be assumed that if the paging file is placed on a second disk, that the hard drive is at least as fast (or faster) as the primary disk. There's not much point to moving the file if the second disk is 5400 rpm and the primary is 7200 rpm. The file should be on placed the fastest device.

Fifth best would be to place the paging file on the boot partition of the primary disk, and to allow Windows to manage the file.

One option is <i>not</i> really an option at all. There should not ever be two paging files, regardless of size, on different partitions on the same physical disk.

You aren't going to find much benchmarking information on the subject, IMHO. This is not about the hard drives so much, per say, as whether there is enough physical RAM in the system to keep Windows or third-party applications from needing to access the paging file. Once the file is accessed, then the hard drive speed comes into play. But, hey, you are welcome to look around, and if you find something interesting, post it here so we all can take a gander at it.

As for articles, I think I can arrange to steer you toward a few that will add some validation to my statements:

<A HREF="http://www.theeldergeek.com/physically_setting_the_page..." target="_new">Physically Setting the Page File Size</A>

<A HREF="http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=308417" target="_new">HOW TO: Set Performance Options in Windows XP</A>

<A HREF="http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=314482" target="_new">How to Configure Paging Files for Optimization and Recovery in Windows XP</A>

<A HREF="http://www.msnwar.com/Tutorials/Optimize_the_Paging_Fil..." target="_new">Paging File Optimization Tips</A>

Personally, I keep a 2MB paging file on the boot partition, and the rest on the first partition of a slaved disk. It's not a dedicated partition, simply because WinXP so rarely accesses the file that fragmentation is just not a problem. The system I am currently working on has 512MB of RAM, so my paging file is 766MB, minimum and maximum, 1.5 times the actual physical memory size -- (minus the 2MB on C:, which totals out to 768MB.) The 2MB file on the bootable partition is to avoid memory errors if the partition that contains the bulk of the paging file is missing for one reason or another.

I hope this helps sort out your questions.

Toey

<A HREF="http://forums.btvillarin.com/index.php?act=ST&f=41&t=32..." target="_new"><font color=green>My System Rigs</font color=green></A>
___________________________________________

<A HREF="http://forums.btvillarin.com/" target="_new"><b><font color=purple>BTVILLARIN.com</font color=purple></b></A> - <i><font color=orange>Your Computer Questions Answered</font color=orange></i>
!