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fragmented swap file

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August 14, 2003 4:30:37 PM

Hi

fresh instal, c:\ is ntfs, and 5.5 Gb for my OS only, all other apps I have installed on D:\progs. I made C:\ small to accomadate quick ghosting. I have Disk keeper 7, and did on-boot defrags, including moving ther directories to top O' the disk. However, If I leave my machine on for a bit, even with the disk keeper service disabled, XP's built in " intelligent" (lmao) whatever service moves files around . Now I have a freakin' heavily fragmented virtual memory. Additionally, I have had to leave the virtual memory settingm to it's UN godly humungous size, as whenever I adjust it, or the memory setting to " large system cache", I get the freaking "Delayed Write Failure " messages. grrrrrrr

I have re run Disk keeper boot time defrag, enabling the minimize swap file fragmentation, yet, my swap still is in5 zillion pieces, I am sure mostly due to the back ground "Optimization" of file location by Xp.

any ideas? can this built in " feature" of file location optimization be turned off?...which service is it?

/thanks

Centralization <b><i>ISN'T</i></b> the answer, it's the <b>PROBLEM!</b>

More about : fragmented swap file

August 14, 2003 5:00:52 PM

Toejam will probably be your best adviser on this, you can find one of his other posts and PM him, or wait till he comes along.

<b><font color=purple>Details, Details, Its all in the Details, If you need help, Don't leave out the Details.</font color=purple></b>
August 14, 2003 5:53:59 PM

First, try turning off Windows's prefetching, by disabling the Task Scheduler service, and cleaning out the files in the hidden Windows\Prefetch folder. Then, set the virtual memory to 2MB, (both minimum and maximum), schedule a boot time run with Diskeeper, and when it is finished, reboot into Safe Mode. Then recreate the virtual memory (set to your desired size), and reboot once more normally. It should show up as being one contiguous, unfragmented file afterwards, when you run Diskeeper again from within the GUI.

It you should need to optimize your system services list, this is a good website to browse:

<A HREF="http://snakefoot.fateback.com/tweak/winnt/services.html" target="_new">WinNT, Win2k, WinXP services</A>

I'll check back tonight and make sure that this worked out for you.

Toey

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August 14, 2003 8:55:23 PM

I sent toe a email...
maybe shoud have just posted, here was a continuation along this issue, and new - one - re config- idea
Hey Brother,
thanks for the good input! I am way comfortable with trying just about any new configs , as I am a desktop support person too.
So , anyways, a follow up question:
I have (2) Maxtor 7200, ata133 hdd's and a burner (plextor oldy 8x) . My mobo only has the 2 ide controllers.

Been playing with different configs…Always meant to get around to doing a ghost of a good setup…but never did until recently, always s just did fresh installs like silverpig..but that is getting old.…actually got my ideas and motivation going again after following the xp partition thread on this forum.

I was thinking of a new, fresh install, configuring this way:

dev0 (hdd) dev1 (hdd) dev2 (cd burner) Problem is now placement. Only (2) normal ide on board controllers, 2hdd’s + 1 burner = 3 devices
dev0 c:\ OS (5G) p:\program (rest of dev0)
dev1 s:\swap (3gb) d:\data(rest of dev1)
do you think I should dev1 (with swap and data partitions, as slave on primary channel(with the c:\) or have dev1 as slave on secondary ide with dev2(burner)as master ?or dev1 as master on secondary, with burner as slave, though that’s never recommended.

Just curious as to your experience, of course, your’e just being asked off- the record, tech to tech.

Anyone else ..what ya think about that as a good config for my gaming box..and what's yer input on the connection of the dev1 (2nd hdd)

Thanks man,



Centralization <b><i>ISN'T</i></b> the answer, it's the <b>PROBLEM!</b><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by XBarbarian on 08/14/03 07:07 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
August 15, 2003 4:15:46 AM

oh, and thnaks gain, it worked like a charm..no fragmented swap now, AND turned off a few more servicesI wasn't sure on

now about a the new config...what ya think about that idea?

Centralization <b><i>ISN'T</i></b> the answer, it's the <b>PROBLEM!</b>
August 15, 2003 4:52:14 AM

I'd recommend having both hard drives on IDE 0, and the CD-RW as the master on IDE 1. You'll have less problems with possible CRC errors that might periodically "demote" one of the IDE channels to PIO mode if you resist mixing-&-matching ATAPI and IDE devices on the same channel and cable, due to the differences in the command set, especially if the chipset in question in something other than Intel. Also, if the CD-RW needs a firmware update, it will usually need to be detected as the Master on the secondary channel, preferably without any other devices slaved on the cable, which can occasionally become damaged if not detached during the flash.

Plextor flashing programs are good about correctly locating devices, despite the positioning, but not always.

IDE 0 = Master hard drive, with 5-7GB primary DOS partition (C:) . Logical Drive on the same device, containing rest of free space (E:) , for the majority of programs and games, with the exceptions being a firewall, third-party defragmentation app, the anti-virus ... in other words, the major utilities.

Second hard drive ... partitioned however you wish, depending on your usage of the system and personal preferences. I'd suggest two partitions of an equal size (D: & F:) , to start, with the paging file in the first partition, along with downloaded software, game patches, etc ... along with personal files. The second partition; personal files and back up images of the primary partition.

I like the idea of keeping as many personal files as possible off the primary hard drive that contains the system files, just in case the drive fails. I also like the idea of keeping images in the last partition on the slaved drive, for the same reason. I know from experience that data can often be retrieved from a Logical Drive, even if a device becomes unbootable (and undetectable) in Windows, if there is access from another hard drive (or even from DOS) ... which is why I tend to waste the disk space, and still run FAT32 on my home systems. I've got enough tools to get to a hard drive with NTFS, but it's still a simpler procedure if the file system doesn't have such high encryption.

(Note: The reason I listed the drive letters in the manner above is because I prefer creating the primary partitions on both hard drives first, and then any logical drives. It's just easier for me to think of one drive starting with C:, and the other starting with D:, in order to keep the drive letters straight in my head, especially if a lot of partitions are being created at one time. I rarely partition off a slaved drive with nothing but Logical Drives, in case a user wants a dual-boot at some point in the future.)

You looking for a copy of Drive Image 2002 to play around with? I can provide some navigational coordinates, if you catch my drift.

As for the size of the paging file, 3GB is a pretty good size, and I've never needed anything quite so large, even when working with Photoshop. Really, if you've got 512MB of RAM or more, 768MB is plenty. Just for the heck of it, load up the system with the file this size, multi-task several major apps, and take a look at the actual usage of the file; not just the virtual memory pages that show up in the Task Manager as PF Usage. With that much RAM, you'll see that the PF Usage History chart will show up as flatlined, 99.9% of the time ... even with the Registry tweak that caches the system and loads it in up in memory during the boot.

Whatcha think?

Toey

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August 15, 2003 1:56:50 PM

Good Input once again!

SO keeping the 2 Hdds on ide 0 makes sense.Although Plextor never did put but one firmware upgrade out on the Old 8-4- devices.

I've always run fat32, just the last few instals did I go NTFS. But there does seem to be slightly more overhead with NTFS, so back to safe and <i>EASY]</i> dos, it is.
3Gb for a swap only partition is HUGE, since I have 1Gb ddr333 ram in dual channel, <b>BUT</b> XP seems to really demand to have a lot, even when it never uses it. That has been my experience, how 'bout you? So, I figured I'ld just give it plenty of room, regardless.

Incidently, I can't seem to run these days the way I like, with mem configured for background service, ie: Large system cache enabled, other wise when I try, I blow up with "Delayed Write Failures". So, I've let it be for now.

Here's my rig, which over the last few weeks, I basically replaced everything as I came into $1 grand from selling my ol EQ toon :) 

Biostar M7NCD-pro (Nforce2 ultra 400 chip set)
Athlon 2500+, 2x 512 ddr333 (samsung chips) at 2.5-2-2-6, 333fsb, no OC's other than mem timings
Antec case and P/s 400w,
ATI Radeon 9800pro, on 8x agp, no OC
2x 40 Gb Maxtors 7200's, ata133
3com 3c905c-tx pci nic

Incidently, I also have Drive Image 2002, although it 's not supposed to support xp, also have ghost 7.5. I am more familiar with ghost, so using that now, although one weird issue...it shows both hdds as locations to get images from, but doesn't list the slave drive as a location to put the image file too? weird.

Centralization <b><i>ISN'T</i></b> the answer, it's the <b>PROBLEM!</b>
August 15, 2003 4:29:45 PM

Quote:
I've always run fat32, just the last few instals did I go NTFS. But there does seem to be slightly more overhead with NTFS, so back to safe and EASY] dos, it is.
3Gb for a swap only partition is HUGE, since I have 1Gb ddr333 ram in dual channel, BUT XP seems to really demand to have a lot, even when it never uses it. That has been my experience, how 'bout you? So, I figured I'ld just give it plenty of room, regardless.

Actually, no ... I haven't seen the <i>OS</i> demand that much room for the virtual memory pages. After tweaking a system for performance, I can usually boot with about 70MB required, on average. But you may be running some applications that need quite a bit more than that once opened. It really depends more on the programs themselves than the operating system.

I normally set up with two paging files; a 2MB file within the primary partition, and 766/1536 on the slaved drive. So far, I haven't seen the 768 minimum reached at any point, even when working with some fairly heavy duty applications and/while multi-tasking. But you can monitor your system and see what happens, in order to determine the best size. You've got the space to waste if you want to experiment with a large file ... there's no hard-and-fast rule.

Quote:
Incidently, I can't seem to run these days the way I like, with mem configured for background service, ie: Large system cache enabled, other wise when I try, I blow up with "Delayed Write Failures". So, I've let it be for now.

I've seen a bug in the past with certain chipsets that caused the Delayed Write Failure error when Maxtor hard drives are configured as DMA 6. Try setting them up as DMA 5, and see if the problem goes away. It might also have something to do with the memory timing speeds, if you've got them set agressively. It can sometimes be tricky to get the system completely stable when balancing the FSB and the memory speed, even if the board claims to support everything you prefer. You might need a BIOS update, or be forced to up the memory voltage slightly, especially with Samsung chips, which often do not overclock well without a little help.

I'm not that familiar with Ghost, as Drive Image is my preference. But Drive Image 2002 works like a champ with WinXP, as long as there's nothing odd about how the partition tables are written (such as when using overlay software for partitioning.) I stick with good 'ole FDISK, most of the time, and rarely see any problems.

I've been moving away from Symantec apps for several years; too many issues when first installing the programs, getting them updated, etc. For instance ... I used to be a big fan of Norton Utilities, but when the package became SystemWorks, the whole thing deteriorated into bloatware, IMHO, and I've been using slimmer, more dedicated programs for specific purposes since that point. Time is money, if you know what I mean! :lol: 

More?

Toey

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August 15, 2003 6:36:50 PM

Sure! more is better! hell I have a zillion questions, love to talk hardware. Its funny, Ive worked in corp IT shops for a couple years now, but <b>NOBODY</b> I've worked with in any of them, is ever interested in hardware like I am. It blows my mind to work with certified x,y,z people, that work all day on pc's, then find out they buy their stuff from Dell or Gateway...WTF?

did ya get the email I sent ya from my job ( the .gov one?)

Anyways, I really dont run big apps. At home , Im a purist, never have more than one app open, except a browswr and outlook, beyond that, just Soldiers of Fortune, or whatever game, (opened alone at that time )not like my workstation, where 3 browswer windows , outlook, and 2 emails, remedy, a couple network shares, etc.

Anyways, I meant that it ( xp pro - corp) doesnt really use that swap file, yet... the damn Delayed write errors started before new mobo, or dual mem, or aggressive timings etc...hmmm...so maybe it' s tied to the fast maxtors. The Maxtorss would be the only common var. However, I believe from many boards Ive read, Its believed (the delayed write fail) to be a Microsft issue, but well, now Im wondering again. It all started with the 9800pro driver install. So, I felt, screw it, Ill jsut give xp a big swap, the pain in the ass, and leave the mem progs/background setting alone, and since doing that, I haven't had the delayed blow outs.

See another post of mine in one of the blast threads, but yea,, I HATE Norton. It sux. Can't tell you how many times I have had virus <b>IN</b> the Norton folder! lmao I run AVG anti virus - free and rocks!

btw...how much volt chnage to mem? like .1 ? I only aggressively timed the mem with the turbo setting in the award bios from biostar on this board...want to start trying to learn and do a bit of OC'ing...never have to this point...where would I begin? so far...fsb at 333 default, all else basically default, just mem at turbo..which allows the 2-2-6 setting

Centralization <b><i>ISN'T</i></b> the answer, it's the <b>PROBLEM!</b><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by XBarbarian on 08/15/03 02:40 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
August 16, 2003 3:02:28 PM

Quote:
Sure! more is better! hell I have a zillion questions, love to talk hardware. Its funny, Ive worked in corp IT shops for a couple years now, but NOBODY I've worked with in any of them, is ever interested in hardware like I am. It blows my mind to work with certified x,y,z people, that work all day on pc's, then find out they buy their stuff from Dell or Gateway...WTF?

I know exactly what you mean. Maybe it's the <i>great</i> software bundle included with the proprietary systems? :lol:  :lol: 

I did get your e-mail, yes.

Quote:
btw...how much volt chnage to mem? like .1 ? I only aggressively timed the mem with the turbo setting in the award bios from biostar on this board...want to start trying to learn and do a bit of OC'ing...never have to this point...where would I begin? so far...fsb at 333 default, all else basically default, just mem at turbo..which allows the 2-2-6 setting

Exactly. And if this doesn't fix the problem, you might want to avoid the turbo setting; I've seen several systems that just weren't completely stable with timings this aggressive, regardless of the reported memory specs. Not all chips are created equal, even if they are hand-picked.

I've got a couple of the 80GB Maxtors running on a VIA board, combined with WinXP Pro Corp, and I keep them at DMA 5. 18 months ... no errors. Go figure.

However ...

That's a funny thing about the Radeon drivers coinciding with the delayed write error. I did some searching around on various 'boards, and you aren't the first to mention it. I wonder if it's a minor compatibility issue of some kind?

Toey

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August 16, 2003 4:23:09 PM

Compatability was my first thought, but the dseeper I dug on the Delayed Write error issue, the more I found it wasn't just folks with ATI products..so...

How can I get my HDD's to dma 5...it seems to only give me the option of "DMA if avail"..which auto selects the 6, even in safe mode..its either on or off..is there a reg location to adjust it?

Centralization <b><i>ISN'T</i></b> the answer, it's the <b>PROBLEM!</b>
August 17, 2003 5:03:06 AM

I know that there <i>should</i> be a way to change from Ultra DMA 6 to Ultra DMA 5, and it's probably done in this Registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{4D36E96A-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}, and it's subkeys, \0000, \0001, \0002.

But ... I don't know what the correct timing modes must be for your system and chipset. For mine, it's like this:

Primary IDE Channel (0002):

MasterDeviceTimingMode 0x00010010 (65552)
MasterDeviceTimingModeAllowed 0xffffffff (4294967295)
MasterDeviceType 0x00000001 (1)
MasterIdDataCheckSum 0x0001810d (98573)

SlaveDeviceTimingMode 0x00010010 (65552)
SlaveDeviceTimingModeAllowed 0xffffffff (4294967295)
SlaveDeviceType 0x00000001 (1)
SlaveIdDataCheckSum 0x00018e10 (101904)

Secondary IDE Channel (0001):

MasterDeviceTimingMode 0x00000410 (1040)
MasterDeviceTimingModeAllowed 0xffffffff (4294967295)
MasterDeviceType 0x00000002 (2)
MasterIdDataCheckSum 0x000224d3 (140499)

SlaveDeviceTimingMode 0x00002010 (8208)
SlaveDeviceTimingModeAllowed 0xffffffff (4294967295)
SlaveDeviceType 0x00000002 (2)
SlaveIdDataCheckSum 0x000282c8 (164552)
UserSlaveDeviceTimingAllowed 0xffffffff (4294967295)

And under the Bus Master Controller (0000):

TransferModeTiming 18 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 15

It's unlikely that any of this will help you, but I figured it couldn't hurt for you to look and compare.

According to the Maxtor KB, there is not yet a utility that allows the user to adjust the DMA settings for specific devices on a channel, in case of DMA speed compatibility issues. But the sheer mention of this means that there is an ongoing problem, obviously.

I managed to avoid Ultra DMA 6 by <i>not</i> updating the BIOS to a version that supported the faster mode. Otherwise, I'd be in the same boat. But that was an issue with the VIA chipset drivers, and I don't know if it applies to your mainboard chipset and driver set.

IMHO, more information is needed.

Toey

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August 18, 2003 1:19:20 PM

Thanks again for the great info toe

for now..just gonna keep it with the default setting for mem usage, and avoid the delayed write issue.

all is well at this time...got hdds partitioned as we spoke about above..hdd 1 = c: OS (6gb) and E:\(programs) remainder of hdd

hdd2 d:\(swap) (3gb), f:\ data- remainder of hdd
all boot defragged, directories consolidated,etc. Played with OC a tad, but my mem is pc2700, and playin with the multiplyer casued the mem to not be happy, so gonna save for some quality pc3200+, then try to OC a tad.

All is well!
Thanks again

Centralization <b><i>ISN'T</i></b> the answer, it's the <b>PROBLEM!</b>
!