Swap Drive Errors
In setting up my laptop this evening, I was trying to set up my swap drive on a USB 3 eternal drive. I couldn't though, as I kept getting errors at boot. It didn't say so specifically, but could it have been that the USB 3 driver was loading after the swap drive initialized -- or was trying to and that is what the error was? Can't I have a swap drive on a USB 3 external? I've had them on USB 2 drives -- but do USB 2 use the same type of driver loading logic that USB 3 does?
I've never had this error before and it was strange...
I went back and set it up on a separate partition on the hard drive in the laptop, and now it seems to be fine.
Why would you want the pagefile on an external drive? It will most likely slow down your system.
It's probably a driver/chipset issue, the USB3 driver loads too late or too slow during the boot process to be used, try updating the driver to the latest version. You may be able to set the USB3 drive as a 'fixed' drive from Device Manager, rather than a removable drive.
I wouldn't use USB 2/3 for a swapfile/page file if it could be avoided.
As the swap file is integral to the system, removing the USB device may upset Windows. Ditto satrow.
Joe / Paul / satrow;
I had heard many moons back that using a different drive than the main O/S for sway would be faster. It was. But at that point I had two internal drives. I had just assumed that "all drives were equal." I did this with a USB 2 drive fine. It seems that there is something in the way or order that the USB 3 drivers load that may be the issues, as satrow noted.
I also thought that I could use a USB flash drive as a swap file -- but, now I dunno.
It's often seemingly a case of just how things seem to work out. I have heard many times that 'ReadyBoost' does nothing perceptible to a PC's speed, but it certainly seems to in my experience. It eliminated the drag delay in areas like context menus showing.
Ah well. Thanks guys. It seems the idea of using a USB 3 is not viable for the purpose of a flash drive.
ReadyBoost is a viable way of speeding up certain aspects of Windows usage, notably loading small, non-consecutive files from the swap file (ReadyBoost mirrors the swap file for those types of files; Windows will pull the paged out files from the drive with lowest activity/fastest speed). Generally, the faster your internal drives and the lower the queues, the less obvious ReadyBoost's effect will be, also, the more RAM you have, the less there will be paged out and RB will have less to do.
The System drive almost always has the longest disk I/O queues, Windows does a lot of logging, NTFS is constantly updating file dates and placement data, etc., so a 2nd swap file on a secondary internal drive is a good idea for heavy users/extended sessions.
You could find out how much swap file is actually being used in those heavy sessions and, if you're not coming close to your current limits, reduce the size of them and run some tests before setting them ~20% above the max actual usage.
Here (2xSSD 1xHDD 8GB RAM) I have 100MB fixed paging file on each of the SSDs, plus a variable 100-1024MB on the HDD. Current usage (7 day up time) 441MB, which indicates that, for best speed, I should increase the paging file size on the SSDs to ~100MB System + 350MB secondary and leave the 100-1024MB on the HDD as an emergency measure/overflow. That would give me 550MB minimum with Windows able to increase it to 1474MB, more than enough for my normal usage.
When I had two internal drives I had the swap separate from the o/s. That seems to not work now on my laptop, since the second drive is external. So I moved it back to the main drive.