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  1. #1
    WS Lounge VIP Browni's Avatar
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    Rather than go off topic in the thread where the image below was posted (I feel there may be a few replies) I don't think it is wise to have a seperate partition for the pagefile on the same drive, especially when it is at the opposite end from the Windows installation.

    Thoughts anybody?


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    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Yes, thats what they say...
    He would be far better off with the pagefile being both on a separate similarly fast internal hard drive, certainlay not slower,
    and a smaller pagefile to remain on the primary, with the os.
    A pagefile of some sort should always remain on the primary drive residing with the operating system...even if it is just a few Hundred MBs.

    I could provide links to this logic, but I'm too [s]damn[/s] tired right now.

    I believe Ted's intention would be to preserve space in his operating system for his Acronis backups.
    And, if I'm not mistaken, I believe he is on his laptop in that image.
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    A pagefile of some sort should always remain on the primary drive residing with the operating system...even if it is just a few Hundred MBs.
    In my experience this is not necessary.... (this is not conclusive though) The machine in the following screenshot has no paging file other then the SWAP partition and has always had very good performance and is perfectly stable.

    I am sure Ted's intention is to move the pagefile out of his image of his OS drive. This is a good idea. With the specs of his machine I doubt that there is little if any paging going on so it is probably a non issue for performance purposes.

    The best performance where paging is happening is a paging file on partition on a fast NON OS drive that is the first partition on the drive.....

    [attachment=90445:disk.JPG]

    While my OS partition is huge on this machine, there is only 47.7gb of used space on it for OS and Data. This leaves a macrium image size of about 28gb which allows me to create one image for the machine with no problem. The 500gb internal drive will hold about 15 of them.
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  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    There are various thoughts, both pro and con of having the page file on a separate partition. Having the page file on a separate partition will prevent page file fragmentation. A Google search will show various opinions on this subject. I have chosen to follow the pro side. bbearen has a definite opinion of this on the pro side, although for the life of me I can't find anything this morning. Perhaps he will chime in as well.

    My Image of my OS using Acronis is about 22 GB so I have a fair amount of unused space on my C drive. I do not at present have large amounts of data in my D Drive so I also include this partition when I image although I do not have to (only about 10 GB image size) Acronis does allow me to restore any or all partitions of my choosing from each image I create. I also like to keep my images as up to date as possible to decrease the amount of time to restore to present day when I screw something up. In fact, it's time for a new image because of some changes yesterday.

    So basically this is one of those topics that either side will have various arguments to back their side. I have found no appreciable changes to performance either way.
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  5. #5
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    My 2˘

    This synopsis comes from MS Knowledge Base articles and has been verified by my own use and testing.

    Having a fixed (not system-managed) page file on a dedicated partition (no other files stored, Recycle Bin turned off) will not fragment. The following MyDefrag log file is on a page file partition that has been in place since well before 2005. As can be seen, there is no fragmentation. The Recycle bin is a placeholder that Windows 7 will replace at every boot. The Recycle bin is turned off for the page file partition. System Restore is turned off on all partitions.

    [attachment=90573P.PNG]

    In such an environment, fragmentation on the system drive caused by Windows-managed page file resizing is also eliminated. The closer that the dedicated page file partition is to the beginning of the disk, the faster the access time (although this might be merely fractions of a millisecond, depending on just how close to the beginning). Having a dedicated page file partition at the beginning of a separate hard drive is the ideal. 32-bit Windows has a maximum page file size of less than 4096MB (4095MB is accepted) per drive/partition, up to a 16 drive maximum. If one has multiple page files on multiple drives, Windows will select the page file on the least-accessed drive as its working pagefile.

    In Windows 7, a crash dump file will be written to the Windows folder in the absence of a page file on the system drive (in my experience), so no loss of functionality there. My "pro" side for a dedicated page file partition with a 32-bit Windows maximum page file size is:

    Ability to format in FAT32 (less file system overhead than NTFS)
    No page file fragmentation.
    No system drive fragmentation attributable to Windows page file resizing.
    No disk read/write cycles or CPU cycles used to resize the page file.
    Decreased pagefile access time (variable according to pagefile partition placement).
    No virtual memory error popups - ever.
    Set-it-and-forget-it.


    On this machine, the OS partition is first on the disk, then the 8MB BootIt NG partition, then the FAT32 page file logical drive, followed by my other logical drives. My OS partition is 20GB, much smaller than most, so I would consider that my pagefile is, for all practical purposes, as close to the beginning of the disk as the page file inside an OS partition of a system with a larger OS partition than mine.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Myers View Post
    bbearen has a definite opinion of this on the pro side, although for the life of me I can't find anything this morning. Perhaps he will chime in as well.
    This thread may be what you were looking for.

    This machine's partitions. Note that the page file partition is the first logical drive in an extended partition.

    [attachment=90450:BPartitions.PNG]

    Note also that there is no page file on the system partition

    [attachment=90456:Pagefile.PNG]

    And that the system partition is the target for dump files

    [attachment=90457:BPartitions1.PNG]

    These are my main machine's partitions. (The "Images" logical drive is not for drive images; it's pictures in various file formats.) Note that the page file partition is only a bit over 10 GB from the beginning of the hard drive, and is on a separate physical hard drive from Windows 7. XP and Windows 7 share the same pagefile partition.

    [attachment=90570:PPartitions.PNG]

    I realize that my scheme might appear quite complicated to many. Believe it or not, my aim is to simplify. The partitioning only has to be done once. I'm not looking to improve performance; I've already found the sweet spot. I simply don't want to have any performance degradation over time. Using my setup, fairly simple routine maintenance and my backup regimen does that; there is no performance falloff on my systems.

    If I were to lose both hard drives on my main machine, I could replace the drives, boot from my BootIt NG floppy, restore partitioning and formatting information, then the OS, Programs, Data, everything, just by feeding DVD's to the drive. The DVD's will be from different dates, but they will all be current (there is no real need to repeatedly backup something that doesn't change, or changes rarely). A few months back I lost one drive, and did just that (post #58).
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    mercyh:

    Have you tried using that mysterious Kingston drive for ReadyBoost? Wasn't the theory of that somewhat akin to the idea and function of the pagefile? At least it is a separate drive, with a faster access time, if and only if the wiring that carries the signal is fast enough and the flash drive itself is suitably fast.

    Almost no one reports significant results from their trials, but it intrigues me still, and the drive in that screen shot might be eligible for a test.

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    Quote Originally Posted by peterg View Post
    mercyh:

    Have you tried using that mysterious Kingston drive for ReadyBoost? Wasn't the theory of that somewhat akin to the idea and function of the pagefile? At least it is a separate drive, with a faster access time, if and only if the wiring that carries the signal is fast enough and the flash drive itself is suitably fast.

    Almost no one reports significant results from their trials, but it intrigues me still, and the drive in that screen shot might be eligible for a test.
    That's just a usb thumb drive that happened to be plugged in when I made the image. I'm pretty sure it wouldn't speed things up as it is the slowest drive on the machine.

    I have watched disk activity on the performance monitor while performing very intensive processes. With the pagefile the only thing on S: any time there is a read or write to S: it is paging activity. I see very little activity on that drive (maybe one read/write in 15-20 seconds during very high utilization and none under normal usage). I don't see how a faster drive would change performance with this low activity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by peterg View Post
    Have you tried using that mysterious Kingston drive for ReadyBoost? Wasn't the theory of that somewhat akin to the idea and function of the pagefile? At least it is a separate drive, with a faster access time, if and only if the wiring that carries the signal is fast enough and the flash drive itself is suitably fast.

    Almost no one reports significant results from their trials, but it intrigues me still, and the drive in that screen shot might be eligible for a test.
    Readyboost only helps on machines with a small amount of RAM, usually < 2GB and/or slow disk drives. If you have a choice always add RAM rather than using Readyboost. Modern disk drives of 7200 RPM or higher often are more than fast enough to outperform a USB Readyboost device. Also, if you have an SSD as your boot device you'll likely not be offered Readyboost.

    See Take a closer look at Readyboost & Keeping tabs on Readyboost.

    Joe
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    Quote Originally Posted by mercyh View Post
    I have watched disk activity on the performance monitor while performing very intensive processes. With the pagefile the only thing on S: any time there is a read or write to S: it is paging activity. I see very little activity on that drive (maybe one read/write in 15-20 seconds during very high utilization and none under normal usage). I don't see how a faster drive would change performance with this low activity.
    This machine is a core 2 Quad in the 2.4ghz class with 4gb of RAM running Win7 32bit professional.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeP View Post
    Readyboost only helps on machines with a small amount of RAM, usually < 2GB and/or slow disk drives. If you have a choice always add RAM rather than using Readyboost. Modern disk drives of 7200 RPM or higher often are more than fast enough to outperform a USB Readyboost device. Also, if you have an SSD as your boot device you'll likely not be offered Readyboost.

    See Take a closer look at Readyboost & Keeping tabs on Readyboost.

    Joe
    Thanks for the links Joe. I confess this is a subject I like to keep alive, and I'm about the only person who mentions it. You might take a another look at the second link yourself, where the author says that ReadyBoost does not equal RAM, and discusses it at some length.

    I certainly agree that a solid-state drive is a whole different ball game, but the idea that was discussed at one time of having a solid state version as part of a hard drive (which I think was implemented in at least one case) or on the motherboard intrigues me. The external version is always worth a try simply because it costs nothing more than a bit of time with a component we almost all have on hand. For practical purposes, it is free if you are lucky enough to have it work for you. It may be even more interesting if the long-delayed USB3 hardware is all in place (sometime in the next millennium).

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    I did read the article and understand that Readyboost does not equal RAM. However, on low RAM systems Windows will have quite a bit of extra disk access to handle pagefile access. That is where you'll see the most impact for Readyboost. For most users more RAM means less disk access.

    The best thing most people can do is try it. If you like it keep it. If you don't notice anything don't bother with it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeP View Post
    The best thing most people can do is try it. If you like it keep it. If you don't notice anything don't bother with it.

    Joe
    That was helpful. I think the biggest bang for the buck for those with low RAM is to start tweaking, with Aero the first to go.

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    Having the paging file in a separate partition on the same disk as the operating system is counter productive due to the longer seeks to go back and forth between the paging file and your applications. The best place for the paging file is usually in the OS partition. It should also be a fixed large size allocated contiguously. (Change the page file size to zero, defragment the disk, then set up a larger paging file.) The next best possibility if a lot of data access is involved would be to place it in the next partition with the data files.

    I have a fixed size paging file in the same partition as the OS. The paging file was created after the disk was defragmented so the paging file is not fragmented. Since the paging is more like virtual memory I found that it is better to have too much than not enough and set it to just under 4 GB in size. This improves application operation as there is more likely to be a contiguous area in this virtual memory than a smaller paging file where an application is scattered to different areas of the paging file. If the paging file is small but just big enough, the system can run sluggishly. I have found this out over the years at work when I go to a new machine. The paging file is usually set to 1.5 times the memory size, but since I have a tendency to have many applications open at once, with this small of a paging file the system runs slowly generally with much disk thrashing. This could also be caused by not enough physical memory in the machine. Increasing the size of the paging file, especially if it is created on a defragmenteded disk so that it is continuous can greatly improved system performance. This has been true on other operating systems. (The worst was a DEC workstation where the optimal paging file size was about 8 times the initial paging file size. Unfortunately in that case I had to have an admin increase the size for me. The best that I could get him to go for was 2x steps. Each increase reduced disk thrashing until a size was reached where the disk thrashing went away and the system speed picked up dramatically.)

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    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeH View Post
    Having the paging file in a separate partition on the same disk as the operating system is counter productive due to the longer seeks to go back and forth between the paging file and your applications. The best place for the paging file is usually in the OS partition. It should also be a fixed large size allocated contiguously. (Change the page file size to zero, defragment the disk, then set up a larger paging file.) The next best possibility if a lot of data access is involved would be to place it in the next partition with the data files.
    This is not necessarily true. The page file (pagefile.sys) is located on the root of the system drive. If one changes the page file to zero and defragments the hard drive, then sets up a fixed 4 GB page file, the size of the file will likely cause it to be written behind all the other files and folders on the system drive/partition, away from the beginning of the hard drive, since the defragmentation will not leave enough room in between other folders/files for a contiguous 4 GB file.

    Since t
    he majority of users also have the Users folder and the Program Files folder located on the system drive, this would place pagefile.sys many GB away from the beginning of the hard drive, probably a minimum of 40-50 GB.

    There is also the difference in file overhead between FAT32 and NTFS; FAT32 is a 'quicker' file system. Having a dedicated partition for the page file allows formatting in FAT32. Windows 7 will not install on a FAT32 partition.

    If you'll look closer at the images in post #5, you can see that my page file is only a bit more than 20 GB from the beginning of the hard drive.

    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

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    So here's what Microsoft has to say on the subject.
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