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  1. #1
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    Second drive (SR-2)

    I know this has been discussed many times, but I have recently installed a second drive, and I would welcome up-to-date advice on how to create a page file of fixed size on drive 2 and remove it from drive 1, assuming that is recommended. The current size of pagefile.sys is slightly more than 800 MB, and I can free the entire second drive so as to be able to place it at the beginning and set it at a fixed size. I have plenty of free space for present purposes, but I hope to store photos and backups.

    Drive 1 is 80 GB and has four partitions, and drive 2, with 60 GB, has one, all NTFS. I have PartitionMagic and can conveniently make adjustments. I have XP Home SP-2 on a Dell 8200, 1.7 GHz with 512 MB RAM. Any additional tips on the benefit or otherwise of having a second drive would also be welcome.

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    Re: Second drive (SR-2)

    To move the page file take a look at this MSKB article.
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    Re: Second drive (SR-2)

    I have never seen any real justification for keeping the maximum page file size equal to the initial size (as opposed to some vague assertion that "it was more efficient that way"), and I suspect with today's fast processors and disks that the overhead of having a potentially-expandable page file would be minimal. The best move is to render the page file (almost?) unnecessary by having enough or even surplus RAM...

    Any demurrers?

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    Re: Second drive (SR-2)

    <center>
    <hr>Any demurrers?<hr>
    </center>Who filed a lawsuit ??? <img src=/S/hiding.gif border=0 alt=hiding width=70 height=24>

    Seriously though.... I have to agree with John on this. With enough RAM, the page file can be eliminated for all intents and purposes.
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    Re: Second drive (SR-2)

    I'll be the one to disagree with eliminating the page file. Quite simply, Windows was designed to use a page file, even if the amount of installed RAM makes it less necessary.

    More importantly, when Windows allocates memory space to an application, lack of a page file forces Windows to lock valuable RAM for the purpose - even if it isn't being used. The end result is that any application that requires physical memory (the fastest by far) cannot access the locked portion and has to resort to disk swapping - a definite performance hit.

    I speak as a reformed page file tweaker. I now let Windows manage virtual memory because it does a good enough job on its own. I used to adjust the size based on how much RAM was installed and set it to a fixed limit, but there simply is no tangible performance benefit to doing so - and even less to be gained by eliminating it.

    A final thought: many of the misconceptions regarding the page file result from past experiences with Windows 9x, which was a completely different animal, and where tweaks could result in benefits to the user. I don't find that to be the case in modern operating systems.
    -Mark

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    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Second drive (SR-2)

    I haven't messed with my pagefile for some time now but in addition to the information in DocWatsons link, I had found that when you do move the pagefile.sys to another drive, it will not delete the old pagefile in it's prior location. You have to delete it manually.

    Personally, I moved mine to the last drive in my system and made it only 2MBs in size and forgot agout it.
    BOB
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    Re: Second drive (SR-2)

    I too, was a pagefile tweaker until Windows XP. I even leave this file on my C drive. I have NOT seen any benefit of it being on a different drive. I have left the "Default" settings for Windows to manage it. The only time I think about it, is when the subject of tweaking it is brought up. <img src=/S/evilgrin.gif border=0 alt=evilgrin width=15 height=15>

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

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    Re: Second drive (SR-2)

    <center>
    <hr>With enough RAM, the page file can be eliminated for all intents and purposes.<hr>
    </center>The operative word here is eliminated. I didn't say to delete it, but I should have been more clear. <img src=/S/sorry.gif border=0 alt=sorry width=15 height=15> Enough RAM will, "for all intents and purposes", eliminate the need for the OS to call up the page file.

    I've got mine at a fixed size of 1GB and it's on my C drive with Windows.
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    Re: Second drive (SR-2)

    I'm glad I asked for up-to-date information, since the opinions, apart from the first link(s), are definitely new to me.
    One suspicion is that the custom had to do with defragging a hard drive, which in the bad old days took forever. As your swap file became fragmented it had to be defragmented along with the rest of the drive, and making it a fixed size would keep it intact. Moving it to a different drive increases the free space on the boot partition and improves performance.
    With software and formatting improvements, defragging is now more efficient, and the increase in available resources noted in the posts also reduces the need for the swap file (with XP). If you check DocWatsons link you will see that Microsoft also gives instructions for having no Paging file, as discussed in the thread. There is an additional link from that article to putting the Spool folder on the second hard drive, which seems a useful idea. Free resources are free resources. The second drive also seems a sensible location for such things as regular local Outlook backups on any computer that has a second drive (in addition to saving them to external media).

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    Re: Second drive (SR-2)

    <hr>If you check DocWatsons link you will see that Microsoft also gives instructions for having no Paging file, as discussed in the thread.<hr>
    Where does Microsoft on the referenced page give instructions for having no page file?

    They mention how you can move the page file to another volume, then after that either keep a small page file on the system partition or remove the page file from system partition. No mentions of having no page file at all.

    I agree with Mark; page file memory is handled differently in Windows XP, and is to some degree expected to be there by the OS.

    Virtual Memory in Windows XP

  11. #11
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    Re: Second drive (SR-2)

    The instructions for "no paging file" refer to removing the file from its original location after you have created a new file in another partition or drive.
    John
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    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Second drive (SR-2)

    Argus,

    When you wade through all of the words on that paper, the condensed version is:
    IF you have a second faster HD, move the pagefile there and make it small about 2MB. I don't agree about leaving it on the C; just so windows won't complain. If the pointers tell that it's somewhere else, that is where Windows will look for it.

    I think this will ALWAYS be a discussion that will have it's pros and cons with no real proof on either side.
    BOB
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    Re: Second drive (SR-2)

    Argus and Bob are correct in their contributions, in that I misinterpreted instruction 9 to mean 'Let's call the whole thing off'. Bob has thrown me for a loop by adding the condition that the second drive must be faster than the first. The article tells me to log on as Administrator, but I think with XP Home this can only be done by booting into Safe Mode. (There is no problem with that, as I did it a day ago, but the user is limited in what he can do in Safe Mode.)
    It is Microsoft's own article that claims that this applies to Windows XP (only), and that I can increase the performance of Windows XP and increase free space on the boot partition by moving the file, which costs nothing (provided I follow instructions to the letter, as Argus's post reminds me). There is so much software that claims to improve computer performance, for a price, that anything I can do once, free of charge, to my mature computer, is welcome. If it doesn't work as advertised, I can complain to Microsoft.

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    Re: Second drive (SR-2)

    Hi Bob,
    I agree with what you say; also there is no one size fits all, and thus if people want to discuss there will be discussion. If my XP machine had several drives I would probably have done like you described in your earlier post. You are also correct in that Windows will look where the pointers tell that it is. Same as you can set up a temp folder anywhere and set a system/user variable to point in that direction. However, it seems that debugging error reports needs a page file (of some size) on the system partition. Well, I don't like errors and isn't so much into reading those reports anyway so I have set it to Small Dump in the Startup and Recovery section.

    I added that link to my post since I didn't see it being mentioned. If one have several hard drives it can be a good idea to put the page file (big or small) on a second, non system drive, since the drive heads can move independently. Seems like good logic, but if one will see any significantly better performance I don't know, since most people are running XP in the 256 - 512 MB range. If only 128 MB then maybe the difference would be huge.

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    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Second drive (SR-2)

    Argus,
    -----------------------------------
    I have set it to Small Dump in the Startup and Recovery section.
    -----------------------------------
    I'm like you in that I never got much out of those reports, so I have mine set to "none" and no reports.
    BOB
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