pagefile necessary?

Discussion in 'Windows 64 Bit' started by bingyeo, Sep 6, 2010.

  1. bingyeo

    bingyeo Guest


    I wasn't sure where to post this question, so decided to post it in this

    I am running W2k8 x64 on a server with 16GB RAM and virtual memory is
    initially set as 'System managed', which causes a pagefile of 16.3GB to be

    As the server is short on disk space and could use this 16.3GB very nicely,
    my question is:
    Assuming server load never exceeds the amount of RAM available, is the
    pagefile necessary?

    Would it be better to disable the pagefile completely, or to use a custom
    size like 800MB(Min) to 2048MB (Max) ?

    I have scoured the Internet for information, but so far am still undecided.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
    bingyeo, Sep 6, 2010
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  2. Assuming server load never exceeds the amount of RAM available, is the
    under this assumption it is not necessary.

    But using a swap file gives the system the chance to swap out unneeded pages
    (sleeping processes and stuff). When another application suddenly needs the
    memory it will have the chance to get it. Without swap it would be out of

    How much swap depends on your usecase. For me on a desktop system where most
    applications are in use by me, 2 GB is more then enough. I won't have the
    patience to wait for applications to swap in for 2048 MB / 80MB/sec disk
    speed = half a minute. But maybe on a server where many hundred processes
    idle most of the time and are not that big to swap in, it might be ok to
    have a huge swap.

    Andreas Dieling, Sep 6, 2010
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  3. bingyeo

    Al Dykes Guest

    Only you, your system and your workload can answer your
    question. Perfmon is the tool that tells you what your system is doing.

    Low disk free space can cause performance problems that might result
    in more paging. Shrinking the pagefile is a small and temporary fix
    for your real problem.

    If it was mine and I could, I'd add a small disk to the machine and
    move pagefile to it. That frees all the 16GB and is a performance plus
    in general.

    On a different tack, I've used NTFS file system compression many
    times, even on production servers to make better use of disk space AND
    improve server application performance. If you have lots of
    non-database data files, I'd try compression on a copy of your data to
    see what it buys you.

    I've seen compression of 90% on multi-GB folders of numeric data.

    When C drives were smaller and our development software was large in
    comparison, I used to compress the entire C drive file system on new
    atarwma right from the start.

    I never tried to compress an Oracle database but I bet it would work
    but performance might suck.
    Al Dykes, Sep 6, 2010
  4. bingyeo

    XS11E Guest

    I'd consider using a pagefile of 1/2 ram or 8GB in your case. This is
    a rough guess for systems with more than 4G of RAM, see if it works.

    NOTE: Set minimum and maximum size to be equal, does several good
    things, others may offer a detailed explanation, I'm going back to bed!
    XS11E, Sep 6, 2010
  5. bingyeo

    Lorne Guest

    I would add another hard disk just for the swap file. Most of us have an
    old small disk lying around and putting the swap file on a separate physical
    disk should improve performance as well.
    Lorne, Sep 6, 2010
  6. bingyeo

    bingyeo Guest

    Hi All

    thanks for all the replies!

    Firstly, unfortunately the said server is a blade server with only 2 disk
    slots and it is running RAID 1, so adding of additional disks is out of

    So my only options are to either disable pagefile, or configure a custom
    sized page file.
    Judging from the replies so far, I think I will go with a smaller page file.

    My questions on custom page file are:

    1. How is using a fixed size pagefile (min size = max size) better than
    starting low, and letting it grow as needed?

    2. I have logical drives C: and D: on the same physical disk; is there any
    difference in putting the page file on C: or D: when configuring the custom
    page file?

    bingyeo, Sep 7, 2010
  7. bingyeo

    Jeff Gaines Guest

    A fixed size avoids fragmentation.
    Jeff Gaines, Sep 7, 2010
  8. bingyeo

    Al Dykes Guest

    Al Dykes, Sep 7, 2010
  9. bingyeo

    bingyeo Guest

    Hi Jeff

    thanks for clarifying.
    How about my other question regarding the location of the page file?

    bingyeo, Sep 8, 2010
  10. bingyeo

    Jeff Gaines Guest

    That's a bit more complex and you have limited options.
    I have a separate partition at the front of my least used drive - Backup2
    - which is only used when running overnight backups, or in the event of a
    terrible disaster!
    Since your C and D drives are on the same partition I'm not sure it will
    make much difference. If you have a second physical less used drive that
    may be better.
    Jeff Gaines, Sep 8, 2010
  11. If you are going to move it you should move it to a different disk on a
    different controller. You don't want to move it to a different
    partition on the OS disk and for older IDE controllers you don't want it
    on a disk that is in a slave relationship to the OS disk.

    John John - MVP, Sep 8, 2010
  12. bingyeo

    bingyeo Guest

    Hi Jeff

    yeah I don't have much options for this as the blade server does not have
    any additional disk slots.
    Thanks for your advice!

    bingyeo, Sep 9, 2010
  13. bingyeo

    bingyeo Guest

    Hi John

    thanks for your advice, and I understand the advantages of putting the page
    file on a separate physical drive, but I have no options regarding this, so I
    have to make do.

    bingyeo, Sep 9, 2010
  14. In that case keep it on the same partition as the operating system.

    John John - MVP, Sep 9, 2010
  15. bingyeo

    Jason Guest

    How can you have two drives on the same partition. Don't you mean the
    partitions are on the same physical drive? Is raid 1 mirrored? In which case
    both the physical drives contain exactly the same data.
    Jason, Sep 10, 2010
  16. bingyeo

    Jeff Gaines Guest

    Sorry, typo. Should have been 2 partitions on same drive!
    Jeff Gaines, Sep 10, 2010
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