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Pagefile.sys


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#1
n0ng33k

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Reading over some posts I have discovered a wonderful little .exe called SpaceMonger. Soon after opening it and exploring the abyss of my tiny 18.7GB Harddrive, I discovered Pagefile.sys. and it's taking up almost 1GB of space on a 18.7GB Harddrive. Is this required for Windows? Can I delete it? How do I delete it? SHOULD I delete it?

Any tips/wisdom are appreciated!

P.S. Sorry to all for posting so many questions. Blame it on the inquisitive mind.
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#2
xxdanielxx

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the Pagefile.sys file is virtual memory which acts like ram if you have enough ram you can reduce or disable it but i recommend to not delete it how much ram do you have on your computer

Edited by xxdanielxx, 04 June 2008 - 11:45 PM.

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#3
n0ng33k

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Only 512MB...So I'm assuming that I should keep it on?
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#4
xxdanielxx

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what version of windows are you running also cpu
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#5
n0ng33k

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XP...it says under my user profile on the left pane.
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#6
xxdanielxx

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Do you use programs like photoshop, indesign or anything that would take up a lot of ram or process? What is this computer used for?
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#7
n0ng33k

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Casual use...homework, games occasionally. Nothing like high-tech photo editing.
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#8
xxdanielxx

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you can lower it but I would not say to remove it or disable it.
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#9
n0ng33k

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Ok thanks xxdanielxx, could I also get an expert opinion from someone who did not join today?
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#10
The Skeptic

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Your page file is set just right. Usually the minimum required is about 1.5 times your RAM, so 1 GB is OK. The size of the HD is irrelevant. Never disable page file, or set it to a low value, unless you know exactly what your are doing (I will not go into details about this at the moment). It's an essential part of the system.

If you are short of space on your hard disk you can free up space by deleting unnecessary data and programs or by adding another HD.
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#11
n0ng33k

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I'm un-skeptical about your advice, thank you very much! I won't disable/delete pagefile.sys anytime soon.
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#12
Neil Jones

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On computers with large amounts of memory it my be more beneficial depending on system use not to have a page file at all.
If Pagefile.sys should get deleted, Windows will just make a new one on the next system reboot anyway so it'll never totally go away.
But if in doubt, leave well alone.
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#13
The Skeptic

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Sorry to say that I disagree.

If "page file" is set to "custom size" windows will not recreate it.

Besides, why waste much more expensive RAM volume where a page file can be used? The system should be set to zero page file only for a forced cleanup of all page files before recreating the space afresh to optimal size.

Personally I prefer "custom size" to "managed by system" because when you set "custom size" the dedicated space is used for page files only. On the other hand, when page file space is controlled by by the system, it changes in size according to needs. When the hard disk fills up, the space that was used for page file by the system will be written on with non page-files. When the necessity arise and windows looks for more space, it finds that the space it used before is filled by other material. This causes windows to look for space in other parts of the disk. The result: fragmented page files which need special tools to defragment, error messages about virtual memory and slowdown of the computer.
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#14
Neil Jones

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Sorry to say that I disagree.

If "page file" is set to "custom size" windows will not recreate it.


The file is regenerated at each system boot regardless of your system settings. You can purge it and it will return fresh on the next boot.

Besides, why waste much more expensive RAM volume where a page file can be used? The system should be set to zero page file only for a forced cleanup of all page files before recreating the space afresh to optimal size.


Virtual Memory is effectively hard drive space being used as extra memory when there isn't enough physical memory available.
Are you seriously suggesting that Virtual Memory is the preferred option over physical memory when the latter is many times faster?
It's not about "wasting" memory, give Windows XP as much memory as you want and it'll find some use for it whether it ends up being of benefit to you or not.

Personally I prefer "custom size" to "managed by system" because when you set "custom size" the dedicated space is used for page files only. On the other hand, when page file space is controlled by by the system, it changes in size according to needs.


The pagefile is in no more danger of becoming fragmented than any other file when it is constantly accessed by the system. From a performance point of view, I don't think it makes any difference of its setting if you don't use that much memory anyway. If you are using that amount of memory then a fixed page file may be of benefit initially however if you end up needing more memory than the constraints of the file anyway, then you may end up out of luck with whatever you were working on. There are pros and cons to having a Custom size and the System managed option so far as the pagefile is concerned.
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#15
The Skeptic

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Windows use RAM and virtual memory regardless of the size of the RAM. It's not that it first fills the RAM and then, if there is no space available, it opens a page file. Look in Task manager > Performance and you will see that regardless of the size of the RAM there is always free space in it while at the same time page files are being used. Writing this I am looking in my specs: Available RAM is 430 MB while at the same time total Commit Charge is 300 MB.

Memory management is much more complicated then that. You can insert as much memory as the computer can handle but still you need space for page files on your hard disk or risk low performance or failure..

I do not agree about your observation regarding fragmentation of virtual memory. You can work with the computer for ages without having the files fragmented, as opposed to "normal files". The reason, of course, is that you don't have the constant deleting/re-writing as you have in other parts of the disk. BUT, when you have the virtual memory fragmented, the consequences can be much more serious then with other files. If that happens, a tool like PageDefrag can perform wonders.

When a disk is heavily loaded the chances of failings due to virtual memory fragmentation or lack of space is higher when System manages the virtual memory. When Custom size is used windows cannot use the space for any other purposes, hence the extra stability. I see many older computers with small size disks (40 or even 20GB) where the owners started downloading movies, songs and what not. The disks are full to the bream and have all the familiar problems: inability to fragment the disks, error messages about lack of virtual memory etc.
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