Removing Swap File Windows 2000

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Postposted on Thu Feb 28, 2002 11:23 am

I wanted to know if removing the swap file from windows will increase performance. I know there are dangers with that but I wanted to know that would force windows to only use the physical memory.
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Postposted on Thu Feb 28, 2002 12:20 pm

Which version of windows? The complications vary depending upon the OS version.

In any case, yes, it will force it to use only physical RAM.
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Postposted on Thu Feb 28, 2002 12:51 pm

I am using Windows 2000 Advanced Server with second service pack.
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Postposted on Thu Feb 28, 2002 2:21 pm

From memory (and I'm a bit fuzzy on this one) the short answer is "forget it". The long answer is "it's possible, but it's not worth it." NT (and therefore Win2K) will <i>always</i> want to swap user and kernel pages.

Also, if you want debug info in the event of a BSOD, you need swap on your system drive >= physical RAM.

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Postposted on Thu Feb 28, 2002 2:25 pm

I didnt think there was a way to turn VM off in w2k? I know I used to do it for 98, but even then some games and apps required it to run.
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Postposted on Thu Feb 28, 2002 3:52 pm

It seems to be a general perception that a system using swap space is bad or broken. That's not true. Swap space is generally used for two reasons.

The first is that you are out of physical RAM. Some program you are using is needs more RAM than you have available, so stuff is swapped out to disk. In this case, removing the swap file will keep the system from working properly.

In the second case, there is sufficient RAM to run things. The OS may swap inactive memory pages to disk in order to make the maximum amount of RAM available. It may do this even if you are not running any big programs as the OS tries to cache disk accesses in unused memory.

Swap files are your friend and are part of virtual memory management. Removing them effectively cripples your OS memory management scheme. Be vary carefull removing them and make sure you have a good reason.
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Postposted on Thu Feb 28, 2002 4:01 pm

Is it true that Windows 2000 or the NT family while copy some information to the swap file in case of memory failure? Such as system .dll files or whatnot?
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Postposted on Thu Feb 28, 2002 6:25 pm

On 2002-02-28 16:01, dolemitecomputers wrote:
Is it true that Windows 2000 or the NT family while copy some information to the swap file in case of memory failure? Such as system .dll files or whatnot?


Never heard of that. And given that NT has a propensity to crash running on memory that Linux chugs along fine with (generally right on the edge, timings wise), I would tend to think not.
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Postposted on Fri Mar 01, 2002 3:25 am

dolemite: Win NT will dump the contents of RAM to the swapfile on BSOD. If you have the know-how you can use this to find out why the machine crashed.
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Postposted on Sun Mar 03, 2002 10:12 pm

On 2002-02-28 16:01, dolemitecomputers wrote:
Is it true that Windows 2000 or the NT family while copy some information to the swap file in case of memory failure? Such as system .dll files or whatnot?


Not exactly. When Windows loads executable code into RAM, it makes an exact <i>image</i> of the file on disk. Since executable code doesn't change, what's on the disk will always match what's in RAM. If Windows needs to page out executable code, it can save time and paging file size by referencing the actual file instead of writing the image to disk in the paging file. It's a neat little trick.
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Postposted on Sun Mar 03, 2002 10:18 pm

Oh, BTW...

Don't try to outsmart Windows by turning off the paging file. That's an old Mac OS users' trick, turning virtual memory off. It apparently made a difference on the relatively primative Mac, but it won't help Windows. Virtual memory is part and parcel of 32-bit Windows, and it can't be turned off. What's more, there are some cases when using a paging file will actually increase performance.

In short, leave the paging file alone, and buy more RAM if you need to.
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Postposted on Mon Mar 04, 2002 11:37 am

Thanks for the good info Speed.
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Postposted on Sun Mar 24, 2002 11:40 am

Running Win2k w/sp2 installed

I have limited the page file to 50MB, but every once in a while I get a low memory warning (or words to that effect).

I have 512MB of PC133 Cas2 RAM.

I purposely tried to load ALL my programs and fill up as much RAM as I could. The best I got was about 400MB!
I could'nt do anything to fill up any more.

Is there a way that I can find out just what is loaded into the page file?

On startup the page file is 9MB. The RAM is about 85MB.
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Postposted on Sun Mar 24, 2002 1:42 pm

Looks to me like you should increase the size of your pagefile. If you have 85MB of RAM (which is it, 512 or 85), I think you could use more RAM too.

If you go to http://www.sysinternals.com you will find several utilities that will allow you to look at your system, and see what's being paged out.
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Postposted on Mon Mar 25, 2002 4:40 pm

if pagefile is what you are talking about, the following change i learned from one of the hardware website will do the trick. it will try to use you physical ram as much as possible before using the pagefile. so it doesn't actually turn pagefile off. it is there to tell the os that you've got enough ram and use them.....

use regedit to change from 0 to 1 in the following field:
//hkey_local_machine/system/currentcontrolset/control/session manager/memory management/disablepagingexecutive
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Postposted on Mon Apr 01, 2002 7:05 am

Speed: The 85MB is what is in use. I have 512MB of SDRAM.

Tomosiu: I understand that if the pagefile is completely turned off, that one of the backup functions won't be available since it stores it in the page file. Same goes if you delete the pagefile on shutdown.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: videobruce on 2002-04-01 07:10 ]</font>
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Postposted on Mon Apr 01, 2002 5:39 pm

If you're only using 85MB of RAM, then memory isn't the issue. Messing with the pagefile is only likely to make things worse.

The "low memory" messages must be caused by applications that aren't 100% NT/2000 compatible. 16-bit Windows had User and GDI stacks that were pathetically small. For the sake of compatibility, Windows 95 <i>et al</i> still used these limited stacks. IME, apps written to the NT/2000 API don't suffer these problems.

In other words, try upgrading your software.
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