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Old 24. Jun 2014, 02:32 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How do I get XP to recognize all of my flash drive page file?

With my previous hard drive I put my page file (swap file) on a flash drive and it definitely made an improvement in performance. My computer shop installed the current hard drive. A few days ago I got messages about low virtual memory. I checked and found they had set it to no page file.

I consulted some articles and then put a 3742 MB page file on my Lexar flash drive, B, on Saturday night. I also kept a 350 MB page file on the C drive, apparently a mistake. Today I started experiencing all sorts of weird problems : error messages from applications and applications disappearing without cause. I checked and saw that XP was only recognizing 350 MB as "Total paging file size for all drives."

I rebooted and changed the C drive setting to "No paging file." The weird problems have not continued. But XP is not recognizing 3742 MB of paging file. It is only showing 2046 MB as "Total paging file size for all drives." How do I change that?

Also one of my sources leads me to believe I can have a full size page file on the C drive as well as my flash drive B. Any reason not to do that?

Operating System
Windows XP Home Edition 32-bit SP3
Intel Pentium 4
Northwood 0.13um Technology
2.00 GB DDR @ 166MHz (2.5-3-3-7)
Dell Computer Corp. 0G1548 (Microprocessor)
Default Monitor (1280x1024@60Hz)
Intel 82845G/GL/GE/PE/GV Graphics Controller (Dell)
74.5 GB Seagate ST380011A (ATA)
Free 40.53 GB
3.67 GB Lexar USB Flash Drive USB Device (USB)
119.22 GB PNY USB 2.0 FD USB Device (USB)
Optical Drives
Unimodem Half-Duplex Audio Device
Roboscan free
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Old 25. Jun 2014, 05:58 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Whether it is a good idea depends upon several factors. Personally, I'd put the paging file on a second HDD as that is likely to be faster than a flash drive. My reasoning is below but you should read Microsoft's help on How to configure paging files for optimization and recovery in Windows XP. It will answer some of your questions about multiple page files.

I'm not sure why you can only see 2GB of paging file. Microsoft's rule of thumb is 1.5 times RAM so they'd recommend 3GB. However, if you are actually using anywhere near 3GB of page file on a Dell Dimension 2400 then your focus should be on reducing your memory footprint so you are not reliant on paging which is much slower than RAM. We've had lots of discussions about how to speed up PCs, e.g. this one.
  • Your page file should be on a contiguous (ie non fragmented) block of disk.
  • A page file on a dedicated device will usually improve performance whether that is a second hard disk or a flash drive. This is usually the case even if the paging device is no faster than the first device.
  • If you only have one disk then you can partition it so the paging is on a dedicated logical drive. This will usually improve performance particularly if the logical drive is on the part of the disk with the fastest access and transfer times.
  • Normally we'd compare different devices at different file sizes but the paging file is large so both devices should perform close to their maximum. This is because the file handling overhead is minimal.
  • In your case the hard disk drive has a higher maximum throughput than the flash drive. That advantage would increase when writing data because a flash drive normally requires an erase cycle before the write cycle.
I remember you asking about internal versus external drives. Flash drive will usually be faster than an external HDD connected on the same USB bus. This is mainly because data is found more quickly on flash drive due to the seek delay in a HDD.
Better to light a candle ... than to curse the darkness.

Last edited by Remah; 25. Jun 2014 at 05:59 AM. Reason: Removed errant URL
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