Re: Optimal place for pagefile.sys

From: R. McCarty (
Date: 02/15/05

Date: Tue, 15 Feb 2005 02:30:18 GMT

 I think you'll find the overall performance difference between Fat32 &
NTFS is at best 1-2%. I've tested both IDE & SCSI drives in both of
those formats and the difference is negligible. The key to NTFS is that
it is the NT,2000,XP's native disk format and the Operating System
is tuned for use with NTFS.

 Cluster size is sometimes more relative to speed than the format type.
(Just ask someone who converted to NTFS and ended up with 512
 Byte Cluster Size - instead of the 4K "Standard".)

Regarding the Pagefile - You can move it, Tweak it, port it to another
physical drive..... In the end, if you have 256 or greater memory, the
usage of the Pagefile is minimal. The only advice is don't turn the thing
off - XP needs it, if just to "Park" the average 30-45 Megabytes that
my system keeps in mine (128 Minimum Size) during normal use. You
can discuss all the nuances about it, but when the former DEC coders
wrote the original NT 3.51, they brought all their knowledge from the
creation of the OS for VAX Computers, called VMS (Virtual Memory
System). The only reason to have 1.5-2X*Mem, Pagefile is to perform
a Full memory dump, hardly a common occurrence outside of running
down BSOD's.

Since disk space isn't a big concern, it's probably O.K, to let XP handle
the Pagefile. I would agree that putting the Pagefile on a separate disk
is a good change, in my own case because I use a SCSI drive system.

"Alex52" <> wrote in message
> P.S. I run Prime5 benchmark tests for both cases without big differences
> in
> results. But as i said, programs and windows move visiblely faster from
> FAT32.
> On 3 GB FAT32 partition i keep winxp, 350 MB pagefile, MathCAD, AuthoCAD,
> AOL, Natural Speaker, big dictionaries, and have at least, 1 GB free, that
> guarantee system performance. All rest is on storage partition. My winxp
> runs
> OK.
> But may be somebody gives me a hitch about my question.
> "Carey Frisch [MVP]" wrote:
>> Windows XP performs best when installed on a NTFS partition
>> and the virtual memory is managed by the system and the page
>> file remains on the same Windows XP partition.
>> Actually, 4-5 GB size is NOT optimal for the first Win XP partition.
>> You should use at least a 10GB partition.
>> Benchmarking on Windows XP
>> NTFS Preinstallation and Windows XP
>> Virtual Memory in Windows XP
>> [Courtesy of MS-MVP Alex Nichol]
>> --
>> Carey Frisch
>> Microsoft MVP
>> Windows XP - Shell/User
>> Microsoft Newsgroups
>> Be Smart! Protect Your PC!
>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> "Alex52" wrote:
>> | There are controversial recommendations about pagefile.sys location.
>> | It's clear, that hard drive is the slowest part in the pc chain and
>> | determines optimal system performance.
>> |
>> | Actually, ntfs slow down performance, and majority users don't need
>> ntfs.
>> | FAT32 file system is simpler, and windows run faster from FAT32. Down
>> side is
>> | loosing indexing searching and file encryption. Do you need they
>> ???????
>> |
>> | Actually 4-5 GB size is optimal for the first winxp partition, enough
>> to
>> | keep winxp and Program Files, but easy to keep system partition clean,
>> in
>> | good condition, incl., faster defragmenting. All rest would better to
>> place
>> | on other storage partition, especially Encyclopedia and games with a
>> lot of
>> | small files. I keep winxp, pagefile.sys, and Program Files on 3 GB
>> partition.
>> | Also I keep pagefile.sys as a single fragment in optimal position
>> between
>> | winxp system files and all other.
>> |
>> | After fresh winxp installation I set at system partition pagefile.sys =
>> No,
>> | and reboot. I prefer to reboot to Linux, from where remove pagefile.sys
>> and
>> | use simple Linux script to delete a huge amount never used small files
>> such
>> | as pictures, .html (do this periodically, you also may do this less
>> effective
>> | using winxp "Search"). Next, reboot to winxp and run disk defragmenter
>> to
>> | move all remain files to the partition beginning. When all files will
>> be at
>> | the beginning, set pagefile.sys; it should be placed as a single
>> unmovable
>> | fragment next after winxp file; if not, repeat operation again several
>> times.
>> | All rest installation will be placed after pagefile.sys. Eventually,
>> winxp
>> | will move less frequently used files to partition end, incl., winxp
>> files
>> | replacing they by frequently used program files, but unmovable
>> pagefile.sys
>> | will stay in optimal position in close to frequently used system files
>> that
>> | reduce hard disk magnetic head tossing and improve system performance.
>> Of
>> | course, in the case of several hard drives, it would be better to place
>> | pagefile.sys on other drive allowing simultaneously reading from one
>> drive
>> | and write to another.
>> |
>> | I have one hard drive, and do as said above, but I'm not sure that it's
>> | correct, as I'm not sure how modern hard drive work. May be, somebody
>> | explain???
>> |
>> | I visited several manufacture websites, but found only promotion
>> | information. My concern is as follow. How many magnetic disks inside a
>> modern
>> | (40-120 GB) hard drive; if one, one or two sided; if two sided, how
>> magnetic
>> | heads work? Independently, or not, i.e., if disk two sided with two
>> magnetic
>> | heads, can one head reads on one side, and simultaneously, second head
>> writes
>> | on another????? If so, it would be better to place pagefile.sys on the
>> | partition on the end of the disk, in not, my method is the best.
>> |
>> | I'll appreciate any information.
>> | Best, Alex