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Optimizing Page File Usage

The page file is used by the Windows operating system to store random information. This file is used by Windows when there is not enough room in RAM to store this information.

If you use more than one hard drive there is an option you can use to tweak the performance of the page file. This option does not really improve performance in a two partition scenario but must be used with a secondary drive as you can move the paging file to the secondary drive leaving you c: drive free to perform other actions.

First check to make sure you have a secondary drive. You must first log in with an administrator account.

1. Click Start, Run (just Start in Vista)

2. type diskmgmt.msc, and press <Enter> to open the Disk Management utility (click Continue in the User Account Control, if prompted).

The bottom pane shows each disk installed on your system and the corresponding drive letter. When considering which drive to use choose the fastest drive to store the page file on.

Note: Internal drives are faster than an external drive in most cases.

3. Right click “My Computer” and choose properties

4. ON the system properties page choose the “Advanced” tab

5. Under performance choose the settings option and then the advanced tab on the subsequent window

6. Under Virtual Memory click Change. In Vista, deselect Automatically manage paging file size for all drives.

7. In the drive list select a partition on a different drive where you want to add another paging file

8. Select Custom size if you would like to set the size yourself and type in the initial and maximum size (Microsoft says making them the same amount is most efficient configuration)

Note: If the partition you select contains another installation of Windows you will receive an error message warning that the file pagefile.sys already exists. If the two operating systems are not running at the same time through virtualization then it is safe to overwrite pagefile.sys.

You should receive a notification upon completion that the settings will not take effect until you perform a restart.

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