How to correct high pagefile usage?

Reply Fri 23 Dec, 2005 12:44 pm
My computer's task manager is showing really high pagefile usage. I've never had a computer go so high before...it's at 1.45 gb!

Please explain to me pagefile usage, and why it might be so high, and how to correct it.


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Reply Fri 23 Dec, 2005 01:39 pm
Pagefile size is managed automatically by Windows. It grabs disk space to swap out parts of memory that aren't being actively used. So a large pagefile size simply means you have a lot of stuff open.

"Hard page faults" are what should really concern you. That's how often Windows is having to go to disk to swap out memory. A large number of those indicates a need for additional RAM.

Unfortunately, hard page faults are a pain in the neck to calculate. If your machine's performance is OK, I probably wouldn't worry about it.
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Reply Fri 23 Dec, 2005 01:40 pm
Oh, and a reboot might clear up the size issue.
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Reply Fri 23 Dec, 2005 09:17 pm
Essentially, the page file is what Windows uses if it runs out of RAM - kinda sorta. Its slower than RAM, since its disk-based, and Windows will a) use plenty of it if allowed to and b) doesn't do a very good job of cleaning up after itself; lotsa stuff just stays there and the file grows and grows and gets more and more fragmented as old, useless stuff builds up, and Windows hasta look all over the file for what it wants.

Try a fixed-size page file - Some folks find 1.5 times your RAM is the right size, personally, I think a Gig oughtta be plenty.

You can get a fair idea of what your machine wants through Task Manager (Ctrl+Shift+Esc or Ctrl+Shift+Delete) "Performance" tab, "Commit Charge (K)", which will show the peak memory usage since last boot - bear in mind thats in KB, so divide by 1024 to get MB. Check that from time to time during sessions, and from boot to boot - it varies some, so get a feel for it. Note: The "Peak" value is the max memory (in Kb) used since last boot, "Total" is memory currently in use, "Limit" is the combined total of RAM + Page File.

To change to a fixed-size page file, go to Start>Control Panel>System>"Advanced" tab >"Performance" panel>Settings> "Advanced" tab>"Virtual memory" panel>"Change"

First, you gotta do away with your current Page file - select "No Paging File", then "Set", and "OK", exit to your desktop, and reboot. Immediately on the machine having fully rebooted, Start>Control Panel>System>"Advanced" tab >"Performance" panel>Settings> "Advanced" tab>"Virtual memory" panel>"Change" once more, this time select "Custom size", then enter 1024 for both Initial size and Maximum size, "Set", "OK", exit to your desktop, and reboot once more.

Feel free to tinker with it some; you ain't gonna break nothing.
Reply Mon 27 Apr, 2009 11:35 pm
I did, It worked, but system is too slow,
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