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Installing Windows 2000
Optimizing your Swap file (PAGEFILE.SYS)
Posted: 11 Jul 03
Optimizing your Swap File (PAGEFILE.SYS)
Target: Advanced Windows 2000 Users and Windows 2000 Administrators
Use: Optimizing your PAGEFILE to increase reliabilty and speed of your Windows Operating System.
When setting up your Windows 2000 Server / Professional software, it is good to remember that Windows 2000 depends alot on it's swap file (or paging file). Althought this procedure can be done for both Professional and Server products, it is targeted mostly for Server Installations.
- When first creating your partitions during your initial installation of Windows, remember to keep room for a new partition that will hold your swap file. The unwritten rule is 2 times the amount of memory you have, or are planning to have. If you have 1 Gig of memory, prepare a 2.5 or more partition to accomdate the swap file. This can be done after the installation of Windows 2000, as long as there is still room on the disk(s).
- Once you've completed your installation of Windows, create and format your futur swap parition in FAT32. FAT32 is faster than NTFS and security is not an issue (read further).
- Move your swap file to the new partition and increase the size to the calculation mentionned above. The Initial size and Maximum size settings should be the same number. (Example: 2048Megs Minimum and 2048Megs Maximum for 2 Gigs)
- Reboot and that's it.
By creating a fixed size and placing the swap file on it's own partition, the chances of the swap file being fragmented become next to nothing. This increases the performance of Windows as it does not need to move the hard drive around as much as it searches for swapped data.
Although you need a nice budget for this, placing your swap file on it's own hard disk will increase the performance even more, but there is a limit in how much bang for the buck most people are willing to invest. This procedure could always be done if your adding a hard drive to your computer and you have not yet partitionned it.
One drawback: this may cause is a low disk space warning in your logs upon reboots. This is probably something that can be disabled or fixed within Windows, but the message can be ignored.
Since the swap file will not grow because it's a fixed size, your swap file will never move in it's size. The file is always in use by Windows so it cannot be deleted while Windows is running, so no chance in accidental deleting or formatting of the partition. Even if someone or something was to fill up the partition with junk, Windows would still not crash since the swap file is a fixed size.
Back to Microsoft: Windows Server 2000 FAQ Index
Back to Microsoft: Windows Server 2000 Forum
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