Tuesday, June 16, 2009

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Adjust Virtual Memory Or Page File Size To Speed Up Windows XP

We have two types of memory; random access memory (RAM) and virtual memory, or the page file. The page file is created during the Windows XP installation and resides on the hard drive. Page files are measured in megabytes.


Applications are not allowed direct access to physical memory. When an application requests more memory, Windows maps some physical memory (as long as some is available) into the process's address space.

The size of the page file is based on how much RAM is installed in the computer. By default, XP creates a page file which is 1.5 times the amount of installed RAM and places it on the hard drive where XP is installed. Other than plugging the RAM into the motherboard, there is little that can be done to alter its performance characteristics. The page file is a different story. Because it's located on a hard drive, it's subject to a number of factors that can hinder its performance.

Optimizing your page file when you're running low on RAM is always a good idea. When all physical RAM in a computer is in use, Windows starts using the hard disk as if it were additional RAM. This is why we have a Pagefile or virtual memory (also called the swap file). Because RAM memory is a lot more faster than the hard disk, whenever the computer begins to use the Pagefile to relieve memory pressure, we begin to experience a drastic performance degradation.

Page file size is not constant by default. Due to this, the operating system has to resize the file each time when more space is required. This is a performance overhead. All you have to do is to set the file size to a reasonable limit.

Follow the steps:
1. Right-click My Computer, Select Properties
2. Click the Advanced tab
3. Click the Settings button under the Performance s
4. Click the Advanced tab
5. Under the Virtual Memory section click the Change button
6. “Virtual Memory” dialog box will appear (also shown in the figure below)

7. Highlight the C: drive containing page file
8. Select the Custom Size radio button and give same values in Initial size and Maximum size.
Note: If you have less than 512MB of memory, leave the page file at its default size. If you have 512MB or more, change the ratio to 1:1 page file size to physical memory size.
9. Click OK

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Haja Peer Mohamed H, Software Engineer by profession, Author, Founder and CEO of "bench3" you can connect with me on Twitter , Facebook and also onGoogle+

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