Create a new Swap File Partition?

Posted on 2003-03-06
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-28

I have been reading if one would "create a new disk partition used only for the OS Swap File", it would speed up the computer efficiency.  

(My laptop Swap File is presently set by Windows - I have tried the MANUAL method of setting the Swap File, seemingly with no improvement in performance)

I would like to know if assigning a disk partition for the Swap File would indeed improve performance and IF it does I would like to know:

     1 - How do I go about creating this partition without messing up what I already have on the computer?

     2 - How do I assign the Swap File to this partition?

While I am on the subject, perhaps someone can explain something else about this (Not a question).

With a swap file on a HDD; as it is used by the computer, what happens to the information that is written to the HDD?  It is either like a FIFO memory or is keeps expanding.  In which case, it looks like it should be manually (?) cleaned out periodically.  Comments?


Question by:KarlAibling
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Accepted Solution

war1 earned 300 total points
ID: 8082068
I have set the virtual memory (swap file) to a different partition.

1. To create a partition boot up to DOS and run fdisk. If you never done this before, I suggest using a partition program like Partition Magic or Partition Commander.

2. To put the virtual memory in the new partition, right click on My Computer. Select Performance > Virtual Memory. Click the radial button next to Let me specify my own memory setting. Select Hard Disk. Specify size. Click OK.

3. When you specify the size, data are written to hard disk until it reaches the specified size. These are no permanent data and get written over as more permanent data are installed.

Author Comment

ID: 8082600
war1 - Sounds easy enough.  I have worked with fdisk quite a bit but wasn't aware that a new partition could be created on a HDD that had an OS installed on it.  Please Clarify?

Understand about software called Partition Magic and what it can do.  Can't afford to buy it right now....If I HAVE to go that route, will put it in the "things to do" file  for a bit.

Am I correct in assuming that the new partition will automatically be D:\ ?  I will then have to format this new partition.  Correct?

My laptop has 144MB of RAM and a 3.5GB HDD.  It is approximately 1/3 full.  What size partition would you suggest?


Expert Comment

ID: 8082603
I doubt you will see any noticable performance improvement
movinbg the swapfile to another partition on the same drive compared with defraging your c: partition and preallocating a good chunk up front.

Unless your max and minimum are the same, windows will
allocated more swap space as need arises. When no longer needed windows will release swap space limited by your minimum size.
The swapspace is mapped in 4k pages by the windows virtual memory manager, using a least recently used algorithm.
In other words, it's not a FIFO/LIFO type of queue.

Normally Windows will start allocating more swap space
 before it's out of real memory (RAM space).If you have plenty of RAM (>128M), you can modify this behaviour by editing
your system.ini file:
under the [386Enh] heading, add  ConservativeSwapfileUsage=1

Hope this helps
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LVL 97

Expert Comment

ID: 8082784
   You need about 100 MB for a good swap file. If you want to use the new partition to do anything else, you may want to make it bigger than 100 MB.  Yes, when you run fdisk, Windows will assign the new partition as D and move the CD Rom to E. I think fdisk will move the operation system files to C, but to be safe do a Defrag and all the files will be moved up front. I have not use fdisk for awhile, so I don't remember if fdisk will format the new drive for you or if you have to do it yourself. (I use System Commander and bought it off eBay for less than $20.)

Best wishes, war1

Expert Comment

ID: 8082972
there are other partition managers that are free try this one......



supposedly very good

LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:Prester John
ID: 8083019
Assuming that your only partition uses 100% of your harddrive...
fdisk is not to be used unless you want to remove ALL existing data from your harddrive and re-create the partition structure!!
fdisk does NOT re-parttion "on the fly".
You have to use a 3rd party app like Partition Magic.

A good rule of thumb for swap files size is 2-2.5 times the amount of RAM.

As bjorndahlen mentioned, you will not see a major increase in performance.
This is especially true since you are wanting to create the swap file on the same hard drive as C:.
Any benefit you MIGHT gain from isolating the swap file will be negated by the increase in seek time [junping back & forth between partitions.]
You will be better off setting the minimum & maximum to the same size.

Author Comment

ID: 8083966
war1 - You answered my questions and I thank you.

bjorndahlen - drcspy - stoneg-  Thank you folks for the suggestions, comments and especially stoneg for keeping me from making a big mess of things!  

I appreciate you people!  



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