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Can the same Pagefile.sys be used on a dual-boot WinXP-32bit/WinXP-64bit?

Posted on 2008-10-02
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Last Modified: 2013-11-29
My work laptop is set up with Windows XP - 64bit version. Since the Cisco VPN client (et. al.) won't work in 64bit Windows I also have Windows XP - 32bit version on a separate partition. My primary OS is on drive C:\

Both partitions (C: and D: drive) have a 2GB pagefile.sys in their root directory, but each OS only uses one of them while the other just takes up space.

(I think) I have made Debian and Gentoo use the same swap partition without problems.
Is it safe to point both OS-es to use the same Pagefile.sys, removing the other (or just use both of them as a 4GB pagefile)? Only one of them is running at a time.
Any formatting/byte-alignment issues? - It's just used as memory so I would think it's not a problem...
What could go wrong?
How would I set it up?
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Question by:bytta
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sciphre earned 2000 total points
ID: 22625199
Absolutely no problems, unless you intend to run both OSs at the same time through VMWare or something.

Windows does not use the old page file data for anything, so on each boot it will just ignore any "incompatibilities".
What you would to to set it up is to set a page file on a common drive, and reboot into the other system.
On the second system delete the pagefile.sys you just created earlier, then set the second system's page file to the common partition.

This will ensure that exactly one pagefile.sys exists on the common partition, and both OSs are pointed at it.
You should also set both systems to use a fixed page file (equal top and lower bounds) and defrag it once using pagedefrag from sysinternals.
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb897426.aspx
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Expert Comment

by:kyleb84
ID: 22634714
Note: PageDefrag won't run on x64 windows.
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LVL 4

Author Comment

by:bytta
ID: 22635133
sciphre:
Works like a charm. I Removed the Pagefile from C:\ and expanded the one on D:\ to a fixed 4GB size.
I needed to set them to the same size on both OSes - before that it was changing sizes when I booted between systems.
It's seems to be working fine, although I still haven't done anything that requires heavy swapping to the Pagefile.

kyleb84:
That's a non-issue. If I'm using the same pagefile for both systems it can be defragged in x86 windows, and since it's a fixed size it will not get fragmented again in either OS. The additional x64 files are trivial.
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I actually downloaded PageDefrag while googling this issue before asking, and had already set it to defrag my C:\PageFile.sys on next restart. When I rebooted to move the Pagefile to D:, it recreated C:\PageFile.sys to be able to defrag it. I needed to remove the pagefile again and restart to get rid of it.
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LVL 4

Author Closing Comment

by:bytta
ID: 31502417
It's a bit too soon to tell, but it seems to be working fine.
Closing early so I don't need to spread the points too much.
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