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Microsoft, Windows, 2003, Pagefile best practice

Posted on 2008-10-04
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
Hi,

Whats the best practive for the pagefile settings on Windows 2003 server R2.  For example :

1. Should it be located on a seperate drive to the C:\ partition if one is available. i.e D:\
2. Whats the recommended sizes for a page file.  1x memory, 2x memory ??

Thanks.
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Question by:frontpedal
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by:tdor
tdor earned 166 total points
ID: 22640037
Hi

If you can put it on another harddisk then the better
It's usually good a good thing to be set it to 1.5x of RAM and to put it from the beginning fixed (example: from 1G or RAM 1536 to 1536 as in to restrict it's growth)

However setting the "right size" for it depends considerably on what you do with the pc
As in if you use the pc for video editing you might want to set it to 2x or 3x

Regards,
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by:tigermatt
tigermatt earned 166 total points
ID: 22640186
> Should it be located on a seperate drive to the C:\ partition if one is available. i.e D:\

I would only suggest the pagefile is on a separate drive if that separate drive is actually a completely separate hard disk in the system. If it is a different partition on the same hard drive or disk array, then placing it on this D:\ partition will increase seek times, actually causing some slowing in the system when writing to the page file.

> Whats the recommended sizes for a page file.  1x memory, 2x memory ??

The recommended is most definitely 1.5x the RAM in the system. When you edit the page file settings, be sure to set the size as Custom, and enter the Initial and Maximum sizes as the same. This way, Windows does not have to work to keep resizing the page file.

-tigermatt
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placebo69a earned 168 total points
ID: 22645893
Hi there!
These are age old questions with a lot of different answers.
On my servers I usually set a fixed size (minimum value=maximum value) of a little over 1xRAM. I also tend to keep the page file in the system partition and not on a separate volume for security reasons.
Setting a smaller page file can be argued for when you have so much RAM you want to use the pagefile as little as possible, however it means that a full memory dump cannot be made if the server starts crashing.
Setting a bigger page file can be argued for when you have limited RAM and want more Virtual Memory for your server to play with, however this takes up disk space and increases system drive fragmentation.
Fixing the pagefile size is important to prevent your system from slowing down while it's updating the pagefile size dynamically. This also reduces drive fragmentation, thus improving performance.
Moving the pagefile to another drive can be argued for when performance is critical as it frees the system drive from all those page-ins and page-outs, however if your server is running a heavy duty application like Exchange or SQL or any combination of application services this will decrease performance instead of increasing it.
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by:Naerwen
ID: 27296085
TYVM! :)
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