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Windows 2008 R2 Page File Best Practises

Posted on 2010-08-25
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Last Modified: 2012-08-22
Hi,

I was wandering if anyone know of any best practises for the Windows 2008 r2 page file?

In Windows 2003 is was a best practise to hold the Page File on a separate non-Raid disk and to be over 1 x the memory.

Does anyone know if this is still the case or if it is fine to now hold it on the same disk as the O/S or if there are any other differences?

Thanks for your help

James
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Question by:CRI-ITDept
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7 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:roylong
ID: 33519640
I tend to go with the older best practices - tried and tested..

2 x memory on a separate disk to the system.
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Accepted Solution

by:
oBdA earned 250 total points
ID: 33519893
There is no general recommendation anymore for 64bit systems, since you can add way more RAM than in 32bit systems; you might not even need a page file. With 32GB RAM, a page file of 64GB is somewhat ridiculous, as it will slow down the system having to search in a file of that size.
The recommendation to put the page file on another drive is mainly for performance reasons. But if you require a memory dump in case of a BSOD, the page file will have to be on the system drive and be at least 1MB larger than the RAM.
The recommendations on how to size the page file for 64bit are here:
How to determine the appropriate page file size for 64-bit versions of Windows
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/889654
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Author Comment

by:CRI-ITDept
ID: 33519945
Thanks for your replies!

So if i wanted to have memory dumps for the page file and had 32GB RAM in my server.
Would it be best to have a 32GB Page file on a separate disk and have the memory dump file point to that disk?

Thanks

James
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Assisted Solution

by:oBdA
oBdA earned 250 total points
ID: 33520005
As I said: a memory dump requires that the page file is on the system drive.
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Assisted Solution

by:LMiller7
LMiller7 earned 250 total points
ID: 33520901
The reason for putting the pagefile on a separate drive is to reduce drive contention. This allows the pagefile to be accessed without moving the drive heads away from you other frequently accessed files. A different OS will not change this.

If a full memory dump is required a pagefile with a size somewhat larger than RAM size must be on the system drive.

Creation of a memory dump is a 2 stage process.
1. Copy the contents of RAM to the pagefile on the system drive. This allows bypassing the filesystem - which may have been the cause of the system crash.
2. During the subsequent restart copy the contents of the pagefle to the configured location. This is done very early in the boot process to free the pagefile for it's intended purpose. At this point alternate drives do not have their drivers loaded yet and are thus inaccessible.
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Author Comment

by:CRI-ITDept
ID: 33522695
Thanks for the help!

So to clarify (to see if i've got this correct!)

If i want a Full Memory Dump, i have to have the Page File on the system disk and have it at a minimum size of the RAM, ideally 1.5 x more....in which case there is no point creating a separate page file on another separate disk.

However, If i didn't have a memory dump then it would make sense to put the Page file on a separate disk and equal it to to the amount of RAM

Or alternatively....have a page file at a set size of just of the RAM size on the system disk and then have a system managed or specific sized page file on a separate disk.

I know there is a need for the page file to be located on a separate disk to reduce the drive contention but if you already have a page file on the system disk that is the same as the memory..what is the need for storing it on a separate disk as it won't get used effectively

Thanks

James
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Assisted Solution

by:LMiller7
LMiller7 earned 250 total points
ID: 33525924
When the system is about to write to a pagefile it will check which drive is least busy and use that one. This will usually be the one on the non-system drive. For a read it will of necessity access the one containing the data in question. The pagefile on the system drive probably won't be used much except during the early boot process when any others are not yet available. But it must be there if you really require a full memory dump. A memory dump of any kind isn't really useful unless someone in your organization has the tools and the skills to use it.
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