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Boost Windows 7 for VMWare performance: RAMDisk, no paging file ...?


I had two related questions:  27240594 and 27243843.
Now I'm configuring this laptop
 (i7 CPU, 12GB RAM) for running my VMWares on it, dual booting with Hyper-V.

Now I wondered:
- what about the paging file: with this much ram, wouldn't it be better to eliminate the paging file?
-furhtermore I heard talking 'bout a ram-disk, do you know how this works and would it be suitable here?
-regarding VMWare workstation: are there specific settings I could boost performance, I know VMware takes its virtual ram from harddisk(?) but couldn't I make it use the physical ram instead ...?

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virtual ram is the same as a pagefile - it is a way of making a system appear to have more ram by swapping data in and out of a file on disk. In theory it should only get used when you have filled the available physical ram.
ideally the pagefiel should be a fixed size - as this then stops it getting fragmented which degrades performance.
Not having one at all will do very little to help performance - of any OS.
A ram disk is almost the opposite - it is setting aside an area of RAM to appear as a hard drive.
this can help you load regularly accessed files quickly and can be useful in specific applications - but the disk is a RAM disk - it is emptied ever time you boot. typically the loss of real ram by creating a ram disk means you need to use pagefile quicker which degrades performance.
Basically - the more physical ram the better, and still have a pagefile just in case.
Avatar of Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)
if you are really seeking performance tweaks

1. run VMs from a SSD.
as for whther 12gb is enough ram - it depends on what you do. If you start using photoshop with large photos, or video editing you will soon see the swapfile used - i have a win7,i7,16gb system and i see the 16gb get used now and again.
Avatar of janhoedt


Ok, help me out here.
I found out my laptop supports an extra harddisk, I guess SSD.
However I'm not sure what disk I should buy:

Picture of bottom of my laptop where disk can be put:

Specs of laptop: 


2.5" SATA
750GB 5400rpm/7200rpm
640GB 5400rpm
500GB 5400rpm/7200rpm
320GB 5400rpm
Dual HDD Support(Optional)
3.5" SATA
1TB 7200rpm
Never mind, it's the 2.5 SATA I need.

Another question, for 12GB of ram, what pagefile would you set (fixed in size)?
Ok, here's the deal:
I'm a bit puzzled.
I had an extra HD of 1TB which I installed in the laptop, might be a bit slower then the internal one, but still, it's another disk. I ran VM's from this disk ... but they are slower then then before.

I might buy an SSD now, but they're really expensive. So I thought installing the underlying OS to SSD, running vm's from my current disk.
Underlying OS needs to boot up first, needs to be stable, why running vm's from SSD. SSD is stable, quite ....
The only thing now is how to clone my OS-es to the SSD + boot from that first.
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Ok, you're right, but my SSD will be only 120GB which makes me able to run 3 Windows machines comfortably. From my other harddisk I could run much more (since I have 16GB of ram).
Besides, when I would boot from SSD, it will boot really quick, and so would me VMWare workstation ....
The stability of SSD is also very important, a harddisk of a laptop can crash when falling hard on the ground, an SSD not that easily. Reliability would improve with SSD for OS.

I'll run the vm's first on SSD, then I'll compare. Then I would like to make my OS run from SSD.
Any suggestions how to do that: Acronis ..., also adaptations in BIOS?
The Acronis issue is another question you should raise.