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Server 2008 R2 with no page file

Posted on 2012-09-09
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Hi. We have a server 2008 R2 standard box that I noticed has no page file on the C:\ drive. The system is running slow and there have been some exchange transport issues lately. Exchange is on the D:\ drive and the page file is system managed, hover it's currently at 8,000 and the system is recommending 12,000.

Just want to know if I should set a pagefile on the C:\ and if it's ok to play with the page file on the D:\ and set it manually higher.

Thanks
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Question by:James Parsons
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by:n2fc
ID: 38381447
How much RAM is there?  Sounds like you are memory starved...

1) I would add as much RAM as possible first...

2) If at all possible add fast flash memory (even USB flash drive if big & fast) as a supplement

If all else fails, yes, go ahead & allow extra page files, but try to add 1 or 2 first as better choices!
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Jamie McKillop earned 1336 total points
ID: 38381459
Hello,

I would not place the page file on the same drive as Exchange. You should manually set the page file size to be 1.5x RAM is you have less than 8GB and RAM+10MB if you have more than 8GB. The inital and max values should be set the same. In your situation, you should place the page file on the C drive.

JJ
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by:Norm Dickinson
ID: 38381465
See http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2021748 for Microsoft's take on what size you should set the page file based on the amount of memory you have. More physical RAM is always better than more page file, and it is a standard practice to move the page file away from the system drive or drives containing active databases such as SQL or Exchange. Sometimes a fast flash drive is the answer. See also http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2160852 for more general information.
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by:James Parsons
ID: 38381639
Thanks everyone for your comments. there is 8GB of physical RAM in there. Server OS is installed on C:\ and Exchange is installed on D:\. Looks like the general consensus here is to move the page file to C:\ and look at increasing physical RAM. Am I correct in thinking on this line of though? Thanks again.
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by:Norm Dickinson
ID: 38381659
Increased physical RAM is always a good idea when possible and within budget. However moving the page file to the system drive will cause one of the best practices analyzers (BPA) to throw a notice up about it...they don't recommend it there.
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by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 664 total points
ID: 38381683
If you don't have two separate sets of spindles (if C and D are PARTITIONS on the same Physical/Physically Logical (as in RAID configured) disk) then it CAN be pointless to move/relocate it.  Understand, whether, the pagefile is on C: or D:, if it's the same disk, it's still the same read/write heads doing the work so it doesn't matter in that regard.

If one of the drives is low on disk space, THEN it can matter.  Further, if you ever want to do a full physical memory dump for debugging, then you need a pagefile of at least RAM+2 MB (if memory serves, could be 10 or some other, otherwise low, number).  But doing such debugging is RARE in my experience.  I know of VERY few people who have ever done this and in most cases, if you decided you needed one, you could always put it back to C: later.  Bottom line, I usually reduce the pagefile on C: to near nothing (maybe 256 MB or even 1 GB) to ensure I can get a minidump, but otherwise, most systems I have don't have pagefiles on C:.

As for setting the min and max size values to the same value, this is (at least by many people including myself) recommended - the reason is that a system managed pagefile and one where you set min and max values differently can result in a pagefile that is fragmented.  THAT will slow things down.  Further, if you move the pagefile to another location, it should generally be done early on so that the pagefile doesn't end up being created as multiple fragments.  (Moving it back to C: could do that now, depending on how large and how full your C: drive is).
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Assisted Solution

by:Jamie McKillop
Jamie McKillop earned 1336 total points
ID: 38382719
You only need a 200MB page file on the C drive with 2008 R2 to do the memory dump. I agree though that is it pretty much pointless to worry about this as a memory dump has never been useful, in my experience, in troubleshooting issues. Also, good point about C and D being on the same physical drive. I had assumed they were separate physical drives.

JJ
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 38383429
Memory dumps CAN be useful... but I've never done anything with a full one.  The mini-dumps can be fairly easily read and can sometimes lead you to an exact driver or failed hardware device that caused the error.
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