Pagefile.sys too large

Posted on 2013-11-26
Last Modified: 2013-12-17
I'm encountering an issue that pagefile.sys is too large on one of the Web server.
it's like 13GB which taking up much space on my hard drive
Windows 2008 R2 Standard SP1
64 Bit
Can i delete the file? can i move it to a different drive? would that cause any issue?
is there a different way that you might suggest for me to manage this file?
Any help would be appreciated.
Question by:racisco
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LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:Dan Craciun
ID: 39678347
System Properties-> Advanced -> Performance Settings-> Advanced->Change

Uncheck "Automatically manage page file", then manually set it to a value less than 13 GB (usually the same size as your RAM).

You can also move it to another partition. Just set "No paging file" on C and then press "SET"

Reboot and the pagefile will be the size you chose.

LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 39678360
Pagefiles are virtual memory - in most cases, unless your server has insane amounts of RAM, you NEED a pagefile and not having one will cause problems.

Move it to another drive as described above but leave 1 GB on the C: drive (do this by specifying the pagefile size.  Then place the remainder on another drive, preferrably on another PHYSICAL drive, not just another partition as this can improve performance.
LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:Nick Rhode
ID: 39678364
Technically the page file should be set to 1.5 x physical ram in the system.  If you want to free up space you can move it to another drive like leew recommended but on average for 8gb of ram 13gb page file seems correct.
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LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:Dan Craciun
ID: 39678391
The 1.5x physical RAM was correct for XP and Server 2003 with less than 1 GB RAM.
For newer OS and larger RAM, the minimum is 1x RAM.

See here:
LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 39678494
That KB contains a lot of very good information.  How often do you accept Microsoft Minimums as the recommended amounts?  I've usually increased things because as you know, MS has a tendency to underestimate real world needs.
LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:Dan Craciun
ID: 39678583
If, when I monitor my servers (not hundreds, I admit), I see lots of swapping, I usually add more RAM.

That being said, I too over provision on swap, if I have the space. Usually on a different hdd than the OS.

On 2 servers with 16GB RAM I keep only 4 GB as pagefile. Severely space constrained, and an update on storage is out of the question. But they work for more than 1 year now without noticeable bad side effects.

Author Comment

ID: 39680521
but if i move the file to a partition on the same drive that would kill the performance! wouldn't it?
LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:Dan Craciun
ID: 39680535
Nope. You would have the same performance, maybe a little less if it will reside farther from the middle of the hdd platans.

It basically reads and writes on the same hdd. Why would it "kill" performance?

It would be faster if the swap resides on another hdd than your OS only if that hdd has fewer IO operations. Otherwise, if you move it to a heavily used hdd you'd end up with slower swap operations.

Author Comment

ID: 39687702
I have 2 drives: C and D
what do you recommend from your two options:
1- Uncheck "Automatically manage page file", then set the value manually? " if yes then do i still need to move the page file to D drive? also what's the initial size and maximum size in MB do you recommend for 16GB RAM?

2-move the page file to D drive & set "No paging file" on C?

LVL 35

Accepted Solution

Dan Craciun earned 500 total points
ID: 39691692
If you have enough space on the C: drive, leave it there. Preferably set to a static value.
Which should be at least 16GB. More if you have the space. And the min value should be equal to the max value.
If you're space-constrained on C, move  it on D. The performance should be about the same.

The reason why I recommend you set it manually is because of fragmentation. If you allocate all your pagefile at once (and you have the space) it will be all in one chunk. If you let Windows shrink/enlarge the swap, there's a chance it won't find contiguous space and it will allocate pieces of free space from where it finds them.

Of course, this is only a problem on standard HDDs. On SSDs yo don't have issues with fragmentation.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 39725162
thank you

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