page file 16 GB !!

Posted on 2014-08-29
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2014-08-29

I am running on a win 2008 server. I am checking my C drive for space and the biggest file is page is: pagefile.sys with 16 GB !!!

What is this for and can it be made smaller ?
Question by:Aleks

Accepted Solution

RantCan earned 1000 total points
ID: 40292868
Page File is memory on disk that are critical to a happy windows system.  Please see this link for a definition:


You CAN move this to a different disk, if your OS partition is tiny (less than 40 GB).  This may help.

LVL 30

Assisted Solution

by:Rich Weissler
Rich Weissler earned 500 total points
ID: 40292872
The pagefile is the space on the drive windows will write to, in conjunction with memory.  It's frequently recommended that the size be set at 1 to 1.5 times the amount of RAM in the machine.   (One + some size is the minimum size to capture a full memory dump in a crash.)

Windows requires at least SOME pagefile.  It can't be set to zero.  (I believe it'll let you, but it'll have problems later on.)  You can do some performance tuning to determine the most appropriate size for your workload.  Yes, it can likely be made smaller (again, depending on the server workload), but if you do, but certain to monitor how it uses the pagefile for a while.

Assisted Solution

RantCan earned 1000 total points
ID: 40292873
LVL 60

Assisted Solution

by:Cliff Galiher
Cliff Galiher earned 500 total points
ID: 40292874
The page file has been in windows for almost 20 years and is used by Windows for performance optimizations. It'll write memory in RAM (in blocks called pages) to disk when that area is seeing low activity to make room for other higher activity processes. Since RAM is faster than disks, this is a huge performance gain. There are also background processes that rely on, and often require, a page file.

By default, Windows manages the page file itself, and the size is often equal to the amount of RAM in the system. That way, in a catastrophic failure, the entire contents can be (or often already is) dumped to disk for analysis and automated recovery.

Because of this, I do not recommend trying to make the page file smaller. 16GB costs, what, .03 cents at current densities? Maybe a little more on SSDs. But SSDs in servers is still reserved for critical performance applications where cost is a non-issue anyways, or for data tiering, where you wouldn't store a page file on the SSD tier anyways. Basically, best to leave it alone. Nothing you mentioned is a red flag.

Author Comment

ID: 40292883
I will move it to the bigger partition and leave the size alone. Thanks for all the info.

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