Splitting swap files?


Y

Yousuf Khan

Does it make any sense to move the Windows 7 swap file out of the boot
disk, and splitting it out over two other separate physical disks? I'm
thinking that the boot disk is usually the one that gets overloaded from
too much activity, so putting the swapfile on a couple of other data
disks will remove the stress from the boot disk, while having them over
multiple disks will reduce the stress on any one particular disk. I
figure that Windows will round-robin access to these disks. But I don't
know if this is actually how Windows works or not, can anybody confirm?
Should I just put it on one disk only? Windows always defaults to
putting it on the boot disk.

Yousuf Khan
 
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S

Seth

Yousuf Khan said:
Does it make any sense to move the Windows 7 swap file out of the boot
disk, and splitting it out over two other separate physical disks? I'm
thinking that the boot disk is usually the one that gets overloaded from
too much activity, so putting the swapfile on a couple of other data disks
will remove the stress from the boot disk, while having them over multiple
disks will reduce the stress on any one particular disk. I figure that
Windows will round-robin access to these disks. But I don't know if this
is actually how Windows works or not, can anybody confirm? Should I just
put it on one disk only? Windows always defaults to putting it on the boot
disk.
I don't know about the multiple vs. single disk question. But in regards to
general swap file placement the rule has always been "the most used
partition on the least used disk" so moving it form the boot disk to
elsewhere should yield improvement. Not sure enough of an improvement to be
noticeable or worth it, but that's for you to decide.
 
R

Rebecca

Yousuf Khan said:
Does it make any sense to move the Windows 7 swap file out of the boot
Windows 7 doesn't have a "swap file". If there's one on your system, move
it, delete it, do whatever you want; it's not used in
Windows 7.
 
S

Seth

Rebecca said:
Windows 7 doesn't have a "swap file". If there's one on your system, move
it, delete it, do whatever you want; it's not used in
Windows 7.
Where in the world did you get that idea from? Or are you being pedantic
because rather than it being named "swapfile" it is named "pagefile.sys"?
 
E

Ed Cryer

Windows 7 doesn't have a "swap file". If there's one on your system,
move it, delete it, do whatever you want; it's not used in
Windows 7.
A paging file, on the other hand, is used by Windows 7. You can either
leave it to W7 to size it itself (size of RAM installed + 300MB) or
customise it.

Ed
 
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K

Ken Blake

I don't know about the multiple vs. single disk question. But in regards to
general swap file placement the rule has always been "the most used
partition on the least used disk" so moving it form the boot disk to
elsewhere should yield improvement. Not sure enough of an improvement to be
noticeable or worth it, but that's for you to decide.

I agree with your "rule," but let me add that whether moving it will
make a difference depends on what apps you run and how much RAM you
have. If you have enough RAM for your apps, the page file will hardly
ever be used, so it doesn't matter where it is.
 
J

Jack

Seth said:
Where in the world did you get that idea from? Or are you being pedantic
because rather than it being named "swapfile" it is named "pagefile.sys"?
There's quite a difference between the two.
 
S

Seth

Jack said:
There's quite a difference between the two.
They are the same thing in the Windows world. Unless you are thinking of
hiberfile.sys which is indeed something different.
 
R

relic

Seth said:
They are the same thing in the Windows world. Unless you are thinking of
hiberfile.sys which is indeed something different.
Then Windows world is wrong.
A Page file does NOT work like a Swap file in the real world.
 
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K

Ken Blake

Then Windows world is wrong.
A Page file does NOT work like a Swap file in the real world.

They are different in the details, but overall they are identical. So
many people use the two terms interchangeably.
 
C

Char Jackson

Good article. I agree with its author when he says that the
differences between the two are subtle, with the biggest difference
being their respective names. After that, the differences are entirely
inconsequential, from a user perspective. They both do the same thing,
albeit with minor differences under the hood.
 
R

relic

Ken Blake said:
They are different in the details, but overall they are identical. So
many people use the two terms interchangeably.
As a developer who had to implement the coding changes to go from a Swap
file to a Page file, the differences were substantial.
 
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Y

Yousuf Khan

I don't know about the multiple vs. single disk question. But in regards
to general swap file placement the rule has always been "the most used
partition on the least used disk" so moving it form the boot disk to
elsewhere should yield improvement. Not sure enough of an improvement to
be noticeable or worth it, but that's for you to decide.
Well, at the very least it should improve the performance of the C:
drive overall, not having to service the swapfile constantly while doing
other stuff.

Yousuf Khan
 
Y

Yousuf Khan

I agree with your "rule," but let me add that whether moving it will
make a difference depends on what apps you run and how much RAM you
have. If you have enough RAM for your apps, the page file will hardly
ever be used, so it doesn't matter where it is.
I got 8Gigs, but I've seen the usage go all of the way upto 6 Gigs
occasionally.

Yousuf Khan
 
Y

Yousuf Khan

Windows 7 doesn't have a "swap file". If there's one on your system,
move it, delete it, do whatever you want; it's not used in
Windows 7.
She's most likely being pedantic. To be strictly correct, a swapfile is
something that has whole programs swapped out from memory and then
reloaded from it. Whereas, pagefiles only swap pages of memory (usually
a page is 4K in length, but of variable length these days), rather than
the whole program.

If you can't be helpful, then you can be pedantic. :)

Yousuf Khan
 
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A

Alexander Arnakis

Does it make any sense to move the Windows 7 swap file out of the boot
disk, and splitting it out over two other separate physical disks? I'm
thinking that the boot disk is usually the one that gets overloaded from
too much activity, so putting the swapfile on a couple of other data
disks will remove the stress from the boot disk, while having them over
multiple disks will reduce the stress on any one particular disk. I
figure that Windows will round-robin access to these disks. But I don't
know if this is actually how Windows works or not, can anybody confirm?
Should I just put it on one disk only? Windows always defaults to
putting it on the boot disk.

Yousuf Khan
The swap file is called "pagefile.sys" and it's one huge file. I don't
think there's any way you can break it into smaller units on multiple
drives.

You can specify any drive in which to locate this file. I have it in
the root of my Drive E:, which is the second partition of my primary
physical drive.

The reason I did this is not to "reduce the stress" on the boot drive
(C:) but to make it easier to copy or mirror the entire contents of
C:. (You may have to do that if you need to replace the physical
drive.) If you try to copy "pagefile.sys" the process will hang up
and you'll get an error message.
 

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