Windows XP / Beginners

Changing the location of the paging file

The paging file can be placed all over your machine. If you really wanted to, your PC could move it to one of those keychain USB thumb drives that use a compact flash card. Although this would be insane because compact flash cards are extremely slow compared to hard drives, it is possible.

If you have multiple hard drives in your system, and I am not talking about multiple partitions on the same drive, you may see a performance increase if you move your paging file off the main system drive.

Moving the paging file off your main drive will allow it to be accessed faster in situations in which your primary hard drive is busy. Also, often when users add hard drives to their computers, they were purchased after their computer was made and usually are faster because hard drives, just like everything else in the computer, get faster as time passes. Moving your paging file to the faster hard drive will also help performance.

Changing the location of the paging file is very easy. Just follow these steps and you will have it done in no time:

  1. Once again, you will want to get back to the Virtual Memory settings. If you can get there on your own, feel free to skip to step 4. For those of you that would like directions one more time, follow this and the next two steps. Right-click the My Computer icon located on the desktop in the Start Menu and select Properties.
  2. Then click the Advanced tab and click the Settings button under the Performance section.
  3. Next, click the Advanced tab and then click the Change button under the Virtual Memory section.
  4. Now that you have the Virtual Memory settings displayed, you will want to select the drive on which your current paging file is located from the list of drives.
  5. Before you make any changes, write down what the initial and maximum size text boxes contain, if your page file is set to the custom setting. Then, click the No Paging File option and click the Set button.
  6. Select the hard drive on which you want your new paging file to be placed from the list of drives by clicking it.
  7. When the new hard drive is highlighted, click the Custom Size radio box and enter in the number that you wrote down before. If you are not using the Custom Size mode, then click the System Managed Size mode but reconsider what was talked about in the last section, because it will really help your performance.
  8. Click the Set button and then click OK three times to close all of the settings windows, and you are finished.

After a reboot, your system will be using the paging file on the new hard drive. Feel free to delete pagefile.sys from your old hard drive location because it is no longer needed there.

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