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 »  Home  »  System Performance Page 1  »  Stripping Page File across Multiple Hard drives
Stripping Page File across Multiple Hard drives
By  Super Admin  | Published  02/24/2005 | System Performance Page 1 | Rating:
Stripping Page File across Multiple Hard drives

There have been lots of articles and tweaks concerning the Page File. I have tried them all, however, whilst researching articles for work, I came across this tweak directly from Microsoft that has been the best improver of my system performance.

If you have two or more hard drives, especially if they reside on separate IDE channels, it is possible to Strip the Page File across these two drives. Windows XP has code within it that will enable a RAID-Type Stripping. Therefore, Windows XP will through its internal algorithms place information in the separate drives. By accessing both of the Drives at the same time to read/write information, Windows XP will considerably improve its performance!

Simply go to System Properties > Advanced > Performance > Settings > Virtual Memory and assign the page file a size on each drive.

The way I did mine is as follows:

I have two hard drives each formatted with two partitions each. Hence I have a total of 4 Partitions being displayed. On my secondary HD, I created the first Partition and called it my SWAP. Since I have 512 MB of RAM, I created the partition with 1.5 GB. On this partition, I assigned the Swap File of 764 - 1500 MB. On the Primary Partition which Contains my Operating System, I also have a swap file of the same 764-1500 MB.

Try this out my friends. I guarantee you will be impressed with the results. As a comparison, when I had a single partition, one application used to suck 100% of my cpu cycles and my swap file usage jumped way high. Ever since I started the page file stripping, that very same application sucks only 5% CPU cycles!

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Comments
  • Comment #1 (Posted by an unknown user)
    Rating
    Sounds clear enough. Glad to know this is possible.
     
  • Comment #2 (Posted by stan)
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    this is a good thing to do to speed up but is it worth it on a 1.6 512 mb 20gb hd
     
  • Comment #3 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    Does this really work what about doing this with a fixed min/max size will it still work ?
     
  • Comment #4 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    The author references microsoft as stating that you should strip the page file across multiple hard disk drives. I have searched through microsoft's knowledge base and found just the opposite. Please see this article for FACTUAL information regarding optimization of the windows page file: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;314482
     
  • Comment #5 (Posted by an unknown user)
    Rating
    great inprovement
     
  • Comment #6 (Posted by bobkart)
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    The word is "Striping", not "Stripping". And "stripe", not "strip".
     
  • Comment #7 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    with the extremely low prices on RAM these days, do yourself a favour and get some of that instead and then you can disable the entire swap file thing. Then you will be flying :)
     
  • Comment #8 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    I agree with comment #5, the algorithm doesn't stripe it looks at which drive doesn't contain your OS and chooses that one. Also you should use a fixed swapfile size to avoid fragmentation. I always create a dedicated partition for the swapfile whether it's a second drive (preferable) or the same drive. In addition I use DiskMgmt.msc to change the drive letter to S: or P: (depending on the client) and then I use TweakUI to hide the S: or P: drive from My Computer so as to not confuse users.
     
  • Comment #9 (Posted by an unknown user)
    Rating
    I’ve done research. There’s little to none factual information on this subject, and i think that even Microsoft knowledge base is giving misleading information on actual swap-paging system inner working. Read further to know why. In my search i’ve found a book by O’Reilly called “Windows 2000 Performance Guide”. In a chapter called “Memory management and Paging” detailing WindowsNT memory system inner workings there’s a info saying “Adding a second paging file spreads the paging I/O load across another physical disk and usually improves page fault resolution time substantially.” So this is all theory, how about practical proof? For this there’s system tool called Performance Monitor included in OS. Now, on a test system that uses page swapping quite heavily, that is Windows 2000, 64Mb RAM and two swap files on separate physical disks, according to Performance Monitor system usage of two swap files is symmetrical, usage percentage is similar. It suggests that there's indeed some kind f swap stiping going on. Subjectively system became more responsive, so i think there’s truth behind this article.
     
  • Comment #10 (Posted by an unknown user)
    Rating
    I've done research. There's little to none factural information on this subject, and i think that even Microsoft knowledge base is giving misleading information on actual swap-paging system inner working. Read further to know why. In my search i've found a book by O'Reilly called "Windows 2000 Performance Guide". In a chapter called "Memory management and Paging" detailing WindowsNT memory system inner workings there's a info saying "Adding a second paging file spreads the paging I/O load across another physical disk and usually improves page fault resolution time substantially." So this is all theory, how about practical proof? For this there's system tool called Performance Monitor included in OS. Now, on a test system that uses page swapping quite heavily, that is Windows 2000, 64Mb RAM and two swap files on separate physical disks, according to Performance Monitor system usage of two swap files is symmetrical, usage percentage is similar. And subjectively system became more responsive. So i think there's truth behind this article.
     
  • Comment #11 (Posted by an unknown user)
    Rating
    nice
     
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