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Paging File Question

Discussion in 'MCDST' started by j_holz, Feb 26, 2007.

  1. j_holz

    j_holz Bit Poster

    :rolleyes: Hi, I have a Paging file related question.. Please help if possible!

    I have recently learned (i think) that the term PF Usage refers to virtual memory and how much of it is being used... but there are some things that are a bit fuzzy still...

    According to my traditional understanding, virtual memory is a little portion on your HD that Windows sets aside to use as 'pretend' RAM when your memory usage is exceeding the ammount of RAM inside your 'puter..

    That bit seemed pretty clear...

    Now the things of things that arent clear...

    I remember back in the days when my computer only had 256mb RAM, whenever I loaded Photoshop (or something memory intensive) windows would always pop up a bubble saying "having trouble... now increasing virtual memory ...etc"

    Can this 'auto increasing' be disabled (ie. have i missed something obvious?) because I would have thought the whole point of limiting the ammount of virtual memory available is to keep free space on your HD..

    Secondly... does Windows ONLY ever use Virtual Memory when the hardware RAM is in fully in use? (it doesnt occasionally use it, just for a change? Or when some other factors specify.. :clown )

    The third thing I dont quite get is the terminology... is the allocated ammount of Virtual Memory reffered to as "TEH PAGE FILE" or is the page file the ammount of virtual memory "CURRENTLY IN USE"??

    Thanks in advance
    Certifications: BTEC ND for IT Technicians
  2. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

    page file (along with other factors) can be viewed from within task manager > performance tab.

    page file configuration can be changed/viewed by;

    right clicking "my computer" > properties > Advanced > Performance Settings > advanced (again!) and then the option is Virtual memory.

    As for Windows using it - take a look at the line graph in device manager.

    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  3. dales

    dales Gigabyte Poster


    virtual mem and page files are the same thing, I think they call it a page file because it swaps pages of data at a time to the HDD. I think that it was called virtual memory a few OS's ago, cant remember when virtual mem came into being I suppose it was win 95 because I dont remember it being present in win 3.1, but I wait to be corrected on this one!
    Certifications: vExpert 2014+2015+2016,VCP-DT,CCE-V, CCE-AD, CCP-AD, CCEE, CCAA XenApp, CCA Netscaler, XenApp 6.5, XenDesktop 5 & Xenserver 6,VCP3+5,VTSP,MCSA MCDST MCP A+ ITIL F
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  4. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

    if you set the min/max page file size to the same figure then windows cannot change it, ie it will be fixed - there is conflicting info on the net but generally 1.5 x the amount of RAM for both min and max is used often

    Windows uses virtual memory even when the RAM is not fully utilised, memory management is a complex topic you only really need to know that the OS juggles things around to enhance performance

    the page file is a hidden file usually in the root of the system partition (C:) it's name is pagefile.sys - virtual memory is the data inside the file, for want of a better analogy :biggrin
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  5. j_holz

    j_holz Bit Poster

    Awesome! Thanks for the explanainations! That really clears things up.. I was confusing my previous assumptions with my newfound knowlege!
    Certifications: BTEC ND for IT Technicians
  6. AJ

    AJ Administrator Administrator

    In the earlier versions of Windows it was called a swap file. Still used virtual memory and was in use with windows 3x

    For the complete explanation of all this try Wiki
    Certifications: MCSE, MCSA (messaging), ITIL Foundation v3
    WIP: Looking at doing ..................

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