Strange Windows file

  Martin12 19:06 22 Feb 04

I use XP Pro. In the C drive there is a file called pagefile.sys that is 768 meg and growing.

Is this a Windows file? Is it needed?

  bremner 19:08 22 Feb 04

Absolutely essential and in any case you cannot delete it.

  bremner 19:08 22 Feb 04

click here for a thread about the sap file (paging file in XP)

  bremner 19:09 22 Feb 04

sap = swap

  temp003 01:41 23 Feb 04

Yep, that's the XP swap file, virtual memory.

Presumably you have 512MB physical RAM? XP by default sets the minimum pagefile size to 1.5 times your RAM and max to 3 times your RAM (unless you have a lot of RAM).

The size of the pagefile.sys in My Computer or Explorer is usually shown as the minimum size (unless it is required to expand when an application needs a lot of memory).

There's no particular need to change the settings for the page file. But if the use of your computer does need a lot of virtual memory and you find the page file keeps having to expand and contract, then it may be a good idea to fix the page file size (then XP doesn't need to use resources to determine whether file needs to be expanded, waste time expanding it, and causing more fragmentation of the page file).

To change settings, right click My Computer, Properties, Advanced tab, Performance Options, Virtual memory. Click Change. Change both the minimum and maximum values to the same amount (say, 1024MB or 1536MB, depending on your needs). Then click SET. OK, OK. Setting it to such a value means that you have less disk space available for other use, but it shouldn't matter with today's disk sizes, and if the difference of a few hundred MB makes a difference to your computer, it's probably time to add another hard disk anyway.

You only need the change the settings if your pagefile keeps having to expand. If not, you can leave it alone.

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