Dave, I’ve got my hard drive partitioned into 9 logical partitions with Windows XP Pro installed on drive K:. My system has swap files (pagefile.sys) on both drive C: and drive K:. Both are nearly the same size (but not identical) at just over 800MB. I know, I know, Windows XP help states “Don’t place multiple pagefiles on different partitions on the same physical disk drive.”
This is somewhat ironic advice as I assume Windows XP created both of these during its install process. To follow the help file advice, though, I thought I’d eliminate the pagefile.sys on drive K: and increase the assigned space on Drive C:.
When I open “Computer Management”, highlight “Computer Management (Local), right click on properties, and click the “Advanced” tab I get a dialog box specifying “Can’t access virtual memory information.” I click “OK” to close the dialog box but the “Change” button under the “Virtual Memory” section is then grayed out.
At this point, I don’t know what to do next. Any help you can offer would be appreciated. Thanks.
If you have the option, the best place to put the swap file would be in a separate physical drive, but as it appears that you have just the one partitioned drive the swap file would be best in the partition containing the XP installation you are running.
The reason you have a swap file in the C partition is that windows installs itself and the page file to the C partition by default, therefore this maybe the paging file of a previous or maybe the current? installation of Windows on that partition.
Another way of changing your swap file settings is by going through these steps:
- Start –> My Computer
- In the left hand column click View System Information.
- In the next System Properties window that opens click on the Advanced tab.
- In the first box called Performance click on Settings.
- In the next pop-up window click the Advanced tab.
- In the bottom box where it’s labeled “Virtual Memory”, you’ve guessed it, click on Change.
- In the new Virtual Memory window it should show you all incidences of paging files on your system. Highlight the one you want to get rid of and select the “no paging file” check box and then press set.
- If you want to customise the size of the swap file you want to keep, highlight it and then select the Custom size check box.
Here’s what you should be looking at:
Now there are a many different views on the optimal size for your page file. As a quick rule of thumb try using 1.5 times your actual memory (RAM) size, although some people suggest putting as much as the 3 times limit due the memory demands of some modern applications.
You may want to take a look at the “Commit Charge Peak” by going to Task Manager (Ctrl+Alt+Del) and then click on the Performance tab. The Commit Charge Peak is the value in in the bottom left hand corner, this might give you some idea of your systems memory needs.
Back to our process of fixing what’s wrong with your computer, however:
- Enter the values you would like and keep the initial and maximum size values the same. Click OK and reboot and your’re done.
If your are really stuck and can’t seem to change the swap files this way you could change the page files in the registry settings, this is a bit of a risky way to do it but if you have no choice this is what you need to do (before you touch the registry, though, remember to always save a copy so you can roll back to a good version in case something goes terribly wrong):
- Start –> Run
- Navigate through the folders in the left hand column in the following sequence:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE> SYSTEM> CurrentControlSet> Session Manager
- Left click on the Memory Management folder
- Then in the right hand column double left click on something called P”agingFiles”.
- In the Edit Multi-String window that pops up change the details in the Value data box to those that you require, for example:
C:\pagefile.sys 768 768
would mean a page file in drive C with the intial value 768 and the maximum value 768, so any change to the page file must keep the form:
location pagefile.sys initial size maximum size
Type regedit in the box and then click OK.
I would be very careful changing your page files in this way and only do it as a last resort, and be sure to pay special attention to the syntax or it could end in tears.
Hope this helps you to sort your problem out!