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Disabling the Paging File

If you have a large amount of RAM in your box, you have the ability to stop the

operating system from pushing any data out into the paging file. This will cause
faster memory management and memory access than is physically possible for
your RAM. Reading and writing directly to the RAM is always significantly
faster than having to use the paging file. Reading and writing to the paging file
requires multiple steps and that takes time. First the data has to be copied out
of physical RAM to the hard drive, and then the new data must be loaded from
the hard drive into RAM and then executed. The hard drive is a big bottleneck
in this situation.
If you have 4GB of RAM or more in your computer, you can consider dis-
abling the paging file. If you have less than 4GB of RAM, do not even consider
disabling the paging file or you will be running into problems.
What can happen if you disable your paging file? If you have enough RAM,
nothing, but if you do not have enough RAM, applications may refuse to load
or even crash. For example, if you run Photoshop and are working on a large
image, you will run into “out of memory” errors and the application will crash,
causing you to lose all your work. This is a pretty extreme example, but it can
happen to you if you don’t have enough RAM and disable your paging file.
Basically, stick to the 4GB minimum and you will have no problems in most
cases, but be aware that if you ever choose to run some memory-intensive appli-
cations, such as rendering a two-hour movie, or if you just like to run dozens
of programs at once, you can run out of memory easily.
So, now that you know the concerns, you are ready to follow these steps to
disable the paging file:
  1.  Click the Start button, right-click Computer, and select Properties.
  2.  When System has loaded, click Advanced system settings, as shown in
Figure 15-4.
  3.  Under the Performance section, click Settings.
  4.  Click the Advanced tab and then click Change under Virtual Memory.
  5.  This will load the Virtual Memory screen. Uncheck the box that says
Automatically manage paging file size for all drives.
  6.  For each drive listed in the box that has a paging file configured on it,
select the No paging file option and press Set

7.  After you have gone through the list and verified that you no longer have
any paging files configured on your drives, click OK to exit.

Your paging file will now be disabled after a reboot. Feel free to delete the
pagefile.sys file from your hard drive after your reboot to gain a chunk of space
back. You will have to disable Hide protected operating system files on the View
tab of Folder Options to see the pagefile.sys file.
If you do not have enough RAM to disable the paging file completely, follow
the directions in the next section to adjust the size of the paging file for best

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