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Twiddling my thumbs waiting fot the puter to stop paging.

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Twiddling my thumbs waiting fot the puter to stop paging.

This prob has been driving me nuts for weeks. Whenever i've been on the puter for a while, especially if i've been watching movies, listening to music etc, the puter starts paging for ages during which time the it freezes or slows down dramatically. In desperation, I set up a seperate partition for the sole use of the swap file. It has had no effect whatsoever.

Do any of our resident puter eggspurts have any hints or tips to rectify this b4 I suffer a severe episode of puter rage and throw the thing out the window. I'm on the first floor, btw.
10 REPLIES
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Twiddling my thumbs waiting fot the puter to stop paging.

Paging shifts the content of memory forth and back between Ram and your hard disk. If you have a lot of paging activity, it very likely means that you do not have enough memory for what your comp is doing.

So, in order of importance:

1)More memory (you will very definitely notice a difference), as much as you can afford.

2)faster hard disk (7200rpm) with large cache (8M)

3)Kill any unecessary background apps

4)Regular defragmenting (create your page file just AFTER a defrag, that way its sectors will be contiguous and accessible faster)

5)All the above!!!
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Re: Twiddling my thumbs waiting fot the puter to stop paging

Quote

Do any of our resident puter eggspurts have any hints or tips to rectify this b4 I suffer a severe episode of puter rage and throw the thing out the window. I'm on the first floor, btw.


Suggest you take the PC to the 5th Floor before you throw it out. That way your more certain of total destuction of it. Smiley

More seriously though how much memory has it got if its doing a lot of swapfiling?
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Twiddling my thumbs waiting fot the puter to stop paging.

Lol John. knowing my luck, the bloomin thing would bounce and hit me in the kisser on the way back up.

That is more likely the prob, then guys as i only have a poultry 256MB of RAM. Guess it's off to the shop wid me shoppin basket then. Tks for ya help, duys. Smiley
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Twiddling my thumbs waiting fot the puter to stop paging.

@lima1

There's lots of things that could be happening, not just swap file paging. What operating system are you using? If its Win 2k or XP then consider running PERFMON to see what's hitting the disk. It could be the content indexer - when this kicks in, systems can grind to a standstill - also with some AVS products, the "catalogues" become corrupt and the subsystems can index for hours and never end.

Assuming you have only one spindle then moving the swap file to a separate partition may make things worse - the disk heads will have to move further when reading code / data into and then swapping it out of memory to disk.

I think it is more likely that application centric temporary filestore is being deleted when you've finished watching your video or whatever. Putting your TEMP filestore on a separate partition is a much better idea, since you can always junk the contents of this drive and then defrag. It will also reduce fragmentation on the system disk which can also cause system slow downs. Defraging your disks on a regular basis will aslo keep the system running at an optimal level.

Another area to look at is AVS - some products scan files on deletion (as they get moved to the recycle bin). With small files this is not a problem, however, with big files it can take forever. Last week I unzipped and moved a 998 Mbyte file - it took over an hour to do the job on a 1.7GHz laptop with 1G of memory, the job was disk IO bound and slowed down by the AVS.

Lots to think about - though memory is cheap enough and you can never have too much, it might not fix your problem. A second (fast) disk spindle (does not have to be big) to be used for swap file and temp file storage might be more beneficial.

Cheers,
Kevin
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Swap FIles

Hi,

The guideline for swap files is as I understand it

a) it should be no bigger than you physical memory and slightly more so for example if you have 512MB's Ram the swap file should be no bigger than say 600MB's. (its actual memory x1.5). Otherwise if the swap file is too big it can defrag and thus performance degrades not improves.

b) The swap file has to be placed on physically different HDD's its NO GOOD making just a partition and adding a swap file to this, this wont help improve your systems performance.

**No! I agree you have to add more RAM

Ivan


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Twiddling my thumbs waiting fot the puter to stop paging.

Whoa! Tks for all that really useful info, guys. There's certainly alot to get my head around and I have a much better idea about how to fix it, tks to your help. It's very much appreciated.. WTG, guys Smiley
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More on Virtual memory

Hi lima1,

Forgot to say that YES! you can have x2 swap files (page files) but on separate hard disk drives. I have on my machine 1 on C:\ and 1 on E: (for example the swap file on C:\ = 768MB's Min to 1536MB's Max & same on E:\ )

So total available page file space (virtual memory) = 1536 MB
Minimum =2MB
Recommended=766MB

**NOTE: 1536MB possible doesnt mean 3072MB total so dont get confused (which is very easy here!).

**This is for a system which has 512MB of RAMBUS RAM 800Hrtz memory. As a guideline for you, to help give you some ideas as to how to scale your swap files.

Ivan

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Twiddling my thumbs waiting fot the puter to stop paging.

Ivan,

Some of the "rules" you suggest are not strictly true.

You can have as much swap file space as you wish, back in the days of Win95 one migh have considered 8x "over-commit" as quite reasonable. The point about larger swap files casuing fragmentation (and thus slowing the system down) is a fair perspective, however, if you take manual control of your swap files, you can ensure that they start large and never expand and if created on a de-fragged disk will have one contigious allocation.

The parameters you suggest will lead to massive disk fragmentation and lots of wait time whilst the OS expands (and contracts) the swap file as demand changes. I would recommend going for a big wedge of (cheap) disk space. I remember when a big disk was250Mb (got more than that on my pen drive now) and swap file location and tuning was a real art form - these many Gb drives have got loads of spare capacity, so cut a large wedge, say 2G (4x over-commit) and have done with it.

Whatever else, if the swap file is going to be split across 2 volumes, do not put them on the same spindle.

Cheers,
Kevin
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Paging

Hi Kevin,

The guidelines or rules I use and suggested were taken from MIcrosoft's own information on the subject in NT. That the page file should be physical memory x1.5 (NOT from me).

If what I've suggested was incorrect or wrong then how come my system still flies like jet fighter as it were? thats after I placed swap files on both physically seperate HDD as MS themselves suggest. Yes! I took manual control of both page files and sized them accordingly, I've never had a seconds problem with paging on my system ever. I think if what you say was correct my system would be bogged down and slow but this isnt the case. I still dont agree with you.

**Kevin wrote:
Quote
Whatever else, if the swap file is going to be split across 2 volumes, do not put them on the same spindle
I dont think I suggested otherwise?

Ivan

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Twiddling my thumbs waiting fot the puter to stop paging.

Ivan,

No offence intended, sorry if you were.

It does have to be said that some MS guidance is questionable. I have seen recommendations (drawn from marketing messages) which technically do not stand up.

I think the key points for optimal swap file performance are....

1. Have the swap file on a different spindle to the system drive
2. Have the swap file as a single unfragmented file extent
3. Have the swap file spread across more than one volume on different spindles

At the end of all of this, if your disks have low fragmentation and are ultra fast, swap file activity will not be noticable. Going back to the OP, if his disks are fragmented or slow swap file activity could be a problem.

Glad to hear that your system is as fast as concord - your key performance improver will be dual spindles, which I suspect are also on separate control channels. My laptop can be slow as a dead dog - its got one spindle and a swap file spread across 2 volumes. Yes it breaks all of my own suggestions, but that's where the space is.

Cheers,
Kevin