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  1. #1
    Member mar122999's Avatar
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    Page File Usage High? How to Decrease?

    Kinda curious, how can you decrease your pagefile in Win XP? It always seems as if any system that has a high page file usage always run slower than if it had a lower page file usage. I thought that "ending" any unecessary processes could solve the high page file problem (350Mb), but there doesn't seem to be anything that is hogging memory within. Any ideas?

    Pentium 4 2.4Ghz
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Gilthanaz's Avatar
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    I'm not positive about XP, but in win 2000 you can go to the system properties, advanced tab, performance, and click the change button to change your virtual memory settings. I think most things like this are the same or similar between xp and 2000, but somone with XP correct me if not.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Hungrycookpot's Avatar
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    theres one more step in xp, go to control panel, system, advanced tab, in the box labeled performance click the settings button, then again the advanced tab, and in the bottom box there is a text box (i think its a text box) that allows you to specify the amount of space you want. oh ya and you have to be logged on as the admin if you already arent

    *edit* no sorry its not a text box, as gilthanaz said its a button that says change
    Last edited by Hungrycookpot; May 28th, 2004 at 11:16 PM. Reason: wrong info

  4. #4
    Onii-san Bizkitkid2001's Avatar
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    350mb is really lower for only 256mb of system ram. I have my pagefile set at 500mb and I have 512mb of system ram. Every now and then when I am playing bf:vietnam will multiple background prograsm running, i run out of both system ram and page file and windows increases my pagefile from 500-768.

    If I were you I would increase the page file as that will probably help in performance.
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  5. #5
    Member mar122999's Avatar
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    I really don't want to change the page file size (I already have it set 1.5x more than memory), I was looking for the most efficient way to lower the page file usage to make this system run faster.

  6. #6
    Onii-san Bizkitkid2001's Avatar
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    The only way to really lower page file usage, not size, is to buy some more system ram.
    One by one the penguins steal my sanity.

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  7. #7
    Member mar122999's Avatar
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    No, the 350mb is how much it is using inside of the "performance" tab in task manager. I notice that some systems start off with 75mb usuage, then gradually increase of course to 100mb, 150mb, 200mb, ...etc. The higher it goes, the more slower the system gets. Is there a way (without adding RAM) to free up some of the page file usage?

  8. #8
    Ultimate Member wju425's Avatar
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    You need more mems friend. More mems you got the less you need to page. Also the more mems you got the better the performance. It can't get any simpler than that. I have 512 on my win98se and I can run it without paging enabled. The thing is though some applications expects to see the paging file (I crashed because of that) so I got mine set to 1/4 of my ram.

    \o/ Billy

  9. #9
    RIP Jessica Francesca. paul9's Avatar
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    there was a thread recently about registry tweaks for memory Memory tweaks
    read through that and decide if it is what you need.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Hungrycookpot's Avatar
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    also you could just try closing down some unneeded background programs and unused processes, that always speeds up the ol computater

  11. #11
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    RESTART

    Just restart your PC. I had a maximum PF usage with Firefox crashing all the time. then i just restarted the comp and everything was back to normal.

  12. #12
    Ride 'em Cowboy Steve R Jones's Avatar
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    After FIVE YEARS...I'm glad we got this sorted
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  13. #13
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    HIgh PF

    I am having the same issue with my PC, I have win XP, 4CPU 3.00 GHz, Processor Speed 2.92 GHz, & 512 of Mem. There are times that I noticed that PF Usage was pegged. After thinking things thru, I deleted my AV Program and, guess what....the PF usage dropped to around 185 - 200MB. My PC's 6 1/2 years old and I'm thinking about just getting a new one rather than stick $$$ into this Dell 8300.

  14. #14
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    Exclamation Tim Leadbetter

    Quote Originally Posted by Mich=key D View Post
    I am having the same issue with my PC, I have win XP, 4CPU 3.00 GHz, Processor Speed 2.92 GHz, & 512 of Mem. There are times that I noticed that PF Usage was pegged. After thinking things thru, I deleted my AV Program and, guess what....the PF usage dropped to around 185 - 200MB. My PC's 6 1/2 years old and I'm thinking about just getting a new one rather than stick $$$ into this Dell 8300.
    just wondering, wouldnt this completely open up your computer to anything that wants to get on it? My desktop keep having its page file usage pegged at about 1GB which is just incredibly bad!! it takes about 10 minutes (no joke or exaggeration) to open internet explorer, or MS word or anything else!! HELP PLEASE!!

  15. #15
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    A bit more explanation...

    Seems like most people posting Qs on this topic (and a few of the answerers ;-P) don't really understand what the PF is for, or why your PC runs slow when it gets large. Here's a bit more background that may help someone.

    This post is relevant for Windows XP and earlier - Vista/7 have a different memory management system (see Coding Horror: Why Does Vista Use All My Memory? if you want to know more about that).

    When you open a bunch of programs, your PC has to store all the relevant data somewhere. It tries to store everything in memory (ie RAM) which is nice and fast.

    If you have too much stuff open (eg multiple tabs in Firefox), and/or if you don't have much RAM (eg 512Mb), then all the data won't fit in RAM. Windows makes a guess of what you're not using right now, and moves it from RAM to disk, into the Page File. Next time you access that program, Windows copies the data back out of the Page File and into RAM.

    [In tech speak, thats called a 'page fault' - ie the data windows was looking for isn't in RAM, but in the page file. Getting data from disk is much slower than getting it from RAM.]

    If your Page File gets big: this means you have a lot of programs open using memory, and it doesn't all fit into RAM. If the PF is large then maybe a lot of the time Windows looks for data, it's in the PF rather than RAM. You'll get a lot of "page faults", and the computer will be slow.


    To fix it, you have the following options:
    1- Close down programs you're not using.
    2- Close tabs you're not using in Firefox.
    The memory being used by the programs/tabs will be freed up.

    3- Restart programs you still want.
    Eg close and restart Firefox. Some programs end up leaking memory over time, ie they're using up more than they actually need. Restarting the program will fix this.

    4- Restart your computer.
    As for (3), some of the Windows background tasks may leak memory over time. Restart to start again from a clean state!

    5- Get more memory!
    Ultimately, if your Page File keeps getting large, you're trying to use more memory than you have available on your PC. It's going to be slow! If you've got less than 1Gb RAM and you're trying to run modern or memory intensive programs (classic being having multible tabs open in your web browser), then you should be thinking about getting an upgrade.

    Hopethis helps someone :-)
    - sam

  16. #16
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    Lightbulb lowering pagefile usage

    Quote Originally Posted by mar122999 View Post
    I really don't want to change the page file size (I already have it set 1.5x more than memory), I was looking for the most efficient way to lower the page file usage to make this system run faster.
    a good way to do this is to run the msconfig.exe program from the run option found on the start menue or use the start new task in the task manager file tab and go to the services and startup tabs and disable the services and startup items that you don't use or are not critical to have runing this will lower the amount of page file and ram that you will use leaving more room for other programs and a ram upgrade combined with doing this would be best and also not having a background/wallpaper will help and going into the performance seting and ruing the system at the best performance option which gets rid of the usless eye candy of xp and makes the user interface more like that of windows 2000/me/98/95/NT

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