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head spin
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Paging file on External Hard Drive?

Feb 29, 2012 8:09 PM

Sorry guys,

I seem to have read something on this, but can't relocate the post I thought I saw it on. Most posts talk about the Paging File and External Hard Drives as two different instances. I am always learning something new so am asking if you guys are doing this, or did I misread something.

 

Is is possible to have a Paging (Virtual Memory?) file on the same External hard drive as where Scratch Discs are saved? (Or could be a separate Internal drive where Scratch Discs are located). PrE PDF user guide talks about even several different drives, where different parts of each project are stored, way too complex for the basic user like me. A separate Paging file for each hard drive? Just asking.

 

If you guys are doing this what are the benefits, and is there a procedure for doing it? I am not talking about the OS Paging File because I think I already understand that. But extra, additional paging files depending on how many hard drives a person would have or wants to use. Sounds wacky.

 

I don't think I am asking this very well, but hope you catch my drift.

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 1, 2012 6:54 AM   in reply to head spin

    I have never tested with using an external HDD for the Windows Virtual Memory Page File. I see two potential problems with this:

     

    The Page File is created early in the bootup process, so the external will need to be up, running and also fully recognized by the OS at the earliset level, and also the external's connection WILL be slower, than an internal, unless one is using eSATA, and then, that connection will need to be recognized, and any drivers loaded, at the earliest stage of bootup.

     

    I have experimented with placing my Page File on various internal HDD's, and even spanning it over several. After benchmarking my various tests, I found that on my workstation, I got best performance with statically managed Page File on C:\ and D:\, and on the laptop, statically managed all on E:\. Both machines are still running XP-Pro SP3, and all internals are SATA II.

     

    Exactly what would you like to accomplish by having the Page File on an external?

     

    Good luck,

     

    Hunt

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 1, 2012 7:03 AM   in reply to Bill Hunt

    I've found that the simplest solution is the best.


    1) Keep at least 20-30 gigs of free, clean, freshly defragment space on your C drive so that the program has room to open and "breathe". Let Windows manage your paging files on this drive and run Advanced System Care Free's Deep Care weekly to keep the spyware down and keep the drive in order.

    2) Keep your projects and media files on a separate (ideally internal) hard drive. (Make sure that each project file is saved in its own folder.) This drive should be properly configured in both your operating system and your BIOS and it should be formatted NTFS, not FAT32, as they come from the factory.

    3) Make sure that the program's Edit/Preferences/Scratch Disks are all set to Same as Project.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 1, 2012 1:26 PM   in reply to head spin

    The Windows Virtual Memory/Page File can be set to any drive that the OS recognizes, at bootup. What I do not know is whether those eSATA externals are seen early enough in the bootup process, to allow for use with the Page File. You should be able to tell, when you go to manage your Virtual Memory/Page File. Are those eSATA HDD's in the list?

     

    As for management of the Virtual Memory/Page File, one has two options:

     

    1. Let Windows manage it, dynamically, expanding it, or shrinking it, as Windows anticipates its usage
    2. Set the size, so that Windows does not do the calculations, and anticipation - the size is static

     

    I like # 2 for three reasons: I set the Page File up, with ONLY the OS installed, and the C:\, and other HDD's empty. This gets my Page File written out near the platters' edges, for faster access, it creates the Page File in the same spot, and of the same size, at bootup, so all defragmentation can take place beyond the Page File, plus this saves CPU cycles, as Windows does not have to do any extra calculations.

     

    Hope that helps, and please let us know if Windows Virtual Memory Management offers those eSATA drives as options.

     

    Hunt

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 17, 2012 3:22 PM   in reply to head spin

    For number 1, if yoiu have the 64-bit version of PrE 10, and Win7-64, with at least 12GB of RAM, the Page File will become less of an issue. With 32-bit apps. and 32-bit OS's, I like statically managed Page Files of about 2.5x the installed physical RAM - usually only 4GB, as a 32-bit program can only use ~ 3.5GB of RAM.

     

    The Page File allows the OS and the programs to treat HDD space, like RAM, and use more, than the installed RAM. However, HDD's are much slower than RAM, so getting as much into RAM, as you can, will speed things up, and greatly.

     

    For number 2, yes. Also with a statically managed Page File, setup on an empty HDD, it will always be created in the same spot every time one boots up. Though the speed decrease in only slight, the closer to the hub of the platters, the Page File is written, the slower it will be to access, as the heads have to travel farther.

     

    Number 3 is a bit of a gray area. With a 64-bit OS, and 12 GB RAM, the Page File will see much less use, as much more can be written into RAM, which will always be much quicker. I still feel that a statically managed Page File, set up very early, is the best, though with less use, one might never see the difference. It does help things with HDD management and defragmentations.

     

    Windows will offer all HDD's, that it sees, for Page Files (number 4), and you can experiment with placing the Page File on each, or spanning to multiple HDD's. On an older NT 4 computer, with smaller HDD's, I split the Page File over 4 physical HDD's, for slightly better results.

     

    Good luck,

     

    Hunt

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 17, 2012 7:35 PM   in reply to head spin

    Actually, as that computer had only 4GB of RAM, I split the Page File at about 3.25GB, on each of 4 physical SCSI 160M HDD's.

     

    Now, my workstation has 6GB on C:\ and 7GB on D:\, with only 4GB RAM, as it is still on XP-Pro SP3 (32-bit).

     

    Hunt

     
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