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Page File | Windows 2000 Main Page |

General Information

The page file is a special file used by windows for holding temporary data which is swapped in and out of physical memory in order to provide a larger virtual memory set.

The file name is pagefile.sys and it is created during setup in the Root of the boot drive as a hidden file. It will not show up on an Explorer file listing unless you toggle off the "Hide system Files" option. In its default state it should be approximately 1.5 times the system RAM.

Here are some tips on optimizing the use of pagefile.sys file...

Configuring -

A page file can be individually set for each drive by doing the following.

  1. On the desktop, right click "My Computer"
  2. Select "Properties" from the provided selection list.
  3. Click the Advanced Tab on the top right of the window
  4. Click the "Performance Options..." button
  5. Click the Change button, the "Virtual Memory" window will open.

At this point you can select the drive from the provided list and then type in the amount of memory you want dedicated to the swap file in the provided text boxes. A box is provided for the initial size and the maximum size. Simply enter the amount and click the Set button.

My personal belief is that using the same value for both the initial and maximum would improve performance and cut down on possible fragmentation.


KB article Q197379 - Configuring the Page Files for Optimization and Recovery

The article above describes how to perform this operation.


Problems with Page File -

Problems with permissions can prevent the page file from working properly. Removing the Everyone Group might cause this problem.  NTFS needs the Everyone Group with Full Control permission on the root drive ( KB Q130016 ). 

The solution of course is to make sure the group Everyone has full permissions on the root drive.

 Another fix is to change the security of the drive containing the page file by adding SYSTEM to the permissions. This is done by right clicking the C drive, Select Properties, Click the Security Tab, Click the Advanced Button, Click the Add button, Select SYSTEM from the selection list and click the OK button.


The Pagefile.sys file is not accessible when you are in Recovery Console. To work around this behavior, copy another file to the Pagefile.sys file. After you copy a file to Pagefile.sys, the Pagefile.sys file is displayed and can then be deleted. ...see KB link above.




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