Do I really need a sawpfile for a 4GB memory computer? I disabled them!

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Help and Support' started by pstein, Apr 14, 2011.

  1. pstein

    pstein Honorable Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2010
    Messages:
    347
    Likes Received:
    0
    A few weeks ago I read somewhere that I can completely disable the swapfile(s) in Win7 if there is enough (=4Gb) physical memory.
    So I gave it a try and disabled all swapfiles.....and it works!
    Even better I feel a little speedup (especially at shutdown).

    So why is this recommendation almost unknown?
    Can there be a situation where I need swapfile(s) anyway?

    Peter
     
  2. Trouble

    Trouble Noob Whisperer

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    Messages:
    13,845
    Likes Received:
    833
    I believe that the swapfile (pagefile) is still essential in certain aspects of Windows error reporting like for instances in the case of a system failure that produces a BSOD (Blue Screen of Death), i believe that the swap file is required to write the error information correctly in order for the dump files to be created.
    Also I don't suspect that it would produce any performance degradation, nor in the case of it's absense any performance enhancements, except that sometimes I believe it can become fragmentent and perhaps in those instances may degrade system performance to some extent.
    For a long time Microsoft has recommended that the pagefile should be one and one half times the amount of actual physical memory in the system and also recommended that the upper and lower size should be the same to supposedly prevent fragmentation.
    I have 16 Gigabytes of physical memory in my system and still have a pagefile (on C:\) does it help? I don't know. Does it hurt? Pretty sure it doesn't.
    Just an opinion and there may be others. At least I hope so.
     
  3. Super Sarge

    Super Sarge New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2009
    Messages:
    1,737
    Likes Received:
    64
    Yes because certain programs look for the swap file when performing operations, graphics come to mind. I have 12 gig of memory and still have a swap file.
    What size is your HD. I have a 1.5 TB using about 70 gig of it and that includes the swap file.
     
  4. Mitchell_A

    Mitchell_A Excellent Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2009
    Messages:
    5,068
    Likes Received:
    240
    So long as your page file is at least 200 MB, error information can still be written.
    Adding to others recommendations above, you can safely divide your page file to about 25% your total RAM capacity, so 1 GB would work fine.
    Since you already have 4 GB of RAM, there's no benefit to having a huge page file.

    Hope this helps :)
     
  5. Trouble

    Trouble Noob Whisperer

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    Messages:
    13,845
    Likes Received:
    833
    Depending on how you have your machine configured to Write debugging information, if you are collecting kernel memory dumps
    Source: How to determine the appropriate page file size for 64-bit versions of Windows
    Other articles that may help to further confuse the issue;
    RAM, Virtual Memory, Pagefile and all that stuff
    and
    How to configure paging files for optimization and recovery in Windows XP
    Bottom line, yes you need a swapfile (pagefile). How big probably depends mostly on the use and load on the machine. Generally if you are seeing some out of memory/virtual memory messages popping up, then you need to grow it.
    Hope for the best....plan for the worst.
    Belt plus suspenders.
     
  6. patcooke

    patcooke Microsoft MVP
    Staff Member Premium Supporter Microsoft MVP

    Joined:
    May 16, 2010
    Messages:
    5,455
    Likes Received:
    268
    I have 4gb ram and have no swap file. It is a personal decision but best thing is to delete all swap files and see how it goes. If you have some programs which need it then at the worst they will complain/fall over and you will have to create one. If you have no problems then you have saved disk space equal to (default value) 6GB. It is also worth knowing that there are some programs about which use swapfile without checking if they really need to so invoking unnecessary disk transfers. The point about log files is a valid one but if an error is a "one-off" then you probably wouldn't be worried about debigging it and if it becomes repetitive then you can re-enable swapfile to catch the next occurrence.
     
  7. Super Sarge

    Super Sarge New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2009
    Messages:
    1,737
    Likes Received:
    64
    I personally have swap file even though I have 12 gig of memory. My Os is also on a 1.5 Terra Byte drive of which I am only using about 70 GIG of and that inscluses the swap file. I would recommend you keep the Swapo File unless your drive is very small or almost full. If it is alsmost full I would suggest a Bigger Drive. In today's market a 1 Terra byte drives are the norm on most machines. The space saved by reoving a swap file on a bigg drive would be less 1 or 2 percent of the drives size. In my mind the question is moot
     
  8. Highwayman

    Highwayman Extraordinary Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2009
    Messages:
    3,977
    Likes Received:
    112
    Another often overlooked issue is having a swap file enable is a nice hiding place for viruses, since they can write to it and most realtime scanners dont check swap files at all due to performance hits on the system, enabling the clearing of pagefiles on reboot helps that but adds huge delays on shutdowns.

    Personal choice is disable it totally, have done with and without it for many years and in most cases when its been on it hasnt helped one jot.
     
    #8 Highwayman, Apr 15, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2011
  9. davehc

    davehc Microsoft MVP
    Premium Supporter Microsoft MVP

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    5,116
    Likes Received:
    301
    There is commonsense in the suggestions, and the op should consider them. Maybe not good advice, but I support Highwayman. I have managed without a swap file, also for many years. One of my daily tasks over those years has been the testing of software, and OSs. This on a variety of machines. I have not so far (fingers crossed) experienced any errors or problems.
     

Share This Page

Loading...