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Windows 2000 RAM And Swap File Usage


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So, I use Windows 2000 Professional (Service Pack 4) for my primary internet use.

No Complaints on stability whatsoever.

I've noticed out of 384 MB of RAM, I'm using 64 MB of RAM at idle, and 84 MB of RAM when I'm using Opera. Even when listening to Windows Media Player as I surf the net, I'm at around 86 - 87 MB of RAM.

I have a Spare 10 Gig Hard drive in which, I use as the Swap File. I have the settings configured to 4 Gigs.

My question is; Am I waisting Hard Drive Space with the Swap File?

How much does Windows 2000 rely on the Swap File upon starting up if any?

Thanks.

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So, I use Windows 2000 Professional (Service Pack 4) for my primary internet use.

No Complaints on stability whatsoever.

I've noticed out of 384 MB of RAM, I'm using 64 MB of RAM at idle, and 84 MB of RAM when I'm using Opera. Even when listening to Windows Media Player as I surf the net, I'm at around 86 - 87 MB of RAM.

I have a Spare 10 Gig Hard drive in which, I use as the Swap File. I have the settings configured to 4 Gigs.

My question is; Am I waisting Hard Drive Space with the Swap File?

How much does Windows 2000 rely on the Swap File upon starting up if any?

Thanks.

In a word, Win2k doesn't use swap file after booting up if you don't start programs at the booting time that exceed your physical RAM capacity.

The Microsoft suggestion of swapfile configuration (or default settings) would be 1.5 of the physical RAM you installed.

Under your description, unless you got 2GB of RAM, yes, your swapfile is a little bit larger than average setting.

Swapfile mainly serves as the backup RAM once your physical RAM runs out, another purpose would be used as a debugging tools to dump the memory (DRAM) into swapfile for engineer to analyze what process caused your computer crash.

However, if you are running some video or photo editor and doing big file, then possibly you would like to keep a big swapfile. Go administrative tools -> performance, to see if your computer constantly runs out of memory.

Since DRAM module is cheap nowaday, basically i keep the swapfile for further stability. I got 1GB ram, before them used up, normally i simply close the process i don't need. Only in one situation, that is buggy program which has a serious memory leak, quickly consumming my memory, at that situation, swapfile can buy time for me to kill that process before the memory running out and bringing down the whole system. (Memory leak will page to swapfile.)

That rarely happens, so why some people simply reduced it to the minimum, 2MB.

One more thing, trim your swapfile to 2MB won't speed up your computer, because Win2k rarely use swapfile if you got sufficient DRAM.

Good luck, i run Win2K on all of my major jobs, and intend to do so for next several years. ^___^

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Thanks for the reply.

I will reduce my swap file down to the appropriate size.

I did look in my performance settings and, found nothing. What exactly am I supposed to be looking for?

I've clicked on Counter Logs, Trace Logs, and Alerts which shows nothing.

Thanks again.

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Thanks for the reply.

I will reduce my swap file down to the appropriate size.

I did look in my performance settings and, found nothing. What exactly am I supposed to be looking for?

I've clicked on Counter Logs, Trace Logs, and Alerts which shows nothing.

Thanks again.

You probably have read about Win9X's usage of swap file... NT4 and all 'next of kins' built on NT (2K, XP, 2K3...) don't use swap file until the 'real' RAM is fully taken. Leaving virtual memory management at windows' discretion is IMHO best solution (unlike on Win 9x).

Simple solution to see do you have enough RAM and is the swap file in use: add task manager to your startup, run your usual stuff and see in Performance tab under Commit Charge (K) at Peak line how much memory your system was using the most. If the value is higher than the value in Physical Memory - Total line, subtract it and you'll know exactly how much swap file was used.

screencap5kl9.png

As you see in my screencap i have 768 mb ram, and my system was using at most 590mb of it, so i wasnt using swap file at all (but windows created it at boot ). If I have run out of RAM at any given point, windows would have expand swap file itself if needed...

/edit/

to fireup Task Manager type "taskmgr" in Run, or create shortcut to "taskmgr" and drop it to your startup. Check "hide when minimized" to keep it in system tray.

Edited by no1none
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Well, I'd have to say if your only going up to around 90Mb as you said, you must be doing something right :P By that, I'd recommend making your paging file abut the same as your Ram installed. By default, it's 1.5 times your ram, but in your case, I'd say make it the same.

I have a computer in my basement with 384Mb of ram and the paging file on that is about 512Mb (I use it as a server now) and it's running perfectly.

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Thanks for the reply.

I will reduce my swap file down to the appropriate size.

I did look in my performance settings and, found nothing. What exactly am I supposed to be looking for?

I've clicked on Counter Logs, Trace Logs, and Alerts which shows nothing.

Thanks again.

Hey, Atomosphere,

Newbie's explanation is rather detailed, simple and clear. So probably you would like to use task manager instead.

Performance is more often used on server system, that is, it logs your system stress over all computer

up time to catch some particular moments that heavy demanding happened, in order to do improvment according to those demands.

Open it on the System Monitor tree, right click on the right panel, you will see a pull-down menu, select Add Counters, at Performance Object, choose Page File, you will got two counters, Usage and Usage Peak, apply them, and you will see a time bar sweep across the plot area.

Keep it open to see how your swapfile demand over time.

This is the traditional way to monitor system performance (Those mature Operating Systems usually got their own built in system monitor like Performance), that's why i mentioned it at first, however, after second thought, task manager can also give a rough number of how your pagefile being used.

Like to play safe, so the better suggestion would be to put your pagefile at 1.5 times of your total physical RAM.

Edited by godel.chen
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Thanks for the reply.

I will reduce my swap file down to the appropriate size.

I did look in my performance settings and, found nothing. What exactly am I supposed to be looking for?

I've clicked on Counter Logs, Trace Logs, and Alerts which shows nothing.

Thanks again.

You probably have read about Win9X's usage of swap file... NT4 and all 'next of kins' built on NT (2K, XP, 2K3...) don't use swap file until the 'real' RAM is fully taken. Leaving virtual memory management at windows' discretion is IMHO best solution (unlike on Win 9x).

Yes. And seeing that I used to have Windows 98 First Edition (aka Gold) on this

Computer, I do wonder why I have so much RAM available. On Windows 98, it would take use up all the RAM and resort to the swap file.

I guess I'm just so shocked how efficent Windows 2000 is (Not using a lot of RAM) I assumed it's running to ward's the swap file.

Simple solution to see do you have enough RAM and is the swap file in use: add task manager to your startup, run your usual stuff and see in Performance tab under Commit Charge (K) at Peak line how much memory your system was using the most. If the value is higher than the value in Physical Memory - Total line, subtract it and you'll know exactly how much swap file was used.

screencap5kl9.png

As you see in my screencap i have 768 mb ram, and my system was using at most 590mb of it, so i wasnt using swap file at all (but windows created it at boot ). If I have run out of RAM at any given point, windows would have expand swap file itself if needed...

/edit/

to fireup Task Manager type "taskmgr" in Run, or create shortcut to "taskmgr" and drop it to your startup. Check "hide when minimized" to keep it in system tray.

Thanks.

Here's mine before I changed the swap file

http://img515.imageshack.us/my.php?image=statusml9.png

Windows 2000 seems to be the step child of Microsoft. You just don't hear much about it in comparison to Windows 98 & XP.

Thanks again.

Edited by Atmosphere XG
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Thanks for the reply.

I will reduce my swap file down to the appropriate size.

I did look in my performance settings and, found nothing. What exactly am I supposed to be looking for?

I've clicked on Counter Logs, Trace Logs, and Alerts which shows nothing.

Thanks again.

Hey, Atomosphere,

Newbie's explanation is rather detailed, simple and clear. So probably you would like to use task manager instead.

Performance is more often used on server system, that is, it logs your system stress over all computer

up time to catch some particular moments that heavy demanding happened, in order to do improvment according to those demands.

Open it on the System Monitor tree, right click on the right panel, you will see a pull-down menu, select Add Counters, at Performance Object, choose Page File, you will got two counters, Usage and Usage Peak, apply them, and you will see a time bar sweep across the plot area.

Keep it open to see how your swapfile demand over time.

This is the traditional way to monitor system performance (Those mature Operating Systems usually got their own built in system monitor like Performance), that's why i mentioned it at first, however, after second thought, task manager can also give a rough number of how your pagefile being used.

Like to play safe, so the better suggestion would be to put your pagefile at 1.5 times of your total physical RAM.

Yes. I'm a Newbie to Windows 2000's method. :blushing:

Now I see why I didn't see anything........... I'm not running a Server. :sneaky:

I have reduced the size down 576 after taking the above picture.

Thanks again for the help.

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Well, I'd have to say if your only going up to around 90Mb as you said, you must be doing something right :P By that, I'd recommend making your paging file abut the same as your Ram installed. By default, it's 1.5 times your ram, but in your case, I'd say make it the same.

I have a computer in my basement with 384Mb of ram and the paging file on that is about 512Mb (I use it as a server now) and it's running perfectly.

Thanks for the reply.

looks like 500 - 600 Mb is the way to go.

Thanks again.

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NT4 and all 'next of kins' built on NT (2K, XP, 2K3...) don't use swap file until the 'real' RAM is fully taken.

There is so much incorrect about that statement - while you are correct that allowing Windows to manage virtual memory in NT is wise, you are completely incorrect about Windows not using the paging file unless RAM is full - unless an application is using the "Lock pages in memory" allocation type (and has rights to do so), all virtual memory allocations are backed by the page file. Kernel paged pool memory is backed by the paging file. All files that are not memory-mapped can (and will, on a busy system) be backed by the page file. Just to name a few obvious uses of the paging file that no one can avoid...

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