Windows 10: Is it time to ditch the swapfile

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  1.    04 Jun 2015 #21

    Slartybart said: View Post
    swapfile.sys appeared in Win8 methinks
    swapfile.sys is used for suspending Universal (ie Modern/Metro) apps. Most people don't realize that Universal apps are really a completely different operating system running within the Win32 OS. That's why it has its own swapfile.
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  2. Posts : 28
    Win10 Preview, latest version
       05 Jun 2015 #22

    I normally disable the swapfile completely and everything runs great, but Samsung Magician (for my SSD), turns it back on by default and sets it to 200MB ->1GB. However, if you read Samsung's tooltips, they have this to say about SSD's:

    "In order to address any potential lack of memory capacity, the Windows operating system automatically generates a block of virtual memory (pagefile.sys) on the C: drive. For example, a Windows® 7 64-bit system with 4 GB of physical memory would generate 4 GB of virtual memory at boot time. In the past, before PC Memory (DRAM Modules) were available in high volume, PCs needed to utilize some HDD space to address any memory shortcomings. Today, with PCs featuring 4 GB of memory or more, it is possible to reduce or even eliminate the use of virtual memory. Additionally, using expanded physical memory, rather than creating virtual memory on the SSD, has performance and reliability advantages for the entire system. Some applications may require the use of virtual memory. In this case, please consider your specific application requirements before disabling this feature."

    I'll be disabling it again since I avoid Metro apps, and I will be fine with a longer lasting SSD and system stability for the long term.
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  3.    05 Jun 2015 #23

    May I ask. What do you get out of turning off the swapfile? (Other then free space.) I see this pop up all the time, what benefit are you getting from turning off the swapfile?
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  4.    05 Jun 2015 #24

    logicearth said: View Post
    May I ask. What do you get out of turning off the swapfile? (Other then free space.) I see this pop up all the time, what benefit are you getting from turning off the swapfile?
    Do you mean the "swapfile" or the pagefile?

    bob frost
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  5.    05 Jun 2015 #25

    Both. Swapfile Pagefile, really both the same thing. I rather be general here.

    However, I'm going to follow Mark Russinovich, as far as I'm concerned he actually knows what he is talking about.

    Blogs - Mark's Blog - Site Home - TechNet Blogs

    How Big Should I Make the Paging File?

    Perhaps one of the most commonly asked questions related to virtual memory is, how big should I make the paging file? There’s no end of ridiculous advice out on the web and in the newsstand magazines that cover Windows, and even Microsoft has published misleading recommendations. Almost all the suggestions are based on multiplying RAM size by some factor, with common values being 1.2, 1.5 and 2. Now that you understand the role that the paging file plays in defining a system’s commit limit and how processes contribute to the commit charge, you’re well positioned to see how useless such formulas truly are.


    Some feel having no paging file results in better performance, but in general, having a paging file means Windows can write pages on the modified list (which represent pages that aren’t being accessed actively but have not been saved to disk) out to the paging file, thus making that memory available for more useful purposes (processes or file cache). So while there may be some workloads that perform better with no paging file, in general having one will mean more usable memory being available to the system (never mind that Windows won’t be able to write kernel crash dumps without a paging file sized large enough to hold them).
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  6. Cliff S's Avatar
    Posts : 21,684
    Win10 Pro, Win10 Pro N, Win10 Home, Win10 Pro Insider Fast Ring, Windows 8.1 Pro, Ubuntu
       06 Jun 2015 #26
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  7. Slartybart's Avatar
    Posts : 3,506
    Win_8.1-Pro, Win_10.1607-Pro, Mint_17.3
       06 Jun 2015 #27

    Thanks Cliff,

    This is a well written and clear document ... and ... it is current.

    I skimmed it and now I understand what that automatic setting does. I think that setting would work best if you let Windows manage the page file - This setting automatically selects the best system crash dump based on the frequency of system crashes. so teh page file has to be a bit dynamic.
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  8. Cliff S's Avatar
    Posts : 21,684
    Win10 Pro, Win10 Pro N, Win10 Home, Win10 Pro Insider Fast Ring, Windows 8.1 Pro, Ubuntu
       06 Jun 2015 #28

    Being Dynamic: this is one of the reasons on my main every day system image, I leave pretty much everything set the way Microsoft planned and Windows set. It's a very dynamic system. It will have a set maximum of space or percentile of space given and only uses what it needs or overwrites if too large or not large enough in most cases. A good example is the hiberfileL:, some people think they need to tweak it, to a set maximum size, so it doesn't fragment and only those specific blocks will be used, but that "can" cause problems.
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  9. Berton's Avatar
    Posts : 5,393
    Win10 Home and Pro, Win10 Insider Preview, WinXP Home Premium, Linux Mint
       06 Jun 2015 #29

    For those that weren't around "in the day", Windows ME and earlier had the swapfile while Windows NT4 and later have the pagingfile.

    I have seen both scenarios in use, a paging file and no paging file. Only issue with no paging file was with some programs that wouldn't install if the paging file wasn't present. My presumption is that programmers will need to modify their programs to work with no virtual memory if it's done away with and most everyone knows how quickly that will happen with some cost to the users involved. Used to be some graphics programs needed a 'scratch' file or drive while working in them, don't use those anymore so can't comment on the newer versions.
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  10.    06 Jun 2015 #30

    I have also disabled the swap file/page file (call it what you want) and never had a problem. I believe that MS is smart enough that with out the page file they could come up with a another place to put the dump files. So I agree that the page file is as obsolete as a crank on a car.
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