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Possible Duplicate:
How to move the page file to another physical disk location Windows 7

I was given temporarily a PC, running Windows 7 Ultimate. The problem is it's hard drive is full, there are like 250 MB free. The swap file is set to none. It has 4 GB RAM. When I load a few tabs in Chrome or IE and start a game it runs out of memory. I already emptied Recycle Bin, %temp%, etc. Deleting/moving user files or adding RAM is not an option.

Now I have a USB 3 7200 RPM drive, it's connected to a USB 3 port and is really fast. Is there a way to create a swap file on that drive?


locked by Sathya Jun 28 '11 at 16:14

marked as duplicate by David, Breakthrough, Sathya Jun 28 '11 at 11:33

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

@David - Please don't edit posts like the way you've done. vote it, move on. – Sathya Jun 28 '11 at 11:31
The "duplicate" is about creating a swap file on SATA/IDE/SCSI drives. – Sara Cohen Jun 28 '11 at 14:19
@Sara getting your hackles up and lashing out is not the way to go about getting help. While I am willing to vote to reopen your question as I do not agree with the duplicate either I find your tone highly aggressive and offensive. Personally though I believe that the Readyboost option suggested by David is the nearest you can safely get to having a swap file on a USB device. If you wish to discuss the reasons for closing this question (and therefore the possibility of reopening it) then please take it to Meta Super User. – Mokubai Jun 28 '11 at 14:47
@Sara Cohen. No. Also "Super User is for computer enthusiasts and power users" not txt-speak spouting racists. – tombull89 Jun 28 '11 at 14:48
I did say POSSIBLE duplicate @SaraCohen... – David Jun 28 '11 at 14:48

Yes there is a way to use your USB drive for your swap space.

  1. Click Start -> Computer.

  2. Right click on the drive and go to properties.

  3. Click on the ReadyBoost tab.

  4. Select either "Dedicate this device to ReadyBoost" or "Use this device" (if you choose "Use this device" specify the size you want to use).

If you need any further assistance with this, please let me know.


Actually, I think your question is a duplicate of this question.

I've read that ReadyBoost writes to both the HDD and the removable media so that in the event of a sudden disconnect your current work isn't affected. – Tyler Faile Jun 27 '11 at 18:05
ReadyBoost does not increase the available memory, it only copies parts of existing swap files and other stuff to a flash USB drive. Does not work with mechanical disks ... – Sara Cohen Jun 27 '11 at 18:14
Answer updated... – David Jun 27 '11 at 18:55
David, thanks for the effort. That question is not about USB drives. – Sara Cohen Jun 27 '11 at 19:44
... That was uncalled for @SaraCohen. I just wanted you to reread your question so that you can see where I typed the quote. I was actually trying to help you with you question. Why would you be mean to someone who it trying to help you? That isn't very nice... – David Jun 28 '11 at 14:46

Click the Start menu, type systempropertiesadvanced then hit enter. Under Performance click Settings... then go to the Advanced tab. Under Virtual Memory click Change..., now for the C: drive you should probably change that to No paging file then click Set. Next click on your usb drive (whatever letter it may be) change that to Custom Size and make it whatever size you want, and don't for get to click Set again after that. I hope that helps.

That doesn't work with USB drives. – Sara Cohen Jun 27 '11 at 19:43
Actually it does. I just did it on my computer. Please just try it. – imtheman Jun 27 '11 at 19:53
Really? You can see the swap file on your USB device? – Sara Cohen Jun 27 '11 at 21:05
@SaraCohen - yes. – Sathya Jun 28 '11 at 14:47
@Sathya - what is the screenshot supposed to show? Windows creates the swapfile in the root directory of a drive. – Sara Cohen Jun 28 '11 at 16:02

Running with your swap on a usb device sounds very very risky to me. I personally recommend you very seriously consider either deleting/moving unnecessary content elsewhere (perhaps to your USB drive), adding a hard drive to your computer and using that or completely replacing your hard drive and migrating your data over.

By running over USB, I fear that you could end up with a relatively unstable system. Swap space is fairly critical to maintain, if you're going to have swap at all.

If I were you, I would maintain all system files on to your C drive (or some volume inside your computer).. I'd instead move user files such as things from "My Documents" and possible some programs to reside on the USB drive. Note that many programs don't respond well to being moved, to do that, you may need to uninstall and install them again.

Keeping all system files on a local disk is should be much better protected from unexpected failures - such as an accidental kick of the foot. Fortunately, hard drives are quite inexpensive now, so if you wanted to explore getting another one, the cost should be minimal.

At least, this is my keen opinion. Take care!


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