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I was talking with a friend the other day about Windows in general and I mentioned that there is, unfortunately no way (that I was aware of) to disable the page file within Windows. Regardless of the size of your RAM, there was always going to be pagefile.sys.

If you're like me, you don't want your memory paged on your HD if there really is no need for it. He offered the brilliant suggestion I had never considered-- create a RAM Drive and set the page file to RAM Drive.

Of course, as he and I were both aware, I'm sure this has been done before. I've never created a RAM Disk before? Has anyone in the SU community ever done this and, if so, have a link to a good walkthrough on how to do this?

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Attention: There is only a limited amount of memory given to drivers, called the non-paged and paged pool memory sections. A page file is necessary for when the paged section gets full, as a gamer I have seen a game complain about paged pool memory just because I had my page file disabled on a 8 GB system. Conclusion: Page files are necessary, they prevent paged pool depletion and actually do speed up your system. –  Tom Wijsman Oct 24 '11 at 16:16
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4 Answers 4

up vote 9 down vote accepted

You can easily disable the page file. Jeff Atwood blogged about disabling it and the consequences. In any case, moving it to a RAMdisk is the worst thing you could do with it, since the page file is for storing stuff that already doesn't fit in memory. Reserving memory for a RAMDisk is going to only make more data get paged out, which will in turn require a larger paging file and RAMDisk, which will in turn leave less memory available, which will in turn page out more mem-- You can see where this is going.

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Disabling the paging file by itself causes an increase in eviction pressure, as read-write data pages push out untainted code pages. –  JdeBP Jul 26 '11 at 12:25
    
Thanks for that blog post. Although my current rig has more than enough RAM, Jeff's explanation does an excellent job of defining why a page file can be useful. –  RLH Jul 26 '11 at 12:38
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Having a RAM disk for your pagefile defeats the whole purpose of having RAM in the first place.

The pagefile is used to page out memory pages to make room for other programs. Setting a RAMdisk for the pagefile just uses RAM that the Memory manager could use, instead of paging them out. . .

It's like towing another car so you can use that second car to drive farther. . .

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+1 for a good response, but bad analogy :P It's more like you have $100 worth of gas, and can put it all in your first car, or half-half between the car you're towing. You'll get further putting it all in one car, and it'll be a lot quicker then changing vehicles ;) Oh, and @RLH - don't use a RAM disk for a pagefile. 'Nuff said. –  Breakthrough Jul 25 '11 at 21:54
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I don't think people realize RAMdisks stopped being popular after we broke the 1MB barrier. . . –  surfasb Jul 25 '11 at 22:05
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There some tips on RAMDISK software on this thread: What's the best ramdisk for Windows?

And some interesting discussion on whether the pagefile should be put on a RAMDISK or not: What's the best ramdisk for Windows?

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If you're stuck with a 32-bit windows client OS with a 3GB memory cap, you can use a ramdisk and physical address extension to make use of the invisible ram.
the other posters are right that if your os allows you to address all the physical ram, putting pagefile.sys on a ramdisk is bass ackwards.

however for certain programs that use the disk for scratch space it can still help...photoshop for example.

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