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My laptop has one 5400rpm HDD with two partitions: OS (116Gb) and Data (327Gb). Both have plenty of space. I'm wondering whether I'll see improvement if I move my pagefile from the OS partition to the Data partition.

Is there a benefit to having the page file:

  • on the OS partition?
  • on the Data partition?
  • at a particular physical location of my HDD?
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up vote 2 down vote accepted

If the pagefile is on the same physical disc, then any performance changes from it's location will be negligible. Common wisdom from last decade was to put the swap area in the middle of the disk (See ) , but realistically you won't notice any difference. If, on the other hand, you had another physical disk, then that could increase performance significantly. But then again, so would adding more RAM.

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I'm guilty of following that "in the middle" scheme. My preferred Linux partitioning is one for root, a swap partition and then a partition for /home. – sawdust Nov 12 '12 at 2:51

Having a page file on the OS/boot partition lets you make minidumps - which is useful if your computer crashes. Otherwise it shouldn't really matter all that much.

In theory, you would want files that would need to be accessed quickly on the inner part of the hard drive that has a higher linear velocity- practically though, the difference is not likely to be that great. Page files are also meant to be a temporary space, and a way to handle needing more ram - you'd probably consider this largefile/bulk storage, and can get fragmented within a partition. Trying to put a pagefile in a predictable fashion on a specific physical part of a hard drive will need you to do a seperate partition just for that, almost the way linux has a swap partition.

You're unlikely to have any benefit from moving the swap file from the OS to storage partition

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Agree with your conclusion, but not your premises. "on the inner part of the hard drive " - Actually that's backwards. The outer cylinders/tracks have higher linear velocity, and are preferred. If the HDD uses constant areal density, then the platter transfer rate is higher; otherwise the lower bit density of the outer cylinders improves data integrity. Hence boot sectors are on the outer tracks. "it'll get fragmented" - Windows tends to put the pagefile in one contiguous and unmovable file. – sawdust Nov 12 '12 at 2:46
I've seen pagefiles get fragmented, and its a pain in the rear to defragment them - - there's a reason there's tools for this. The wider point I was trying to make is though that you can't really effectively control where your pagefile is. Generalised my answer slightly, but I think the major points I was trying to make still stand – Journeyman Geek Nov 12 '12 at 3:02

Assuming all drives are of about equal performance, the best place for the pagefile is: On the most-used partition of your least-used hard drive.

"Least-used hard drive" because that drive will be less busy with other things.

"On the most-used partition" because that's where the heads will be much of the time already. (On an SSD, this doesn't matter.)

If you only have one hard drive, just put it in the most-used partition on that drive. (Or if it's an SSD, just put it anywhere.)

If you have just one partition on one hard drive, just put it in that partition. :)

As others have stated, performance gains will likely be slight if noticeable at all, unless you're hitting the pagefile a LOT. Most systems are not.

There is an argument for putting the pagefile on a partition of its own: You can then use PerfMon or Resource Monitor to monitor the activity on that partition or disk, and thereby find out how much you're hitting your pagefile. The "paging IO" counters in PerfMon include paging to all mapped files, not just the pagefile - which is why they don't drop to zero when you get rid of your pagefile.

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though on moving pagefile to data partition you wont have any improments however if you want improve performance you can use this tip.when your windows frequently crashes the header of paging file often gets corrupted and you get pagefaults try deleating your pagefile or emptying it and recreate it again it may improve your performance

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