How does Windows' modified memory work without a pagefile? The physical memory is modified and then...? I'm running Windows 7 with 16GB of RAM and no pagefile. I have about 2.5GB of modified memory, most of it belonging to Firefox and Vmware processes.
modified means that the memory previously belonged to a working set but was removed. However, the data were modified while it was in use and its current contents haven’t yet been written to disk or remote storage. The PTE still refers to the physical page but is marked invalid and in transition. It must be written to the backing store before the physical page can be reused.
When Firefox or VMware modified data are are in the modified list.
You should read the Windows Internals Book 6 (Chapter 10 - Memory Management) for more details.