I'm running Windows 7 in a VirtualBox Virtual Machine, and would like to make it run in a more streamlined fashion. I'll be using the install primarily for testing web apps, and have no need for it to run quickly. I would like it to run with minimal memory requirements, and with minimal changes to its virtual hard drive's contents. Changes to the hard drive contents, for example the paging file, result in larger snapshot sizes.
Another recent post of mine seems to be related to this issue, but does not directly address issues with Windows.
One concern that I have is that Windows seems to be using 17% of its paging file even with over 900MB of memory marked "Standby" or "Free". My uneducated guess is that this is being used to store indexes or some other data that helps to speed up the system but is not really necessary.
I'm also wondering if it's normal for Windows to use over 500 MB of "In Use" memory with no apps running. Will this amount decrease if I reduce the amount of "installed" memory in the VM? What steps can I take to reduce the system's memory footprint without incurring an increase in paging file usage?