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A friend of mine is running Windows 7 with 24 GB RAM and her pagefile.sys is also 24 GB in size. She is not running with anything that takes up that much RAM or diskspace.

I searched a bit and ran into this user with similar question:

Windows pagefile size with large RAM and SSD

So I think the pagefile size is normal. But how does Windows 7 determine the size of the page file? I had always thought MS Windows assigned the page file size according to the size of the RAM usage. (When there is more thrusting, pagefile.sys grows in size). Or is it actually a pre-assigned disk space that gets allocated on system start?

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It depends on the scenario. By default, page file is the slightly larger than size of your ram, since when crash , the contents of the ram is saved to the pagefile and 1.5x times ram is the default size of the pagefile, but your system adjusts the size as needed - i think yours is 1x cause it hardly pages at all. You can set a fixed size, or turn it off, by by default, the size of the pagefile is dynamic

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