I plan to install Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 (and Linux Mint) on my HDD. 8 will be installed first, then Server, then Mint. However, these 2 files can take up alot of space. So, is it possible to configure both OSes to share those files? If so, how can it be accomplished? I don't think it will hurt anything, since both OSes can't be booted up at the same time.

Thanks for any help!

  • I assume you mean share their locations via a symbolic link, not their contents... – Marcus Chan Feb 5 '13 at 6:26
  • No, I mean, is it possible to have both of the Windows OSes share the actual paging/hibernation files themselves, so that they both use the same files. But yes, I guess their location would have to be shared for this to happen. Would I place those 2 files in their own partition and then manually point both OSes to those files? How can it be done? And what about the swapfile.sys? – Enigma83 Feb 5 '13 at 7:06
  • Well, you wouldn't want one to try to wake from hibernation with the data from the other. But I see what you mean, you want to have the disk space they use overlap and have them write over each other. I assume it's possible but I don't know how personally. – Marcus Chan Feb 5 '13 at 7:09
  • I have to agree with @MarcusChan - this is one to be treated with extreme caution. I would be especially cautious about trying to share the swap file, but you may be able to share the hibernation file between the two windows installs. Note - I haven't tested this and it may or may not work, but the approach I'd take is to have a dedicated drive or partition for the hibernation file, then set both Windows OSs to store the hibernation file in the same place in that drive/partition. If that works, and you're desperate for the space, you could then try the same for the swap. – PJC Feb 5 '13 at 8:02

It's not possible to share the files between the OSes. They contain information specific to the memory layout of each OS. While Windows 8 and 2012 are similar they are not the same. They have different DLLs that load into memory.

This is similar to why the hibernation file can not be moved (see How to change location of hibernation file in Windows 7?).

Raymond Chen explained the reasons why in this Windows Confidential article: The File System Paradox.

Hibernation follows a similar pattern. Hibernating the operating system means dumping the entire contents of memory into the hibernation file; restoring from hibernation entails sucking that file back into memory and pretending nothing happened. Again, it's another chicken-and-egg problem: to load the hibernation file, you need the file system driver, but the file system driver is in the hibernation file. If you keep the hibernation file in the root directory of the boot drive, the miniature file system driver can be used instead.

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