We all know that Random-Access Memory (RAM) plays an important role in proper functioning of a computer. RAM is responsible for normal execution of all the computer applications, programs and processes. Sometimes, users tend to run lot of applications, particularly resource-intensive huge programs which normally demand a vast memory space.

In such cases, all the memory gets used up causing the system to run out of memory space. Insufficient memory may however lead to instability or system haut. To prevent issues like these, Windows Vista features a Virtual Memory (VM) technology.

This technology allows physical fragmentation and overflow of memory onto disk storage whilst a software program is running on an adjacent working memory. The required memory space is accessed in the form of virtual memory from within the page file (pagefile.sys) present on system’s local drive.

By default, page file is located into root directory of same partition in which Windows is installed. This page file is normally used to transfer/ swap unused memory space to other ordinary disk files or store page cache.

Virtual memory technology, also known as paging implementation ensures that Windows Vista is able to properly open and manage large programs that do not fit into system’s physically memory. Consequently, in Windows Vista, size of the paging file grows gradually in due course of time.

Windows Vista can however be tuned and configured to make use of free space on other available drives to store page files. You need to fix minimum and maximum page file size or else, just turn off the Virtual Memory (VM) paging feature.

Below mentioned are some easy guidelines for tweaking Vista Virtual Memory settings by fixing the paging file size (pagefile.sys).

  1. Go to Control Panel by accessing the Start Menu. Within the Control Panel, choose “System and Maintenance” and select “System”
  2. Locate “Advanced System Settings” listed on the left-side and click on it.
  3. Go to “Advanced” tab. Now, within the “Performance” section, click the “Settings” button.
  4. You will see a “Performance Options” window. Select the “Advanced” tab here again.
  5. Now click on the “Change” button seen in the section, “Virtual Memory”
  6. The setting for automatically managing size of the paging file for all drives is selected by default to allow Windows Vista system manage paging file without any user interruption.
    Whether you wish to change page file size, move pagefile.sys to any other drive or disable VM paging, the default selected check box for automatically managing paging file size is to be unchecked.
  1. Under the box “Drive [Volume Label] “, choose and highlight the proper drive for which you wish to tweak paging file settings.
  2. For setting a permanent paging file size, click on the “Custom size” button. Fix the values for “Maximum Size (MB)” and “Initial Size (MB)”. For making the paging file size static (pagefile.sys), set same values for both, “Initial Size” and “Maximum Size”. Finally click on the button “Set”.
    Some users do not wish to keep the paging file (pagefile.sys) on system’s root drive or desire to shift its location to any other drive. However, they still want Windows Vista to dynamically allocate and manage drive space for paging usage. “System Managed Size” option is very much beneficial in such cases.
  1. If you wish to shift paging file to any other drive, click on the radio button “No paging file” and click the “Set” button. Now choose another drive for setting a new page file with either system managed size or custom size.

Simply setting “no paging file” on all drives allows you to disable virtual memory or paging file.


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