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Guest JonP01

Swap file question...

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Don't know if this post qualifies as a tech question, so I'm just gonna take the risk of having it pulled ;-) .I'd like to hear your opinion about whether I should leave my swap file (page file, whatever you call it) at the default settings, or rather adjust it to a custom configuration. Here are my system specs, in case this might be helpful:* Athlon 1400 (not o/c) * 512 MB RAM * 100 gig WD1000BB 7200 rpm HD, split in three partitions (FS installed on partition E:) * Win 2000 ProI doubt this config is going to change until AMD introduce their "Hammer" (correct?) 64-bit CPU - like most of you I don't have unlimited funds either, so I want to make every cent count! ;-)As for my gaming habits...currently I'm playing mostly FS 2002 and MSTS, with the occasional trip to IL-2, and I'm going to reinstall X-Wing Alliance this evening :-) .I'm open for any suggestions!Cheers,

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Leave the swap file alone... I only recommend fixing it on Windows 98 systems with 128 megs of RAM or less. With Windows 2000, it is best to let Windows deal with the swap file--it's an excellent O/S when left alone.I manage app and desktop support of a mix of Win NT, Windows 2000, and Windows 98 workstations in AZ and NM, numbering around 200 workstations, 8 servers, one lonely little Snap server, 4 routers, and 8 switches :)I've often asked the CIO if I could deploy MSFS....imagine all those users in multiplayer. But I guess that would be...uhhh...distracting...-John

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John,I'm running Cacheman in the background - in fact, I've been doing so since the days of Win 98, and it was among the first apps I installed after cramming Win 2K on my system. You think I should disable this proggy as well?

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For Windows 2K, I don't see any benefit in Cacheman. Cacheman doesn't touch the swap file...it just deals with a problem in Win9x where the cache would sometimes grab too much memory for fixed disk cache. -John

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Dominik.. time to take away Cacheman optimization..I just spent three days fighting with my new GF4 video card before realizing that Cacheman's Vcache size (great for Win95 and 64Meg memory)was strangling me, now that I have 384Meg RAm and a 128Meg video card!Once I got Cacheman's optimizations settings removed, it all worked great!

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Done - got to check how my sims are running now. In fact, I already fired up FS, but I (not the programme ;-) ) crashed before I could take a significantly long look around :-shy ...

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Just to verify.. have a look in your system.ini file and make sure that there are no entries left under the (Vcache) heading..Have fun flying!!

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In Windows 2000 you still need to change the swap file settings.The reason? Because you are running a flightsim that requires more system resources then a standard Win2K box. Most windows OSs (excluding Data./ and Adv. Server possibly) should have their swap file set to 2x min. and 3x max. anyways even if you are only running your standard business apps.Shane

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"In Windows 2000 you still need to change the swap file settings."Sorry...I have to disagree. This has been discussed quite a few times over the years, and this advice is a holdover from the days when systems had 128 megs of memory or less, and the swap file was fixed to keep it from becoming fragmented. I used to teach this in my own internal courses, but now my standard procedure is instruct my staff to deploy this tweak only if the system is running Windows 9x, in combination with a "ram starved" situation, meaning there is 128MB onboard or less. An interesting sidebar...some of our oldest systems are used by home field agents. My staff offers support as a courtesy, so we still run into a few systems that can't be upgraded due to proprietary RAM. For them, the Swap file tweak helps. But as a general rule, I don't advise messing with the swap file under any circumstances on any MS O/S after Windows ME.Ram usage of MSFS varies, but on a 512 meg system, MSFS 2K and the O/S will use at most around 300-350 megs in an enhanced 3rd party mesh area. The default MSFS 2K install uses around 200 megs, including the O/S footprint. -John

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My system is Win98SE with 512 MB RAM. For what its worth, Norton Utilities Disk Doctor advised me to set the minumum swap file size to 511 MB (seems odd it wasn't 512) and to set the maximum to 'no maximum'. That way Windows would still have control over the size, but would not fragment it. Before I had given Windows complete control, and the Diskdoctor color coded map showed the old swapfile in about a score of chunks scattered all over the HDD. DD combined it into one continuos segment and put it at the very front of the hardisk. So far its stayed that way. == WHK ==

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I had Norton Utilities come up with the same "advice" (I bought it when I had Win 95 for its superior disk defragmenter at that time). It's programmed by humans who once again applied this long outdated tweak to their software code. If you were to monitor your system over time, with 512 megs, you should have no swap file usage. In the odd chance you did (without the ConservativeSwapFileUsage flag, Windows will sometimes page bits of the O/S during idle time), I doubt it would be more than 20-30 megs. All Norton is doing is taking 511 megs of disk space, and wasting it, for lack of a better term. OTH, if you have hard drive space to burn (who doesn't these days), it's probably hardly noticed. Still, Norton's logic is outdated, and not in keeping with what's taught today, especially through Microsoft.-John

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I agree with John and would add that in this day and age the importance of the swapfile is way over-rated. I've even been in debate misguided individuals who appear to insist (despite overwhelming logical proof), that Windows *always* uses a swapfile no matter what the circumstances. They continue to hold steadfastly to this point of view even when I explain to them that I have been running Windows for 12 months now without even *having* a swapfile, let alone using one. Unless your particular usage pattern requires significant multitasking on proven memory hogging applications (such as graphics / imagery programs), I would recommend making the swapfile as small as possible and placing it on the outer-most cylinders of your hard drive if possible. That way if and when it is used you will at least have the benefit of the fastest access times.If you experiment whilst running a monitoring app like Sysmon in the background, you can see graphically how your system is using real memory and virtual memory. It is then much easier to make a sound judgement as to what size swapfile you require. Most people are suprised when they see how much free real memory they still have at any particular point in time.

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