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michal

XP Slowdown? .....read this, might help

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Hi,If you are your own worst enemy, like me, and enjoy (?!) tweaking then here's a cautionary tale.A few weeks back I upgraded my ram from 512MB to 1GB and all has seemed well. Don't ask me why it has taken XP this long to run into trouble but today I was pottering around in Paint Shop Pro while downloading a couple of files (using DAP) from FSD International courtesy of a very helpful Steve Small. My dial-up connection failed, as it does from time to time (BT Internet), and while the downloaders were repeatedly trying to re-establish a link a small pop-up appeared above the system tray advising me that my Windows Page File was low and Windows was resizing it. Also it was likely I would experience difficulty accessing other programs during the resizing procedure - dead right :(Now, this seemed daft. With 1GB of System memory why on earth would Windows be fretting about the Page File Size? Well, like it or not this is reality.After things had settled down and I was able once again to start up other applications without waiting interminably for things to happen, I opened the Performance Monitor and added % Paging File Usage and Usage Peak. The latter was showing 100% !!!!! and the value was not falling. What the....Then I remembered shortly after installing XP Home with 512MB system ram I read somewhere some advice about recommended settings for the Page file size, as well as recommendations about keeping the bulk of the page file on a partition other than the partition holding the system files and preferrably on another HD. So, I had configured the C: drive to have a small page file of 5MB (the minimum is 2MB - Windows needs this much for routine housekeeping and logging tasks), and the rest, 766MB on the E: drive, my second HD.What I had forgotten is that the recommended value for the Paging File Size is usually the size of installed physical system memory (now 1GB) + 12MB. God knows where the original 766MB came from - I've long since forgotten. It was probably recommended by Windows. Anyway the recommended size is now 1534MB with my original 5MB still on the C: drive. So, I set, okayed and applied the max and min values on the E: drive to 1534MB and, what do you know, Windows is happy once again :)The Performance Monitor now showed sub 1% values for the Usage peak.Now, it may be my imagination but FS2004 seems smoother in operation and less stuttery in the turns in high density scenery situations. Could be wishful thinking but, logically, if the Paging File was being used as much as the Performance Monitor seemed to suggest, then it is very likely this would cause some slowdown in operations system wide, including FS. I forgot to note the % usage prior to making the changes but it was quite high as well.So, all you tweakers who have upgraded your memory AND have previously applied custom settings to your Paging File max and min settings, check and see what Windows is now recommending and update them. You could be in for a pleasant surprise :)Just maybe this is the so-called memory leak or at least something masquerading as such.Moral to the tale: "WINDOWS KNOWS BEST" ;)It may be the majority of simmers have not experienced this as they have done the sensible thing... yes, you've guessed... "LEAVE IT TO WINDOWS!"Mike

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I guess this is a good proof the XP is still pretty dumb.I knew of coures about the setting min=max or otherwise constant resizing eats into preformance.But I only have 192 MB and with this and my page file I am at about 700 MB total and WinMe doesn't complain.If you have 1 GB you clearly need very little page file - maybe 200 MB at the max. If Windows was complaining - it uses some dumb rule of thumb which has little to do with its actual needs. I don't think that "Windows knows best ".Michael J.http://www.reality-xp.com/community/nr/rsc/rxp-higher.jpg

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"I guess this is a good proof the XP is still pretty dumb."Well, I'm not so sure. I think it's more likely that we are constantly trying to second guess the intentions of the developers and are imposing our 'improvement tweaks' believing that we know best. What we tend to forget/ignore is the rigorous pre-release testing o/s like Windows 2000/XP/NT must have undergone to achieve their famed levels of stability and reliability. The fact of the matter is XP is by far and away the most stable o/s I have yet encountered. Installed it a year ago and until this recent hiccup (my own doing as it turned out) I have had no issues with it whatsoever.My wife is still running ME and my daughter has my old 98SE and also rarely experience problems. The reasons are clear: I am the fiddler whereas they leave well alone. I carry out the routine housekeeping tasks on their behalf and, believe you me, since achieving stability I no longer interfere with windows operations or settings. Result - little or no hassle ;)Mike

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The fact the Windows will constantly try to resize the page file is a good example to me how dumb it is. Maybe not so dumb but it assumes a "typical" dumb user. Unless you basicall tell it to stop fiddling with your page file, ask it to be 'conservative' with page file, etc, etc - your performance will suffer in high demand applicatons like FS.So my total virtual memory size is 700 MB and all is fine but your 1.2+ GB of VM was not enough for the OS ... I have to call it fairly dumb. I don't claim my WinMe is smart - on the contrary it is also a fairly dumb OS - have nothing good to say about its reliability. Yes, I need XP.Michael J.http://www.reality-xp.com/community/nr/rsc/rxp-higher.jpg

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"your 1.2+ GB of VM was not enough for the OS"Can I respectfully suggest you read my original post again. My original min and max settings for the paging file size were 766MB on my E: drive plus the token 5MB needed by XP on the C: drive where the system files reside. This was with 512MB of installed physical memory.It appears I have no problems now (although I admit it is still early days) with Paging File max and min settings of 1534MB coupled with 1GB of installed physical ram.I don't think you can compare XP with ME or 98/98SE. XP is huge and is very resource hungry - hence the need for at least 256MB ram and preferably much more to avoid slowdowns. Moreover, it is an accepted fact that XP handles memory much more 'intelligently' than its predecessors. Certainly I've experienced no problems until this recent issue which, as previously stated, was of my own making :(Mike

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>"your 1.2+ GB of VM was not enough for the OS">>Can I respectfully suggest you read my original post again. My>original min and max settings for the paging file size were>766MB on my E: drive plus the token 5MB needed by XP on the C:>drive where the system files reside. This was with 512MB of>installed physical memory.>Yes, I read your statement before and again (may I suggest you read mine too) and your 766 + 512 is a grand total of about 1.2GB VM. I am comparing it with mine 192 + 500 = 700. When talking about VM I always sum up with physical - maybe non standard. Anyway XP is only slightly more hungry than WinMe (MS says 64 Mb more 'hungry') so the difference between 0.7 and 1.2 is hard to justify. Being forced now to use 2.5 GB is a just about ludicrous in my vocab.Michael J.

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"Being forced now to use 2.5 GB is a just about ludicrous in my vocab."...maybe you're right, and I have no idea why the designers of XP deemed it should be so. The only comment I would make here is to suggest that a 1+ GB bite out of the capacious HDs available these days, while it may seem ridiculous, is but a drop in the ocean. Who cares if it ensures XP runs well and consistently well. Remember, we are talking virtual memory, i.e. an area on your HD used by Windows when it runs out of physical memory. XP seems to work differently, however, in that the Paging file is put to use long before physical memory runs out. You only have to run the Performance Monitor from Task manager to confirm that to be the case. Doubtless the designers had their reasons for making it work this way, and who are we to quibble? Unless there is an expert amongst us who can shed some light on this issue? I would certainly be interested.Mike

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"Simple, disable virtual memory in the control panel, under system! ;)"I don't think it is a good idea.Here I have 1gb of RAM and I set in drive E: (second partition in HD2) min/max to 2048mbMaybe I should set a small size in drive C as well.Ulisses

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Hey, c'mon jacsantos you can't just leave it at that. This could be important and relevant to the smooth running of weighty resource hungry progs like FS2004. What is your experience and evidence for making such a recommendation? I'm not saying you're wrong but a little more input would be helpful to all of us who persist in seeking that proverbial holy grail!...LOLAre you saying that with 1GB of physical memory XP won't baulk if it is set up to run with no paging file?Mike

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Mike and jacsantos,I'll simply reiterate what has been said by quite a few knowledgeable people (here and elsewhere) regarding Windows managing its own Pagefile vs manual control thereof:If you change Pagefile to manual control, you are asking for trouble. You may get away with it, and in fact you probably *WILL* get away with it, but there are enough people who end up losing their entire Windows install that it's not a recommended thing to do. This seems to be one area where Windows does a better job of it than you.As long as you have regular backups (Restore Points are worthless for this: you lose them along with Windows) then feel free to experiment. But I would never suggest, carte-blanche, playing with the Pagefile. Too risky.Mark

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>This seems to be one area where>Windows does a better job of it than you.The above statement is simly not true. If I left it alone I practically could not use FS due to horrible stutters. Windows may do a better job for an average situation but clearly fails where peak performance is required.I don't believe in absolutes in life. I don't believe in religions that forbid you to use alcohol because you may become alcoholic. There are numerous reputable Windows 'experts' that mention and tell you how to tweak your page file. Yes, if someone is afraid of touching, doesn't trust himself or has no clue what he is doing - he should stay away from it the same way he should stay away from alcohol or guns or violent movies.Michael J.

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Oh brother....As I said, I hope you have recent backups.And that statement *IS* true, exactly as I wrote it. You have stutters because of some issue that you have yet to address properly. You treated the symptoms, and you think you cured the disease because your framerates improved. Faulty logic.(By that logic, that means that *I* should have the stutters because I did *NOT* play with my Pagefile.)I'll stick with the information I have. I know it to be accurate.And I'll repeat it: You play with your pagefile at your own risk. Far too many people have blown their Windows install doing what you recommend, and not just people who are beginners.Play away if you wish.Mark

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>Oh brother....There used to be another brother on this forum .. Capt. Slarty a famous personality I might say - I hope God is good for him - he was finally banned (too bad I really missed his colorful character) and he also played excatly the same song about the pagefile - and his stance haven been ridiculed and proven wrong on this forum number of times. But I do admire people who stick with their dogmas to the very end.Michael J.

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>>Oh brother....>>There used to be another brother on this forum .. Capt. Slarty>a famous personality I might say - I hope God is good for him>- he was finally banned (too bad I really missed his colorful>character) and he also played excatly the same song about the>pagefile - and his stance haven been ridiculed and proven>wrong on this forum number of times. But I do admire people>who stick with their dogmas to the very end.>>Michael J.>Let's see....First, a search of this forum , for "pagefile" or "page AND file" with a reply from Cap Slarty turned up nothing relevant to this subject. So, your statement about his being "proven wrong on this forum number of times" (sic) about pagefiles is incorrect. He may be (ok, he *is*) abrasive, but his computer knowledge is pretty good.Second, a moderator in one of the messages that DID turn up (though unrelated to this discussion), says that Joe is on a self-imposed hiatus, not banned. So, you're incorrect about this as well.Even Microsoft recommends that you leave the pagefile alone. Ordinarily I take what they say with a grain of salt, but I've been a Network Engineer for about a decade now *AND* I have personal and business experience with tweaks to the pagefile settings. ALL of it has been touchy at best. As I said in my first post, you will probably get away with pagefile tweaks. But you just might not. And *IF* you don't, in this case, it almost always means a Windows reinstall.I'll stick with what I know to be correct: You play with your Pagefile at your own risk. If you have backups, a Windows reinstall is a hassle but not a disaster. If you don't have backups it can be a disaster.And that's all I'll say about it. You're welcome to continue to argue. I admire people who stick with their dogmas to the very end.Mark

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