How To: Give Windows Server more then 4GB of Swap

How To: Give Windows Server more then 4GB of Swap

There are a hundred reasons why people need more then 4gb of swap files on Windows these days. By default this is not always enabled, especially if the computer’s RAM was upgraded to a larger amount. On the same token, if the machine has 8GB of memory, then the swap files need to be increased also.

All instructions are assuming the Service Pack 2 or above is installed. If it’s not, install it.

First step is to upgrade the file system to NTFS, not FAT32 if it is not already done.

At the command line type: convert c: /fs:ntfs /v

Upon the next reboot the computer will automatically change the filesystem. Keep in mind this could take some time depending on how big the hard drive and how full it is. Alternatively if the disc is blank already it’s a easy step to simply reformat and go.

Next is to edit the boot.ini file and add /PAE to it. It may also be a good idea to add /MAXMEM if the physical memory is over 4GB is size.

On the other hand, having swap files larger then 4GB can cause system performance issues. Adding faster drives is a possibility but not always practical. Instead it may be better to create multiple page files.

1.) Create Multiple Empty Directories. These can be on the same drive or even across multiple drives. So it could look something like this:


2.) Open the Registry: Click Start, Click Run, type regedit in the Open box, and then click OK.

3.) Locate the Key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESystemCurrentControlSetControlSessionManagerMemoryManagement

4.) Delete any entries currently there.

5.) Add:
C:SwapFile1pagefile.sys 3000 4000
F:SwapFile2pagefile.sys 3000 4000
G:SwapFile3pagefile.sys 3000 4000

Or if they’re all on the same drive:
C:SwapFile1pagefile.sys 3000 4000
C:SwapFile2pagefile.sys 3000 4000
C:SwapFile3pagefile.sys 3000 4000

6.) Reboot the computer. Upon boot up it should create these files automatically.

Check the virtual memory settings:
7.) On the desktop, right-click My Computer, and then click Properties.

8.) Click the Advanced tab -> Click Performance Options -> Click Change.

At this point there should be a noticeable speed difference, especially on machines that are using large files, such as databases, graphics, IS or similar programs.