Dummy Essentials
A complete source of effective solutions to all your computer problems in simplified manner.

Understanding Virtual Memory

When Windows XP runs out of memory, the 128MB or 256MB or even 512MB that you have in your PC, XP needs to shuffle things around quickly. That shuffling is called paging, and it’s accomplished by copying blocks of memory out to your hard disk. Think of it this way. Many different programs are running on your computer at the same time. Each needs memory in order to accomplish its tasks. When programs want more memory, they ask Windows to hand some over. When programs are finished with a chunk of memory, they hand it back to Windows. Your memory rapidly turns into a patchwork quilt of chunks, with Windows taking care of parceling out chunks of memory when they’re requested and returning them to the available pool when they’re no longer needed. Everything goes along swimmingly until Windows runs out of chunks of memory. Suddenly a program wants more memory, but Windows has already handed out every single chunk. Windows solves the problem by taking a snapshot of a chunk of memory and tossing that snapshot to the hard drive. It then gives the chunk of memory to the program that requested it. At some point, the program that originally had the chunk of memory wants it back. No problem. Windows runs out to the disk, retrieves the snapshot, sticks it in memory, and hands that chunk over to the old program. (I won’t mention the fact that bringing the snapshot into memory may, itself, force Windows to take yet another snapshot and send it out to disk. And so on. But you get the picture.) The snapshots of chunks of memory out on your disk are called virtual memory. Virtual memory sits in paging files. Here’s where speed comes in. Windows works like crazy getting programs and their data into the computer. It also works like crazy keeping the virtual memory going. If your virtual memory sits on the same disk as your programs and data, Windows has to hop all over the disk to keep all the programs going. On the other hand, if your paging file sits on a hard disk that doesn’t contain your programs, that helps solve the memory problem, simply because Windows can run faster if it’s juggling two different disks at the same time. The net result is that you should allow Windows to use all your fast hard drives for virtual memory (paging files), providing the drives have room available.
4 comments:

I have also read that if you take control away from the System by making a custom size and make the Intial Size and the Maximum Size the same that it means Windows is not constantly resizing the paging file which means better efficiency. Is this correct?


yes, its true! Setting the paging file's initial size and maximum size to the same value increases efficiency because the operating system does not need to expand the file during processing. Setting different values for initial and maximum size contributes to disk fragmentation.


My DVD/CD/RW drive plays cd's but doesn't find dvd's even blank ones...any ideas?


@butcher999999
It seems there is problem in comments getting published right away. I see that you posted this comment around a month back, but I am getting it now :( apologies for the late reply..
Before we continue with the solution, I would like to check the OS that you are working on. If its vista then that's happening because of an update in vista which has added bugs to the policies. You would need to turn off vista's burning feature here. Given below are the steps on how to go about it:
Click on 'Start' and then on 'Run'
In the 'Run' box type: gpedit.msc
Now navigate to: User configuration/Administrative templates/Windows components/Windows explorer
In the right pane, double click on "Remove CD burning features"
Check mark on the enabled button and then click 'OK'
Reboot for the changes to take place.

If your vista version does not have the gpedit function, do the following:
Click on 'Start' and then on 'Run'
In the 'Run' box type: regedit
There navigate to: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
In the right pane, (if it does not already exist), create a new 32-bit DWORD value. Name the new value as NoCDBurning, and assign the value data to 1.
Reboot for the changes to apply.

Hopefully, this should fix the problem. Do let us know incase it doesn't and also your system specifications. We'll try something else, depending on those.


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