Sunday, 17 August 2008

Proactive PC Maintenance – PageDefrag v2.32

Performance is the major driving factor behind computer sales. Nobody wants to buy a new PC that is slower than their last one. When thinking about how fast a computer performs we usually tend to think of major components such as processor speed, amount of installed RAM and the graphics card.

It's true that these components play a huge role in overall performance, but one item that can substantially impact overall performance that rarely gets attention is the paging file.

The paging file is very closely linked to the amount of physical RAM installed in the computer. Its purpose is to extend the amount of physical RAM and make it available to the system. Both services and installed applications benefit from this 'extra' RAM, even though it is substantially different from the modules that plug into the motherboard itself.

When the load imposed by applications and services running on the computer nears the amount of installed RAM it calls out for more. Since there isn't any additional RAM to be found, it looks for a substitute; in this case virtual memory which is also known as the page file.

However, just like any other file on the hard disk, the PageFile can become fragmented, particularly if it is allowed to dynamically alter it's own size.

However, unlike other files on the disk, the PageFile is open for exclusive access, and therefore Disk Defragmenter is unable to defrag it. The is where PageDefrag v2.32 [created by Mark Russinovich] steps in.

It runs before Windows loads, before the PageFile is loaded, and defragments it to increase overall system performance.

You can read up further on PageDefrag v2.32 here, and download the .exe here [70KB]

Full instructions on installation and use are here.

NOTE: PageDefrag v2.32 does not work with Windows Vista 64bit editions!

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