Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Top Tips - Use Another Hard Drive To Increase PC Performance

If, like me, you have spare hard disk drives laying around you can put one to excellent use to increase your computer's performance by moving the windows page file to it.

Currently, if left unchanged from Windows own default settings your Windows Page File will currently reside on your CD drives, along with your Windows installation, documents, programs and everything else.

However, since the page file is being accessed at pretty much all times, your hard disk drive is working overtime to try and access information from positions all over the place, thus slowing down your PC.

Adding another hard drive and moving your Page File to this new drive lets windows know that if data is required from the Page File it can look at the extra hard drive and that is it. Your C: drive can continue working unimpeded by the data requests from the Page File, thus increasing overall performance.


  • The extra hard drive must have a large enough capacity to contain the page file.

  • I recommend a Page File to have a minimum and maximum size the same, at 2.5x your physical RAM capacity (i.e. 1GB RAM = 1024MB so 1024x2.5=2560MB Page File).

  • Keep in mind future RAM upgrades. You may want to upgrade from 1GB to 2GB, 4GB or more.

  • 8GB of RAM will require up to 20480MB (20GB) of free space for the Page File!

  • The extra drive must be on a separate channel to your boot (C:) drive to be advantageous. If using IDE, place the extra drive on the second IDE channel.

  • Use the same interface, or an interface with a higher data bandwidth. If using IDE drives, use either another IDE drive for your Page File or a SATA drive. If using SATA make sure you use SATAII which provides up to 300MB/s bandwidth.

Have you found this article helpful? Would you like to see other performance increasing tips in the future from the Diesel-Tekk blog? Do you have any tips to share? Leave your comments below!


  1. Would this work equally well if I put both the Windows install and the page file on one drive, and put all of my programs on another?

  2. Good question Santhenar, however the answer is no.
    Since the Windows install and the page file are being used at all times the hard drive would have to work harder.
    Since a program, once executed is stored in memory, or the page file, having your programs and page file on the same drive, while the windows install is on another is a much more sensible option.


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