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Page File Low Disk Space message

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Page File Low Disk Space message

Postby Andi » Fri Nov 09, 2012 10:14 pm

I have a dedicated Page File partition with min and max size set to the same size whic 99% fills the partition. All works well but I constantly get Low Disk Space warnings. I have changed the notification to Hide but it keeps on popping back-up. Any ideas - this is Win 8 (did the same thing in Win 7).

Ta

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Re: Page File Low Disk Space message

Postby mpostor » Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:59 am

You're getting the message because you're using 99% of the available space.
It's Microsofts way of keeping you informed as to how your system is doing, as well as a way to tell you to go out and buy bigger hardware!
Try changing the swap file size to 95% of the available space.
Or reduce it in 1% decrements until the message goes away.

Or, if you really need a swap file that exact size, move it to a bigger partition, or make the partition bigger. Whatever is more practical.

HTH.

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Re: Page File Low Disk Space message

Postby Sabbs » Mon Nov 12, 2012 3:34 pm

Hi

There is a reg hack that can disable these warnings.

If you do a quick search in the net you should find it.

Here are a couple I found when looking:

http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/67600-low-disk-space-warning-vista.html

http://brainwreckedtech.wordpress.com/2009/01/26/turning-off-low-disk-space-warnings-in-windows-vista-7/

Note: Manipulating your registry incorrectly can make bad things happen.....
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Re: Page File Low Disk Space message

Postby andy cross » Tue Nov 13, 2012 7:53 am

You're getting those messages for a reason. That reason will still be there if you switch them off.
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Re: Page File Low Disk Space message

Postby Andi » Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:32 pm

andy cross wrote:You're getting those messages for a reason. That reason will still be there if you switch them off.

Thanks all.

Andy, I'm getting messages telling me that I have low disk space left on a dedicated page file partition that holds only a page file which is configured with both min and max limits to (almost) the size of the partition. You're absolutely correct but the message is a generic warning and in this case is redundant as that disk is intended to be permanently full.

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Re: Page File Low Disk Space message

Postby mpostor » Wed Nov 14, 2012 4:42 pm

Andi wrote:
andy cross wrote:You're getting those messages for a reason. That reason will still be there if you switch them off.


Thanks all.

Andy, I'm getting messages telling me that I have low disk space left on a dedicated page file partition that holds only a page file which is configured with both min and max limits to (almost) the size of the partition. You're absolutely correct but the message is a generic warning and in this case is redundant as that disk is intended to be permanently full.

A.



There's a logic to your thinking, but it's not quite that simple.
Hard drives get more inefficient as they fill up.
They need space to breathe, so to speak.
The main reason for this is error handling.
As the drive ages, some sectors become unusable.
The OS should be able to manage this by ignoring that block and writing to a spare.
If you fill up the drive completely, the OS can't manage it efficiently, as it can't write info about bad sectors anywhere so when it hits them, it slows down to deal with the problem. The warning message is designed to happen in time for you to do something about it. Warning messages pop up for a reason.

Make the partition bigger, or the swap file smaller.
Allow at least 5% free space, even if you're never going to use it.
e.g. on a 4GB partition, set your swap file to a maximum of 3.6GB.

Stu.
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Re: Page File Low Disk Space message

Postby Andi » Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:25 pm

Thanks for that, I figured that as the page file is the same size irrespective of how much data is paged out it wouldn't really matter?. I'll shrink it by 5% and see how we go. It's the page file by the way, not the swap file.

Thanks


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Re: Page File Low Disk Space message

Postby Magic Matt » Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:11 pm

mpostor wrote:
There's a logic to your thinking, but it's not quite that simple.
Hard drives get more inefficient as they fill up.
They need space to breathe, so to speak.


Not strictly true... File systems get more inefficient, not hard drives. Reliability of a drive has nothing to do with free space, it is down to physical defects from use or manufacturing weaknesses. If the file system only ever has one file (the page file) then Andi is absolutely right that the message is redundant.

mpostor wrote:
The main reason for this is error handling.
As the drive ages, some sectors become unusable.
The OS should be able to manage this by ignoring that block and writing to a spare.


Right idea, wrong culprit! What you say was true back in the days of Windows 98, but almost all drives now use SMART which handles this internally.
It is now the drive, not the operating system, that swaps out a damaged sector. Part of the hard drive is reserved and used by the drive firmware for this purpose.

Linux is happy to have a swap parition - it has no issue at all with you needing to keep free space on that partition (and doing it this way makes more sense anyway - Windows should have that option IMHO).

The 5% warning is there really because if you drop below that amount of free space on your main OS drive, it really does begin to have issues with performance. I like to keep at least 50Gb free on a Windows 7 drive - below that and I know it's time for a clean-up otherwise performance may start to get hit.

As for data drives, a 5% warning is sensible, as the last thing you want is to be working on a project and find you can't save it.

Windows just isn't designed to have a dedicated partition for a swap file, which is why it has the option to set its size limits and location etc. the way it does. Creating a dedicated partition for your swap file is therefore going to have the side-effect of an unwanted warning message unless you allow for that 5%, which will only ever be wasted space.
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Re: Page File Low Disk Space message

Postby Exalted Wombat » Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:25 pm

Andi wrote:I have a dedicated Page File partition with min and max size set to the same size whic 99% fills the partition. All works well but I constantly get Low Disk Space warnings. I have changed the notification to Hide but it keeps on popping back-up. Any ideas - this is Win 8 (did the same thing in Win 7).

Are you sure there's any benefit to doing this? There might have been, long ago, when RAM was in short supply and Windows was less effecient at using it for caching.
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Re: Page File Low Disk Space message

Postby Andi » Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:40 pm

No I'm not, I'm not even quite convinced about the need for a PF with 12G of RAM. I turned it all off and experienced no noticeable issues. I have had the P drive in placed since XP days, it costs nothing, it avoids fragmentation on the C drive, makes the C drive quicker to image and avoids unnecessary writes when I move to SSD. To be honest I'm not even sure if all of that is true these days, but the cost of leaving it is still nil. Probably.
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Re: Page File Low Disk Space message

Postby Magic Matt » Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:12 pm

As with anything, it depends upon how much RAM you use, and for what.

Things get complex depending on how the various applications are compiled, but it's entirely possible to have a 64bit program limited to 2Gb private address space, in which case it will start using the swap file if it requires more than 2Gb. All 32 bit programs are limited to 2Gb, regardless of whether or not you have a 64bit OS, so again if you use more than 2Gb within them they need the swap file.

As an example, the 32bit version of Photoshop on Windows 7 64bit with 24Gb RAM only uses 2Gb and needs the swap file when I start using a lot of layers etc. on large images. For this reason, I'm going to buy the 64bit Photoshop.

So having a swap file is still needed for some programs. As to whether or not it's useful to your music software, it will depend if it's a 32bit or 64bit version of the software, and whether is is compiled to be Large Address Aware.
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Re: Page File Low Disk Space message

Postby Andi » Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:08 am

Thanks MM, all good info. Again, to be clear I'm talking about the Page File, not the Swap File.
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Re: Page File Low Disk Space message

Postby Magic Matt » Thu Nov 15, 2012 1:38 am

Andi wrote:Thanks MM, all good info. Again, to be clear I'm talking about the Page File, not the Swap File.

They are interchangeable terms for the same thing (as far as Windows goes at least). Sorry for the confusion. :)
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Re: Page File Low Disk Space message

Postby Exalted Wombat » Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:26 am

Andi wrote:Thanks MM, all good info. Again, to be clear I'm talking about the Page File, not the Swap File.

Two names for the same thing, aren't they?
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Re: Page File Low Disk Space message

Postby Andi » Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:21 am

Nope, I have one of each. :smirk:
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Re: Page File Low Disk Space message

Postby Rowboffin » Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:27 pm

The difference between swapping and paging is that in the case of swapping an entire process can get swapped out of memory to disk, whereas in the case of paging individual pages of memory are paged to disk out of a process's current committed memory. Windows doesn't do swapping, it only does paging so it's unlikely that you've got both.

Moreover, only a part of a process's memory usage is actually backed by the page file: so-called image data which includes memory-mapped files and program code stored in executables and dlls isn't paged. That would be pointless since they're already stored on disk and therefore don't form part of the systems "commit charge". So given the amount of RAM people have now I think that you really have to be doing some very heavy workload to warrant going to town setting up the page file on it's own partition and so on.
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Re: Page File Low Disk Space message

Postby Magic Matt » Thu Nov 15, 2012 6:56 pm

I like the page file or swap file to be on their own partition, because it means you can put the partition on the part of the drive that is the fastest (pointless if you're using an SSD admittedly).
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Re: Page File Low Disk Space message

Postby Andi » Thu Nov 15, 2012 7:43 pm

Not exactly "going to town", more of "it used to be there and it's still there": effort involved = nil, time involved = nil.

Wanna bet on the Page AND Swap files thing? ;)

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Re: Page File Low Disk Space message

Postby Rowboffin » Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:55 pm

Andi wrote:Not exactly "going to town", more of "it used to be there and it's still there": effort involved = nil, time involved = nil.

performance advantage = nil. ;) I'd either put the page file on a different drive or keep it on the primary partition on the system drive together with the operating system files and eliminate the other partition.



Wanna bet on the Page AND Swap files thing? ;)


Sorry, I already put my money on Russinovich and Silberschatz. :) I won't try to convince you any further, though. I'll just say that anyone else reading this thread should take some of what's been said here on memory allocation and paging with a pinch of salt. This article on virtual memory is worth reading if you want to understand how it works. It's interesting stuff.

Cheers.
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Re: Page File Low Disk Space message

Postby Rowboffin » Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:28 pm

Magic Matt wrote:I like the page file or swap file to be on their own partition, because it means you can put the partition on the part of the drive that is the fastest (pointless if you're using an SSD admittedly).

Putting the page file on a different drive is where the gains are. Anything after that is going to be of minimal advantage IMHO and if you're seeking such marginal gains you'd be better off just buying some more memory. There's no point to putting the page file in a different partition on the same drive since the disk just has to seek between that and the system partition which will just slow down disk access, if anything.
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Re: Page File Low Disk Space message

Postby Pete Kaine » Fri Nov 16, 2012 10:03 am

Andi wrote:
Wanna bet on the Page AND Swap files thing? ;)

I'm intrigued to see how your going to try and win this bet.
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Re: Page File Low Disk Space message

Postby Andi » Fri Nov 16, 2012 10:34 am

Pete Kaine wrote:
Andi wrote:
Wanna bet on the Page AND Swap files thing? ;)


I'm intrigued to see how your going to try and win this bet.




Image

8-)
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Re: Page File Low Disk Space message

Postby Exalted Wombat » Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:43 am

Andi wrote:Nope, I have one of each. :smirk:

Tell us how you arranged that, then?
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Re: Page File Low Disk Space message

Postby Madman_Greg » Fri Nov 16, 2012 1:08 pm

From Fastest to Slowest, these are the configurations you can try:

  • No swap file at all. Some software may fail.
  • A static swap file on a separate hard drive (and preferably, controller) from Windows and frequently accessed data.
  • A dynamic swap file on a separate hard drive (and preferably, controller) from Windows and frequently accessed data.
  • A static swap file on a separate partition, but on the same physical hard drive as Windows.
  • A dynamic swap file on a separate partition, but on the same physical hard drive as Windows.
  • The Default: A dynamic swap file on the same partition and physical hard drive (usually C:) as Windows.
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Re: Page File Low Disk Space message

Postby Magic Matt » Fri Nov 16, 2012 3:44 pm

Rowboffin wrote:
Magic Matt wrote:I like the page file or swap file to be on their own partition, because it means you can put the partition on the part of the drive that is the fastest (pointless if you're using an SSD admittedly).

Putting the page file on a different drive is where the gains are. Anything after that is going to be of minimal advantage IMHO and if you're seeking such marginal gains you'd be better off just buying some more memory. There's no point to putting the page file in a different partition on the same drive since the disk just has to seek between that and the system partition which will just slow down disk access, if anything.

A second drive is preferable, and usually what I do - separate partition on a second drive. The laptop I mainly use, however, only has space for one physical drive.

Your assumption as to what happens in a single drive scenario however, is obviously based on theory rather than practice. I can tell you I get very roughly 20% better performance on average doing this with applications that use the paging/swap file. Obviously applications that don't need it get no advantage at all.

Adding more memory is pointless - simple fact is that most of these are 32bit apps, and will use the paging file when you need over 2Gb, even if the machine has 16Gb RAM or more.
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