Chapter 3: Fine-Tuning Windows Vista’s Appearance and Performance
You can also manually manage virtual memory. If you do this, you’ll typically want
to use a fixed virtual memory size. You fix the size of the virtual memory by setting
the initial size and the maximum size to the same value, and this in turn prevents
In most cases, I recommend setting the total paging file size so that it’s
twice the physical RAM size on the system. For instance, on a com-
puter with 1,024 MB of RAM, you would ensure that the “Total paging
file size for each drive” setting is at least 2,048 MB. If your computer
has more than 2 GB of RAM, however, you’ll probably want to set the
paging file size so that it’s the same size as the physical memory.
You can manually configure virtual memory by completing the following steps:
1. In the Control Panel, click the System and Maintenance category heading link.
2. Click Performance Information and Tools.
3. Under Tasks, click “Adjust visual effects.” This opens the Performance Options
4. On the Advanced tab, click Change to display the Virtual Memory dialog box
shown in Figure 3-22. The following information is provided:
Drive [Volume Label] and Paging File Size (MB)
Show the current configuration of virtual memory. The dialog box lists each
volume with its associated paging file (if any). The paging file range shows
the initial and maximum size values of the related paging file.
Paging file size for each drive
Provides information on the currently selected drive and enables you to set
its paging file size. “Space available” indicates how much space is available
on the drive.
Total paging file size for all drives
Provides a recommended size for virtual RAM on the system and shows the
amount currently allocated.
5. By default, Windows Vista manages the paging file size for all drives. If you want
to configure virtual memory manually, clear the “Automatically manage paging
file size for all drives” checkbox.
6. In the Drive listbox, select the disk volume you want to work with.
7. Select “Custom size” and then enter an initial size and a maximum size.
8. Click Set to save the changes.
9. Repeat steps 6–8 for each disk volume you want to configure.
10. Click OK. If prompted to overwrite an existing pagefile.sys file, click Yes.