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Thread: "windows swap file blues"

  1. #1
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    Question "windows swap file blues"

    hello everyone

    recently,,, on one of my friends PC ,, which was copying somewhat slow,, (his is 64 MB RAM ,PIII system,, running win 98),, i did a small tweak in system.ini,, and then i went ,, after some time my friend came back saying tht his root drive (i.e. C drive) was showing win386.swp file of approx 126 MB and previously,, i mean before i edited system.ini ,, it wasn't there,,,, i told him tht swap file r always there in windows sys(atleast in win 98 it is there,, i couldnt locate win386.swp on my system running winXP pro) ,, and it's size depends on many factors and i also told him tht y windows create swap files,,, though i'm still at sea as to y my box didn't show any swap files,,,anyways ,, back to the problem,,, now that file is not deleting and when i try to shift-del it, it simply said tht the access to this file is denied giving some type of error in number and tht make sure tht the disk is not full or write protected,,,,
    now i want to delete it or for tht matter,, i wanna know how can i delete it,, even though it is not advisable to delete it...,
    ..secondly what is the exact basics behind these swap files created by windows....
    any help is highly welcomed

    thanx in advance
    vpandiya
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  2. #2
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    When explorer.exe has launched, it takes advantage of your swap files and views it as a required system component. Trying to delete the file once windows completes the load will not work, it's the same as trying to remove c:\windows when the gui completes the load, it just won't allow it because it is a required windows component. However, you should be able to remove the file through DOS.

    Hope this helps satisfy some of your curiosity. I don't recommend doing this kind of thing at all, but if you have a crash box, experimentation can't hurt.

    Regards.
    \"I believe that you can reach the point where there is no longer any difference between developing the habit of pretending to believe and developing the habit of believing.\"

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  3. #3
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    Windows uses swap file as an virtual memory it stores some information of the programs which is running at the moment and instead of reading the datas from the original program files, windows stored some of more needed access datas into swap file so windows can run the progz faster in other words it acts as your RAM ( but more slower than RAM ).

    If I realized correctly you would like to delete windows swap file, right?
    Ok, you can not delete in while you are in windows cause windows is using it . and you shouldn't delete it because windows need it. and if you like to delete it go to MSDOS safe mod and unhide it and delete it.
    BTW you can locate windows swap file in any partition of your HDD.
    In win 98 right clik on my computer then clik on "performance" tab then clik " virtual memory".
    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."
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  4. #4
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    XP is NT based and the file is called Pagefile.sys The system will create a new one (small & temporary) on boot up if the existing one becomes corrupt. This file is absolutely neccessary and should be left alone unless you like to install o/s's. It normally can be found on the root of the drive.
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  5. #5
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    The swapfile will always be there in win9x (unless disabled) - called win386.swp - its location varies

    In winNT (+ Win2000, WinXP, etc) it's similar but called pagefile.sys as jlightfoot says

    You can put it just about anywhere but it defaults to the boot partition. In NT4, it defaults to the same as main memory size, unless you have >1Gb of memory in which case it's 1G (I think).

    On win9x, Win2k+others, it dynamically changes size unless u tell it not to. This isn't bad unless it becomes seriously fragmented, which probably indicates that your boot drive is too full or you don't have enough memory anyway.

    For max performance and security, buy enough memory and disable swap. Windows seems to swap even when unnecessary (i.e. when there's loads of free RAM). Remember that the swapfile is potentially a security risk as it will fill up with passwords, private data etc. Of course the swapfile is only a security risk if your data are encrypted in the first place.
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  6. #6
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    yeah jlightfoot1.. thanks for that xp/nt info but he was talking w98.

    here's some info on swapfiles..

    If you have a REAL large amount of ram.. you don't need to have a swap file..
    I'm not sure but I think 384meg is the largest truely "usable" amount that w98
    will allow.. (with 384 meg you can get by without a swapfile)

    swap files can become corrupt or defragmented and it IS safe to delete it as windows
    will rebuild it.. for me, when I want to defrag my hd.. I throw my swap file on another
    drive (or partition) defrag then put the swap file back..
    it's always best to have your swap file on your fastest drive (if you have two)

    you can put an entry into your autoexec.bat file that will delete your swap at boot time.

    here are some useful entries that I use on two of my w98 boxes to keep things clean.

    DELTREE /y c:\windows\history\*.* > NUL
    DELTREE /y c:\windows\tempor~1\*.* > NUL
    DELTREE /y c:\windows\temp\*.* > NUL
    if exist del c:\windows\ff*.tmp
    if exist del c:\windows\system\advert.dll
    DELTREE /y c:\windows\recent\*.* > NUL
    del c:\windows\win386.swp


    hope that helps...
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  7. #7
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    sumdumguy has given some very accurate and useful advice...But, the easiest way to do this procedure in the win98 gui, is by going to the control panel - system - file properties, and let windows handle the virtual memory allocation, reboot, then go back into the same area, and then set up your swap file for twice your available RAM. This "should" rebuild your swap file and erase the old one. I have 780mb in my box and don't use a swap file at all...
    I know that you say it was not there before you did the thing with system.ini, but if this computer has less than 384mb then you should have one.

    If you have a REAL large amount of ram.. you don't need to have a swap file..
    I'm not sure but I think 384meg is the largest truely "usable" amount that w98
    will allow.. (with 384 meg you can get by without a swapfile)
    Thanks for the reminder on this subject, I just built a new box and have not done this yet...

    I have a question; are you the bug, or the windshield?
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  8. #8
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    Hackmania with only 64 megs ram your friend needs that swap file
    98 needs 64 megs just to load the OS
    So untill he can get more ram set the swap file to twice the amount of ram
    once you have about 512 meg get rid of it
    Regards
    Mike
    Never miss a good opportunity to shut up.....
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  9. #9
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    Hackmania

    Try to get the concept before exploring.

    Swap file is a temporary storage in secondary memory (HDD) enable swapping of applications between primary storage (RAM) and secondary/auxilary storage. Only active(foreground) application be it IE/Word/Powerpoint etc, will be given room in RAM and inactive (backgroud) ones get swapped to HDD.

    By default, Windows 98 will have a swap file of size below 20megs. Opening more applications increases the swap file size. It may cross your RAM capacity. At the maximum it can reach upt 2.5 GB. That is the limit.

    Tip:
    1. If your Windows seems slow in performance, just restart the system.
    2. Press CTRL+ALT+DEL and terminate some of the applications (expect Sys Tray, Explorer, MDM).

    Try it.
    ragmyn

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  10. #10
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    Regarding deletion....

    As this is a system file which is being used by Windows 98 you can't delete it. I dont why you waana delete swap file?????. Anyway...

    Select 'Restart in MS-DOS mode' in Shut Down Dialog (Start>Shut Down>Restart in MS-DOS mode). You'll get the prompt. Change directory to C:\Windows. Delete the file.
    ragmyn

    At the heart of the Internet culture is the force that want to know everything about you.
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