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Secure your privacy by wiping out your Pagefile


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17 replies to this topic

#1 Grinler

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Posted 10 July 2004 - 01:32 PM

The Pagefile in Windows is a file that acts as memory when you run out of RAM. If there is no more RAM available, Windows will instead write the information to the Pagefile and use it as additional RAM. This means, though, that private information can be stored in there at times. There is a way to make Windows XP clear the page file automatically when you shutdown your computer so that it does not leave any sensitive information behind. To do this follow these steps:


Click on start, then run and type regedit and press the ok button.

Navigate to the key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management

And change the Value of ClearPageFileAtShutdown to 1. Then exit regedit.

If the value ClearPageFileAtShutdown does not exist, create it and give it a DWORD value of 1.

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#2 Walkman

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Posted 26 October 2006 - 07:10 PM

Thanks for this tip..... I've been wanting to know how to do this for some time now.

Thanks

[UPDATE] After doing the changes, my pagefile.sys still retains the same file size.


Walkman

Edited by Walkman, 26 October 2006 - 07:49 PM.


#3 usasma

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Posted 27 October 2006 - 07:31 PM

There are many different recommendations for pagefile size. The easiest for most folks is to let Windows manage it (the default) - but you can also set it to one fixed size and this will save a small amount of resources for you.

So, the pagefile will stay the size that you see - even if nothing is actually in it. It's because this space is reserved for it - and nothing else is allowed to mess with it.

Some folks say that (with sufficient memory) you won't need a pagefile. This is not the case for all programs (games in particular). Some of them rely on the pagefile - so you'll have to have one if a program insists upon it.

As an experiment I ran with no pagefile for a month or two with no adverse effects. Then a new video game came out and it wouldn't run on my system. Recreating the pagefile solved that problem for me. So, for now, I have a pagefile of fixed size on a different hard drive from my primary/boot/OS drive.

Edited by usasma, 27 October 2006 - 07:32 PM.

My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#4 Walkman

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Posted 29 October 2006 - 05:25 AM

Thanks, that makes sense and it helped me out.

As a matter of fact, now that I think about it, about 6 months or so ago I deleted my pagefile, then recreated it, with Word or Notepad, then I noticed how fast it became so huge after I rebooted (or when I looked at it again).


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#5 DanC1186

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Posted 08 November 2006 - 02:27 PM

This may seem dumb, but how do you manually delete (or delete and recreate) your page file?

#6 usasma

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Posted 08 November 2006 - 03:58 PM

Go to Start...Run...and type in "sysdm.cpl" (without the quotes) and press Enter

Click on the Advanced tab
Click on the Performance Settings button
Click on the Advanced tab (yes, there's another one! :thumbsup:)
Click on the Virtual Memory Change button
Write down all of the settings so that you can restore them later.
Click on each volume (drive) and then click "No paging file" for each one.
Then click on OK to exit the dialogs
Then reboot - it'll be gone then.

To restore it - go back in and re-enter the settings that you removed.
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#7 stevealmighty

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Posted 08 November 2006 - 04:19 PM

What do you recommend setting the page file to usasma? I've been told to set it at "MAX" (what ever it displays the max size to be is what I set the initial size to). Is that ok or will my computer self destruct in "T" minus 5....4....3....2.... :thumbsup:



EDIT: Come to think of it, I almost think that I've had this discussion before here someplace, but can't remember where or when (it was a while ago I'm sure), and I can't find it, so I apologize if this is just being repeated....I guess I'm getting senile in my old age :flowers: I want to say that I read on these forums someplace that one should adjust their virtual memory to a certain percentage of their ram....can't remember the percentage either!!!!! :trumpet:

Edited by stevealmighty, 08 November 2006 - 04:22 PM.

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#8 usasma

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Posted 12 November 2006 - 10:34 AM

No problem - the page file and it's use can be very confusing.

I generally prefer a fixed setting over a variable setting because then Windows doesn't have to play around with resizing it.

Also, the best way to see what you need is to examine the pagefile usage in Task Manager (the Performance tab).

But, when in doubt, I use the old "1.5 times the size of the RAM" for the settings.

Right now I've got 2 gB of RAM - so I have a 3 gB pagefile. It's probably way too large, but since I've got the space to spare I don't mind it. I've also put it on a separate physical drive to reduce the drag that it places on the OS drive.
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#9 stevealmighty

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Posted 12 November 2006 - 12:13 PM

Yep, I've heard of that before (I just have a memory that's about as useful as a screen door on a submarine!)! I checked mine, and I've got it set to the max, which for my comp is 4092mb (just under 4 gb if I'm correct). Now, since I've set it to max, which is more than 1.5 times the amount of ram, is that bad? I was told that it's good to max it out, that way, windows has all that it needs and all that it could possibly use. I've got a 200 gb drive, so I'm not worried about room (I also have an external 160bg drive).

Thanks for your help usasma!!!!! :thumbsup:
War produces veterans, wounded both physically and mentally. They have sacrificed for us.....and it is now our job to help these veterans, as they have already helped us in ways we will never know, in ways that we cannot fathom, and in ways that we take granted every day.
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#10 usasma

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 10:56 AM

Well, now we get into the ability (or inability) of XP to address more than 4 gB of memory (whether it be RAM or pagefile).

Here's some links:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=w...G=Google+Search
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/888575

As you scroll through the links you'll notice that there are many different opinions - but they all center around how you're using your system, and how you implement the changes to enable a workaround if you need it. Including a mention of the 4095 mB limit on pagefile size.

You may want to look at the performance indicators in Task Manager using the 4gB pagefile - then switch to the 3 gB and see if things improve. It's my opinion that it's just wasted space - and I haven't seen any degraded performance (and I did the research before I went up to a 3 gB pagefile).
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#11 Orange Blossom

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 09:10 PM

If the value ClearPageFileAtShutdown does not exist, create it and give it a DWORD value of 1.


How do you create the key? It doesn't exist in my registry.

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#12 Walkman

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Posted 15 November 2006 - 03:08 AM


If the value ClearPageFileAtShutdown does not exist, create it and give it a DWORD value of 1.


How do you create the key? It doesn't exist in my registry.

Orange Blossom :thumbsup:

When you're at the registry key... just select
Edit> New> DWORD Vaule but make sure on the window to the right side, you've already selected the Name 1st.

#13 Orange Blossom

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Posted 15 November 2006 - 10:14 AM

I get to this point: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management

Then on the right side, I see a list of keys. ClearPageFileAtShutdown is not one of them. How do I put it there?

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#14 usasma

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 09:22 PM

1) Backup that key to your desktop
2) Right click on the empty area in the right hand pane and select "New", then select "DWord Value"
3) You'll be able to name it "ClearPageFileAtShutdown" (without the quotes)
4) Then right click on it to change the value to 1
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#15 Orange Blossom

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 11:58 PM

Thank you very much usamsa. :thumbsup: Mission accomplished. :flowers:

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