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Windows 8 Clean Install 70GB Used ?

Yesterday after some problems with an Nvidia graphic card on Linux, we decided to install Windows 8 – 64bit on the new Supermicro computer in the office to see if the problem was only happening on Linux, or if Windows was also affected.

Specs of the Supermicro Computer :

  1. 8 * 8GB DDR3
  2.  160 Gb SSD
  3. Nvidia Quadro 400
  4. Nvidia Tesla K20m
  5. 2 * Intel E5-2620
  6. Intel 10 Gigabit
  7. SuperMicro Superworkstation

So, after a clean install of Windows 8 (the only Windows OS we had at the time) we discovered that our graphic card problem was still there but we also discovered that Windows had taken 70GB of the hard drive ! This had of course nothing to do with out graphic card problem, however we decided to spend some time on this second problem, and quickly discovered that Windows was using an option  called “Page Filling” which allocated the size of ram on the hard drive (+ the size of windows = 70GB), so we decided to look into it, to have a clear idea of problem, and eventually a solution.

Page Filling :

Pagefile is a service that allows your computer to move memory pages to an hidden file called pagefile.sys and in the mean time to free your ram of unused applications. So, for example, when an application had been minimised and is not in used pagefile will place the memory pages used by that software into pagefile.sys if the RAM it is using is required by another software.  This means that pagefile.sys also requires to be the size of the actual RAM in place on the computer.

In our case, we could disabled that service  due to the fact that we were simple testing, however, it is not recommended to disable this service if you are using the computer as a production system, or as an everyday computer, and disabling that system may lead (undefined) system problems.

Conclusion :

This was not a bug  but an actual feature in Windows, that might be annoying the users however some more information on page file may be found here : lifehacker to tweak the system and resize pagefile.sys.



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