Virtual Memory Part 3

Howdy and welcome back to this weeks exciting adventure with The Weekly Geek!

Last week we left Batman and Robin in the clutches of the Joker. They were suspended by a piece of cotton candy over a boiling vat of play-dough, oh what ever will become of our heroes? Ok, so maybe we were covering Virtual Memory (VM from here on out) and how to enhance your computers performance with this little tweak. In Part 1 we covered what VM was and how it affected the performance of your computer. In Part 2 we walked through the fields of green and found out how to tell how much memory (RAM) our computer had and how to tell how much VM you have compared to what you need.

In this weeks adventure we are going to walk across the beach and go over how to set the VM on your computer. For our first example we will use Windows XP, we will cover other versions of Windows later. Screenshots of this are a blessing however many of my readers use dial-up internet and these articles are still published in monthly and weekly papers so space is limited. The book I offer has these directions with screen shots and diagrams.

Since you probably have not printed this series of articles, go ahead and do so now. This way you have the steps with you as you walk through them. I will also not assume anything, so if you are reading all three articles right now you will be at the “System Properties” window. If you are not there then let’s get there. To get to the “System Properties”.

  1. Click on the “Start” button in the lower left corner of your monitor.
  2. Right-click on “My Computer”.
  3. From the drop down menu that appears click on “Properties”.

Now we should all be on the same page (or window in our case).

  • Remaining on the “System Properties” window, you will notice across the top are several tabs.
  • click one time on the “Advanced” tab. There will be three sections under the “Advanced” tab.
  • The top section should be “Performance” we will next click on the “Settings” button under the “Performance” section. This will bring up a new window labeled “Performance Options”.

Note: If you do not get this window, you accidentally pressed the wrong “Settings” button, simply click the “X” in the upper right hand corner of the window that appeared and try again.

  • With the “Performance Options” window open, select the “Advanced” tab. This will open a page with three sections, the bottom section is “Virtual Memory” and under that you will see a statement similar to “Total paging file size for all drives: ???MB”, where ??? is a number. Below it is a button labeled “Change”.
  • Click on the “Change” button and a new window labeled “Virtual Memory” appears.

On the top part of this area your hard drives are listed and in the middle section labeled “Paging file size for selected drive” you will see three radio buttons (radio buttons are areas you can click on to “mark” an option). The “Custom size” option is most likely selected, regardless, we will select this button and under “initial size” type in double the amount of your RAM (remember you wrote this down earlier when you were reading the second article) with the number being a MAXIMUM of 1024). Do the same for the “Maximum size” section. Now both numbers will be the same.

To finish up:

  • Click on the “Set” button one time.
  • Select “OK” to close the “Virtual Memory” window.
  • Select “OK” to close the “Performance Options” window.
  • Select “OK” one more time to close the “System Properties” window.
  • Your system will ask to restart, so long as you have closed all of your applications as I requested at the beginning of this article, go ahead and let the computer restart.

That is all there is to it.

In our next exciting adventure we will learn how to manually set the VM in Windows 98 (95 and ME are very similar).
Until we meet again on this same channel have a speedy PC week.