Disable Paging file?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by EvryDayImShufln, Dec 10, 2006.

  1. EvryDayImShufln macrumors 65816

    EvryDayImShufln

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2006
    #1
    Hi I have a new MBP C2d 2.33, 2 gigs ram 160 gig hard drive. I dont like that the hard drive is always spinning for nothing, is there a way to tell it to either stop when not needed or simply disable the paging file, which I'm pretty sure would solve the problem.

    For example, when I'm viewing a pdf document for school, studying from it, I don't see why the hard drive should be spinning. 2 gigs of ram is definitely enough to store a 5 MB file.

    Anyway thanks in advance.

    PS: if your advice is based on ticking off "spin down harddrives when not in use" I dont want to hear it, lol that is already enabled haha
     
  2. Lixivial macrumors 6502a

    Lixivial

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    Location:
    Between cats, dogs and wanderlust.
    #2
    In terms of disabling the swap/paging file, that's a terrible, terrible idea you have going there.

    I would think your problem stems from something all together different. Do you happen to have any other processes/applications running? You can view your pageouts in Activity Monitor by selecting the memory tab. This will tell you if it's paging out or something else is causing the HD to spin up.

    Either way, it shouldn't be paging out for a simple PDF.
     
  3. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #3
    How did you get the PDF to view? From a web browser? If so it will have used a disk cache when it downloaded the pdf.
     
  4. EvryDayImShufln thread starter macrumors 65816

    EvryDayImShufln

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2006
    #4
    Thats the thing, it's downloaded to my hard drive. But the truth is when I had a windows PC I was able to disable the page file, however I only had 512 MB of ram back then so I didn't do it.

    But now with 2 gigs I'm POSITIVE the computer could run with it disabled. But from what Lixivial said I guess macs don't really support turning paging files off.

    By the way, when I check in my Activity Monitor, I notice how much every app is taking up in terms of page file memory. It seems that it is too much, like nearly half the apps seems to be taking up over 300 MB, and I'm talking apps such as dashboard widgets, the activity monitor itself, the dock, etc.

    Maybe I am not reading it the correct way, but it seems like that all the apps are taking a huge amount of space. Do you guys have the same thing happening on your macs?
     
  5. apfhex macrumors 68030

    apfhex

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    Location:
    Northern California
    #5
    All the virtual memory sizes are ridiculous. Just Activity Monitor alone uses 394MB virtual (but only 10MB real) the second I open it! Even ipfwloggerd (you can guess what that is) is using 26MB virtual, the *least* of any processes on my machine — the most is Photoshop with 1.8GB, and that's not counting the translate (Rosetta) process with is using almost that much on its own.

    My opinion is, it's best not to worry about it, because OS X knows how to handle memory better than you do.

    With 2GB of RAM and a 5MB PDF, your disk shouldn't be churning away. I can open 15+MB PDFs without any audible or otherwise noticeable hard drive activity. So there must be something else going on...?
     
  6. Lixivial macrumors 6502a

    Lixivial

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    Location:
    Between cats, dogs and wanderlust.
    #6
    While it can indeed be disabled, it's generally not a great way of running in a modern OS; it's not simply relegated to the Macintosh. At some point in time you're going to hit the page file and, when it happens, the machine/app will not degrade gracefully, usually resulting in some form of data loss. Here is some good insight on the matter. It's long, but it's good.

    This docnum gives a brief and simplistic overview of what Activity Monitor means; VM size, however, does not directly reference the size of the pagefile(s) on the hard disk. If page outs are 0, or not increasing at a steady rate, then it's not consistently paging out to the hard disk.

    Some things off the top of my head? It *could* be related to spotlight (look for process mds) indexing/reindexing your hard drive (or your PDF), or any number of applications that require a stream of data. Without knowing what other apps/widgets/processes you are running at the time, it's difficult to single out the problem. :)

    EDIT: Wanted to clarify that the link I posted in the previous response was a "running in test environment, using test data, and test code to produce worst possible scenario" shock-type thing. It was meant to scare you into not doing it. ;)
     

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