Over 8GB just to install XP on a bootcamp partition? That just can't be rite!?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by TheRealMcCoy, May 20, 2010.

  1. TheRealMcCoy macrumors newbie

    May 20, 2010
    I installed XP Pro sp3 this morning

    I partitioned in bootcamp 12GB

    Installed windows successfully with FAT32 format

    But can anybody explain how somthing that only requirs 1.5GB to be installed on any PC can take up a whopping 8 GB on a mac using bootcamp? :eek: Whats going on there? :confused:
  2. iSee macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2004
    How much RAM does your computer have?
    XP can install two system files that are based on how much RAM XP is using:
    a hibernate file
    a swap file

    you can disable hibernation support and manually adjust the swap file size (though that can cause problems)
  3. TheRealMcCoy thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 20, 2010

    Yes I can see the

    hiberfil.sys at nearly 3GB



    How, what do they do and how can I change that?

  4. monokakata macrumors 68000


    May 8, 2008
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    My MBP that dual boots into XP is out on loan, so I'll have to work from memory (as it were).

    If you don't want the machine to hibernate, then I think the setting you want is in Control Panel under something like power management. One of the selections is hibernate. Uncheck or otherwise deselect, and there won't be any need for hiberfile.sys. I think that on the first reboot after you disable hibernation, that file will disappear.

    If you do want your machine to hibernate, then you'll have to keep that file. What is it? Simple answer is that it's the place on the disk where XP stores everything that's in RAM so that it doesn't have to keep the RAM alive. Upon waking, XP reconstitutes everything based on what it finds in hiberfile.sys. I've never thought that XP hibernation was reliable, so I never use it. It's your choice.

    Pagefile.sys is the swap file. All you need to know is that it's where portions of RAM can be moved when the RAM is needed for something else. When those portions are needed again, they can be moved back in. You need a pagefile.

    Pagefile options only have to do with how it's created and maintained. You can find pagefile settings in Control Panel, System, and then I think the next tab is "advanced," although there may be an intermediate. Sorry, as I said, no XP machine to hand.

    Almost certainly it's set to "system managed" (or some phrase like that). There's no compelling reason to change that, although I usually change the settings to custom, and make the minimum size 1.5 x RAM size, and the maximum equal to the minimum. What this does is force XP to make a contiguous pagefile, which makes it slightly faster. I use a utility called PerfectDisk, which makes sure the pagefile is contiguous and placed in the best spot on the disk.

    But that's just me. If you like to tinker, tinker. If not, leave it alone. The only thing you really don't want to do is to disable the pagefile, and it's also not a good idea to set it to a size that's significantly smaller than your RAM size.
  5. iSee macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2004
    Hibernation lets your laptop go into a very low power sleep mode. That's because, unlike regular sleep, the contents of RAM is written to disk -- that's what the hibernation file is for. That allows the computer to power all the way off.

    I personally don't like hibernation becase it takes a lot longer than regular sleep for the computer to wake up.

    Disabling hibernation gets rid of that file. I forget the exact steps to do this, but probably google "windows xp disable hibernation".

    Regarding the swap file, it's part of the virtual memory system. Here's a link that explains it all in a lot more detail than you probably want: http://www.aumha.org/win5/a/xpvm.php

    You want to set your swap file size to the size you actually need. To do that, at first set a custom size with a low initial size (but a large max size). As you use your computer, the OS will grow the file from the initial size, as needed. So use your computer for a while and check the swap file size before you shut down. Then set the intial size to that (so that in the furture it will not need to grow. You've got a decent amount of RAM, so you may be fine with a small swap file (i.e., it might not grow at all from the small initial size you give it).
  6. TheRealMcCoy thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 20, 2010
    Ok, this seems to make alot more sense now, I've just gained around 3 gigs turning off the hibernate option... My Macbook is always plugged in anyways so I never need it...

    6,73gb out of the 12gb I partitioned

    virtual memory, I'll need to revise on this cause I can vaguely remember doing somthing like this before but I don't know why...
  7. TheRealMcCoy thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 20, 2010

    Well currently my virtual memory is set to initial size: 2046 MB

    and the pagefile is stuck at 1,99GB (little bit less)

    what would you recomend with those numbers? It actually looks set to what it already needs...
  8. iSee macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2004
    The problem is, it might be set to a lot more that you actually need.
    The page file GROWS as needed from the initial size (up
    to the max size) but doesn't shrink if it is unused.

    Set the initial size to, maybe 16MB. (the only downside to setting the initial size too low is that windows won't run as fast as possible, because it will sometimes have to spend time making it bigger.)

    Run windows for a while, doing all the stuff you normally do. Then check the pagefile size (before rebooting). If it has grown, then reset the initial size to that (plus maybe ~25%).

    It might not grow at all, and in that case you can leave it at 16MB -- saving almost 2GB of disk space.
  9. TheRealMcCoy thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 20, 2010
    Thank you very much guys, That seems to have done the trick, or at least made it more reasonable... :)

    I still don't understand why windows would do that on a laptop, when I've installed it on my desktop computer so many times and it's never taken up so much space before... Only when I had to install it on my macbook I thought my harddrive was miss-reading or the partition had went terribly wrong and I needed to re-format :eek: but no... It was the "hybernation file" I now understand but the pageing file I still don't get? Why is the pageing file so big on a laptop? :(

    I've never had any use for these settings in the whole 13 years I've owned a computer untill now :confused:

    well in anycase I've managed to redeem 8.44 GB and it's slowly growing like you said but thats at least somthing I can work with I think. :eek:

  10. monokakata macrumors 68000


    May 8, 2008
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    How much RAM does your desktop have?

    If you let XP decide on the page file's size, it's going to initially size it in proportion to the RAM.
  11. TheRealMcCoy thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 20, 2010
    I can't actually check it at the moment because the bios on my desktop somehow got scrambled trying to install windows 7 and I can't boot into it or even use the keyboard... Thats why I've put windows on my mac at moment... but I think it was 4GB of Ram.
  12. dsprimal macrumors 6502a


    Mar 27, 2010
    8gb sounds about right. i've seen it being more for windows 7 (obviously) so 8gb for xp is probably fine. don't worry and enjoy your windows xp via bootcamp!

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