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Not sure about setting the pagesize being recommended by MS. Every MS course i've been on and it was covered its been suggested to leave it at OS determined for the vast majority of people.
As a general rule of thumb it should be 50% more than your memory, so, if you have 512meg then the page file should be max of 768. Overall though, most people don't need to touch the pagefile size, are you encountering problems that makes you think you need too?
In an ideal world you would have the pagefile on a seperate partition to your OS as correctly stated however, in my case I have stripped Raptors (10000rpm) for my OS so it makes sense to keep my pagefile here as well - they out perform the normal stripe (7500rpm) I have for data.
If you are on a single disk system then it probably wont make much diference as the disk heads are still fighting with each other but, if you have dual disk (or more) system then move the pagefile onto a non-OS disk -assuming your OS isn't on uber disks of course!
edit: ahh sorry, on the subject of size, Guido is correct. *IF* you really feel the urge to play with the page file, set the minimum and maximum the same size. But, unless you are getting errors (tell us what they are) then dont touch it and leave it as OS managed.
I saw that in his OP. "1Gb DDR2 RAM". That's why I said a 1Gb page file. 1Gb of physical RAM + 1Gb page file.
2Gb of RAM in a media center seems a lot, but if funds can spare it, then why not. If you don't have the funds, then you need to get the most out of the system with what you've got.
I recommend turning it off above or equal to 1GB of RAM unless you have a known RAM hog such as Adobe Photoshop or Battlefield 2.
Your system will speed up significantly.
Windows is crap at managing its swap space, and no amount of courses from Microsoft will convince me otherwise.
There is no point in Windows XP 32bit in making it more than 2GB as there is an adress space limit of 2GB ie no program can see more than 2GB. This limit goes away with XP 64. There is also a limit of 4GB real RAM for XP32 which is always divided into 2GB system and 2GB programs.
So I really wish they would hurry up with decent XP 64 drivers for my 4GB/Dual Opteron system (I still have 2 slots free for more memory goodness).
Yeah that is good. My personal experience tells me to run without a pagefile where possible. As one person pointed out in that discussion - "I hated having my minimised windows sent to the pagefile and then on my return it thrash the HD pulling it back". All my PCs are more responsive without a pagefile - its that simple for me.