XP-Antispy, a great program but...I believe you are better off staying away from

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by HandsOff, Jan 23, 2004.

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  1. HandsOff

    HandsOff Registered Member

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    Hi guys,

    A question/comment about XP-Antispy. comment first, if you check the option to overwrite your pagefile, you can expect a long delay when you shut down windows, especially if your page file is 4GB or larger (yes it can be larger if it spans partitions).

    I cant back this up (can you?) i think that this routine actually hurts XP's stability. I base this on the impact that it has on pagefile fragmentation (a puzzle in its own right) that i have observed.

    Okay, question: Why would you want to overwrite the pagefile in the first place? i can only guess...that maybe it might have a positive effect on xp systems with very little ram? Or it simply a privacy concern?

    my main interest pagefile wise is promoting sytem stability. from what i have experienced for some reason overwriting the pagefile option in xp-antispy has been counterproductive.

    I will say however, XP-Antispy is an indispensible timesaver! Three cheers for XP-Antispy!!!
     
  2. HandsOff

    HandsOff Registered Member

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    Re:XP-Antispy, a great program but...I believe you are better off staying away f

    sorry, forgot to check the wish to be notified box, heh, heh, heh
     
  3. rerun2

    rerun2 Registered Member

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    Re:XP-Antispy, a great program but...I believe you are better off staying away f

    From my understanding the pagefile is an area assigned on the hard drive that acts as RAM when there is no available RAM on the computer. Because of the way this is done the inherent security risk is that an intruder could "mine" this pagefile looking for things like admin passwords and credit card information. Probably the greatest risk is if the intruder has local access to your computer or if your computer is networked and the intruder is part of your network.

    To enable this option would benefit those who have this (above mentioned) concern. It would also benefit those who do not have a lot of RAM or hard drive space (which you mentioned) and who encounter the dialog message that your swap file has been filled etc etc. If one uses Photoshop or other such applications, editing high res images can quickly fill up RAM and clearing the pagefile on shutdown might be beneficial.

    4GB is quite a large amount of space to reserve for your pagefile. Usually 512-768mb is good for most people. Since you are using XP Antispy I assume you use XP. You can easily configure how much disk space you want to assign to your pagefile by going to...
    Control Panel -> System -> Advanced tab-> Performance Settings -> Advanced tab -> Virtual Memory Change

    You may even want to consider moving your pagefile to a separate partition or another channel. This will ensure no competition with other tasks.

    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;314482

    Clearing the pagefile can also be done in XP and 2000's local security policy.

    Added URL tags - Pieter
     
  4. HandsOff

    HandsOff Registered Member

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    Re:XP-Antispy, a great program but...I believe you are better off staying away f

    Thanks for the input (and the URL, Pieter). It's actually difficult for me to believe that you can get away with a page file under 1 GB. Many of my programs simply shut down when i tried it. Most people would agree that memory management is among the most important factors in determining how well your computer performs. I have read what microsoft advises about the pagefile. I think the most interesting stuff i read actually came with the manual for one of my hard drives.

    I have played around with the pagefile size quite a bit. the performance that I have experienced has not always agreed with what i anticipated.

    (1) for some reason, i found that clearing the pagefile with XP-Antispy SEEMS to lead to my whole system slowing down. and SEEMS lead to quicker and more severe file fragmentation. It doesnt make a lot of sense, since this happens at shutdown. maybe it results because of poor performance during the shutdown itself, when it is saving your files settings and preferences for your next session.

    (2) i was a little surprised that basically my computers performance gets better the larger i make the page file (up to 4GB and all on the C: drive)

    (3) it works better (for me) to keep the page file on the C: drive and put the "scratch files" of adobe, and whatever on a separate drive.

    my definition of performance is basically, how long it takes to load XP and large aplications and how quickly files get transferred back and forth.

    Agree? Disagree? Couldn't care less?

    I just wondered are there any other pagefile performance observations
     
  5. rerun2

    rerun2 Registered Member

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    Re:XP-Antispy, a great program but...I believe you are better off staying away f

    Quite a few people now have computers with at least 256mb of physical RAM and up. If you couple this with improved memory management features in NT based OS' , it is really not that far fetched. However, because your programs shut down with a lower pagefile you may be someone who would benefit from a particularly large pagefile. After all, most programs will use some swap file space (intentionally or not). You may want to look in your task manager and observe your pagefile usage. You may actually need more physical RAM.

    Hmm I have actually not noticed this, except for the noticable slowdown in shutdown which is normal when clearing the pagefile. Perhaps someone else with more insight can confirm this and be of more assistance.

    I am surprised too :D . You are actually the first person Ive read about that has set their pagefile so large and report of unstability if set lower. XP I believe sets their pagefile to 1.5x the size of your physical RAM. But most of these 1.5x, 2x, 3x formulas were set when physical RAM sizes were a lot smaller, making pagefile usage more heavy.

    Another added benefit to having your swapfile on a separate partition is that it helps you manage and constrain your swapfile to a certain area of the drive. Which may improve performance and fragmentation which you mentioned as a concern. This is particularly true if the swapfile is on another channel, not so much on another partition. Having your "scratch files" on a separate drive does not really affect performance, except for maybe the time accessing the files. But if one actually uses programs like photoshop that is when the pagefile will be used the most (rendering, editing, manipulating high res images). And when the potential of your swapfile being filled is most likely.

    Every system is different and is used differently, so of course there is no way of saying everyone should follow a set "law" on how to use and set their pagefile. What works for one person may not work for the next.
     
  6. HandsOff

    HandsOff Registered Member

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    Re:XP-Antispy, a great program but...I believe you are better off staying away f

    hi,
    i didnt mention it, but you correctly pointed to the biggest flaw of my large pagefile method. The problem is in order to derrive the most benefit from it you must also be committed to have a vast additional amount of space you are willing to "waste" as a buffer zone. now i have probably entered the area most people would scoff at. how much drive space am i willing to waste? how can i possibly make it pay?
    answer....ALOT. I can make it pay by have zero MFT fragmentation...months after O/S installation. (no joke. zero MFT frag, zero directory frag, zero bootarea frag).
    if you don't set up as i do you are right, fragmentation would be completely out of control. Its a pretty bad sign if you boot up and your page file is already divided in two or three zones. you can imagine whatever goes between them is like a time bomb ticking away, and you are right about the RAM. when i came up with this strategy i had only 256MB of ram and i had photoshop 7 set up with over 600 mb used ---by the plugins folder alone---. subtract sytem overhead from 256 and see what i had left to deal with.
    my big problems came actually when i added RAM, because then i thought i could lessen my depenence on the pagefile. everything i have tried has worsened my performance, so i am now transitioning back to my old way. i did learn alot about what not to do (in my situation). had i read your post before i had done it there is a chance i would have thought better about my worst mistake...shrinking the c:\ partition to gain extra storage space for graphics files.
    a warning to the penny wise hard drive space users, that is the road to ruin!
    i am about to reinstall xp...mostly because i want to run some tests on installing xp. so of course this is when i have the best chance to reconfigure. Thanks again!


    -handsoff

    P.S. - i am by no means a power user, i think what i think because i have tried many different combinations, however, with all the variables that change, i may well have drawn the wrong conclusions....also...

    if you dont mind...what did you mean "different channel"? i guess i better look it up, i thought i knew what you meant but now i'm not so sure...
     
  7. rerun2

    rerun2 Registered Member

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    Re:XP-Antispy, a great program but...I believe you are better off staying away f

    To add to that, one would want to try to keep "restrictions" on their pagefile by setting min and max values, to avoid fragmentation.

    That is strange. You may want to more closely observe your memory and pagefile usage. When you have your OS fully installed, try running all your apps and opening up task manager to see if you are exceeding your physical memory limit. Perhaps run some benchmarks or diagnostic tools. There may even be something else on your computer that is bottlenecking. Ive even read of issues where a drive was not given proper security permissions (specifically the system account was not given permission)... and the OS did not recognize a pagefile at all.

    What I personally meant by "different channel" is a separate hard drive that is hooked up to a different IDE cable than the hard drive of your OS. The theoretical idea is that... if information is being accessed from the drive not containing the page-file, it should page faster. Mainly because it would take longer to move the head to read and then write to the same drive than it would to read on one drive and write to another. Of course reading and writing happens so fast with hard drives that many average users would not notice this and would have no need to do this.
     
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