Reading/viewing Swap file contents

Toshiba LAPTOP
January 14, 2009 at 03:53:22
Specs: Windows XP sp3, Celeron 2.6GHz, 736MB RAM
Hi All,

As you will see I'm a bit of a PC dunce....

Anyway, I was just wondering whether it's possible to view/read/look at/browse the contents of my Swap file.

I have used all those key words above when searching in Google, but nothing came up. Only tonnes of stuff about deleting/clearing the Swap file.

Clearing is my ultimate goal... but having read that all sorts of stuff can get written to the Swap file (hence the reason for folk wanting to delete it)... it made me wonder what was being held on mine, so I wanted to view it first.

I'm astonished that I can't find the answer anywhere on Google.


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January 14, 2009 at 04:50:40
Nowadays Swap file is called Paging file.
I presume trying to read one is like trying to read what is in the RAM Memory.
RAM, Virtual Memory, Pagefile and all that stuff
HOWTO: Set Performance Options in Windows XP
How to Configure Paging Files for Optimization and Recovery in Windows XP
How to Clear the Windows Paging File at Shutdown
How To Move the Paging File in Windows XP

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January 14, 2009 at 09:49:42
Chuck2 is correct. Trying to browse the Pagefile would be like trying to browse memory. It would be completely random characters.

I can't think of any good reason to want to clear the PageFile. I'm pretty sure that it is cleared during every boot.

But you could probably delete it by downloading a Knoppix CD. It will be recreated on the next boot.

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January 19, 2009 at 01:43:07
Hi there - thank you both for the replies.

I read somewhere that the Swap (Page) file could contain information such as passwords or encypted information that has been 'un-encrypted' before being swappped over.

I was only curious to see the extent of this. There was no real practical benefit in doing so !!

However, having read that all this information is then stored unless the Pagefile (Swap) is deleted, then I thought it was worth doing.

Perhaps I shouldn't bother.... but I guess the more one does stuff like this on the PC, the more one learns about it?

Thanks again.

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