Why does XP shutdown faster when virtual memory is disabled?

Gateway / Mx6436
March 12, 2013 at 11:44:23
Specs: Windows XP, 1.794 GHz / 1370 GB Ram
May I know why Windows XP will shut down under 10 seconds if I disable virtual memory and yet it will take 30 seconds to shutdown if I enable it?

If I start the computer then shut it down immediately after log in when virtual memory is enabled why does it take 30 seconds to shut down if I did not open any files or start any programs?

See More: Why does XP shutdown faster when virtual memory is disabled?

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March 12, 2013 at 14:24:00
With VM it will do some HD shuffling on closure.

30 seconds seems a bit long. Have you installed this?:
I found the above, from MS, speeds shut down because it closes hanging programs.
You just install it then forget it. It might make all the difference.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

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March 12, 2013 at 16:06:00
Why are you concerned that it takes a few extra seconds to shut down your machine & why would you disable virtual memory? If you want your system to run slow, leave VM disabled.

Could it be you have a lot of crap loaded & running in the background & it takes a while for them all to release from memory?

I just spotted this other question by you which makes me wonder what's going on: http://www.computing.net/answers/ha...

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March 13, 2013 at 06:56:25
Thanks Derek,

I have tried that many times before in the past and haven't noticed any difference.

Wouldn't the unload dll registry edit be similar in the result to prevent programs from hanging?

However over the years the computer performance has increase by using third party firewall/anti-virus software as well as selected registry edits so who is to say that in the future when all the glitches that came with the manufacturers version of XP is discovered (or glitches that came with XP from Microsoft) that I may use this and enjoy its benefits.

*When I run the Microsoft Fix It after reloading the manufacturers OS I can see 2 recycle bins in C:Recycler and the fix it solves the problem as well as an icon issue.

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March 13, 2013 at 07:22:22
The thing that I noticed when disabling VM is that the performance is as good or better than running with virtual memory, just that you can't run as many programs or tasks at the same time cause you run out of memory.

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March 13, 2013 at 07:28:00
Hi riider,

It is actually like 6-7 seconds for me to shut down when VM is disabled and more close to the full 30 seconds when enabled.

When I stumbled upon this I thought it was the coolest thing since using full versions of security software.

I know it is fairly useless improvement to XP but the quickness of it shutting down was quite exhilarating compared to the 3 minutes + that 98/XP used to take on my older machines in the late 1990's - early 2000's.

Not much is running, compared to its default configuration, in the background as I have selective services running and deselected options in msconfig. Even though I have made these changes there is actually alot running, mostly system services that take up 4MB here, 9MB there ....

Ya, ha. I was wondering about RAM cause of that. Of course nothing that more RAM/virtual memory couldn't solve; just don't wanna begin to learn a new OS cause I have XP setup nicely and I prefer this shade of blue compared to the newer operating systems.

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March 13, 2013 at 09:32:45
Re #3
"Wouldn't the unload dll registry edit be similar"
No, that command is ignored in XP onwards. See this,
most of it is sensible and well thought out:

I would add my own one which I call the "placebo effect". When we do something that others have claimed produced an improvement, we expect and even think it has improved our own computer. Often when the wonder fix is taken out a few weeks later it apparently improves again.

By the way, do you use Skype? If that is running it is very slow to close and even UPH Clean doesn't help. If you Exit Skype from the tray icon and wait 10 seconds your shutdown is faster.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

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March 14, 2013 at 15:49:10

Thanks. I am aware that not all edits are actually useful and that one I had no idea how to test other than the authors claim.

I am watching an explanation of virtual memory on YouTube and how it is just disk space to enlarge the system memory to hold programs. I am also reading that how the operating system divides virtual memory into pages and how it assists the physical memory at http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/V/vir...

If its just there to assist the physical memory when it has reached its maximum capacity, isn't there a better way to shut it down or manage it other than the way the Operating System is currently doing? By that question I am talking about an easy to install registry edit, maybe a snap in of some sort or something similar, without having to understand this site http://www.brokenthorn.com/Resource... (4/5 down the page).

Is there a way that one can manage it so that nothing is stored in it when not in use or nothing is saved from programs that have used it in the past(ie programs used in the same session but not in current use)if thats why it takes so long to clear when shut down?

I think I could format my partition in 30 seconds, and the VM is set to just above the amount of physical memory.

If I start the computer and shut it down immediately after boot without loading any programs shouldn't it shut down comparably as quick as if there was no virtual memory set? I hadn't started any programs other than whatever XP needs to have its operating system up and running and of course the firewall/antivirus software.

Is there a way to do this without having to add a usb device to enable more RAM assuming that doing this will allow the new memory to react like physical memory when shut down(quick)?

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March 14, 2013 at 17:49:43
There are a few general points to make here.

RAM is there to be used, rather than sitting around empty just in case something might wish to use it. Windows is very good at managing it and will unload it when needed for a new process. If data is paged to VM (HD), it is still faster than starting over should that data be called upon again.

In my opinion it is not a good idea to run without VM because at times of high activity the system might not cope. After all, once you've seen that shut down has initiated there is no need to sit and watch it - by definition you are not intending to use the computer so just walk away. It's how good a computer is when you are using it that really matters.

30 seconds does seem a bit long so it is most likely a hanging background program, which is why I suggested UPH Clean. Maybe you can find the culprit by stopping some processes from Task Manager to see what that does for shutdown. Temporarily disabling your AV might prove interesting too.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

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March 15, 2013 at 02:05:53
There's a good article here about Windows memory, from a guy who really knows his stuff: http://blogs.technet.com/b/markruss... The short answer is that there are some situations where running without a page file will improve performance and some where it will harm it (if the performance when shutting down the system is one of those cases that is of zero interest to me). The only way to be sure is to do proper measurements, using Performance Monitor, of your system. Relying on "it feels faster" can be very misleading.

You should note that in some situations running without a page file can lock the system and destroy data. One case that I have seen cited is editing a very large image in Photoshop. More memory is needed to save the file but there is not enough RAM. The system is then stuck; with a page file it could easily solve the situation but without it just hangs. You then have to reboot, losing the file you were editing.

So it's horses for courses. Me, I reckon the guys who designed Windows probably know more about the way that it handles memory than I do (however clever I think I am - I don't have access to the source code). They say don't run without a page file. That's good enough for me.

Running a car without brakes makes it run faster and more efficiently. And it's just fine to do so (you can stop without brakes) - until that time when you really need the brakes. Then you crash.

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