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[SOLVED] How to put Page File on external drive?

lakimens

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Jul 20, 2013
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Hi, been a long time since I stepped foot here.

I'm hoping you can help me.

I recently had a problem with my laptop and need to send it to be serviced under warranty.

I borrowed a cheap laptop from a friend to work with for the time being.

I got a reasonably fast NVME SSD which I put in my USB 10 Gbit/s enclosure. I'm booting from that now, and everything is working.

The SSD is fast enough, with 4K read comparable to my laptop's SSD. External SSD tested on USB 3.0.



One problem though, this laptop only has 4GB of RAM, and that's the only reason I didn't go with a cheap SSD - because I planned to put a massive 20 GB page file on it.

I know Windows doesn't like to put the page file on external disks, but Windows is on the disk, so I thought it wouldn't be a problem.

But Windows won't create the page file, and because I'm a heavy user, this page has crashed 3 times while I'm writing this post (had to close all background apps just to finish it).

Any way to force windows to put the page file on the external disk? Because without that, this laptop is useless to me.

EDIT: I should mention that this is all achieved with WinToUSB using VDHX.
 
Last edited:

ex_bubblehead

Champion
Moderator
The only way that I have ever seen an external device used for the paging file in Windows 10 is to use a Ready Boost capable device and have Superfetch enabled.

To be Ready Boost capable the USB stick must fit this profile:
  • Minimum free space per flash drive/memory card: 1 GB.
  • Maximum free space per flash drive/memory card: 32 GB.
  • Minimum transfer rate: 3.5 Mbit/s.
  • The flash drive/memory card format: NTFS
And insure that Superfetch is enabled using one of THESE methods.

Then plug in the 32GB USB drive (quick format into NTFS if needed) and right click on it under "This PC" in Windows Explorer, select the Ready Boost tab, and select it, apply, set up the paging file the usual way and restart.
That's not a paging file, it's the app/data cache. Not the same thing. You cannot put the paging file on external media. Windows is hardcoded to prevent it.
 

RealBeast

Titan
Moderator
The only way that I have ever seen an external device used for the paging file in Windows 10 is to use a Ready Boost capable device and have Superfetch enabled.

To be Ready Boost capable the USB stick must fit this profile:
  • Minimum free space per flash drive/memory card: 1 GB.
  • Maximum free space per flash drive/memory card: 32 GB.
  • Minimum transfer rate: 3.5 Mbit/s.
  • The flash drive/memory card format: NTFS
And insure that Superfetch is enabled using one of THESE methods.

Then plug in the 32GB USB drive (quick format into NTFS if needed) and right click on it under "This PC" in Windows Explorer, select the Ready Boost tab, and select it, apply, set up the paging file the usual way and restart.
 

lakimens

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Jul 20, 2013
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Thank you for your reply!

It is a virtual drive for me so ReadyBoost isn't showing on it. My goal is to have the page file on the same drive as Windows (External), but it won't play good it seems.

I might be able to put the page file on the already-present SSD in the laptop, if there's enough free space. I don't think I could do any harm by doing that.
 

ex_bubblehead

Champion
Moderator
The only way that I have ever seen an external device used for the paging file in Windows 10 is to use a Ready Boost capable device and have Superfetch enabled.

To be Ready Boost capable the USB stick must fit this profile:
  • Minimum free space per flash drive/memory card: 1 GB.
  • Maximum free space per flash drive/memory card: 32 GB.
  • Minimum transfer rate: 3.5 Mbit/s.
  • The flash drive/memory card format: NTFS
And insure that Superfetch is enabled using one of THESE methods.

Then plug in the 32GB USB drive (quick format into NTFS if needed) and right click on it under "This PC" in Windows Explorer, select the Ready Boost tab, and select it, apply, set up the paging file the usual way and restart.
That's not a paging file, it's the app/data cache. Not the same thing. You cannot put the paging file on external media. Windows is hardcoded to prevent it.
 

ex_bubblehead

Champion
Moderator
It's that way for a reason. Think about it. What would happen if Windows sent several pages of data to an externally located paging file, then tried to retrieve one or more of those pages later, or write more pages, only to find that the drive is no longer available due to being disconnected or powered down? Can you say instant crash? I knew you could.
 

lakimens

Honorable
Jul 20, 2013
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It's that way for a reason. Think about it. What would happen if Windows sent several pages of data to an externally located paging file, then tried to retrieve one or more of those pages later, or write more pages, only to find that the drive is no longer available due to being disconnected or powered down? Can you say instant crash? I knew you could.
I thought that too but then I tried if that's a problem. I loaded my internal drive and set it up with page file caching. Then I uninstalled the device so Windows won't mount it.

I got an error saying something along the lines of "Page file could not be loaded so it was recreated".
 

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