I've got 2 servers running Citrix Presentation Server 4.5.5 on Windows Server 2003 x32 Enterprise Edition SP2 (pae enabled).

Once all the users are logged in for the day, the system starts throwing alerts for high paging file usage (between 75%-85% usage all day). The Memory-Pages/sec monitor also registers many spikes into the warning and critical ranges through the day. We had 8GB of physical memory and a 4GB page file set up, and were normally showing between 7.5GB-8.5GB "PF usage" in the windows task manager.

My manager bumped both boxes up to 32GB RAM, but we're still getting the same alerts.

Why is the system still paging instead of using the newly available physical memory? Is there any way to determine if it's a specific program and to fix it?


For terminal servers you really need for the Page File to be >= RAM.
If you've got 8GB of RAM you should have a 8-10 GB Page File.

Windows does preemptive paging, for typical user loads this means most of the page file up to the size of RAM will be used, roughly the size of the peak commit.

Note: This is a generalization, I'm assuming you have "typical" users running "typical" applications.

  • So you're saying that, since I have 32GB RAM in there now, even if I increase the page file size up to 8 or 16GB, it will still fill the page file to 75-85% full? (I don't even have 32GB of hard drive space left on these boxes) – wham12 Feb 9 '12 at 15:04
  • At 32GB RAM there's a reasonable chance you don't need more than 1GB of swap (which is the minimum I'd recommend, mostly for kernel dumps and similar). It really depends on more details than are available in the Question. Windows does not use the Swap as "extra RAM", hasn't done that since the Win98 days... so it's more complicated than you'd think. – Chris S Feb 9 '12 at 15:59

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