Virtual machines and the HDD issue

There’s this common issue with virtual machines – the HDD deficiency (I may have coined a new term). You see contemporary processors are so fast and allow virtualization that they can easily handle the load. The harddrives in contrast cannot handle load coming from different entities, that is, harddrives are bad in multitasking. It’s just to expensive to switch between tasks.

Most modern operating systems have a mechanism called commonly paging. It refers to the process of moving data from the limited main memory (ram) to a special (most often) file on the disk. The main memory is gazillion  times faster than a harddrive, but limited, ergo the need for more virtual memory. Weirdly enough most contemporary OSes start using the page file way before they reach the limit of the physical memory (actual ram).

Contemporary machines can handle a lot of memory (2 or 4 gb for example). So why use a page file?

Switching the page file can be done like this:

then do that:

This is the memory print of my vm:

idle:vm.memory.print with 3 browsers, outlook, word:


I think the handling of my machine (host os)  is better now. Let’s see if the impression persists…

One thought on “Virtual machines and the HDD issue”

  1. Switching off the page file is usually the first thing I do to save VHD space (-:
    Also turning off the Recycle bin and System Restore works for me. I back up the whole vhd so I don't need these features.

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