How to Disable Kernel Paging

By Michael Stark

Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 are very efficient at managing the kernel paging process. Most of the kernel is loaded into RAM very early in the Windows startup process, where it is likely to remain. When loading very large programs, however, Windows may decide to move portions of the kernel to the hard drive, resulting in slower access to some core Windows functions. If you have a large amount of RAM, and frequently load memory intensive programs, you can elect to force Windows to keep the kernel in the RAM memory exclusively.

Step 1

Open the "Registry Editor". To do this in Windows 7, click the "Start" button and type "regedit" in the "Search programs and files" space near the bottom of the menu. In Windows XP, you'll need to select the "Run" option, then type "regedit" in the new dialog box that appears. Press the "Enter" key.

Step 2

Create a backup of the registry. In the "Registry Editor" window, click the "File" menu. In the "File" menu, locate and click the "Export" option. A dialog box will ask you what you'd like to name your new file, and by default will place the backup in your "My Documents" folder. Backing up the registry ensures that you'll have a quick-fix ready to go if any mistakes are made.

Step 3

Locate the kernel paging settings. In the "Registry Editor", on the left side, you'll see a series of folders. Double clicking on a folder will reveal several sub-folders, which can in turn be double clicked to reveal even more sub-folders. Starting with HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, you'll need to work your way through the folder hierarchy as follows: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE -> SYSTEM -> CurrentControlSet -> Control -> Session Manager -> Memory Management.

Step 4

Disable kernel paging. With "Memory Management" selected in the "Registry Editor", examine the data on the right side of the window. You will see an entry under the "Name" column titled "DisablePagingExecutive". Double click on it. A new dialog box will prompt you to change the setting, with the current setting, "0", already listed underneath "Value data". Replace the "0" with "1" and click the "Okay" button.

Step 5

Close the "Registry Editor" and restart your PC. It is not necessary to save the changes manually as they are saved immediately when altered, but they do not take effect until you restart Windows.