How to Fix System Page File

The system page file, also known as a swap file or as "virtual memory," is a file on your hard drive that your computer's processor can use to temporarily store data until it is ready to be processed. When errors occur with this file, a general slowdown of your system can occur because your processor will not be able to prepare as much data for processing. Fixing a system page file is easy, however; all you need is a defragmentation of your hard drive, though a little preparation is necessary.

Step

Open the "Start" menu, click the "Control Panel," "System and Maintenance," "System," and "Advanced system settings" to open the "System Properties" window.

Step

Click on the "Advanced" tab and locate the "Performance" section. Click the "Settings" button to open a new window where you can alter the performance settings.

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Click on the "Advanced" tab in the new window and locate the "Virtual Memory" section. Click the "Change" button to access your system's virtual memory settings.

Step

Select your primary hard drive from the drive listings and click the box next to the "No Paging File" option. Click the "Set" button, then click "OK" to accept the settings and close the window. Close the other open windows as well.

Step

Click the "Start" menu and "Computer" to open Windows Explorer. Select the hard drive for which you just turned the page file off. Type "pagefile.sys" into the search bar and press the "Enter" key to search the drive for the physical file that stores the page file data. Right-click it and select "Delete" from the context menu to fully remove it.

Step

Reboot your computer, allowing it to load without the page file.

Step

Run Windows Disk Defragmenter (click "Start" and type "defragmenter" to locate it) or a third-party defragmentation program of your choice.

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Open the "Control Panel" again once defragmentation is complete. Return to the virtual memory settings window and uncheck the "No Paging File" option. Click "Set" and "OK."

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Close all open windows and reboot the computer again. A new page file will be created upon startup, free of the fragmentation or corruption that caused its previous problems.