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Trish's Escape from Hardware Hell Help Board » Software » Windows 3.1, 95, 98 and ME » WIN386.SWP « Previous Next »

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Posted on Thursday, February 27, 2003 - 7:40 am:   

Can anybody help me to delete this file which is using enormous ammounts of memory on my C drive.
Posted on Thursday, February 27, 2003 - 9:11 pm:   

The Win386.swp is the Windows swap file used for Virtual Memory in the Windows environment. This allows the computer to provide more memory to applications than is physically present in the form of RAM.

This file can grow very large in size and needs space to grow. Hard disk drives with low available disk space will experience issues and decreased performance because of the lack of space available for this file to grow. You can not delete the file permanently as it will be recreated by windows. If you have low resources like low ram memory space or are running out of hard drive space you have 2 options.
1. Add more ram or free up memory by limiting the number of programs launched at startup.
2. Remove unused programs and files and folders to free up more space on the hard drive.
Posted on Thursday, February 27, 2003 - 9:42 pm:   

to add, you can delete it in dos, but as es said, it will recreate itself upon reboot. but i've noticed that sometimes it will be smaller in size when that happens at first, then grow and shrink as mentioned.
Posted on Thursday, March 6, 2003 - 7:19 am:   

I have tried to deleat the WIN386.SWP in DOS but I was unable to do this. Could somebody give me directions for doing this.
Edgar H.
Posted on Wednesday, January 14, 2004 - 9:01 am:   

As E.S. said, this system file is used by both Win3.x and Win95/98 as virtual memory. Under default settings the file will vary in size and can get very large.

In Win3.x, you can set the swap file to use a set size (permanent) rather than a dynamic size. (This is highly recommended by Win3.x gurus; it increases hard disk performance significantly in most cases-- Win3.x doesn't have to constantly reallocate the file, and knows exactly where on the hard disk to go.)

IMPORTANT: Defragment and consolidate free disk space before doing the following procedure, for maximum performance gain.

Here's how: From the Program Manager, open the Main group; double-click the Control Panel. Double-click the 386 Enhanced icon; there is a "Virtual Memory" button, and you can change the setting there. Set the desired size (start with between 4000 and 8000 K) and select the Permanent type. You can also disable the swap file (reducing it to 0)in that dialog box, but this is not recommended unless you have a lot of physical RAM or a very small hard drive on which you are going to run large DOS programs.

There is a similar procedure in Win9x. However, 32-bit Windows OSes use virtual memory much more extensively, and this is not recommended unless you have a boatload of physical RAM in your system (more than 64Mb).

Also, as E.S. states, disks with low available space will start to exhibit problems. (This is true with any OS, Microsoft or not.) Consider file cleanup, deletion of unused applications and/or defragmentation before doing any of these virtual memory resizes.

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