Tweak ‌‘​‌DisablePagingExecutive’ To Boost Windows Performance

You can increase system performance by having the core system kept in memory.
DisablePagingExecutive
A neat feature in Windows called ‘Disable Paging Executive’. This is particularly useful for systems with a large amount of RAM.

When enabled, this tweak forces the core Windows system to stay in memory and not be paged to disk. Imagine it like keeping your most-used tools on your workbench instead of putting them away in the toolbox. They’re always there when you need them, saving you time and effort.

This feature ensures that your system runs smoothly and efficiently, leveraging the power of your RAM to its fullest potential. It’s like giving your computer a superpower!

So, if you have a system with a large amount of RAM, consider tweaking ‘Disable Paging Executive’. It’s a simple tweak that can make a big difference in your system’s performance.

DisablePagingExecutive Prevents Windows from paging the kernel and drivers, which may improve performance for RAM disks by reducing disk access.
DisablePagingExecutive Prevents Windows from paging the kernel and drivers, which may improve performance for RAM disks by reducing disk access.

Paging

Let’s digg in to understand a memory management struture in modern operating systems.

These systems use a scheme called “paging” to maximize memory usage. Imagine your computer’s memory as a bookshelf. Now, not all books can fit on the shelf at once, right? So, the operating system uses part of the hard disk as a “storage box” or “virtual memory”. A “Page” is like a book that is moved from the bookshelf (RAM) to the storage box (virtual memory) to make room for new books (programs or data).

However, accessing the storage box (hard disk) is slower than reaching for a book on the shelf (RAM). This is where the Windows operating system steps in. It allows you to configure it to keep the “kernal”, the “heart” of the system, in RAM. It’s like keeping your favorite book on the shelf for quick access. This simple tweak can speed up your Windows experience.


DisablePagingExecutive

It describes; whether user-mode & kernel-mode drivers and kernel-mode system code can be paged to disk when not in use.

Let’s understand the intricacies of tracing on Windows systems.

Windows, a versatile and powerful operating system, has a myriad of features and settings that allow us to tweak its performance. One such setting is the DisablePagingExecutive registry key. Now, you might be wondering, “What does this key do?” Well, let me explain.

The DisablePagingExecutive key instructs the operating system not to page kernel mode drivers and system code to disk. This is crucial for getting 64-bit call stacks using xperf, a performance monitoring toolset from Microsoft. Why? Because 64-bit stack walking, a method to retrieve or display the sequence of function calls made during a program’s execution, relies on metadata in the executable images. In some situations, the xperf stack walk code is not allowed to touch paged out pages.

However, it’s important to note that DisablePagingExecutive applies only to ntoskrnl.exe, the kernel image responsible for various system services in Windows. It does not apply to win32k.sys (which is much larger than ntoskrnl.exe!), the pageable portions of other drivers, the paged pool, and of course, the file system cache. All of these reside in kernel address space and are paged to disk.

On systems with low memory, this can force application code to be needlessly paged and reduce performance. It’s like having a high-performance sports car but being stuck in traffic. You can’t utilize its full potential!

But what if you have more than enough RAM for your workload? In that case, this setting won’t hurt. But then again, if you have ample RAM, the system isn’t paging much of that stuff anyway. It’s like having a large water tank for a small garden. You won’t run out of water, but you’re also not using all of it. This setting is particularly useful when debugging drivers and is generally recommended for use only on servers running a limited well-known set of applications. It’s like having a special tool in your toolbox that you only use for specific tasks.

So, the next time you’re working on a 64-bit Windows system, remember the DisablePagingExecutive registry key. It’s a small setting, but it can make a big difference in your system’s performance.

SSD & DisablePagingExecutive

Solid State Drives (SSDs). They’re fast, reliable, but they do wear out over time. The key to increasing an SSD’s lifespan lies in reducing the amount of temporary data written to it.

Windows, being the versatile operating system it is, offers many options for reducing drive usage. One such option is turning off the Paging Executive. This feature prevents some of the core operating system files from being written to the SSD. Instead, Windows stores these files in memory while the system is running.

As long as there’s enough memory available, turning off this feature won’t affect your computer’s performance. It’s like having a secret weapon to keep your SSD healthy and efficient. So, let’s give our SSDs a longer life and our systems a performance boost!


How to Disable Paging of The Executive

Windows, by default, has a clever trick up its sleeve to optimize the use of RAM. It writes kernel-mode drivers and system code to the Windows page file when they’re not in use. This frees up more RAM for the system to use. However, this action generates additional storage I/O.

Now, you might be wondering, “What’s wrong with that?” Well, in a Horizon environment, we prefer to limit this. Why? Because it’s all about efficiency and performance.

Imagine you’re running a virtual machine. If it’s assigned sufficient memory, this feature of writing to the Windows page file becomes unnecessary. It’s like having a backup generator when you have a reliable and uninterrupted power supply. You simply don’t need it!

So, what can we do about it? The answer is simple: disable the paging of the executive. This action reduces the per-desktop storage I/O, making your system run smoother and faster.

Now, let’s get to the how-to part.

Here are the steps to disable paging of the executive:
  1. Click Start >> Run
  2. Type regedit >> Enter
  3. Browse folder:
    Hkey_Local_Machine\system\currentcontrolset\control\sessionmanager\memorymanagement\DisablePagingExecutive
  4. The default value is 0, change it to 1.
  5. That's all.
  6. Reboot the computer.

Bottom Line

If you’re using Windows and have more than 1 GB of RAM, you’re in for a treat. You can force Windows to load the kernel into your RAM, which can significantly boost your system’s performance. Why?

Because processing instructions in RAM is much faster than on a hard disk.

It’s like upgrading from a bike to a sports bike! So, give it a try and experience the speed boost for yourself.


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