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Can I delete Win386.SWP

  1. Aug 16, 2004 #1
    I noticed this file in my C:\, 300 over megabytes,
    can I delete it and pose no harm to my system? :confused:
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 16, 2004 #2


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  4. Aug 18, 2004 #3
    You can delete it only from DOS ... then windows recreates it. Put this in autoexec.bat :

  5. Aug 18, 2004 #4
    i deleted it, and it was recreated but with smaller size.
  6. Oct 23, 2005 #5
    Thanks a lot. So if my file is usually in the windows system folder, I do not need the first line? This is really neat, thank you.

    Problem is, in my humble case, it starts up with close to the same size again. (Once after fiddling with other items I got it down to start up zero - deleted some suspicious looking files in the system folder, and prayed!) I really would like to know how to do this deliberately.
    LeaNder de Cologne
  7. Oct 23, 2005 #6
    Why would you want to delete your swap file?
  8. Oct 23, 2005 #7


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    I don't understand either. The swap space is used to implement virtual memory, because your memory is finite, so when it reaches a certain level of usage, stuff needs to be swapped out so that newer programs can be allocated some memory. There are options to decrease the size of the swap file which prbably works better than the autoexec thing above which deletes the swap file when you startup.
    In windows, right click on "My Computer", click the "Advanced" tab, click "Settings" under "performance", select the "advanced" tab again. Now at the bottom you should see "Virtual memory", click the "change" button to change the size of the swap file. You can select "no paging" if it bothers you so much.
  9. Oct 24, 2005 #8
    Well, one sure way to INCREASE computer/program instability is reducing the swap file to below minimum recommended levels.
  10. Nov 12, 2005 #9
    Well for the simple reason, I don't like it getting bigger and bigger.
    I am no geek, but whatever it does, I’d like to understand and know how I profit from its constantly increasing size. What is stored over sessions?
    Mind you I – I asked my math teacher stupid questions too, like: How can parallels cut in in infinity when they are defined by having always the same distance from each other?
    He had a wonderful answer for me. Do you have one concerning the swap file? Growing from zero to 200.000 KB. And then remaining at that level, ever increasing over sessions even if you only open the Explorer? That should not use much virtual memory. It’s not a matter of the cache, or offline sites stored either. What else?

    LeaNder o:)
  11. Nov 12, 2005 #10


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    The swap file has relevant program information which includes the program context, which is necessary to return control to the program. Deleting the swap between restarts probably won't cause any trouble. But doing it while you're running programs probably will cause exceptions and the program might freeze/crash. Consider also that, depending on which programs (and how many) you're running, the swap file can increase in size pretty fast, so deleting at startup may be of no use. Also, if you use the space on the swap file for something else, you might easily start getting warnigns like "low disk space" or "low on virtual memory". Hard drives are getting so cheap you should really consider buying a new hard drive, instead of messing around with the OS datastructures.
  12. Nov 12, 2005 #11
    You can set the maximum size of the swap file or simply assign a static value.

    I think you may run into some software incompatabilities if you delete it.

    200 Megs? wow big deal. With todays massive hard drives, if that 200 meg is killing you, you need to upgrade.
  13. Nov 13, 2005 #12
    OK :cry: I admit I should have more a more massive hard drive. But at the moment with the few programs I run my 4MB's seem quite sufficient.

    But I am still pretty puzzled - that the file was once down to zero. And when it was, there were no apparent problems with any programs. And even more what caused it. It just happened after I deleted a couple of files that somehow looked suspicious. Plus the deletion did not result in any problems with software. It was back to normal pretty soon though.

    Not quite sure though what you mean with software incompatibilities? I guess I am suspicious that spy/traceware can use this file or other files that I can't read due to encryption.

    Concerning the heightened security threats out there with all the diverse aggressive traceware, I am not so sure if my new PC will be ever on the net.

    But maybe the solution will be an external drive that is safe.

    LeaNder a/k/a Kraut de Cologne
  14. Nov 13, 2005 #13
    yes, that seems to be true. it started out with 28.000 KB something this time and seems to have arrived at 90* something a couple of days later. With the laptop unused for about 11 days.
    If I use the space? Or if the space is used by a process?
    This statement could easily trigger questions of two more mysterious phenomena. Files that mysteriously gained in size during the download process something like original file size x 10.000 or x 100.000. And maybe this is the direction you point out: message of "low disk space" with 34% of the disk empty.
    :!!) - yes, they definitely are. I am just a very curious person – traceware triggered my interest in the Microsoft entrails, even more so since my Virus and Spyware seems to be more and more at a loss in handling its deletion.
  15. Nov 7, 2006 #14
    :surprised I surprised that you delete your Virtual Memory File
    • Win386.SWP is
    • Virtual Memory
    300 over megabytes is big,
    Play a DVD and it can get up to 1 GB
    :biggrin: If you like to cutdown on the megabytes
    get a Bigger RAM for you Pc.
    A 3GB RAM is a o:)

    Moderator edit: spam link deleted.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 7, 2006
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