Windows needs a pagefile on its boot partition that’s large enough for a debugging file called a memory dump. A dump file, however, contains highly technical information that’s useful only to system administrators and very advanced users.

A 2MB pagefile is enough for Windows to write out the minimum amount of information necessary to help an expert identify the problem. You can create a pagefile this small on your boot partition, and then add a larger pagefile on a different drive for code swapping to improve performance.

If you decide to make your boot-disk pagefile this small, you’ll need to follow these steps:

Step 1. Press WindowsKey+R (Win+R) to open the Run dialog box.

Step 2. Vista only: Type SystemPropertiesAdvanced and press Enter.

Step 3. XP only: Type control sysdm.cpl and press Enter. Click the Advanced tab.

Step 4. In both Vista and XP, click Settings under Startup and Recovery.

Step 5. In the Startup and Recovery dialog box, choose Small memory dump (64KB) under Write debugging information. You can also change the path of Dump file to a partition other than c: to save space, if desired.

Step 6. Click OK, and then click Yes to acknowledge the warning on minimum pagefile size. Follow any screen prompts as you close the remaining dialog boxes.

If you are a systems administrator or advanced user, you can choose another option under Write debugging information, but you’ll need a substantially larger pagefile to do the job. Microsoft’s advice here is inconsistent. For example, a warning pops up in Windows to advise you that a kernel memory dump requires a pagefile of at least 200MB. But Knowledge Base article 307973 advises a much larger size.