This is an incredible tweak that has improved the performance of my system by leaps and bounds.
There have been lots of articles and tweaks concerning the Page File. I have tried them all, however, whilst researching articles for work, I came across this tweak directly from Microsoft that has been the best improver of my system performance.
If you have two or more hard drives, especially if they reside on separate IDE channels, it is possible to Strip the Page File across these two drives. Windows XP has code within it that will enable a RAID-Type Stripping. Therefore, Windows XP will through its internal algorithms place information in the separate drives. By accessing both of the Drives at the same time to read/write information, Windows XP will considerably improve its performance!
Simply go to System Properties > Advanced > Performance > Settings > Virtual Memory and assign the page file a size on each drive.
The way I did mine is as follows:
I have two hard drives each formatted with two partitions each. Hence I have a total of 4 Partitions being displayed. On my secondary HD, I created the first Partition and called it my SWAP. Since I have 512 MB of RAM, I created the partition with 1.5 GB. On this partition, I assigned the Swap File of 764 - 1500 MB. On the Primary Partition which Contains my Operating System, I also have a swap file of the same 764-1500 MB.
Try this out my friends. I guarantee you will be impressed with the results. As a comparison, when I had a single partition, one application used to suck 100% of my cpu cycles and my swap file usage jumped way high. Ever since I started the page file stripping, that very same application sucks only 5% CPU cycles!