The pagefile.sys file is an essential file for Windows 2000 Professional. It cannot be removed. It is used by Windows 2000 to temporarily store memory pages when the RAM is full or when simply reorganizing the layout of active memory. The pagefile is 1.5 times the size of RAM by default. Most performance experts recommend that you increase the pagefile to two times the size of RAM. However, with that said you can move it to a different drive or split it across multiple drives using the Virtual Memory Properties dialog box accessed from the Advanced tab of the System applet.
You can also configure the registry to clear out the pagefile each time you shutdown the system. However, this can take a considerable amount of time if the pagefile is large. For details, see "How to Clear the Windows Paging File at Shutdown (Q182086)".
This was first published in January 2002