Maximum files on SFM volume limited by paged pool memory

This article was previously published under Q161870
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For a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 version of this article, see 842355.
The Services for Macintosh (SFM) component of Windows NT has an upper limitto the number of files and directories that can be located on SFM volumeson a given Windows NT Server. This limit is determined by the amount ofpaged pool memory available to the Windows NT kernel.

The information in this article is provided to assist in determiningreasonable limits for the number of files to be housed on SFM servers.

NOTE: The algorithm used by SFM to allocate memory was changed in a Post-SP3 hotfix. This hotfix is included with Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 4. Theinformation in this article applies to all versions of SFM prior to WindowsNT 4.0 Service Pack 4. For more information on this change, please see thefollowing article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
ARTICLE-ID: 166571
TITLE : Creating an SFM Volume on Large Partition Causes a Stop 0x24
Services for Macintosh uses a small amount of paged pool memory for eachfile and directory that resides on a SFM volume to cache information neededfor efficient operation of the service. For small to medium sized volumes,this memory requirement is usually negligible. However, if the volume sizeis very large, or a large amount of paged pool memory is needed for otherservices, errors may be encountered when attempting to create new files ona SFM volume, or when performing other operations that require the use ofpaged pool memory.

The number of bytes of paged pool memory SFM allocates to keep track of afile or directory depends on the length of the file's long file name (LFN).The length of the 8.3 file name (if any) is unimportant. The followingtable shows the number of bytes of paged pool memory needed by SFM as afunction of the length of a file or directory's long file name.
Lengthof LFN    File   Dir-------   ----   --- 1 -  8    128   168 9 - 12    136   17613 - 20    152   19221 - 32    176   216				

Therefore, a directory tree consisting of 200 subdirectories and 10,000files, all with names between 13 and 20 characters in length, would require(200 * 192) + (10,000 * 152), or 1,558,400 bytes (1.48 MB) of paged poolmemory.

"Paged pool memory" refers to a specific region of the Windows NT virtualmemory map accessible to kernel mode operating system components.

The maximum amount of paged pool memory available to Windows NT isdetermined at system boot time and, by default, depends on the amount ofphysical RAM installed on the system. The maximum amount of paged poolmemory that can be allocated, even with unlimited physical RAM, is 192 MB.

The default paged pool size can be overridden by means of a change to theWindows NT registry. However, extreme caution should be used when alteringthe default settings for kernel memory allocation. If an appropriatebalance of paged pool, nonpaged pool, and other memory resources is notmaintained, Windows NT may become unstable because of a shortage ofresources, even when there is plenty of available physical RAM.

Other system components besides SFM also use paged pool memory. Therefore,the actual number of files SFM will be able to handle on a given systemwill depend on that system's overall configuration. To see how much pagedpool memory is in use at a given time, examine the Pool Paged Bytes counterof the Memory object within the Windows NT Performance Monitor.

If you use all the available paged pool memory on your system, you may seesome of the following symptoms. Other symptoms may also be present, and youmay not encounter all of the following:
  • Windows NT clients may receive the message, "Cannot complete your request, not enough paged pool resources available" while trying to access files on the server.
  • Windows 95 clients may receive the message: "Not enough system resources to process your request."
  • Macintosh clients may lose their connections to the server, even if they do not receive explicit error messages.
  • The event log on the server may show instances of Event ID 2020: "The server was unable to allocate from the system paged pool because the pool was empty." or Event ID 12046: "Unable to allocate paged memory resource."
  • You may see the following application pop-up window: "System Process - Lost Delayed-Write Data: The system was attempting to transfer file data from buffers to Device\HarddiskN\PartitionN\path\to\file. The write operation failed, and only some of the data may have been written to the file."
For more information about virtual memory, including paged pool memory andthe registry parameters that are available to modify default memoryallocation, query on "pagedpoolsize" in the Microsoft Knowledge Base.

Additional background information about virtual memory is available in"Inside Windows NT" by Helen Custer, and from other sources, including theMicrosoft Knowledge Base.
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Article ID: 161870 - Last Review: 02/28/2014 08:05:49 - Revision: 2.2

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