Posted by Auri Rahimzadeh Saturday, November 03, 2012 1:59:00 PM

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Oh, whoa is the tablet user. These devices come with 8, 6, 32 or more gigabytes of space. But wow is it expensive to get those higher-capacity models!

Users of Microsoft's Surface tablet can rejoice, of course. Their devices come with a MicroSD slot for affordable expansion. Unfortunately, you can't store apps on that card. So then how do you get more space without buying the more expensive model? Well, using a technique that works on the "other" version of Windows, you too can realize over two additional gigabytes of storage!

The secret lies in a special file called the "paging file." Microsoft reserves a whopping 2 gigabytes of your Surface's precious little built-in storage for this file. By moving this file, plus any "temporary" files to the MicroSD, you will very quickly get a lot more space on your 32GB model. The same works for the 64GB versions, and even other Windows tablets, laptops, and PCs.

LEGAL DISCLAIMER: You do this solely at your own risk.

So here's what you do:

  1. Buy a MicroSD card. It's important to get a Class 6 or higher, as you will want the speed for when Windows needs to use its paging file.
    1. I recommend a 32GB card. They're usually under $30 for a Class 10.
  2. Reboot your Surface so no apps are running in the background.
  3. Insert the MicroSD card into your Surface.
  4. Format the MicroSD card for NTFS. This is important – many things can go wrong if you do not format the card.
    1. Open Explorer by selecting Desktop from your start menu, then tapping the yellow folder icon in the task bar. A shortcut key to this is Windows + E.
    2. Right-click or long-press the MicroSD card and select Format.
    3. Select NTFS from the File system list.

    4. Click Start.
    5. Say it's OK to format the drive. If you already have files on the MicroSD card, they will be lost, so don't use a card with data without first backing up J
    6. Wait a moment while the MicroSD card is formatted.
  5. Now let's change the paging file settings, which requires access to the Advanced System Settings feature of Windows.
    1. Open your Charms menu, tap Search, and type Advanced System Settings.
    2. Select View Advanced System Settings.

       

    3. Select the Advanced tab, then

  1. Select Performance Settings, then Advanced, then Change… under Virtual Memory.

  1. Uncheck the box "Automatically manage paging file size for all drives."
  2. Tap C:, then select Custom Size, then type 256 in each box. Then tap Set. It is very important you tap Set, otherwise what you entered will not be saved!

  1. Tap D:, which is your MicroSD card, and select System managed size, then tap Set.
  2. Tap OK, then keep tapping OK until all the advanced settings windows are closed.
  3. You will be asked to restart your computer. Say No, or Restart Later.
  4. Open the Start menu again.
  5. Search for Temporarily files.
  6. Select Change temporary Internet file settings.

 

  1. Under Browsing History, select Settings.
  2. Change the Disk space to use to 512, since you're going to have more space once you move to the SD card.
  3. Select Move folder…

  1. Select the MicroSD card and click OK.

  1. Click OK again and you will be asked to Log Out. That's alright – let Windows log you out and back in.
  2. Once Windows has logged you back in, open your Charms menu, then Settings, then Power, then Restart. This will apply the paging file settings we made earlier.
  3. Once your machine has come back up, you should be all good to go! Take a look at your drive and you'll see you have an extra two gigabytes of space.

Enjoy!

-Auri

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