I decided to remove my pagefile completely, so why am I still seeing hard-fault activity in resource manager?

When I have a pagefile configured I can see it in windows explorer on the C: drive, I can no longer see or find any pagefile on any drive which would indicate there's no actual physical pagefile on the disk so where is windows 7 hard-faulting its pages from?

any ideas?

so with no pagefile I loaded up taskmanager/performance which showed COMMIT (GB): 2/8

I ran quite a few memory hungry programs (I have 8gb RAM), and when COMMIT showed 6/8 I got the "windows is low on memory" warning.

I gave windows a 4GB pagefile and tried again. COMMIT is now showing 2/11 (GB) and I can easily load up a lot more memory hungry programs than last time before getting the "low on memory" warning..

so is HARD FAULT really meaning hits to the pagefile, or just hits to the hdd to get program data?

I believe it's just to the hdd.

I rarely use more than one menory hungry program at a time (eg: games, video editing etc) so I feel happy in ditching my pagefile for good, especially when I have an additional 8gb of physical RAM being delivered in a few days (unless somebody can give a good reason for keeping a pagefile?)

"Hard page faults occur when the page is not located in physical memory or a memory-mapped file created by the process. The performance of applications will suffer when there is insufficient RAM and excessive hard page faults occur. It is imperative that hard page faults are resolved in a timely fashion so that the process of resolving the fault does not unnecessarily delay the program’s execution. On the other hand, a soft page fault occurs when the page is resident elsewhere in memory. For example, the page may be in the working set of another process. Soft page faults may also occur when the page is in a transitional state because it has been removed from the working sets of the processes that were using it, or it is resident as the result of a prefetch operation." 

yes, but I'm getting hard-faults whenever the system accesses the hdd to load data from files or the app's address-space - quite normal behaviour when a program loads or access data dont you think? The hard-faults I'm seeing certainly cant be to load memory pages that've been swapped out to the page-file because I dont own one.

They used to call it a page-fault, but now its hard-fault. Now I see in your quote the term 'hard-page-fault'. Are they the same things?

When I used to work on mainframes they used 'swap-files' as a cheap alternative to physical memory. When processor time is critical for clearing transaction queues then using slow-speed hard-drive swap-files is something you try and avoid where possible (using real-time priorities). If we could afford to have all physical memory then that's what we'd have done (though a finacially stupid idea for low-priority batch applications). In this day of cheap physical memory and relatively low usage I cant see a single reason for using page-files - unless modern OS' have some unaddressed legacy requirement for having one...

Wierd. Google is amazing 😛