Turn your USB/SD/Compact Flash card into Memory for Vista!

Discussion in 'Performance & Tweaks' started by Jason, Jan 31, 2007.

  1. Jason


    Sep 26, 2005
    Likes Received:
    ReadyBoost is the name of a disk caching technology included with Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system. It aims to make computers running Windows Vista more responsive by using flash memory on a USB 2.0 drive, SD Card, Compact Flash, or other form of flash memory, in order to boost system performance.


    Using ReadyBoost-capable flash memory devices for caching allows Windows Vista to service random disk reads with performance that is typically 8-10 times faster than random reads from traditional hard drives. This caching is applied to all disk content, not just the page file or system DLLs. Flash devices are typically slower than the hard drive for sequential I/O, so to maximize performance, ReadyBoost includes logic to recognize large, sequential read requests and then allows these requests to be serviced by the hard drive.

    When a compatible device is plugged in, the Windows AutoPlay dialog offers an additional option to use it to speed up the system; an additional "ReadyBoost" tab is added to the drive's properties dialog where the amount of space to be used can be configured.<SUP class=reference id=_ref-readyboostJim_Allchin_0>[1]</SUP> According to Jim Allchin, for future releases of Vista ReadyBoost will be able to use spare RAM on other networked Vista PCs.<SUP class=reference id=_ref-readyboostarcher_0>[2]</SUP>

    For a device to be compatible and useful it must conform to the following requirements:<UL><LI>The capacity of the USB device must be at least 256 MB<SUP class=reference id=_ref-readyboostMatt_Ayers_0>[3]</SUP> <LI>The USB device must support USB 2.0 <LI>The device should have an access time of 1ms or less. <LI>The device must be capable of 2.5 MB/s read speeds for 4 kB random reads spread uniformly across the entire device and 1.75 MB/s write speeds for 512 kB random writes spread uniformly across the device. <LI>The device must have at least 235 MB of free space </LI>[/list]

    Jason, Jan 31, 2007
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  2. Jason


    Feb 1, 2007
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    The way Vista tests a USB flash device for use with ReadyBoost can be
    a little 'deceptive'. Some USB flash devices will initially test as
    not compatable, however, they may really be compatable. Theres a
    little trick to it that the average user may not realize, and this may
    be the reason why some USB flash devices are not listed in the various
    lists on line as comptable with ReadyBoost when in actuality they may
    be compatable.

    When you first plug a USB flash drive in Vista comes up and asks you
    what you want to do with it, one of the options is to use it to speed
    up your system, click on this and Vista will check the flash device
    for compatability with ReadyBoost. The problem is that the very first
    test may not be accurate if it comes back and tells you that the
    device can't be used for ReadyBoost when it may be perfectly capable
    for use with ReadyBoost. So...here's the trick to determine if your
    device is or is not compatable with ReadyBoost;

    1. Insert the USB flash device, and let Vista detect the device. When
    it comes up and asks you want you want to do close the GUI and do not
    make any selection.

    2. Next, go to USB Flash device in explorer or disk management and
    format the device. Format the USB device you plan to use for
    ReadyBoost with NTFS and cluster sizes of 4096. Name the drive
    something you want like 'My_ReadyBoost' or something.

    3. After the format is complete right click on the USB device and
    choose 'Properties' then the 'ReadyBoost' tab.

    4. On the ReadyBoost tab unckeck the box to stop testing the device every time.

    5. Next, click the Test again button. If the tab changes from the test
    tab to a tab that gives you two options of 'Do not use this device'
    and 'Use this device'. Check the 'Use this device' box and do not make
    any other changes on the tab especially to the 'Space to reserve for
    system speed' slider, leave the 'Space to reserve for system speed'
    setting at what ever Vista recommended.

    6. Click 'Apply' then 'OK'. Your done.

    The fact that the tab changes is not a true indication of ReadyBoost
    capability. Some flash devices may in fact allow this tab to be shown
    and still not be ReadyBoost capable. To determine if your device will
    indeed be ReadyBoost capable look on the flash device after you
    complete the above steps, if a file named ReadyBoost.sfcache exists on
    the flash device and the flash device is actually being used when you
    access any hard drive in your computer to start up an application then
    congratulations as your device may actually be ReadyBoost capable even
    if it initially tested as not capable.

    May or may not work for all USB flash devices, If the tab with the two
    options in step 5 above will not come up, or the file named
    ReadyBoost.sfcache does not appear on the device, then the device is
    truly not compatable with ReadyBoost so you will not be able to use it
    for that purpose. The flash device must handle a capacity of between 2
    to 3 times your installed RAM. While your using the device as a
    ReadyBoost drive you can't use it for normal storage purposes you can
    only use it for ReadyBoost. The ReadyBoost device must be USB 2.0 and
    the USB port your plugging it into must also be USB 2.0.
    wplantz, Feb 5, 2007
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  3. Jason


    Jul 20, 2006
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    helmond, The netherlands
    how handy. it's a shame I fried my usb-stick/mp3 player when I put a 9 volt battery in it:crying:
    blackhat, Feb 5, 2007
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