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Speed up your computer Part 4/4: ReadyBoost and extra RAM

Posted on: November 11, 2007

Speed up your computer part 4/4: ReadyBoost and extra RAM
Hi, this is the last part of how to speed up your computer with little or no cash. Our other parts are

Remember what we talked about in Part 2 (The Page File)? If not then i recommend that you do so if you are just on this post for the readyboost feature. OK so are you running vista but you don’t have much memory inside your computer and you don’t want to open the case? Then look here because the new readyboost feature that is now included with windows vista helps you make your applications run faster.

Readyboost uses a USB Flash memory stick and use that for the page file. how does this help? well using the page file on your USB Flash Drive means it will be much faster than any hard drive.  This means that applications will run much faster because files and be can stored and used much faster.

Great! so how do i do it?
Well for starters you need a USB Flash Drive that has at-least 230MB free, you need to have a usb 2.0 compliant usb drive (don’t worry all flash drives are today even if you bought it a year ago) and some flash drives may not have the performance needed to make an impact.

To enable readyboost for your computer you need to:

  • Plug your flash drive into any usb 2.0 port
  • Go to my computer
  • Find your Flash drive in the removable drives section
  • right-click your flash drive and select properties


Now the properties window should show on your desktop you can:

  • Go to the readyboost tab
  • if you haven’t let the computer scan your flash disk then click the scan button

This is where some of you may encounter a point where you cant use readyboost because your flash disks don’t have the performance needed to enable readyboost. You may get a screen that looks like this(below):

If your flash drive has enough performance to qualify for readyboost then you can:

  • First set how much megabytes you want readyboost to use (the more space it uses the better performance gain, there is also a recommendation at the bottom for optimal performance)
  • Once finished, start the readyboost function by clicking the “Use this device” Radio button.


How to make your USB Flash drive compatible with readyboost
If windows has told you that your flash drive is incompatible this may be the fact that some little changes are in order to optimise the performance of your drive. Here are some tips to get the most out of your flash drive.

  • Formatting the drive
  • changing general properties
  • changing hardware properties

Formatting the drive

  • Go to my computer
  • right-click your flash drive and click Format
  • Make sure the file system is set to NTFS(don’t know what that is? look at Part 3 (The HDD file system and MSCONFIG))
  • Set the allocation unit size to 4096
  • click format the drive (NOTE: this will delete all files and folders on your disk so backup your information first!)

Changing General Settings

  • Go to my computer and right-click your flash drive
  • select properties
  • in the general tab make sure that these two check-boxes are checked(below)
  • Compress this drive to save disk space
  • Index this drive for faster searching
  • click apply

Changing Hardware Settings

  • Go to my computer
  • Right-click your flash drive and select properties
  • In properties select the hardware tab
  • In the hardware tab find your device in the list box
  • Select your device and click the properties button
  • In your device properties, in the general tab select change settings
  • Now go to the policy’s tab and select optimize for performance radio button.

Forcing windows to enable readyboost
Now if the process above does not work for you (your drive may be missing the requirements by a very small amount) then you can force windows to enable readyboost for that device. I do not recommend doing this with a really old device as you may experience negative performance. Also this process requires tampering with the registry settings so if your not confident enough to do this then i suggest you just leave it.

ok here’s how to do it:

  • Make sure your device is plugged in
  • go to my computer
  • right-click your device and select properties
  • select the readyboost tab
  • Check the “Do not retest this device” check-box
  • unplug your flash drive
  • click start and open “Run” (type run in start search)
  • In the run dialog box type regedit and click OK
  • Expand HKLM (Local Machine) > SOFTWARE > Microsoft NT > CurrentVersion > EMDgmt
  • Find your device
  • Change Device Status to 2
  • Change ReadSpeedKB’s to 1000
  • Change WriteSpeedKB’s to 1000
  • Plug in your device
  • go back to the readyboost tab
  • Enable readyboost

I would recommend that people only with a lack of RAM use this process to force the device to be used because people with lots of ram but want to stop more files being used on the hard disk will not see a performance gain but a decrease.

Buying more memory
OK so one thing that’s much better than all the tricks that i have shown over the past 4 parts of my guide is buying more memory. Windows XP was quite memory hungry and vista is no different either (in-fact it needs twice the minimum amount of ram that XP needs). So if your system is slow and unresponsive the most cheapest and easiest Way to make your system faster is add more RAM.

What type of RAM do i need?
There is lots of different types of RAM and depending on how old you system is you may have to buy different RAM than what is front-lined on the market. There are tools that you can use to see what type of RAM that your system needs. You can use the crucial system scanner which will scan your system to see which type of ram your system uses and then recommend some RAM for you. You can find this here

You can also use sisoftwares Sandra lite which is a diagnostic tool, this will give you loads of information on your computers specification. This may be too much information for beginners to computing. If your going to use sisoftwares Sandra lite then here’s the information that you need to look out for:

  • The memory Speed(this will usually be a 4 digit number like 5300 or 3200)
  • What technology it uses (most newer computers bought within the last two years will most likely use DDR or DDR2 RAM)
  • Whether the RAM is Unbuffered

This information should be enough for you to look on the Internet or go to your local computer store and get the ram that you need. you can find sisoftwares Sandra lite here

OK so this is the end of the speed up your computer guide I will be posting soon a tutorial on how to install RAM in your machine soon, thank you for reading this post!


7 Responses to "Speed up your computer Part 4/4: ReadyBoost and extra RAM"

[…] About ← Speed up your computer Part 4/4: ReadyBoost and extra RAM […]

Nice Information, Helpful

Can Readyboost work for Small hard drives? (Like for example, Ipod harddrives, or other MP3 that uses small spinning hard drives).

Jpui: Yes it should work but the drive would basicly be spinning all the time and you might not be able to use music on the ipod while its being used for ready boost. give it a try though as any data used by readyboost on it will be compressed when you take it out of the computer.

You can find a list of ReadyBoost compatible USB drives here:

Unfortunately SD cards and alternate media are not supported due to read/write times. In some cases having Too Much ram such(4gb+, so a x64 programming issue) Ready Boost can neg effect your system. I have 32 Home Premium Ready Boost gave me a 6% ram usage drop on the side bar with a 1gb SanDisk Cruzer I have 4 Gb Ram (Vista reads 2.5gb to allocate for my Vid set up 880gt sli) It be sweet to run a External Terabyte Sata Drive but logically matching or doubling your ram amounts would give you ideal performance like in virtual memory or page filing. I cant find my 2gb flash drive at the moment Or I would give you a bench mark difference, when I find Ill come back.

thanx for the grat information but i got a problem i have a disktop computer and the ram is 256 and i was thinking to change it to 2G by using a flash memory or any external hard ..i know with vista i can do it easly but how about the xp ????
could u send my information on my email please

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