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Is it possible to use a storage disk (such as a USB drive) as RAM?

Sometimes, due to issues with my laptop's RAM, the computer is very slow. As such, is there an option to use a pendrive as RAM on Windows 7?

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migrated from Dec 21 '10 at 12:36

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

marked as duplicate by Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, 8088, TFM, Simon Sheehan, MaQleod Dec 26 '12 at 1:07

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

What operating system? – Bobby Dec 21 '10 at 13:11
Probably Windows 7, I suggest @Mohan edits his question so that it actually suits his answer. As he obviously playing Jeopardy to supply us with his answer. ;-) – Ivo Flipse Dec 21 '10 at 14:32

If you're using Windows (Vista or Seven, I think), you must insert your pendrive in a USB version 2.0 or higher port and windows will show the AutoPlay dialog. One of the options, usually the last, is "Speed up my System". Select it and you will be taken to the properties window of the pen, in the ReadyBoost tab. From there you can make your settings.

Windows will refuse to ReadyBoost your pendrive if it doesn't meet the performance requirements!
My guess is that it also requires the NTFS file system!

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It does not require NTFS. It will work with FAT, FAT32, exFAT (Windows 7 only), or NTFS. – TuxRug Apr 1 '11 at 5:17

There's no way to use it as physical RAM, but you can page to it, on Vista/7 this can be done with ReadyBoost, on XP you can just set it to do so in My Computer > Properties > Performance > Advanced > Virtual Memory. It should be mentioned that this is no replacement for physical RAM, though.

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You can set up Windows to use the USB flash disk as Virtual Memory.

  1. Connect your pen drive to your PC [pen drive should be at least 1 GB or if you having 4 GB then its better]

  2. Allow PC what he is supposed to do,let system to detect pen drive.

  3. Right click on the My Computer and select the properties

  4. Go to advanced and then performance setting then advanced

  5. Select pen drive and click on custom size " Check the value of space available "

  6. Enter the same in the Initial and the Max columns

  7. Now restart your pc and enjoy your fast and super system

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You've just put a paging file on your pen drive. You're not using it as RAM – The Archetypal Paul Dec 21 '10 at 12:07
This is not correct... Virtual memory is not RAM. Also, the grammar in this sucks... I don't know if anyone else noticed this, but the person who asked the question, also answered the question at the same time. He is just trying to ask a random question and get credit for it. – David Dec 21 '10 at 14:13
@Daved Jeopardy questions are allowed – Sathya Dec 21 '10 at 14:50
+1 because while it is truly impossible to use flash as RAM (because it's in reality EPROM) using it as Virtual Memory is the closest thing to what the requestor is looking for and I don't think he deserves -1. – bahamat Jan 29 '11 at 17:23
If you page to it this way, your pendrive will not last very long. Also, if the drive fails or gets unplugged, the system will most likely crash horribly and you will lose data. Readyboost technically isn't the same as paging, it's really caching, but it's the closest answer you can safely get to the original question. – TuxRug Apr 1 '11 at 5:15