Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

At first i thought ReadyBoost means having swap file allocated to flash drive which is wrong because ReadyBoost serves as additional storage for swap file or should i say it mirrors swap file on hard drive and has first priority?

Anyway, i thought about allocating swap file to flash drive fully. How would that perform? Will it deplete flash drive's write cycles fast? I also think it would be more convenient with SD flash card since it sits inside laptop's flash reader and does not stick out.

Now the best option is to buy more RAM, but what if to create RAM disk out of current 4GB of RAM that i have and fully allocate swap file there? Create 2GB RAM drive or just buy additional 4GB of RAM and create 4GB RAM disk?

My objective is to have swap file on flash media or better on RAM disk. While latter sounds better, it would be more expensive and will require disassembling my DELL Latitude E6420 laptop (i did not find RAM cover).

share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

Moving the swap file to an external source entirely, or on to a RAM disk entirely is a bad idea. Of course you can do whatever you want.

The mirroring you suggested is more accurate of a statement. As it is unknown when the USB or alternative media will be unplugged, the swap area has to be protected from such events. The flash wear would be negligible, you will most likely change to a different solution before that kicks in. The issue with the RAM disk is that when the laptop is powered off (even unintentionally) the swap file will disappear with the RAM disk.

share|improve this answer
Great, if laptop is powered off i don't need swap anyway. As soon as OS loads, new swap file is created. –  Boris_yo Aug 17 '11 at 21:19

Ram drive idea is dead on arrival.

If you make 2GB ramdrive you are left with 2GB for system memory. So you swap a lot more. But you have overhead, so you will be worse off than now. Buying 4 more and just disabling swap is better solution.

Having swap on flashdrive can work if you have usb 2.0 and very high quality flash drive, but it will burn quickly because you lack the ssd controler that gives tear leveling.

So - third best solution - buy SSD.

Second best - buy more ram.

Best option - buy both :)

share|improve this answer
As Foo_Chow noted, moving a swap to a flashcard is also DOA. If the flashcard loses connection, then that's a bluescreen. –  surfasb Aug 17 '11 at 20:01
Where you heard that? –  Boris_yo Aug 17 '11 at 21:17
Who needs controllers? This USB drive already has it: i.imgur.com/uIGVF.png –  Boris_yo Aug 17 '11 at 21:29
Connection != controller. Unplugging your pagefile is similar to unplugging a memory module. Unplug a memory module and you'll bluescreen. –  surfasb Aug 18 '11 at 5:57

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.