Is there a way to make Windows 7 to keep the ReadyBoost cache across a reboot (and not encrypt it or keep the encryption key across the reboot) - so that ReadyBoost could actually boost the boot up speed instead of slowing it down by rebuilding the cache while the system tries to load?

I know it should be possible to make ReadyBoost persistent. From a Microsoft whitepaper:

Integrated devices that support ReadyBoost retain data even when the machine is suspended or put into hibernation.

How do I enforce ReadyBoost on the drive and flag it as "internal" so that the cache is not flushed on reboot?

I have tried to tweak ReadyBoost manually using the registry as I have found this quote:

When you insert a flash device like a USB key into a system, the ReadyBoost service looks at the device to determine its performance characteristics and stores the results of its test in:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\Currentversion\Emdmgmt

However so far I have been unable to get it acting like I would like to.

The best bet seems to be using the scripted installation of the system and inserting the proper script keys - but doing a full reinstall of my whole system is very cumbersome. Is there a way to apply these without needing to do a full install? I know that Microsoft specifically emphasizes that the tool should NOT be used on already deployed systems - but if I want to disregard that warning how would I go about doing that?

  • 2
    As nice as it would be, the problem with what you want to do is that the ReadyBoost drivers aren't loaded until Windows starts. Windows can't read the ReadyBoost file on the USB stick while it's booting. Really, what you want is a solid-state hard drive that can be booted from. – Hand-E-Food Sep 8 '11 at 6:49
  • SSD space is getting cheaper but the price per Gb is still relatively high compared to the regular hard disk. When I get a SSD I would like to use it as readyboost drive instead of boot drive. I actually do have CompactFlash card in one of my motherboard IDE slots but it's performance is not good enough. While the 4k random read is awesome the sustained read speed is horrific compared to the regular 7200 rpm hard drive. – Kert Tamm Sep 8 '11 at 12:15
  • A bit late, but here is what I found out: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management\StoreParameters\ and SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\UnattendSettings\Microsoft-Windows-SystemMaintenanceService seem to be read by sysmain.dll Maybe that is where the settings are stored. Mucking about with the Attributes in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\EMDMgmt causes Readyboost to reset itself, so I guess thats only Disk ID data. (Partition size is in there) – clst Nov 9 '15 at 17:10

After messing with various parts of the registry (failing to achieve anything significant there) and being unwilling to do a fresh OEM style scripted install of my system I have found a way to do something sort of similar to what I wanted to do.

Unfortunately - what I did is not free. I opted to use a third party program called eBoostr (version 4, desktop edition). It is intended for windows XP originally and does basically the same stuff what ReadyBoost does. However, it works fine in Vista and Windows 7 as well. It can use up to 4 cache devices (including hard disks, but it's not vewry effective with hard disks) and keeps the cache over the reboots by default. Using encryption on removable disks is optional.

So I am using eBoostr on internal CF card in IDE slot and letting superfetch / ReadyBoost handle the prefetching into RAM part and few USB sticks.

Readyboost/Superfetch and eBoostr seem to work fine together as long as you point them at different drives (using the same USB stick for both ReadyBoost and eBoostr is not very effective).

The program cost is around 25 - 30 $ (and there is free trial available with full functionality) but I found some online shop in UK that was selling the desktop edition for 12.9£ and shaved 5£ off the price when I ticked a chekbox allowing them to send me spam. So the end cost ended up being around 9 euros for the desktop edition (that does all I need as superfetch is already capable of using RAM for cache).

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  • How much money are people going to waste in order to get the computer some mythical umpteen seconds faster? I know someone who uses Vista on an ancient Duron 850, and the only thing they complain to me about is lack of Silverlight. – kinokijuf Jul 3 '14 at 6:41

Well if it's your work laptop you're trying to speed up because you have no option to get a newer one or put a SSD in it. I'm willing to get my own SD card for 10 euros if that helps. With readyboost I got my boot time from 5:45 mins from power on to the browser to 3:45 mins. Also switching between applications is instantaneous now while I used to wait 3-10 seconds for something to happen, depending on HDD activity. I'm looking if there are options to get even more performance gain.

PS I work on a Lenovo T410 with 6 GB RAM, so no lack of CPU or RAM but the HDD is the bottleneck because of the slow acces times (17ms vs <1ms for the SD card) and terrible random reads/writes (0.3 MBps vs 5MBps for the SD card).

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