RAMDisk in Windows 7 / Win XP

sunhux
sunhux used Ask the Experts™
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For the purpose of searching my past emails (which I often has to do), can
someone give me the steps (or freeware) to set up a RAMDisk so that I
can place my .pst outlook file on it for fast searching.

My laptop (Win 7 / Win XP) has 8GB RAM & thought of assigning 4 GB as
RAMdisk.

Don't intend to buy SSD as this is company work & I shouldn't have
spent $ for company work
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Author

Commented:
I last used RAMdisk in the days of MSDOS 6 & Win 3.1 so I'm
not sure if what I'm asking now is something that doesn't
exist anymore ?

Author

Commented:
Found a couple of freeware RAM drive software:
Does  "PE Builder" helps speed up booting time of Win 7 ?
If it does, where can I download it?

Also, where can I download "ImDisk" & "Gavotte RamDisk"?

Which among the 3 of them help with faster Windows bootup
& application loading time (in particular, my IE8 is very slow) ?
Just read this the other day. Otherwise I would have no idea what you were talking about...

http://blog.laptopmag.com/faster-than-an-ssd-how-to-turn-extra-memory-into-a-ram-disk

As such, I have never tried it but it seems a good place to start.
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Retired
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Top Expert 2009
Commented:
FYI Dataram's RAMDisk works very well.     In your case, you can simply use the free version and build a RAMDisk up to 4GB ... if you configure it to save the disk on shutdown and reload it on bootup, you could even move your PST to the RAMDisk permanently.    Be aware, however, that this would cause a VERY long (several minutes) shutdown process ... as it would be copying a 4GB file to the hard disk during shutdown.

Not relevant to this specific question, but for your future info => RAMDisk also allows a 32-bit OS running on a system with more than 4GB of RAM to use the RAM above 4GB as a RAMDisk.    [This feature is not available with the free version.]

Note that just how much benefit you'll get with RAMDisk depends very much on just what you're doing.    If your search operations are CPU-bound, then a faster disk will have limited benefit.     Check your CPU utilization during the lengthy searches you're doing [Open task manager and watch the performance tab].   If the CPU isn't being stressed, then a faster disk (i.e. a RAMDisk) will likely help a LOT;  but if the CPU is "pegged" (running at/near 100%) then the faster disk won't help nearly as much as you might think.

Author

Commented:
Thanks v much.  I'm on 64-bit Win 7.  Heard that DataRam free
version could support only up to 4GB RAMdisk

I thought of using Bestsync software to cut down the copying as
I heard Bestsync could sync differential even if files are locked.

CPU is X220, so should be sufficient or I can set the priority of
CPU for the searching mechanism to be lowest.

Is there any way to speed up boot time of the laptop using
DataRam  or I'll need PE Boot?
Gary CaseRetired
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Top Expert 2009
Commented:
No, a Dataram RAMDisk can't speed up your boot time => on the contrary, it will make it significantly longer if you want the RAMDisk's contents preserved between boots [As I noted earlier, that will make the shutdown much slower, as it has to write the RAMDisk to your physical disk on shutdown ... and (obviously) it then has to read that entire file into memory during startup.]

If you want significantly faster boot times, your best option is to get an SSD.

Author

Commented:
If I just do "hibernate" instead of shutdown/reboot, would the
contents of the RAMDisk be preserved across reboot?
Gary CaseRetired
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Top Expert 2009
Commented:
Yes -- but the hibernation will take as long as a shutdown, since the 4GB of RAM in use by the RAMDisk will have to be written to hyberfil.sys

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