RamDisk

Discussion in 'Windows XP Hardware' started by Scott, Jul 16, 2003.

  1. Scott

    Scott Guest

    What happened to the old DOS command that let you setup a
    Ram disk? Is there a replacement program in windows XP?
     
    Scott, Jul 16, 2003
    #1
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  2. Scott

    Lawrence Guest

    Scott,

    I ran across your post, and it got me to thinking about it, too.... I used
    to use Ramdisks a lot for video capture.... haven't thought about them in a
    long time.... since drives are so much faster these days.
    I cruised through my system files for something similar, and found
    ramdisk.sys, and ramdisk.inf inside WINDOWS\ServicePackFiles\I386\.... but
    no instructions for syntax, or anything else, in Windows Help...

    Sooo... I cruised the web, and learned quite a bit about it.... turns out
    that ramdisks and out-of-the-box WindowsXP (using NTFS) aren't that
    reliable. You *can* use a ramdisk in WinXP, but it has to be formatted as
    FAT. So Microsoft seems to just avoid it all together, even though they do
    provide the files I mentioned above.....

    After further reading, I made a breakthrough discovery.... it is the link
    below....

    http://members.fortunecity.com/qualitysoftware/RAMDisk/RAMDisk.htm
    It is limited to 64MB.

    It looks pretty decent. It's version 2.2.... some people rave about it....

    I think I'm going to try it out.


    Good luck,
    -Lawrence in Seattle

    "Scott" <> wrote in message
    news:73e101c34b46$a23126f0$...
    > What happened to the old DOS command that let you setup a
    > Ram disk? Is there a replacement program in windows XP?
     
    Lawrence, Jul 16, 2003
    #2
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  3. Scott

    Lawrence Guest

    It works! 64MB limit though... 63.7MB (I have Norton Utilities, and it's
    wants a piece of it to monitor for recovery)

    But it's pretty slick... I've been putting it through it's paces.

    The install routine is smooth. It shows up in My Computer right after you
    boot. Don't forget to go to Device Manager, and set the properties of it...
    it's not super clear regarding that... it's default size is only like 230k.
    Norton balked at that saying it was too tiny to monitor.

    Just go in, and change the size to 67108864. It wigged out when I tried
    higher. I named it Z:, the default is B:


    Maybe tomorrow I'll try putting my paging file on it.... then I'll have a
    speedster of a system!


    Have fun.
    -Lawrence in Seattle



    "Lawrence" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Scott,
    >
    > I ran across your post, and it got me to thinking about it, too.... I used
    > to use Ramdisks a lot for video capture.... haven't thought about them in

    a
    > long time.... since drives are so much faster these days.
    > I cruised through my system files for something similar, and found
    > ramdisk.sys, and ramdisk.inf inside WINDOWS\ServicePackFiles\I386\.... but
    > no instructions for syntax, or anything else, in Windows Help...
    >
    > Sooo... I cruised the web, and learned quite a bit about it.... turns out
    > that ramdisks and out-of-the-box WindowsXP (using NTFS) aren't that
    > reliable. You *can* use a ramdisk in WinXP, but it has to be formatted as
    > FAT. So Microsoft seems to just avoid it all together, even though they

    do
    > provide the files I mentioned above.....
    >
    > After further reading, I made a breakthrough discovery.... it is the link
    > below....
    >
    > http://members.fortunecity.com/qualitysoftware/RAMDisk/RAMDisk.htm
    > It is limited to 64MB.
    >
    > It looks pretty decent. It's version 2.2.... some people rave about

    it....
    >
    > I think I'm going to try it out.
    >
    >
    > Good luck,
    > -Lawrence in Seattle
    >
    > "Scott" <> wrote in message
    > news:73e101c34b46$a23126f0$...
    > > What happened to the old DOS command that let you setup a
    > > Ram disk? Is there a replacement program in windows XP?

    >
    >
     
    Lawrence, Jul 16, 2003
    #3
  4. As far as doing this for your pagefile, you can accomplish the same thing if
    you have lots of RAM by just setting your pagefile size to 0.

    --
    Joshua Smith
    DirectInput Test Lab

    -----
    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights


    "Lawrence" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > It works! 64MB limit though... 63.7MB (I have Norton Utilities, and it's
    > wants a piece of it to monitor for recovery)
    >
    > But it's pretty slick... I've been putting it through it's paces.
    >
    > The install routine is smooth. It shows up in My Computer right after you
    > boot. Don't forget to go to Device Manager, and set the properties of

    it...
    > it's not super clear regarding that... it's default size is only like

    230k.
    > Norton balked at that saying it was too tiny to monitor.
    >
    > Just go in, and change the size to 67108864. It wigged out when I tried
    > higher. I named it Z:, the default is B:
    >
    >
    > Maybe tomorrow I'll try putting my paging file on it.... then I'll have a
    > speedster of a system!
    >
    >
    > Have fun.
    > -Lawrence in Seattle
    >
    >
    >
    > "Lawrence" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    > > Scott,
    > >
    > > I ran across your post, and it got me to thinking about it, too.... I

    used
    > > to use Ramdisks a lot for video capture.... haven't thought about them

    in
    > a
    > > long time.... since drives are so much faster these days.
    > > I cruised through my system files for something similar, and found
    > > ramdisk.sys, and ramdisk.inf inside WINDOWS\ServicePackFiles\I386\....

    but
    > > no instructions for syntax, or anything else, in Windows Help...
    > >
    > > Sooo... I cruised the web, and learned quite a bit about it.... turns

    out
    > > that ramdisks and out-of-the-box WindowsXP (using NTFS) aren't that
    > > reliable. You *can* use a ramdisk in WinXP, but it has to be formatted

    as
    > > FAT. So Microsoft seems to just avoid it all together, even though they

    > do
    > > provide the files I mentioned above.....
    > >
    > > After further reading, I made a breakthrough discovery.... it is the

    link
    > > below....
    > >
    > > http://members.fortunecity.com/qualitysoftware/RAMDisk/RAMDisk.htm
    > > It is limited to 64MB.
    > >
    > > It looks pretty decent. It's version 2.2.... some people rave about

    > it....
    > >
    > > I think I'm going to try it out.
    > >
    > >
    > > Good luck,
    > > -Lawrence in Seattle
    > >
    > > "Scott" <> wrote in message
    > > news:73e101c34b46$a23126f0$...
    > > > What happened to the old DOS command that let you setup a
    > > > Ram disk? Is there a replacement program in windows XP?

    > >
    > >

    >
    >
     
    Joshua Smith [MSFT], Jul 16, 2003
    #4
  5. Scott

    Ron Martell Guest

    "Lawrence" <> wrote:

    >It works! 64MB limit though... 63.7MB (I have Norton Utilities, and it's
    >wants a piece of it to monitor for recovery)
    >
    >But it's pretty slick... I've been putting it through it's paces.
    >
    >The install routine is smooth. It shows up in My Computer right after you
    >boot. Don't forget to go to Device Manager, and set the properties of it...
    >it's not super clear regarding that... it's default size is only like 230k.
    >Norton balked at that saying it was too tiny to monitor.
    >
    >Just go in, and change the size to 67108864. It wigged out when I tried
    >higher. I named it Z:, the default is B:
    >
    >
    >Maybe tomorrow I'll try putting my paging file on it.... then I'll have a
    >speedster of a system!
    >
    >


    Let's run through this scenario.

    Windows XP (and all other recent versions of Windows) use the paging
    file to compensate for the *lack* of sufficient RAM to meet the total
    memory requirements of the active Windows components, active
    applications, and open data files.

    RAM is something like a thousand times faster than the paging file.

    So in order to increase the overall performance we are going to take
    RAM away from Windows and allocate it to a RAM drive. That will mean
    that Windows will have to make increased use of the paging file, and
    it will have to be made larger to accomodate this increased usage.

    Each instance of increased usage of the paging file results in a 1,000
    fold decrease in performance for that specific action.

    Sounds like a surefire way to increase performance. Not.

    p.s please read MVP Alex Nichol's article on Virtual Memory Management
    in Windows XP at http://aumha.org/win5/a/xpvm.htm

    Good luck


    Ron Martell Duncan B.C. Canada
    --
    Microsoft MVP
    On-Line Help Computer Service
    http://onlinehelp.bc.ca

    "The reason computer chips are so small is computers don't eat much."
     
    Ron Martell, Jul 17, 2003
    #5
  6. Scott

    Lawrence Guest

    While I certainly appreciate your enthusiasm there, Ron, as you'll recall, I
    began my posts by replying to Scott's questions about the old ramdisk, of
    days gone by. All the other stuff is just what I found out about a cool
    little thing with potential for those who need it.

    His question reminded me of the days when I'd use a ramdisk for video
    capture, because they're lightning fast, as you noted. Nowadays, my drives
    are so fast, they never miss a frame, so I haven't used a ramdisk in
    years.... Anyway, my curiosity took me on a course which led me to the
    program/mod I found, and I just posted my results. That's all.

    Josh put forward his opinion, and I mentioned that there's a debate about
    that. You've probably read this, but
    http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/expertzone/columns/mcfedries/03june16.asp
    summarizes it excellently. I mentioned that I get better results with a
    paging file, and even better results by spreading it over my two drives.

    I hardly think a 64MB guinea pig will be noticed (and it hasn't been) by my
    1Gb system. It's just kinda cool to experiment with the technology that's
    all.

    By the way, one of the applications of the Ramdrive-thing, that one reviewer
    mentioned in the article just raved about, was that he used it for caching
    some download service he was running on his website. Apparently he was
    using the larger version than the 64MB one. The guy thought it was the
    greatest thing since sliced bread.

    Lastly, who knows what Scott had in mind for a ramdisk? I sure as heck
    don't. But it really doesn't matter.

    Have a good one,
    -Lawrence in Seattle


    "Ron Martell" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > "Lawrence" <> wrote:
    >
    > >It works! 64MB limit though... 63.7MB (I have Norton Utilities, and it's
    > >wants a piece of it to monitor for recovery)
    > >
    > >But it's pretty slick... I've been putting it through it's paces.
    > >
    > >The install routine is smooth. It shows up in My Computer right after

    you
    > >boot. Don't forget to go to Device Manager, and set the properties of

    it...
    > >it's not super clear regarding that... it's default size is only like

    230k.
    > >Norton balked at that saying it was too tiny to monitor.
    > >
    > >Just go in, and change the size to 67108864. It wigged out when I tried
    > >higher. I named it Z:, the default is B:
    > >
    > >
    > >Maybe tomorrow I'll try putting my paging file on it.... then I'll have

    a
    > >speedster of a system!
    > >
    > >

    >
    > Let's run through this scenario.
    >
    > Windows XP (and all other recent versions of Windows) use the paging
    > file to compensate for the *lack* of sufficient RAM to meet the total
    > memory requirements of the active Windows components, active
    > applications, and open data files.
    >
    > RAM is something like a thousand times faster than the paging file.
    >
    > So in order to increase the overall performance we are going to take
    > RAM away from Windows and allocate it to a RAM drive. That will mean
    > that Windows will have to make increased use of the paging file, and
    > it will have to be made larger to accomodate this increased usage.
    >
    > Each instance of increased usage of the paging file results in a 1,000
    > fold decrease in performance for that specific action.
    >
    > Sounds like a surefire way to increase performance. Not.
    >
    > p.s please read MVP Alex Nichol's article on Virtual Memory Management
    > in Windows XP at http://aumha.org/win5/a/xpvm.htm
    >
    > Good luck
    >
    >
    > Ron Martell Duncan B.C. Canada
    > --
    > Microsoft MVP
    > On-Line Help Computer Service
    > http://onlinehelp.bc.ca
    >
    > "The reason computer chips are so small is computers don't eat much."
     
    Lawrence, Jul 17, 2003
    #6
  7. Scott

    Alex Nichol Guest

    Lawrence wrote:

    >
    >Just go in, and change the size to 67108864. It wigged out when I tried
    >higher. I named it Z:, the default is B:
    >
    >
    >Maybe tomorrow I'll try putting my paging file on it.... then I'll havea
    >speedster of a system!


    You won't. If you have need of a page file without a RAM disk, then
    after taking out RAM for the file you will need that much more space in
    the file - and it cannot be big enough. You would just be copying from
    one part of RAM to another.,

    The analogy is of someone who is setting out to drive across a desert.
    He needs a bigger gas tank - but is short of space to put an auxiliary
    one. So he solves the problem by putting the auxiliary inside the
    original tank.

    There is not normally any purpose in having a RAM disk these days. XP
    will cache files in an intelligent way that is more flexible than
    devoting a part of the RAM permanently to a RAM disk. The only purpose
    I can see is where you have a program that uses a work file for
    temporary storage, that does not need to be ever written to hard disk.
    ANd that is an approach that is fast going out in favor of using Virtual
    memory space for the work instead.


    --
    Alex Nichol MS MVP (Windows Technologies)
    Bournemouth, U.K.
     
    Alex Nichol, Jul 17, 2003
    #7
  8. Scott

    Lawrence Guest

    I know.



    You must not have read what else I wrote in the thread... I'll give you the
    benefit of the doubt.

    But this is a FORUM is it not? A news group. Aren't we supposed to
    *discuss* topics?

    Granted, it is supposed to be a hardware NG, but since Scott asked..... I
    replied... you know... in the spirit of *helping*?



    Better days,
    -Lawrence in Seattle
    p.s. I wish Scott would reply, and settle the question of what he wanted to
    use it for.




    "Alex Nichol" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    Lawrence wrote:

    >
    >Just go in, and change the size to 67108864. It wigged out when I tried
    >higher. I named it Z:, the default is B:
    >
    >
    >Maybe tomorrow I'll try putting my paging file on it.... then I'll have a
    >speedster of a system!


    You won't. If you have need of a page file without a RAM disk, then
    after taking out RAM for the file you will need that much more space in
    the file - and it cannot be big enough. You would just be copying from
    one part of RAM to another.,

    The analogy is of someone who is setting out to drive across a desert.
    He needs a bigger gas tank - but is short of space to put an auxiliary
    one. So he solves the problem by putting the auxiliary inside the
    original tank.

    There is not normally any purpose in having a RAM disk these days. XP
    will cache files in an intelligent way that is more flexible than
    devoting a part of the RAM permanently to a RAM disk. The only purpose
    I can see is where you have a program that uses a work file for
    temporary storage, that does not need to be ever written to hard disk.
    ANd that is an approach that is fast going out in favor of using Virtual
    memory space for the work instead.


    --
    Alex Nichol MS MVP (Windows Technologies)
    Bournemouth, U.K.
     
    Lawrence, Jul 17, 2003
    #8
  9. Right. Upon rereading my post I guess I should have been more clear. I by no
    means suggest anyone do this unless they want to experiment with it and
    understand there could be side effects they don't anticipate. Also If you
    are going to do this I wouldn't expect it to be very successful with less
    than 512MB RAM. Remember with a page file of 0MB when you run out of space
    in RAM your apps will get denied memory allocations which could in turn BSOD
    your system. The memory manager in Windows XP does a pretty good job with
    managing your memory, I'd leave it alone.

    --
    Joshua Smith
    DirectInput Test Lab

    -----
    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights


    "Alex Nichol" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    Joshua Smith [MSFT] wrote:

    >As far as doing this for your pagefile, you can accomplish the same thing

    if
    >you have lots of RAM by just setting your pagefile size to 0.


    ANd let us be quite clear that you are bringing this forward as
    something absurd; NOT as advice. A zero size page file is going to lock
    up a large part of the RAM to no use and is a bad course of action


    --
    Alex Nichol MS MVP (Windows Technologies)
    Bournemouth, U.K.
     
    Joshua Smith [MSFT], Jul 17, 2003
    #9
  10. Scott

    Alex Nichol Guest

    Joshua Smith [MSFT] wrote:

    >Right. Upon rereading my post I guess I should have been more clear. I by no
    >means suggest anyone do this unless they want to experiment with it and
    >understand there could be side effects they don't anticipate. Also If you
    >are going to do this I wouldn't expect it to be very successful with less
    >than 512MB RAM. Remember with a page file of 0MB when you run out of space
    >in RAM your apps will get denied memory allocations which could in turn BSOD
    >your system. The memory manager in Windows XP does a pretty good job with
    >managing your memory, I'd leave it alone.


    It is worse than that. It would result in locking out a lot of RAM.
    The reason is that many programs ask for allocations of virtual address
    space far bigger than they actually use, These have to be associated
    with some physical device. If there is a page file they can go with
    that - resulting in a page file on which there is no traffic. If you do
    not have a page file, then they have to be assigned to RAM, and that
    part of RAM becomes effectively useless - it can't be used for anything
    else. And this can typically run to two or three hundred MB.

    See my page at www.aumha.org/win5/a/xpvm.htm (which I have BTW
    discussed with Vince Ordovan)


    --
    Alex Nichol MS MVP (Windows Technologies)
    Bournemouth, U.K.
     
    Alex Nichol, Jul 18, 2003
    #10
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