How to add more memory to a PC using an …USB Flash Drive

You gotta love this way of boosting your computer speed using just an USB Flash Drive. First of all we are talking here about a new feature starting being implemented with Windows Vista (Vista and Windows 7) so please don’t ask about XP. There is a way you can increase the speed of a PC running XP but not through this method but moving the Win Page File / Swap to a high speed USB Flash Drive. We gonna discuss a bit about this method later on.

For now, I’m gonna explain how can you increase the speed of a PC using just a simple Flash Drive. Clear thing, the USB Flash Drive you wanna use should be a high speed one. You will say, why not just buying some new DDR since a high speed USB Flash is pretty much the same price. The answer will be, this is a temporary measure, I’m not talking about boosting your computer this way permanently but when you need a pinch of speed, let’s say when opening a huge PSD file and the memory installed is not helping anymore :)

Before starting I recommend you to make sure you have a high speed USD Flash Drive with at least 256MB of space. The capacity is a condition, otherwise you won’t be able to use ReadyBoost. This is what happen when any of these conditions aren’t fulfilled.

OK, let’s get started taking advantages of Windows ReadyBoost. Again this is gonna work only under Vista and Win 7.

There are 2 ways to start:
1. just plug you USB Flash into your computer and when autorun starts click on Speed up my system (the bottom option in the following screen).
2. if the auto play is not working you may need to right click the USB Drive, then click on Properties. At the top left you will see ReadyBoost.

windows speedboost

After opening up the ReadyBoost, click on Use this device and then use the slider to set the amount of space you want to allocate for ReadyBoost. The more space you allocate the more you improve your computer speed. Tadaaa, you’re set up! You should see right away a difference in speed.

Now, as promised at the begenning of this article, let’s see how can you improve the speed of a computer running Windows XP. Because ReadyBoost is not anymore an option here what we gonna do is moving the swap file also named the Page File to a much speedier support, considering that your hard drive is a slow one.

What we need here is a high speed USB Flash, 10MB/sec or higher but this time I recommend using a high capacity one, like 16GB, 32GB or even higher capacity. I know is a fortune to buy such a device but I’m just assuming you already have one of these around and you also want a bit faster computer. Right on!

I’m not gonna get in too many details here as I already talked about how to move a swap page file 3 years ago ago, but at that time I didn’t say anything about using an USB so here we are.

Steps:
1. right click My Computer / Properties
2. click Advanced / Performance and then Settings
3. click Advanced / Virtual Memory / then click on Change

If you want to keep some of the system cache on one of your physical drives just reduce the size of the swap file. If you wanna move it completely to the USB Drive then set it to No Page File. It’s gonna ask for restart but don’t restart your computer just yet. Pick up the USB from the drives list and setup the file size and click set. You may want to set up the page file size at maximum. Now you can restart. The computer speed should improve as your USB has a better speed than your HDD.

Don’t forget to keep your USB Flash Drive into your unit! Let me know if you feel any speed difference. You should :)

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