USB flash drives are useful for transporting data from one computer to another, but for those using Windows Vista, flash drives have another purpose; they can be used as RAM. RAM refers to random access memory, which is the computer's short term memory. This memory keeps your PC moving while several programs are open.
Boost Your Memory with USB Flash
While flash drive RAM won't be as effective as the RAM installed on the computer, it is certainly helpful to have this boost until more RAM can be installed in the system. Learn about how to use your USB flash drives as RAM and follow these easy steps to boost your memory...
Insert the flash drive into an available USB slot. An auto play option may come onto the screen. If so, select the option, “Speed Up My System.” This will open the ReadyBoost technology menu to allocate a portion of the flash drive memory to the system RAM. If this auto play option doesn't appear on the screen, continue to step two.
Open “My Computer.” The flash drive will have a letter allocated to it. Traditionally, the hard drive is C, the disc drives are D and E, so the flash drive is likely to be F. This is different for each system, depending on the number of hard drives, partitions, and optical drives you may have. If the drive letter cannot be located, unplug the drive and insert it again, paying attention to the letter that pops up on the screen.
Select the appropriate drive letter for the flash drive, right click it, and choose “Properties.”
From here, select the ReadyBoost tab.
Choose the amount of flash memory to allocate to RAM. Once the amount of RAM has been selected, the system will begin to use it. You will notice an immediate boost in performance, as your computer is now using the extra memory from the USB flash drive in order to gain more brain-power for demanding multi-tasking jobs. This is good to have especially for memory intensive tasks such as graphical design, gaming or if you are used to keeping many windows open at the same time.
- Do not use a flash drive containing more than 4GB of memory for this RAM boost
- Your system should have at least 512MB of system RAM for this trick to work correctly
- This feature is not available in Windows XP or any older Windows versions
For more information on how to improve your productivity by using your USB flash drive as a small but highly efficient portable computer loaded with your favorite software, you need to check out our blog post about USB Software: New Release of PortableApps
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