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Windows 7: ReadyBoost - Setup and Use


ReadyBoost - Setup and Use

How to Setup and Use ReadyBoost in Windows 7
Published by Brink
29 Oct 2009
Published by

How to Setup and Use ReadyBoost in Windows 7


information   Information
Windows 7 supports Windows ReadyBoost. This feature uses external USB flash drives as a hard disk cache to improve disk read performance. Supported external storage types include USB thumb drives, SD cards, and CF cards. Since ReadyBoost will not provide a perfor¬mance gain when the primary disk is an SSD, Windows 7 disables ReadyBoost when reading from an SSD drive.

This will show you how to setup and use ReadyBoost in Windows 7 with USB flash drives and flash memory cards to help speed up your computer.

However, you most likely will not notice any increase in performance if your computer meets or exceeds the minimum system requirements of 1 GB RAM (4 GB recommended) for 32-bit Windows 7 OR 2 GB RAM (8 GB recommended) for 64-bit Windows 7 installed.

Note   Note
External storage must meet the following requirements:
  • Capacity of at least 256 MB, with at least 64 kilobytes (KB) of free space.The 4-GB limit of Windows Vista has been removed. For ReadyBoost to effectively speed up your computer, the flash drive or memory card should have at least 1 GB of free available space.
  • At least a 2.5 MB/sec throughput for 4-KB random reads
  • At least a 1.75 MB/sec throughput for 1-MB random writes
  • You can enable or disable ReadyBoost for a specific flash drive or other removable storage device (ex: memory card).
  • Windows 7 shows you how much space it recommends that you allow it to reserve and use on the flash drive or memory card for optimal performance at the bottom of the properties window. (See screenshot below step 4B below)
  • If your flash drive or card doesn't have enough available space for ReadyBoost, you'll see a message telling you to free some space on it.
  • For best results, use a flash drive or flash memory card with at least double the amount of available space as the amount of memory (RAM) in your computer.
  • There's a limit of 8 flash devices (EX: USB flash drive or memory card) that could be used at once for ReadyBoost with a max of 32GB of ReadyBoost space per device for a max total of 256GB per machine.
  • Should you have the USB flash drive formarted as FAT32 or NTFS:
    • The FAT32 file system has size limitations. While you cannot have a FAT32 partition greater than 32 GB (32728 MB), you also cannot save/store a file larger than 4 GB on a FAT32 partition. This limits you to only being able to use up to 4 GB for ReadyBoost on a USB flash drive formatted with FAT32.
    • To be able to use more than 4 GB for ReadyBoost on the USB flash drive, you would need to have the USB flash drive formated with NTFS instead.
For more information about ReadyBoost in Windows 7, see:
warning   Warning
  • If your Windows 7 is installed on a solid-state drive (SSD), you may not see an option to speed up your computer with ReadyBoost when you plug in a USB flash drive or flash memory card. This is because SSD drives are faster and they're very unlikely to benefit from using ReadyBoost.
  • In some situations, you might not be able to use all of the memory on your device to speed up your computer. For example, some flash memory devices contain both slow and fast flash memory, but ReadyBoost can only use fast flash memory to speed up your computer.
  • ReadyBoost cannot beat the performance gain by just adding more RAM in your computer instead.
  • ReadyBoost uses the Superfetch service that needs to be enabled and set to be "Started" and "Automatic".




Here's How:
1. Plug a USB flash drive or flash memory card that you want to use ReadyBoost with into your computer.

2. If AutoPlay pops-up, click on Speed up my system. (See screenshot below)
Name:  Step1.jpg
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A) Go to step 4.
OR

3. If AutoPlay does not pop-up, then open the Start Menu and click on Computer. In Computer, right click on the USB flash drive or flash memory card, and click on Properties. (See screenshot below)
-step1b.jpg
4. To Turn On ReadyBoost

A) To use all of the flash drive or memory card free space for ReadyBoost
  • Select (dot) Dedicate this device to ReadyBoost. (See screenshot below)
Name:  Step2.jpg
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B) To specify how much free space on the flash drive or memory to use for ReadyBoost
  • Select (dot) Use this device. (See screenshot below)
  • Either slide the slider or enter the amount of free space you want to reserve to ReadyBoost.
    NOTE: See the note box at the top of the tutorial for details about how much free space to use.
Name:  Step3.jpg
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5. To Turn Off ReadyBoost
  • Select (dot) Do not use this device. (See screenshots above)
6. Click on OK.

7. You will see this for a brief moment while Windows 7 configures the ReadyBoost cache on your flash drive or memory card. (See screenshot below)
Name:  Step4.jpg
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Tip   Tip
To Temporarily Remove the ReadyBoost Device
NOTE: If you wanted to temporarily remove the USB flash drive or memory card that ReadyBoost is currently using, then this will show you how to safely remove it.
1. Open the Start Menu and click on Computer, then right click on the USB flash drive or flash memory card being used by ReadyBoost, and click on Eject. (See screenshots below)
-eject1.jpg-eject2.jpg
A) Click on Continue. (See screenshot below)
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B) Go to step 3.
OR

2. Click on the Safely Remove Hardware icon in the notification area on the right side of the taskbar, then click on the USB flash drive or flash memory card being used by ReadyBoost to eject it. (See screenshot below)
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3. When you see this, it is now safe to remove the USB flash drive or flash memory card. (See screenshot below)
Name:  Eject3B.jpg
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4. When ready, you can just plug the USB flash drive or flash memory card back in to have ReadyBoost automatically start using it again.

That's it,
Shawn









29 Oct 2009   #1
esteban

7 Ultimate, Debian Squeeze, #! Statler
 
 

Thanks for the tutorial.

How can I see by how much my memory is boosted? The LED on my flash drive is blinking, so I figure ReadBoost is properly enabled, but in Control Panel->System, I see only my laptop's internal memory.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2009   #2
CR4CK3RW0LF

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 
Not sure if this is where i should post...

Hi, im new here at win7forums, i am currently using readyboost on 2 1GB flash drives plugged into the front of my pc. however whenever i start my computer, i cant get past POST while there plugged in. i belive this is a BIOS issue, most likely my board is trying to boot from the drives... i dont have the model for my board so i cant update my bios... is this the issue? is there some way to disable them till i log on?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2009   #3
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 10 Pro
 
 

Hello CR4CK2RWOLF, and welcome to Seven Forums.

You might boot into you BIOS (should see what key to press to enter BIOS at boot briefly) and double check the setting to make sure that you do not have a "USB device" option listed in the boot order.

Does this happen if you only have one of them connected?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


30 Oct 2009   #4
CR4CK3RW0LF

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Brink View Post
Hello CR4CK2RWOLF, and welcome to Seven Forums.

You might boot into you BIOS (should see what key to press to enter BIOS at boot briefly) and double check the setting to make sure that you do not have a "USB device" option listed in the boot order.

Does this happen if you only have one of them connected?

Last time i checked.. i had the boot order set to HDD.. you could be right though. i tried to get my 4GB to boot DSL (D*mn small linux), i might have left the boot order that way, ill give it a try. Thanks for the relpy!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Oct 2009   #5
24x24

Vista/7
 
 

Is there a way on 7 to make the readyboost your primary (possibly only) cache?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Oct 2009   #6
esteban

7 Ultimate, Debian Squeeze, #! Statler
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by 24x24 View Post
Is there a way on 7 to make the readyboost your primary (possibly only) cache?
You could have like, 256 mB of internal RAM, or some small amount, so that ReadyBoost is used all the time. I don't know if your computer would be able to boot with any internal RAM.

Also, why do you want to do this?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Oct 2009   #7
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 10 Pro
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by CR4CK3RW0LF View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Brink View Post
Hello CR4CK2RWOLF, and welcome to Seven Forums.

You might boot into you BIOS (should see what key to press to enter BIOS at boot briefly) and double check the setting to make sure that you do not have a "USB device" option listed in the boot order.

Does this happen if you only have one of them connected?

Last time i checked.. i had the boot order set to HDD.. you could be right though. i tried to get my 4GB to boot DSL (D*mn small linux), i might have left the boot order that way, ill give it a try. Thanks for the relpy!
You're welcome.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Oct 2009   #8
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 10 Pro
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by 24x24 View Post
Is there a way on 7 to make the readyboost your primary (possibly only) cache?
Hello 24x24,

Since you will have to have RAM installed in your computer for it to run, then no. If you have very little RAM, say 512MB, then it would use ReadyBoost a lot more. However, using ReadyBoost instead of having more RAM would decrease your computer's performance. RAM is always faster.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Oct 2009   #9
macgyver2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Brink since you seem to understand readyboost better then I, is there an amount of RAM say 4GB that after you reach that amount readyboost no longer helps?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 ReadyBoost - Setup and Use




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