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Old March 28, 2009, 02:34 AM
somecanadianguy's Avatar
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Default USB thumbdrive virtual memory in XP?

I see that Vista has the ability to use a USB pen drive as virtual memory and wondered if XP could do the same. After googling around for a while I couldn't find any real explanations... some people say you can, and some say you can't. Some say it's a good idea, and others say it's a really bad idea. Noone really explans how to go about it either.

I'm on a comp with 512mb RAM and a 40gig HD so I thought I'd at least try to mess around and see if it helped at all. Mostly I did it just out of curiosity, but since there's no money to upgrade this computer (and likely wouldn't bother anyway... it's not mine, and I just ordered one) I would be happy to see any performance increase at all.

I set the USB drive to 'Optimize for Performance'...
then formatted it to NTFS...
then set virtual memory to use it (well, all but 5mb can be used).

Not sure if it has helped, or if it even will. It seems to a little when I'm using programs that run the HD a lot, but maybe I'm just imagining it. At least it hasn't slowed things down at all. I've tried messing with the amount of virtual memory for my other HD... raised it, lowered it, shut it off completely... to see if there's any difference in any situation. I'm not really sure yet though, and since my own computer will be here soon (in pieces from NCIX) I likely won't spend much time testing this out unless I find some people who have had positive results.

There's a program called eBoostr that supposedly mimics the program Vista uses, but I didn't try it... and since they want $$$ for the full version I'm not going to bother. I'd just buy some more RAM if I wanted to spend money.

Does anyone here know anything about this?
Can setting some (or all) virtual memory in XP to a USB thumbdrive give any real performance boost? Is it at all dangerous to the system? I'm guessing that it'll kill the thumbdrive faster than normal use, but it only cost me like $8 so I'm not too worried about it.
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Old March 28, 2009, 08:56 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Alberta
Posts: 263

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If you format your USB drive to Fat32 format, XP can use it as fast pagefile, unfortunately your USB device tranfere rate is 50 ms or so which is alot slower then hard drives. It is possible, the pagefile gains are there but access speed will be your bottleneck.
If your in the mood, when you install your operating system, partion hard drive with a 5 gig fat32 partion and direct windows pagefile to that drive to get the most from your hard drive as fast pagefile space.
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Old March 28, 2009, 08:59 AM
CMetaphor's Avatar
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Montreal, Canada
Posts: 5,086

If its an older system that doesnt even have USB 2.0 then don't bother. You'll be slowing your system down rather than speeding it up. IF you do have USB 2.0 though, then try to find a fast fast USB thumb drive (google for some reviews) but i think some of the OCZ Rally drives or Patriot Exporter drives are fairly decent, might make a difference...
"Backed by common sense and physics!" -Squeetard
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Old March 28, 2009, 10:50 AM
MacJunky's Avatar
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Not much considering that even USB 2.0 is slow (and does not live up to it's claimed speed).
I am not saying that you should just not bother, I mean, if it does not help much then on the positive side, you now have a nice fast flash drive.
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flash drive , ram , thumbdrive , virtual memory , windows xp

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