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How to: Set up and Utilize RAM Disks

post #1 of 305
Thread Starter 

How to: Set up and Utilize RAM Disks



Information:
RAM disk is a program that takes a portion of your system memory and uses it as a disk drive. What is the benefit? In a word: SPEED! An additional feature of a RAM disk is that it will never wear out. You can access it at maximum bandwidth 24/7/365 without fear of mechanical failure, or fragmentation (a RAMDisk can become fragmented just like any other disk, but it does not take a performance hit like a physical disk does when it becomes fragmented). A RAM disk operating at maximum bandwidth does not produce excessive heat, noise or vibrations. The uses for RAM Disks are only limited to your imagination and amount of RAM. If you have to ask what to use one for leave this thread now. lol

Most users use RAM disk to speed up applications like:
  • Databases
  • Internet Explorer and Firefox cache for faster web surfing
  • Audio and Video editing
  • CAD programs
  • Photoshop Scratch Disk
  • Cache folder for Photoshop Lightroom
  • Speeding up CD duplication
  • Games
  • SETI processing
  • TEMP files
  • Swap space
  • Web server cache
  • Custom applications with high I/O, high bandwidth, or high security requirements

What you should NOT use a RAM disk for :
  • Windows Page File: (link) There is absolutely no reason to use a RAM disk for the page file. Think of a reason and I will show you a better solution. wink.gif Also, when the page file is on a RAM disk, if the system crashes it will not create a crash dump for you to retrieve and diagnose. This is because the driver for the RAM disk gets shut down before the data on the page file can be read to create the crash dump.


SoftPerfect RAM Disk: http://www.softperfect.com/products/ramdisk/

Instructions for ImDisk: Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Very detailed guide here: (link)

Extra guide information here: (link)

My quick guide, will be expanded upon.
  1. Download ImDisk here
  2. Install
  3. Open the Start Menu, in the search line, type CMD, hit Enter
  4. Type: imdisk -a -t vm -m P: -s 6G -p "/fs:ntfs /q /y, hit Enter
    Note: Replace "P:" with the drive letter that you want.
    "-a" specifies you want to create/attach a new virtual ram disk
    "-t vm" specifies you want the data to be stored in RAM
    "-m P:" specifies you want to mound the new disk to the specified drive letter, in this case P:
    "-s 6G" specifies 6GB size
    -p "/fs:ntfs /q /y" specifies you want to format the new disk using NTFS and using the quick format option

To delete or end the RAM Disk:
  1. Click Start
  2. Clcik Computer
  3. Rightclick the RAM Disk
  4. Click "Unmount ImDisk Virtual Disk"

Instructions for DataRAM RAMDisk: Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
  1. Download the RAMdisk and install it to your system. Download here.
  2. Once installed you can copy my system here which uses a 4092 MB Ram Disk. You may set a smaller or larger drive to use. This is up to you.
  3. Set what you see in the screen shot below. Notice the drive is set to Unformatted. You will see why in a moment.
    RamDisk%20x.jpg
    RamDisk%201%20x.jpg
  4. Once you have set what you see in the above pic go back to the Settings tab and hit Start RAMDisk
  5. Wait while it loads the driver.
  6. Then you need to mount the drive and format it.
  7. Start -> Control Panel -> System and Security -> Administrative Tools -> Computer Management -> Disk Management
  8. Here you should now be greeted with a prompt that you have a new drive.
  9. Mount the drive and quick format it NTFS or FAT32, give the name RamDrive and assign letter R.
  10. Once the drive is formatted navigate to My Computer, you should now see the RamDrive.
  11. Click to open the RamDrive.
  12. Once you have done this close down My Computer.
  13. It's now time to reboot the PC to make sure the RamDisk is working correctly.
  14. You can manually close the RamDisk window now [it has saved your settings] and all other apps you may have open and proceed to reboot.
    Note: Now shutdown should take a little longer than normal, this is due to the image of data on the RamDisk being written to the SSD drive. On boot the machine should also take a few seconds longer than normal, this is due to the Ramdisk being formatted then the image that was written to the SSD is mounted on the RamDisk. So where you left off is where you restart.
  15. Navigate back to my computer, you should see the RamDisk looking like a standard hard drive. If its not there you need to go back to the Ramdisk App settings and check its configured correctly.

Put your browser cache on your RAM disk: Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
This is how you put the browser cache on the RAMDisk. When you make the folder on the RAMDisk for the cache for each you need to go to that folder's properties and uncheck read only, I was having an issue where these weren't working b/c the cache folder couldn't be written to and that fixed it. thumb.gif

Firefox Cache Tweak:

Information:
You will need to add a single command string into Firefox to make it store temporary internet files and all cache data to the RamDrive.

Instruction:
  1. Open up Firefox. In the address bar type about:config
  2. Click the I’ll be careful I promise button.
  3. Right click anywhere in the values in the lower portion of the screen and choose New -> String.
  4. Type in browser.cache.disk.parent_directory into the “Preference name”
  5. Click OK
  6. Type in R:\FF_Cache in the "string value" [if R: is the RamDisk and you created a folder called FF_Cache].
  7. Click OK.
  8. Restart Firefox.
Note: Clear private data at shutdown disables cache to disk.

Internet Explorer Cache Tweak:

Information:
You will need to move Temporary Internet Files folder of Internet Explorer to make it store temporary internet files and all cache data to the RamDrive.

Instruction:
  1. Open Internet Options.
  2. On the General tab look for "Temporary Internet files" or "Browsing history" and hit Settings.
  3. Set the box size to 50-250 MB.
  4. Then hit Move folder and point to the Cache folder you made on the RamDisk, e.g. R:\IE_Cache
  5. Click OK.

Chrome Cache Tweak:

How to Move Disk Cache Location:
  1. Exit all Chrome browser windows
  2. Create a Chrome shortcut on your desktop.
  3. Right click and click properties
  4. In the target text box type in the below, with the space after the chrome.exe and before the --
    "C:\Users\MYCOMPUTERNAME\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe" --disk-cache-dir="R:\tempfiles\Chrome_Cache"

How Change Disk Cache Size:
  1. Right click on the desired chrome shortcut and click Properties.
  2. Next to the Target: you will see the path for the chrome.exe location; after chrome.exe type in --disk-cache-size=1 --media-cache-size=1". This will change the maximum cache to 25mb.
    Note:If you want to edit Chrome to change the directory and cache size, it would look like this: --disk-cache-dir="R:\TempFiles\Chrome Cache --disk-cache-size=1 --media-cache-size=1"

Some quick benches I did on my system: Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
368

501

615

403
 
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post #2 of 305
Awesome. was thinking about doing this. need to make use of this 16gb of ram.
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post #3 of 305
Nice guide! I second the Dataram suggestion. It may be worth including a link to this detailed compilation of RAMDisk Benchmarks.
     
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post #4 of 305
Would a 1gb ramdisk be enough for use just as a browser cache?
Edited by foilfence - 3/12/12 at 12:38am
    
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post #5 of 305
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazloisdavrock View Post

Awesome. was thinking about doing this. need to make use of this 16gb of ram.
biggrin.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChaoticKinesis View Post

Nice guide! I second the Dataram suggestion. It may be worth including a link to this detailed compilation of RAMDisk Benchmarks.

Cool, thanks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by foilfence View Post

Would a 1gb ramdisk be enough for use just as a browser cache?

Yea it should be fine
 
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post #6 of 305
Ayt thanks. Not sure if i can afford to play around with ramdisks given that I only have 8gb. Just gonna give it a shot.
    
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post #7 of 305
425


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post #8 of 305
^^ lol

wheeeee!!!

378


By the way.nice guide Sean thumb.gif
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post #9 of 305
Thanks for doing a guide about this, now we have something to link next time someone says "you don't need more than 8gb" in a thread.

Subed for when I finally put my SB-E rig with 16gb of ram together.
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post #10 of 305
Hi Sean, I think you should read my reply on this thread (and also page p.6):

http://www.overclock.net/t/1193401/why-it-is-bad-to-store-the-page-file-on-a-ram-disk/60

And modify your guide accordingly thumb.gif
Thanks for the guide.
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