YOU’LL NEED THIS SOFTPERFECT RAM DISK. Get the free download from http://bit.ly/MPC_RamDisk.
The concept of taking unused memory and turning it into a lightning-fast virtual drive that also reduces the wear and tear on your hard disk is nothing new, but using RAM has traditionally had one major drawback: its volatile nature means all data is lost when power is cut, such as when you turn off or restart your PC. However, thanks to modern tools like SoftPerfect RAM Disk, that’s no longer a problem.
SoftPerfect is a free tool that regularly saves the content of your RAM to an image file, so you can use it to store all kinds of data, not just temporary files. You’ll have to put up with slower startup and shutdown as the image is either loaded into RAM or updated, but we’ll show you how to strike a balance between performance and boot times. It works best with modern PCs with 1GB of RAM or more, but you can still take advantage with as Little as 1GB—read on to find out how.
Install SoftPerfect RAM Disk from http://bit.lv/MPC_RamDisk. Leave ‘Launch SoftPerfect RAM Disk” checked on the exit screen and click Finish. When the main screen appears, select Image > Create image [Image A). First, you’ll need to pick a location to store your RAM disk image—this will let you keep data whenever you shut down or restart your PC.
Click the folder icon to choose where to store this image. Loading and saving this at startup and shutdown lengthens boot times, so with this in mind, save it to your fastest drive [preferably SSD). Give it a suitable name—say, RAMdisk—and click Save. Now, set its size, limiting it to either 2,048MB or a maximum of 25 per cent of your PC’s total RAM, whichever is smaller.
2.SET UP A RAM DISK
Set the file system to FAT32 and type RAM disk a rsome other easily identifiable name intothe Volume label box. Verify that Image Type is set to Volume, then click OK to create the image file. This can take some time, so be patient and ignore any Not Responding messages. Once the image file has been created, ignore the prompt to mount the image drive and click OK ( ).
Click the “+“ button to create a new RAM disk. Start by clicking the folder icon to locate the file you created earlier. Next, pick a suitable drive letter that won’t clash with anything else—”R” for RAM disk might be a good option (Image ). Tick ’Save contents to image” to ensure that any data stored in your RAM disk is updated when your PC shuts down or restarts.
» If your PC crashes, you’Ll lose any changes that have been made to the RAM disk since your last reboot or startup. To back up changes to the disk image regularly, click the Advanced button, tick “Save contents to associated image every x min,” and set it to a figure that’s balanced between performance and protecting data on the RAM disk—30 would work well, Click OK (Image D). Click OK to mount the drive.
3. PUT YOUR RAM DISK TO GOOD USE
Once the drive has been created, you can start using it. First, open the drive in Windows/File Explorer and create two folders: TMP and TEMP. Now, switch back to SoftPerfect RAM Disk and choose ‘Tools > Set Windows TEMP folder.” Type R:TEMP and R:TMP into their respective boxes, replacing “R” with the Letter you assigned your RAM disk (Image E).
» You can now use the RAM drive like any other. Just create the relevant folders on the drive, then instruct any relevant applications to use them. You shouldn’t store any personal folders such as your documents on the drive, just in case the PC crashes between backups. Here are a couple of good places to start, if you re looking to speed up your system.
If your favorite program makes use of temporary folders or caches, check its settings for an option to move these to your new RAM disk.
» Portable Applications Portable apps are self-contained, so they’re perfect candidates for switching to your RAM drive if they’re currently being stored on a slower hard drive.
» Firefox Cache
Install the Configuration Mania add-on
[http://bit.lv/MPC_ConMania) and select “Firefox > Options > Configuration Mania > Browser Cache” to change its location.
Internet Explorer Cache Select “Tools > Internet options > Settings” under Browsing History. Click “Move folder” to select a folder on your RAM disk, then click OK twice before logging off when prompted.
Google Chrome Cache Moving the Chrome cache isn’t for inexperienced users—you’ll need to follow a relatively complicated procedure outlined under “A better way” at http://bit.lv/MPC_essayweb.
If you move folders or caches related to programs that start with Windows, you’ll need to disable their auto-start entries [look within the program for this setting). Now, open SoftPerfect RAM Disk Manager and choose Tools > Applications. Click Add to select the program file, then click Open > OK (Image I so the program auto-starts again, but only after the RAM drive is ready.
» You can only make changes to your RAM disk by deleting and recreating it, thus losing all data currently on the disk. First, copy any files from it that you wish to keep, then set your Windows TEMP folders back to their default values via “Tools > Set Windows TEMP folders.” Close any apps using the RAM disk, then right-click the RAM disk, and click Delete, forcing a dismount if required.
Depending on which files you transfer to RAM disk, you should soon notice some performance gains. Your hard drives will also thank you for putting less strain on them, If you have enough RAM. you can even create more RAM disks, just choose Disk > Add to create a temporary RAM disk, that wipes itself whenever the computer shuts down or restarts—perfect for sensitive tasks.