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A RAM Drive - Can It Increase Your Data Security?

RAM Drive or RAM Disk but is not a Virtual Disk or Drive!

Looking for a way to speed up your computer? Have You thought of a RAM Disk (RD)? Can it increase your data security?

A couple of months ago I added some extra memory to my tower computer.  At the time I had a bad memory module but couldn't find which one it was. The original configuration was four 1 GB DDR 2 800 MHz modules dual channel.

Having a couple of spare 2 GB DDR 1066 MHz modules (no 1 GB modules) from a computer build that I didn't do, I pulled two modules and put in the tw0 2 GB modules to see what would happen.

(I did use a Windows based memory tester but it didn't find the bad memory, more on that in a memory test article. I had to test the memory with DOS to find the bad one.).

Because the length of time it takes to test that much memory it is faster to remove one or two modules at a time by swapping them for other memory.

After upgrading from four to eight GB of Ram I thought about the extra 4.75 GB of ram the Windows XP 32 bit couldn't use.

So I did a search for RAM Disks programs that are compatible with Windows XP and Windows 7 (this is a dual boot system).

Having used RAM Disks up until Windows NT I found them quite useful especially for holding the Windows Paging or Swap File and the Temp directories.

By putting the Paging File (PF) and temp directories in the RD you don't fill up your hard drive with temp files and the PF or Swap file never gets fragmented (this will cause a slow down on some computers, mainly it will depend on how large and how old the PF is for fragmenting to take place).

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By moving your internet browser temp files and Cookie folder to the  RAM Disk you also increase your security because when you shut the computer down those files are deleted automatically, no fussing or waiting.

Why? Because once you build your RAM Drive image that loads at startup when you shut down it is just deleted. Now if you change something with the RAM Disk and want to keep it you have to make another image, about the same as doing a backup image of your OS.

I wanted to test three different free and shareware products, two of them were failures either the download was corrupt or it contained a virus. So I will not list them.

This is the one I tested RAM Disk or RAM Drive (by DATARAM) it is not expensive, around 20 USD. The features and the benefit are worth the cost.

If you decide to get the RAM Disk by DATARAM you can start off with 30 day free trial. However it will not support memory above 4 GB.

You can however test the software and see if it is compatible with your Operating System and hardware with out paying for the program.

I have an ASUS motherboard with 8 GB of ram now, this gives me a 4 GB RD.

On the RAM Drive I have my PF and the Temp directories including the directory for my web browser's cookie files (Changing the location of your cookie files requires editing the registry, see this e-course for help if you decide to do this). And I have about 400 MB of drive space left over for small files.

Some of the features you  will get with this program:

  • Create a  RAM Disk
  • Set startup
  • Set memory above OS usable memory
  • Create an image of the RAM Drive
  • Load the image of the  RAM Disk at startup

It will also run on 64 bit Operating Systems such as Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Windows 7,  Server 2000, and Server 2003. (I checked the web site and Server 2008 isn't listed as of yet).

So after four months two years of operation I haven't seen or felt any draw backs from using it. How ever it will use a drive letter so if you are short of drive letters take this in to consideration.

The image, table, or PDF was removed because it will not display on your device. Check back on a PC....

RAM Drive image # 1

First tab set up your disk size. Note: To use the full extra memory you need a license...

RAM Drive image # 2

Next set your ram drive to load at startup, you can also make your image here if you are using it for your temp/Paging File drive.

RAM Drive image # 3

Your physical installed and used memory, check the box for 'Memory above ...'

RAM Drive image # 4

Scan the system log for errors.

RAM Drive image # 5

Time to keep the ram drive from initializing, making for a faster start. Caution: Don't use this if you are using the RAM Drive for a Swap/Paging file!

By using a RAM Disk for my temp/PF drive I have found that my computer starts a little faster (it takes approximately 48 seconds to get to the Log On screen). It is defiantly faster with response for any file that has been swapped out to the PF.

And I had a virus called Asault hit my computer when I was downloading files for testing and when I restarted I got the 'file not found error', all I had to do then was clean out the registry where it was set to start.

I will give this program a thumbs up and a rating of 10 of 10 for the publishers. Good Job!

Update 08/25/14 - After years of use this program (never updated) still performs like it did when I installed it. I have upgraded my processor, reinstalled XP and Windows 7 a few times then installed the program again using the previous image that I made initially when the RAM Drive was installed.

Update 02/23/20 - When I built my new computer I decided to go a quarter of the way to max ram in my new system which is 32 GB (I may upgrade to 64 GB in the next year or so) and after stabilizing the multiboot system with a Windows 7 and two Windows 10 installations I decided to install this program (the original version..) not a good idea, had to reload every thing. However the latest version loads and works as advertise some of the features have been moved around but the setup interface is close to the original. The only problem I have at this time is I am using an upgrade (tired that with XP and well, lets say it wasn't compatible with XP) and I have (as usual) misplaced my original key, I sent an email to see if they would replace the lost key (waiting) but if they don't I will buy the program again. At this time I am using a 1 GB RD with Windows 10 for my temp files, I have to figure out how to make Firefox put the temp files on the RD...



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