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ReadyBoost: Speedup Windows Vista With A Flash Drive


I’ve been cleaning out my PC this weekend in preparation for installing Windows Vista, as well as implementing a new theme which I think might finally be the one I’ve been searching high and low for (please let me know if you see any bugs!).

I’m getting quite excited about getting my hands on a copy of Vista so that I can start experimenting and trying to find new tips to share. One simple one I have already is using a flash drive to speedup Windows Vista. As long as the USB drive has at least 256MB and no more than 4GB of RAM, plugging it in will give Vista a nice speedboost using ReadyBoost, which allows the additional memory to be used as an additional disk cache.

Accessing files on a flash cache should be 8-10 times faster than from a from a hard drive, which will give all machines a nice boost. All you have to do is click ‘Speed Up My System’ to enable the new cache.

For a device to be compatible it must conform to the following requirements:

  • The capacity of the USB device must be at least 256 MB and no larger than 4 GB
  • The USB device must support USB 2.0
  • The device must be capable of 3.5 MB/s read speeds for 4 kB random reads spread uniformly across the entire device and 2.5 MB/s write speeds for 512 kB random writes spread uniformly across the device
  • The device must have at least 64 MB of free space

If you’re not sure if that USB stick you’ve got lying around is compatible, then check out this chart that Grant Gibson has put together, which shows which USB drives are compatible with Vista ReadyBoost.

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