Many modern computers have one, two or even more gigabytes of ram that can be put to good use by creating a Ramdisk that is a virtual drive that uses part of the computers ram. Because your computer’s memory is so much faster than the hard disk, a RAM disk greatly improves application performance. Databases, compilers, and graphic design programs process large amounts of data which tax a computer’s resources. A RAM disk drive makes data more readily available, balancing the load on a processor When you browse web pages, junk data is written to your browser’s cache memory. By running your browser cache in a RAM disk and not saving the disk image file when you end your session, unwanted cache files are deleted automatically, saving hard drive space. Finally, a RAM drive uses much less energy than a physical hard drive, and therefore extends the charge of a laptop computer’s battery.The Ramdisk can be used like every other hard drive, you can copy applications and files to it and start them from there if they allow that. It is for instance possible to move portable applications like Firefox, Thunderbird or Audacity into the Ramdisk and use the advantage that those applications are actually residing in memory which speeds up loading times a lot.
One convenient way to setup a Ramdisk is to use the software GiliSoft Ramdisk which is easy to setup and work with. Just install GiliSoft Ramdisk as usual and start configuring the settings afterwards. Assign a drive letter to the Ramdisk and choose a size for it. I would not suggest to select more than a quarter of your Ram but you can experiment with the settings if you like. Leave everything as is and restart your computer afterwards. You should see a new drive letter after the restart, now copy files or applications to the Ramdisk and start them from there.
You will see a noticeable speed increase when running applications from the Ramdisk.It is also possible to use the Ramdisk for the temp files of Windows. To do that you need to move the Temp directory from the default location to the Ramdisk. To change the default location go to Control Panel -> System -> Advanced -> Environment Variables and change the Windows temp dir to the Ramdisk.
It should be noted that all data that is in the Ramdisk will be lost if you restart the computer. Remember that the files reside in system Ram. This is great for temp files which means that you do not have to delete the temp files by yourself. It could also be used to set the disk cache of Firefox to the Ramdisk which would mean that it would be automatically cleared during shutdown.
The options of GiliSoft Ramdisk:
1. Auto-load the most recent image:
Keep the most recently used RAM disk image loaded in GiliSoft RAMDisk when you restart system. If you want to automatically mount the RAM disk when your system start, you can choose this option.
2. Save the image upon restart or shutdown:
Save your RAM disk image automatically when you turn off or restart your PC.
3. Save the image during hibernation:
Save your RAM disk image automatically when your computer goes into Sleep or Hibernation mode.
4. Back up the image before saving it:
Automatically makes a secondary backup of the data in your RAM disk when you save it as an image. In the event of a system crash or power loss, the image file will still be preserved. Note: If you load the image after a system crash, GiliSoft RAMDisk will ask if you want to repair the image.
5. Save the image every N minute(s) (N is a number between 1 and 60):
Data in the RAM disk will be saved as an image at pre-set intervals.
6. Save changes to the image file in real-time:
The image file is automatically saved if any changes are made to the RAM disk. Note: This setting will not take effect until you reload an image or re-create a RAM Disk.