This article explains the often overlooked Windows Ready Boost feature that was first introduced in Microsoft Vista, and continued in Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10. The following information was located in Windows under the Windows Help and Support document “Using memory in your storage device to speed up your computer”. This can be found by clicking the Start button and searching for “Ready Boost” directly in Windows.
Using memory in your storage device to speed up your computer
ReadyBoost can speed up your computer by using storage space on most USB flash drives and flash memory cards. When you plug a ReadyBoost -compatible storage device into your computer, the AutoPlay dialog box offers you the option to speed up your computer using ReadyBoost. If you select this option, you can choose how much memory on the device to use for this purpose.
When you set up a device to work with ReadyBoost, Windows shows you how much space it recommends you to use for optimal performance. For ReadyBoost to effectively speed up your computer, the flash drive or memory card should have at least 1 gigabyte (GB) of available space. If your device doesn’t have enough available space for ReadyBoost, you’ll see a message telling you to free some space on the device if you want to use it to speed up your system.
You can enable or disable ReadyBoost for a specific flash drive or other removable storage device. For more information, see Turn ReadyBoost on or off for a storage device.
Turn ReadyBoost on or off for a storage device
ReadyBoost can speed up your computer by using storage space on most USB flash drives and flash memory cards.
Go to the Windows website to watch the video. (1:32) at http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/turn-readyboost-on-off-storage-device#1TC=windows-7
- Plug a flash drive or flash memory card into your computer.
- In the Autoplay dialog box, under General options, click Speed up my System.
- In the Properties dialog box, click the ReadyBoost tab, and then do one of the following:
- To turn ReadyBoost off, click Do Not Use This Device.
- To use the maximum available space on the flash drive or memory card for ReadyBoost, click Dedicate this Device to ReadyBoost. Windows will leave any files already stored on the device, but it’ll use the rest to boost your system speed.
- To use less than the maximum available space on the device for ReadyBoost, click Use this Device, and then move the slider to choose the amount of available space on the device you want to use.
- Click OK.
What to look for in a flash memory device
Here are some tips on what to look for when selecting a USB flash drive or flash memory card to use with ReadyBoost:
The minimum amount of available space recommended for ReadyBoost to effectively speed up your computer is 1 GB.
For best results, use a flash drive or flash memory card with available space of at least double the amount of memory (RAM) in your computer, and preferably four times as much memory. For example, if your computer has 1 GB of RAM and you plug in a 4 GB USB flash drive, set aside at least 2 GB on the flash drive to get the best performance gain from ReadyBoost, and preferably the entire 4 GB. How much memory you need depends on how you use your computer. Keeping a lot of programs open at once uses more memory.
Give ReadyBoost 2 GB to 4 GB of space for best results on most computers. You can reserve more than 4 GB of space for ReadyBoost on most flash drives and flash memory cards. (Storage devices formatted with the older FAT32 file system can’t store more than 4 GB.) You can use a maximum of 32 GB of available space on any single removable storage device with ReadyBoost and up to 256 GB total per computer (by inserting up to eight USB flash drives or flash memory cards into the same computer).
To work with ReadyBoost, a USB flash drive must support USB 2.0 or higher. Your computer must have at least one free USB 2.0 port where you can plug in the flash drive. ReadyBoost works best if you plug the flash drive into a USB port directly on the computer, rather than into an external USB hub shared with other USB devices.
If you want to be sure a USB flash drive works with ReadyBoost, look for a note from the manufacturer that the flash drive is “Enhanced for ReadyBoost.” Not all manufacturers list this on their packaging. If there is no mention of ReadyBoost compatibility, the flash drive still might work with ReadyBoost.
There are many different kinds of flash memory cards, such as CompactFlash and Secure Digital (SD) memory cards. Most memory cards work with ReadyBoost. Some SD memory cards don’t work well with ReadyBoost due to issues with the SD card interface. ReadyBoost will display a warning message if you attempt to use one of these cards.
If your computer has a hard disk that uses solid-state drive (SSD) technology, you might not see an option to speed up your computer with ReadyBoost when you plug in a USB flash drive or flash memory card. You may instead receive the message, “ReadyBoost is not enabled on this computer because the system disk is fast enough that ReadyBoost is unlikely to provide any additional benefit.” This is because some SSD drives are so fast they’re unlikely to benefit from ReadyBoost.
In some situations, you might not be able to use all of the memory on your device to speed up your computer. For example, some flash memory devices contain both slow and fast flash memory, but ReadyBoost can only use fast flash memory to speed up your computer.
If AutoPlay doesn’t open, it might be disabled.
For ReadyBoost to effectively speed up your computer, the flash drive or memory card should have at least 1 gigabyte (GB) of available space. If your drive or card doesn’t have enough available space for ReadyBoost, you’ll see a message telling you to free some space on it. For best results, use a flash drive or flash memory card with at least double the amount of available space as the amount of memory (RAM) in your computer.
Paul Comtois is a Client Support Specialist at Triella, a technology consulting company specializing in providing technology audits, planning advice, project management and other CIO-related services to small and medium sized firms. Paul can be reached at 647.426.1004. For additional articles, go to www.triella.com/publications. Triella is a VMware Professional Partner, Microsoft Certified Partner, Citrix Solution Advisor – Silver, Dell Preferred Partner, Authorized Worldox Reseller and a Kaspersky Reseller.
© 2015 by Triella Corp. All rights reserved. Reproduction with credit is permitted.