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RAM "drive"

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a b } Memory
November 20, 2000 8:46:06 PM

I’ve been playing with computers for a while and have amassed a collection of old parts, etc. I have a bag of 30 pin SIMMs and my bag of 72 pin SIMMs continues to grow. Now, I’ve held off replacing my PC100 DIMMs with PC133 because it looks like they’ll all have to be replaced with DDR or Rambus.

Does any one know of a card that I can buy and populate with my old RAM (and maybe some new RAM if I decide to) that will appear as a hard drive to my system? I know there are RAM drive utilities, etc., but those still limit me to the 2 or 3 DIMM slots on my motherboard, and don’t allow me to utilize all my outdated (but still potentially very useful) SIMMs.

I’m told that this sort of thing existed long ago in the days of (chip) DRAM and MFM/ESDI drives. If no one is making one now, I can’t imagine why not. Wouldn’t you buy one? The firmware couldn’t be that difficult, and the software has practically already been written.

I’ve given this a lot of thought, and ideally, such a card would…
1) Have an onboard battery so that data stored in RAM would not be lost every time the system was powered off. The OS could then be loaded on this “drive”.
2) The OS would be automatically backed up (just in case) to a disk drive when idle and at shutdown, and an automatic recovery utility would load and restore the OS when/if the system can’t boot from the RAM card and is forced to boot from a disk drive. This would dramatically reduce boot time and many other OS operations. If large enough, this “RAM disk” could also be home to virtual memory, speeding things up even more.
3) NOT be a PCI card, but rather a card mounted into a frame that would mount into a 3.5” or 5.25” drive bay, just like a disk drive. It would get it’s power from a power connector, just like a disk drive as well.
4) Slots for RAM would be 168 pins slots daughter cards/adaptors would be used for 72 and (maybe) 30 pin SIMMs.

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a b } Memory
November 20, 2000 10:00:53 PM

A solution would be to use a passive backplane daughtercard like on the servers. The problem is, will it fit on your motherboard?

Those cards allows you to use a huge numbers of DIMM slots (14 or such)