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Loading XP entirely into RAM

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February 13, 2003 10:46:06 AM

I seem to recall reading that if you have enough memory that you can load XP into it entirely. Does anyone know if this is true an whether its worth it? I'm running an XP2400 with 1.5GB DDR2700.

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February 13, 2003 12:11:58 PM

if u mean running xp without a page file? Yes. I turned of my pageing file/virual memory to defrag my drive and forgot to turn it back on for over a week. It ran fine. even running ut2k3. I have 512 MB ddr 266.
February 13, 2003 6:10:43 PM

That sounds about right (bit a newbie on stuff like this). Is there much benefit in doing this other than saving a bit of HDD space? i assume XP should run faster?

would this have much effect on games? you mention UT2003 ran ok - did you see any improvement?
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February 13, 2003 11:55:16 PM

You may see some improvement... but i would only do it with a huge amount of ram.

Typically unused programs get paged to the hard drive when not used, even with alot of ram, so it may be quicker in that respect.

Some programs and games though NEED a sizable swapfile, even if they dont use it.

And should you ever do something really memory intensive that uses up all your ram the application may crash.

<b>Anyone claiming they can see the difference
between 450 and 500 FPS in Quake3 deserves to
be severely beaten with a rock. :smile: </b>
February 14, 2003 12:14:47 PM

I agree that some programs must have a swap file to run. When I reinstalled xp I made a seperate partition just for the swap file so I wont need to disable it to defrag. I currently have it set at only like 400 MB.
February 14, 2003 9:48:17 PM

I have mine set fixed to 768Mb and it just sits at the start of my C: 5Gb partition. As its fixed, and is rarely used with 512Mb ram it never gets fragmented. So i dont worry about it and it doesnt effect fragmentation.

<b>Anyone claiming they can see the difference
between 450 and 500 FPS in Quake3 deserves to
be severely beaten with a rock. :smile: </b>
February 15, 2003 9:03:57 PM

I think the origional question here was is it possible to load win XP into memory, aka create a ramdrive and load XP into it on bootup.

The answer is: I don't know. I know that it is possible with win 98, but I'm not sure about any of the NT based OS's.

I heard of people doing this with win 95 and 98 in the mid to late ninties, but I never had enough RAM to try it myself. Supposedly it added a bit to the bootup time, but after that everything speeded up.

Right now I'm thinking of creating a ramdrive and using that for the virtual memory. T'would be nice to trick Windows to not use the hard drive at all for vmem.

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Knowan likes you. Knowan is your friend. Knowan thinks you're great.
February 17, 2003 10:31:58 AM

Of course without a UPS, or any kind of insurance that you won't run out of electricity at any given time, you can kiss the whole OS away if the power goes out even for a split second! Remember we're talking DRAM here!

--
This post is brought to you by Eden, on a Via Eden, in the garden of Eden. :smile:
February 18, 2003 1:49:43 AM

They way i heard it being done is that on bootup the computer creates the ramdrive, copies windows into it, then runs windows from the ramdrive. Since it did this every time it booted the OS would be always there. The boot time would increase, but after that everything was lightening quick.

Of course if you ever installed anything it would be installed on the ramdrive, so you would either have to continiously re-install it or else disable the ramdrive, install, then re-enable the ramdrive.

You can do this with win 95/98/me via config.sys commands, but I don't know if you would be able to with any NT based OS.

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Knowan likes you. Knowan is your friend. Knowan thinks you're great.
February 18, 2003 7:58:25 PM

You probably could, but as I said, the whole concept of DRAM non-permanent data structure, asks for a UPS. It is much better to simply have one who permanently protects your RAM from crashing, thereby allowing you to almost always keep the computer on RAM.

Additionally why would anything you install go on the RAM drive? You can specify the actual drive ya know?
Anyways, to me, it is still a complex thing, and is definitly not worth it yet. Later on, we'll have permanent HDDs on RAM sticks, having access times that are over 1000 times faster than normal HDDs. (as you know there is about a 3000ms delay usually between CPU and HDD talk)
Loading would be significantly faster as well, as it could run on RAM bandwidth speeds.

--
This post is brought to you by Eden, on a Via Eden, in the garden of Eden. :smile:
February 18, 2003 11:05:24 PM

let's wait for MDRAM (magnetic), it's non volatile (that's the term, no?) so the information isn't lost when the comp turns off
it probably won't come out for a few years at least though
it's supposedly 20x denser than current DRAM
i'm getting this from a grad student who's doing research on it, it's fun to think about

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<A HREF="http://forumz.tomshardware.com/modules.php?name=Forums&..." target="_new">mubla otohp eht ni ecaf ruoy teg</A>
February 19, 2003 9:57:33 AM

There's a UK based company called HyperOS which has created software to exploit the use of DOS ramdrives. It allows users to run up to 20 copies of Windows 95 OSR2, 98, Me, NT, 2000, or XP on one PC from the hard disk, and from a "RAM HyperDrive" (i.e. a RAMdrive) in the cases of Windows 95 OSR2, 98, Me.

Unfortunately, they haven't come up with a solution for running NT based-systems from a RAMdrive. This is mainly because RAMdrives are DOS based, and XP doesn't have an easily accessible 32-bit command line DOS system running underneath.

There are programs which enable you to create RAMdrives of up to 2GB, so with 1.5GB of RAM available, it is probably possible to set aside around 200 megabytes just to load up XP. You wouldn't be able to do this with Microsoft's RAMdrive.sys driver though as it has a limit of 32megabytes.
February 21, 2003 11:53:58 AM

I found this link buried deep in my bookmarks, don't know if it is what you are looking for.

http://www.thetechzone.com/articles/ram_drive/index.htm

(don't know how to make it clickable) I myself havn't done it, nor have I read the article entirely through (I obviously bookmarked it for later reading and forgot about it:) )
February 23, 2003 2:57:46 PM

If you seriously want RAM drive capability look into Radhat or BSD with that much ram you can fly. There is softeware on the market that creates ram drives on windows based systems but mostly for workstations and servers where there are intensive applications that require lots of memory so hd swapping becomes slow. There are serious issues with ramdrives though in that they are not nearly as reliable as solid Hd's. If youare just wanting to rung UT2k3 faster then a ram drive would do nothing for you because this game is mostly processor intensive. Very few static elements need to be saved (assuming you have a 128 meg graphics card. with 64 meg the card might ask for some extra ram in a game like that) 1.5 gigs I think is exessive. I run a workstation with CFD and Cad software and 1 gig is more than enough.

To err is human... to really screw things up you need a computer!
!