N/APosted on - 07/30/2011
I recently heard that windows has an option to increase the physical memory of the system using a flash drive. However I do not seem to find the option to do so. My computer has an internal physical memory of 256 MB which makes it sluggish. Do you have an option to increase its performance without actually upgrading it?
How to use a flash Drive as a RAM on XP
Using a USB flash drive as RAM for your computer is a no-no for me. If you are using Windows XP on that 256 MB RAM, that is too small for the operating system to run applications. Though the Microsoft Windows XP operating system has a minimum 64 MB requirement, that’s only the smallest amount of RAM which the operating system can run.
This requirement is for the operating system only and this doesn’t include the system requirements of the applications you want to install. Now, if you want to use a USB flash drive as RAM, I don’t think that is recommended though it is possible. You can use it as an extension to the virtual memory but not for the physical RAM.
You can use a USB flash drive for the operating system’s page file or the virtual memory but not to extend or increase your computer’s physical RAM. Even if you use a USB flash drive, your physical memory or RAM will still be the same.
The use of a USB flash drive will only improve the performance of the virtual memory because reading and writing data is a lot faster on the stick rather than on the hard drive. But the main disadvantage of using your USB flash drive for the virtual memory is that you will kill the device in a short period of time.
The life of the USB flash drive or the period of its usability depends on the number of “writes” to the drive. As you delete, copy, and move data to the USB flash drive, you are also shortening its life.
When you delete a file or folder on the USB flash drive, it causes a “write” to the drive because you are removing the data from the drive by emptying the space the file or folder occupies. This is the same when you copy data from your hard drive to the USB flash drive, it “writes” the data to the flash drive.
Moving data from another drive to the flash drive or within the flash drive is pretty much the same because it performs both deleting and copying of data. But don’t worry, a USB flash drive has millions of writes that’s why it lasts for many years.
As Microsoft Windows uses the page file, it performs thousands and thousands of “read” and “write” to the drive every time you use it.
When you use the USB flash drive for the page file, it will indeed improve the performance of the page file or the virtual memory but with the thousands and thousands of writes it performs every minute, I’m not sure how long your USB flash drive will last.