A main bottleneck for many computers is the hard drive.  Some operations can be sped up by using a ramdisk.

Ramdisk, what might that be?  It is a “disk” (hard drive, CD drive, etc) that is put into RAM instead of a drive.  RAM is much faster than a physical drive, but when you turn the computer off all the stuff stored in RAM goes away.  A few other problems with RAM are that it costs much more per byte and motherboards usually don’t support more than 8 GB of RAM currently.  So as you can probably see you cannot use it instead of a hard drive, but you can use it in addition to a hard drive.  It is possible to make a ramdisk and copy data or programs to it and save them to the hard drive before shutting down.  It can be used for internet cache so that the hard drive is not accessed for every webpage visited.

There are different software programs that will create ramdisks.  There is a driver for Windows 2000 and likely to XP on Microsoft’s website.  That version is outdated and won’t run on Windows 7 64-bit (in my case).  So after searching more I found some that need to be purchased that I just ignored.  I came across one that was free and looked like it might work, called ImDisk.  I had to allow unsigned drivers in Windows by pressing F8 after the BIOS screen.  But it seems to work.

Good luck using your RAM for a disk.  Just don’t forget to save your data from the ramdisk to a hard drive before shutting down.

Seamless XP Mode & USB Attaching

A big new thing with Windows 7 is “XP Mode”.  It has a “seamless” mode where the applications will appear as if they are running without a full OS (but they really are).  My webcam software does not work on Windows 7 yet, so I can run it in XP Mode and attach the USB camera and it will work.  But I want it to be seamless with the rest of my desktop.  But the problem is when in seamless mode I cannot attach USB devices.  But I found a work around.

  1. Open the full XP mode and attach the USB device.
  2. From the Windows 7 Start menu select the virtual application.
  3. Tell it to close the virtual machine.

And that’s it, your USB device should be attached and in seamless mode.