Use Your USB Flash Drive As Virtual RAM





Introduction: Use Your USB Flash Drive As Virtual RAM

Today I´m gonna show you how to use a usb thumb drive as a virtual RAM device for your pc.
The thumb drive I used is a 2 Gb from Kingston. The size should be less than 4 Gb.
When you look at the sreenshots below you have to consider that it is in German.
Step 1:
Rename your thumb drive  as "RAM DRIVE", so you can see that it is the one which is used as RAM.
Step 2:
Delete all the stuff one the pen drive. Look also after hidden once.

Step 1: Step 3

Step 3:
Right click on "My Computer" --> Properties

Step 2: Step 4

Step 4:
click on "Advanced" --> system output "Settings"

Step 3: Step 5

Step 5:

click on "Advanced" -->  "Edit"

Step 4: Step 6

Step 6:

Click on your thumb drive above  --> "user-defined size"  -->
you can see the size of your flash drive (in this case 1932 Mb)
calculate: size of flash drive - 5 Mb
in this case: 1932 - 5 = 1927
Now type this number in the first box. In the second box you type in the same number (see picture) -->
click "set" and "OK"

Step 5: Step 7

Step 7:
Click "Apply", click not "Cancel" or  "OK".
After you have clicked "Apply", click "OK".
Restart your computer.

Don´t pull out your thumb drive after you made this settings, because it´s used as virtual RAM device. It may crash your computer if you pull out your thumb drive. I´m not responsible for thoose cases.

Step 6: Removing

If your computer didn´t get really faster or you have other reasons to remove the USB thumb drive than take the following steps:
Go to step 6 and choose your USB thumb drive, than click "no swapfile" --> "Set" -->"OK" --> "Apply"

It would be great when you vote for me at the "USB contest".

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152 Discussions

Just a tip for those who are interested in using their USB flash drive as an extension to the virtual RAM of Microsoft Windows or to extend the virtual memory of the operating system. Using your USB flash drive to increase the amount of virtual RAM or virtual memory or pagefile to be specific is fine. But by doing this, you are also shortening the lifespan of your USB flash drive. Remember that USB flash drives have limited numbers of writes. In normal usage, it will take a long time for the writes to run out. But if the USB flash drive is used as RAM where millions of transfers are done each minute, it will definitely decrease the life of the flash drive.

4 replies

make sure the drive is plugged in properly on the USB port. another reason is if the flash drive is not yet formatted.

Formatted to what, NTFS? FAT32? I did both, and it was plugged in properly, I used multiple ports. Including USB 2.0 and USB 3.0

that's odd. it should work whichever file system you use. I already tried it before on an iPod with 1 GB internal storage. Windows was able to detect the drive and it appeared. make sure you are using an admin account.

Many people don't seem to understand what virtual RAM is. Virtual RAM only kicks in when real RAM isn't enough. Then those programs that aren't currently active (say you have the window minimized) will get removed from main real RAM, and placed in the Virtual RAM. When this happens your computer will start "swapping," and can slow things down because putting things into the hard drive is considerably slow. Once the swap has occurred though things go back to being their normal seeming self. Until you reactivate one of the inactive programs (say you maximize a previously minimized window), in which case the swapping will start again, and cause a temporary hickup.

The reason why putting the Virtual RAM (which is just an area of storage set aside for swapping things to) on flash medium may speed up the swapping cycle is because flash is a non-mechanical medium, and is (usually) much faster than a mechanical hard drive. The swapping "hickup" moment will last a lot less longer than with a hard drive.

Lots of people aren't seeing an increase in speed probably because they aren't actually using their real RAM to the max. If you want to experience the difference in speed, try running a RAM heavy program, something like Blender (with a big model loaded), or maybe even open up a lot of graphic heavy tabs in your browser. When your RAM usage is 80-90%, you'll start experiencing the grind of swapping. Test both with a hard drive virtual RAM, and on flash drive. Of course SSD will probably give you the best results.

NOTE: Your flash drive will probably die a lot quicker if used in this way.

Creating extra page file. You can do on hard drive same! Win 95 supports page file. Nothing special.

1 reply

Flash drives can (not always) be faster than hard drive.

Hey friends I have an other easy and amazing way to boost up your RAM with USB Find at below link

how to Use USB as a RAM

I hope you will like friends

Do you need to redo all of these settings every time you plug in that thumb drive or does it remember it when you plug it in? (I'm on a laptop, for example, and need to remove thumb drives when I pack it up for travel.) Thanks!

will this work with a bigger flash drive like 284gigs


1 year ago

Check my article too :)

@ayeza that readyboost method is ineffective when it comes to trying to allocate it to a game sigh as minecraft

Hey friends I have an other easy and amazing way to boost up your RAM with USB Find at below link

how to Use USB as a RAM

I hope you will like friends

U ca do all of this without usbflash. Just follow the procedure and just replace old page for virtual memory, which is already on your hdd. For example I don't remember the exact size, but I left it to 4gb. Which is more of enough because my physical ram is 2gb, so if all tasks are copied to the page, another 2gb will be free. On the other side, u can use this usbflash to create ReadyBoost. U'LL need at least 4gb drive if u using Windows 7. Format it under NTFS. In properties tap readyboost. Check third option and move slider completely to the right end. Press apply. Then check second option and press apply again. Now all space will be filled with single file. Rename it as local disk and if doesn't have letter, give it one. Be sure u put this drive on the back side of the pc. Be warned! This usbflash is assigned as Syaytem Drive and is already part of Windows. Do not remove it!!! RedyBoost will increase significantly performance if the pc have 2 or less gb!!! Otherwise you won't see any difference.

omg so niiiiiiiice.


2 years ago

readyboost is not RAM, readyboost improves hard drive activities