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Thread: Ram Drives Examined

  1. #1
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    Ram Drives Examined

    RAM drives are sections of RAM--- system memory--- set aside
    and controlled by special software so that your operating
    system thinks the RAM area is a normal hard drive: A RAM
    drive gets assigned a drive letter and can be used and
    accessed like any other drive.

    But RAM drives are much, much faster than mechanical drives:
    RAM operates at nanosecond speeds (billionths of a second),
    six orders of magnitude faster than the millisecond speeds
    (thousandths of a second) of mechanical drives. This makes
    RAM drives great for scratchpads, swapfiles, and such, where
    data gets written and read very frequently.

    RAM drives also are transient. A real hard drive
    magnetically "remembers" data even when it's turned off, but
    a RAM drive gets erased completely. That makes RAM drives
    lousy for permanent storage, but great for data you *want*
    to forget: Some users put swap files, browser Cookie and
    History files, etc. in a RAM drive where it can be accessed
    at high speed during use, but which will totally go away
    when the PC is turned off.

    All the above is fairly standard. What's new to this is the
    increasing popularity of systems with huge amounts of RAM---
    512MB, 1GB or even more.

    The experiment I'd love to try, but haven't yet, is this: On
    a system with, say, 1GB of RAM, set up a large RAM drive,
    and install Windows to the RAM drive so the entire OS
    operates at RAM speeds, with essentially zero accesses to
    the mechanical hard drive. Of course, working out the
    installation details would be tricky because Windows wants
    to reboot during setup, and rebooting would wipe out the RAM
    drive....

    Getting a RAM-based Windows setup running would be a fun
    experiment in itself, but not terribly useful. To make it
    practical, you'd have to find a way to use a boot manager
    and imaging tool with the RAM drive: You'd make an image of
    the RAM-drive installation, and store that on the mechanical
    hard drive. At reboot, you'd "restore" the image from the
    hard drive to the RAM drive, and go from there.

    Easy concept; difficult execution. I've seen web sites where
    various persons have tackled one or more parts of this
    challenge, but to my knowledge, no one has a complete, step-
    by-step process worked out from start to finish. The devil,
    as they say, would be in the details.... Any experimenters
    out there? <g>

    Now, to get back to Mahmud's question: Sure, there are RAM
    drives available for XP, and these can be used for all the
    normal things such as swap file storage, Cookie/History
    storage, scratch pads, etc. Some of the RAM drives are free,
    but require a little tweaking:
    http://www.hardwareanalysis.com/content/topic/7663/
    http://pub29.ezboard.com/fcyberwizar...picID=16.topic
    http://www.superspeed.com/
    http://www.google.com/search?q=ramdrive+xp


    From the langalist:
    http://www.langa.com

  2. #2
    Titanium Member
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    Page file on ram drive?? Is this the same ram drive that tweak xp can create for you? Has anyone here experimented with this .... yet?
    Last edited by lynchknot; October 3rd, 2003 at 16:49 PM.

  3. #3
    Silver Member joshsiao's Avatar
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    Recent news have indicated that the possiblity of installing the OS on the RAM with out the use of the Hard Drive in the near future is quite high. Called Magnetic Ram, it works like normal RAM except that it will not lose memory even when power is cut. Imagine doing away entirely with the Hard Disk and run everything so fast on RAM. With more advancements it'll probaly replace the Hard Disk. Using Magnetic Ram instead and maybe using normal dymanic RAM as RAM.
    "Never seem more learnt then the people you are with. Wear your learning like a watch and keep it hidden. Do not pull it out to count the hours, but give the time when you are asked."
    ~Chesterfield

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    I'll keep my eye on that magnetic ram.. sounds like it could potentially do away with hard drive technology.. Why would you need a hard drive if you could put the OS and all into ram.


    You have any more info on that magnetic ram?

  5. #5
    Silver Member joshsiao's Avatar
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    I read the news in Singapore's Computer Times but here's one site with white paper on MRAM.

    http://www.nve.com/otherbiz/mram.php

    Its not difficult to find, just look for Magnetic RAM in a search engine if this is not enough.
    "Never seem more learnt then the people you are with. Wear your learning like a watch and keep it hidden. Do not pull it out to count the hours, but give the time when you are asked."
    ~Chesterfield

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