ReadyBoost- Speed up your system using USB

ReadyBoost is introduced by Windows. Its main aim is to speed up Windows by means of using USB drives. It helps a system when it run or low memory. Using ReadyBoost capable flash drives allows Windows for cashing to service random disk reads with more performance provided by a typical hard drive. I dont want to explain more complex functions in background which may not be easy to digest. In a short, a ReadyBoost means a USB drive which is used for increasing the performance of Windows. Note, only Windows, not Ubuntu or Mac!

ReadyBoost Image

Before setting up a ReadyBoost, we can check the features and importance of a ReadyBoost device. According to Microsoft, a ReadyBoost device store cache data in 2:1 ratio. That is if Windows is storing 2 GB cache data in your USB drive, it is worth contain a data of nearly 4GB! One of the main ideas behind ReadyBoost is flsh drives has a very fast seeker time while comparing with hard drives. If you are using a laptop or notebook ReadyBoost can help you in two ways. Performance and Energy management. A typical laptop flash drive is of 4200-5400 RPMs. Allowing USB drives to cache, flash drive access can be reduced. Since this helps to spin down drive, battery power can be conserved.

ReadyBoost works with Windows 7 and Vista. Windows 7 allows to use upto 7 USB drives as ReadyBoost and to a maximum of 256GB in total. Now we can see how to setup a ReadyBoost device. A USB falsh device of minimum capacity 256 MB(250MB after formatting) and a maximum of 256GB can be used for this. However, if you are unsure of the capacity, no worries! Windows can help you in deciding whether your device is compatible.

Plug in your USB drive to your system. If you have an Autoplay you may see a dialogue box with an option to “Speed up my system”.


If you are not getting any messages, go to My computer. You can see your plugged device listed under “Devices with removable storage”. Right click on it and open properties. Select the tab “ReadyBoost” if available. Otherwise, your device is not supporting ReadyBoost.

If you are planning to use this drive for speeding up alone, you can select “Dedicate this device” option. Also, you can see the amount of memory Windows recommends to use. Select any of these option and press OK. At any time if you want to free up your USB from being used as ReadyBoost , you can chnage the option to “Do not use this device”

You can experience the performance of ReadyBoost while using using resource hungry utilities such as Photoshop.

Please note, do not remove USB drive without stopping the device. Otherwise it can either damage the system or USB drive.


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