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snoopy55

Virtual Memory on USB

45 posts in this topic

I very recently went from 32-bit XP (XP) to 64-bit XP (XP64). In XP I set up a 4GB USB dongle as my Virtual Memory (VM) and it worked great! I attempted to do the same with XP64, but the VM does not show the 32Gb dongle as usable. It shows up in Device Manager and in My Computer, and I can store files on it.

Is this a XP64 thing or is there a way to get it to work?

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Some drives do not meet required settings to be used that way.

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Using an usb 2 drive for the pagefile would be a big error as it will slow down a lot the computer because the max speed of usb 2.0 drive is a lot slower than any sata drive.

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I have 7 GB of RAM installed so I finally decided to turn off paging. Taking this step does not hugely impact performance, but it does cut down on fragmentation.

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Neither does a a smallish (say 1024 - 1gb) partition set at the same max,min....

Plus IF there is ever a reason for it then it will be there.

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I'm not sure you even want to sacrifice your USB device for Virtual Memory. They are made primarily for reads and not so much writes. Using a UFD for Virtual Memory will kill it after some time. Isn't this the same idea as ReadyBoost? I've killed 3 UFDs before I stopped trying to use ReadyBoost. Its a nice idea but doesn't work out well in practice. :unsure:

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None of this seems to answer my question, is there a way to set a USB as Virtual Memory in XP x64? I've been using a USB SD card as VM while using XP 32-bit for several years. The same SD card, and it has worked. I do graphics work, and speed is not the thing. Now that you have given opinions on it, can anyone answer the question, can it be done?

USB cards are not primarily for reads. USB cards are the main thing used in cameras these days and they write to them, you copy the pics to your PC and erase the USB, returning it to your camera for more pics.

Now, can we get to an answer as to 'can a USB be used as VM in XP x64'? Please......

Edited by snoopy55
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Now to the replies.......

Kelsenellenelvian, what required setting are you speaking of, and can these settings be changed?

allen2, speed is not my problem. Health issues keep me from getting into the hi-speed games. Graphics are my thing and having a VM has helped.

Tripredacus, as I understand the job of ReadyBoost, it is an interface between your hard drives and your system. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ReadyBoost ) Thus it is used every time your system accesses a hard drive. VM is not accessed that often. It is used by a program much like a blackboard to store data it needs while in operation. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_memory )

So again, we are right back to the question, is there a way to get XP x64 to be able to use a USB as VM?

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@snoopy55

The ability to put a pagefile on a USB stick is determined by a number of things (ways the OS "sees" the device).

What I find very strange (besides what you want to achieve) is what you report. :w00t:

A "normal" MS NT based OS won't allow having a pagefile on an "external" disk, let alone a "removable" one.

To allow this normally a filter driver is used, see here for DiskMod:

http://reboot.pro/9461/

http://reboot.pro/9461/#entry86619/

which comes also in a 64 bit version, though tested only on later systems (Vista :ph34r: and 7) AFAICR.

jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz
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I guess I need to make a full report.........

The motherboard: MSI K9AG Neo2-Digital

The USB: Kingston DataTraveler 2.0 USB Device, 4Gb

The OS: Windows XP 32-bit

I got the idea figuring a USB card was the same as a Hard Drive since you could boot from them. When I opened the Virtual Memory window under Performance Options, the USB was there and set up beautifully. I set it to use a bit less than 4096. It worked fine.

I looked over the two sites you listed and there is to much foreign language there for me. (and I used to be able to program in 8 different machine languages...........) I did do a diskmod search for the motherboard I have ( Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3 ) but while finding it for a number of their other motherboards, I couldn't find one for mine. Sounds like it may be time to bug Gigabyte a bit.

To tell the truth, I never had XP 32-bit on my present system. It may just be something about the motherboard itself seeing that Gigabyte has DiskMods for a number of their other motherboards.

I'll get back to you once they get back to me.

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To allow this normally a filter driver is used, see here for DiskMod:

http://reboot.pro/9461/

http://reboot.pro/9461/#entry86619/

which comes also in a 64 bit version, though tested only on later systems (Vista :ph34r: and 7) AFAICR.

I looked over the two sites you listed and there is to much foreign language there for me. (and I used to be able to program in 8 different machine languages...........)

:blink: Foreign language? There's not a single word not in English in the thread jaclaz pointed you to. :wacko:

I did do a diskmod search for the motherboard I have ( Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3 ) but while finding it for a number of their other motherboards, I couldn't find one for mine. Sounds like it may be time to bug Gigabyte a bit.

Which would be perfectly useless, because DiskMod is a free program by Karyonix, available exclusively from the thread jaclaz pointed you to. :whistle:

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dencorso, am I to take it you are attempting to be funny there?

Just in case you are not.........

"I looked over the two sites you listed and there is to much foreign language there for me." The 'foreign language' reference is older than I am. I used it because of the fact that a foreign language is not something I can understand, and since I cannot understand what was posted on that site, it is like a foreign language to me. B)

As to my searching for one, yes, that one is free, BUT, I am using XP x64, not Vista or Win7 :thumbdown . Also, dropping to the third from the bottom post in the referred thread, it states "Test-signed 64-bit driver is included. If you want to use (test) it in Windows Vista or 7 (64-bit), you must enable TESTSIGNING Boot Configuration Option before you install DiskMod driver. The original was not written for a 64-bit, only 32-bit. And while there is a 64-bit now available, I'd rather wait for someone else to test it on a XP x64 system. :whistle:

And I did find downloads from Gigabyte that may be what is needed, ( and they are free ) but not for my motherboard.

And just in case you were making a joke...... :lol:

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Just for info, I just plugged two USB keys and a USB HDD in my fairly old laptop (XP32, SP3), all 4 volumes (2 on the HDD) appear in Virtual Memory settings, but even if the settings are kept after reboot (I set 20Meg on one of the USK keys), there is no new file on that key. Not sure if there would be one created "when needed".

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I dont want to be grumpier then usual, but I simply represented you the current situation to the best of my knowledge.

The ONLY way to have a pagefile on a non-internal disk in a Windows NT based systems is AFAIK the Diskmod filter driver I pointed you to, which is NOT hardware specific and has been tested and verified to be working on:

  • XP 32 bit
  • Vista :ph34r: BOTH 32 and 64 bit
  • 7 BOTH 32 and 64 bit

there is NO reason why it should not work on XP 64 in theory, but, as said YMMV.

You asked a question, I took some time to answer it, as said to the best of my knowledge, the fact that you don't like the answer or you are uncapable of putting it into practice or simply want to wait someone else to try it, should not prevent you from:

  • ask nicely clarifications if there are things that you don't understand
  • being thankful for the time spent in attempting to help you

The fact that you used to program in 8 different machine languages evidently prevented you from learning "foreign languages" and also some common forms of politeness.

A lot of people don't know what a filter driver is on a NT based system, but instead of accusing other people of writing in a foreign language, most probably because they never programmed in 8 different machine languages, they tend to try understanding what is written, instead of skimming through and jumping t (bTW completely absurd) conclusions and come back whining.

I hope you will have fun :thumbup while putting a pagefile on an external device (or completely failing at it :ph34r: )..

jaclaz

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Silly Question: is there any such thing as USB-RAM-Drive? you know , the volatile type...

I could use that as slower ram-drive for paging, temporary folder & browser cache, etc... without have to sacrifice the real memory for ram-drive.

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Silly Question: is there any such thing as USB-RAM-Drive? you know , the volatile type...

I could use that as slower ram-drive for paging, temporary folder & browser cache, etc... without have to sacrifice the real memory for ram-drive.

Something like this:

http://techreport.com/review/16255/acard-ans-9010-serial-ata-ram-disk

but made slower :w00t: by attaching it to the USB (2.0) bus? :unsure:

Possibly with the USB 3.0 they will make something....

jaclaz

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Well I guess I need to either put my older system back together and somehow show USB card able to be used as VM or replace my main drive on my newer system, load it with XP 32-bit and see if it is just the 64-bit version of XP that is the problem.

I apologize that my replies have not met everyones requirements. I'm use to thanking the people who reply for their help when the question is decided one way or the other, not every time I post.

Ponch, I have never seen evidence of a HD or my USB card being used as VM. Aside from a couple of programs working a bit easier with the USB card as VM, nothing showed up on the card.

Jaclaz, either I missed the part where I said I didn't like your answer or I wrote something that was misunderstood.

So, why don't we just leave things as they are and if I manage to find out some form of an answer, be it positive or negative, I'll post it. I have my brothers unused 1Tb drive which I can install into my system and load with XP 32-bit and see if I can do a USB VM.

What I am attempting may be silly and unneeded, but I believe that a lot of things people do with their computer systems are silly and unneeded. But I leave them to what they wish to do.

Now, just in this post I have most likely said things that are going to upset someone, so I will say right here, "I'm sorry for what I said.".

I'll be back with my results.

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What I am attempting may be silly and unneeded, but I believe that a lot of things people do with their computer systems are silly and unneeded. But I leave them to what they wish to do.

Mind you the good thing about freedom :thumbup is actually that of being free to do things that may seem silly and unneeded, as a matter of fact :):

Life is "trying things to see if they work".

But life is also a comedy, you have to choose roles :w00t:.

If you want to play ol' time expert like in

(and I used to be able to program in 8 different machine languages...........)

it's allright, but then you cannot seriously ignore how a pagefile should be on the faster (after RAM) storage subsystem you have available and that any "solid state" media has a "finite " amount of "write cycles" before it won't be working anymore.

Or you can play n00b (which is also OK), but then you should keep a "lower profile", follow this tutorial (or a similar one of this kind):

http://www.ehow.com/how_5887452_move-file-sd-card.html

http://web.archive.org/web/20100430151734/http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,2845,1679935,00.asp

ignore any suggestions/info given on more "reliable" sources, like:

http://forum.ultrabooknews.com/showthread.php?35638-WinXP-page-file-moved-to-SD-card

http://serverfault.com/questions/46903/use-an-sd-card-for-your-page-file-windows-7

http://www.pocketables.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3416

http://forum.notebookreview.com/hardware-components-aftermarket-upgrades/371619-virtual-page-memory-sd-card.html

http://forums.xsreviews.co.uk/showthread.php?tid=5792

or, better, the already given:

http://reboot.pro/9461/

and be happy thinking that you can make a pagefile on a USB SD card without using a dedicated filter driver.

(BTW putting a pagefile on a SD card may happen on particular hardware, but it is very, very UNlikely and simply not possible if the connection to the card reader is USB)

JFYI, here is an illustrative article summing up the three filter drivers that are commonly used:

http://agnipulse.com/2012/03/filter-drivers-removable-media-fixed-disk-windows/

jaclaz

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First, let's put this thing of 'if you can do this you should be able to do this' to rest. You think maybe 5 strokes, epilepsy and a portion of my brain being surgically removed to keep me alive may have messed up my ability to understand what I tend to call 'foreign languages'?

Now, to settle a couple of more things. Yes, a USB card can be set up to be used as VM. At least on XP 32-bit.

post-363223-0-39804100-1352747596_thumb.

That is a Kingston DataTraveler DTI / 4GB on my wifes system for this shot. I have used it on my system for several years.

Here is a Hitachi 61.4 GB hard drive attached to my present system, XP x64.

post-363223-0-19270400-1352747885_thumb.

And the VM settings ( the HD is named 'Old IDE' ).

post-363223-0-74756900-1352747942_thumb.

But, here is where I attempted to set up the Kingston as the VM.

post-363223-0-11217600-1352748108_thumb.

As noted before, it just does not show up.

Now, back to the last post........ I never said I was ignoring the fact that a hard drive is faster than the solid state USB card. I'm well aware of which is faster. I'm also aware that a hard drive has a limited life span, I've lost a few, including over 5000 photos of railroad equipment. Many present drives only have a 1 years warranty, which is why I just purchased and installed 2 1TB drives and a RAID controller card to handle them. One dies, I still have my work on the other.

And I'm not a NOOB, I've been building and working with computers since the early 80's. Just because I have never had a previous need to dig into the firmware of them only makes me uneducated with the firmware, not the whole thing. A person can build many systems, put a 20-year-old company on computer using a network ( a 2 wire network), rewrite programs, create maps for games, decipher and enlarge a game ( http://www.sidmeiersrailroads.net/portal.php ), and much more, without knowing what a 'pagefile' is and never having played in the Windows Registry.

I'll look over and READ the sites you listed. I'll do my best to shut down any present personal problems so I can understand them better.

You have my thanks for the time you spent doing the research. Minus the attacks you seem to enjoy throwing at me. (do you tend to attack all people that stand lower on the ladder than you?)

Now, a bit of my flipping thru the internet.

http://gadgetwise.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/07/19/qa-the-lifespan-of-a-flash-drive/ ( Quote: With proper care, a flash drive could last years. )

http://www.worldstart.com/flash-drive-lifespan/ ( Quote: some studies estimate that recent flash drives can tolerate millions of flashes before they wear out. ( note: newer hard drives have only a 1 year warranty ) )

A 16GB SEgoN Mini-Ding list for $13.99 and a 32Gb for $18.99. Much less than the replacement cost of a hard drive. ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA0U90BU5037 )

And then there are these: http://www.google.com/#hl=en&tbo=d&sclient=psy-ab&q=flash+drive+as+virtual+memory&oq=flash+drive+as+virtual+memory&gs_l=serp.3..0l2j0i5j0i5i30.491.6841.1.7016.17.9.0.8.8.0.192.1306.0j10.10.0.les%3B..0.0...1c.1.MmX6nbWJq2Y&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&fp=a0e192af6a1c269e&bpcl=38093640&biw=1567&bih=769

No, I haven't read them......yet, but I plan to. I'm going to take a day off from rebuilding my house. But first I'll read the sites you posted.

Edited by snoopy55
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Ponch, I have never seen evidence of a HD or my USB card being used as VM. Aside from a couple of programs working a bit easier with the USB card as VM, nothing showed up on the card.

Is that not an evidence that it does not work ? If nothing shows up on the card, it's simply not used. :huh:

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Now, to settle a couple of more things. Yes, a USB card can be set up to be used as VM. At least on XP 32-bit.

Good, if you say so I am happy for you. :)

Just as a check (that by any remote chance what the Virtual Memory control panel does not actually represents fully what is happening):

Can you open that "USB card" in explorer and see if there is in its root (possibly hidden/system) a file named "pagefile.sys"?

Which size is it?

Can you resize the size of the pagefile (a few megabytes will do) in the Virtual Memory panel (and reboot) then check again the size of "pagefile.sys" on the "USB card"?

(please check as well the Hitachi 61.4 or 'Old IDE' for the same file in root and do the same test resizing it)

As I see it, if a pagefile.sys exists on the volume and it can be re-sized through the Virtual Memory control panel, a pagefile exists, otherwise it could mean that what you see in the Virtual Memory control panel might be deceiving)

If you happen to have one of those IDE to USB cnverters/enclosures, can you try placing the pagefile on the same Hitachi HD, this time connected through USB?

jaclaz

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Ponch, I have never seen evidence of a HD or my USB card being used as VM. Aside from a couple of programs working a bit easier with the USB card as VM, nothing showed up on the card.

Is that not an evidence that it does not work ? If nothing shows up on the card, it's simply not used. :huh:

OK, I'll accept that as soon as someone shows me something on their hard drive that shows it is being used by the computer as VM. And I do not mean the settings screen.

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After a bit of experimenting I found some interesting facts.

To view the Pagefile.sys file along with checking "Show hidden files and folders" you must also uncheck "Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)" (you might have clarified this little much needed step Jaclaz )

XP 32-bit will give you the ability to use a USB card as VM, BUT that is not where is places the pagefile.sys. It uses your C: drive. I set the VM to 2048 and the pagefile.sys appeared on the C: drive as 2048K. When I changed the size in the VM window, the size of the pagefile.sys in drive C: also change to match it.

While I could not get XP x64 to use a USB card, it did allow me to use the external USB HD. But again, it placed the pagefile.sys on the C: drive and any changes to the size on the external was matched on the C: drive. Leave it to Microsoft.

One other interesting item.....if you do not set any VM on any drive, XP and XP x64 will put a pagefile on your C: drive, like it or not.

Ponch, it looks like Jaclaz has answered your question.

And Jaclaz, that drive was connected externally thru the USB

post-363223-0-25544300-1352772779_thumb.

So, now that I have discovered the real way that XP and XP x64 do VM on USB devices, I guess my question has been answered.

Now, off to read those websites.............

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Good :), so now everything is hopefully clear :yes: ,.not very different from what initially stated:

@snoopy55

The ability to put a pagefile on a USB stick is determined by a number of things (ways the OS "sees" the device).

What I find very strange (besides what you want to achieve) is what you report. :w00t:

A "normal" MS NT based OS won't allow having a pagefile on an "external" disk, let alone a "removable" one.

To allow this normally a filter driver is used ....

actually exactly as it was :whistle: .

JFYI, the working is more or less like this:

  • the Virtual Memory Control Panel is nothing but a nice GUI interface to a few keys in the Registry.
  • when you change settings in that, the corresponding keys in the Registry are actually changed.
  • at reboot *something else* reads those keys and does what is written on them, BUT IF what is written on them makes no sense (like making a pagefile on an "external" device), the *something* tries to do it's best, like interpreting that the user wants a pagefile of a given size and actually makes one, only it makes it on the first device it sees as fit.
  • on the other hand the *something* does not notify anyone about the interptretation it put into practice, leaving the related Registry keys "as they are", thus if you re-access the Virtual Memory control panel you see the same settings you input earlier

Seemingly the 64 bit version is a bit smarter and doesn't list the external drives in the Virtual Memory control panel, thus preventing this form of miscommunication between the System and the user.

The good news :thumbup are that the "Kingston DataTraveler DTI / 4GB" that you used for the last several years has not suffered ANY wear :w00t: due to the paging file rewrites and will probably last forever in that role ;).

Slightly OT, but JFYI:

jaclaz

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XP 32-bit will give you the ability to use a USB card as VM, BUT that is not where is places the pagefile.sys. It uses your C: drive.

You might want to rephrase that (for Googlers) as "XP 32-bit will not give you the ability to use a USB card as VM BUT leaves you with the deceiving impression that you can". And so your numerous statements (starting from the 1st post) that "it worked great!" are erroneous but your insistance and the impression we had that the fact you modify these settings indicates that you knew what effect it had (move bits of the pagefile.sys to an other volume) dragged this thread to a second page. :rolleyes:

Edited by Ponch
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