how to add virtual memory in Windows XP using an USB drive

August 5, 2014 at 03:00:17
Specs: Windows XP Pro, 1.6

With so many "How to add more memory to Windows XP using an USB drive" articles posted I was wondering what am I doing wrong?

I have a 32GB USB drive that I have tried to use to add extra virtual memory to the system with no luck.

I follow these directions:

But have had no luck when configuring it to the maximum amount; 4096 MB.

After reboot I look at the thumb drive and it does not have anything written on it(16kb?!).

I remove it to find that it doesn't affect the computer without setting it in the Control Panel(but I went back and selected "No Page file" for the device).

Is there more to to adding an USB drive for more virtual memory than what is posted everywhere? Are there requirements to this trick? I believe my laptop's USB ports are only version 1.1 and I have no idea what the USB drives capabilities are other than one is a Sandisk and the other is a Lexar(both 32GB) and neither will work for adding memory.

My Computer is a Windows XP Home Edition with SP3 and 2GB of memory(the maximum amount the motherboard will allow).

Is there a free program that will do the same as ReadyBoost for Windows XP?

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August 5, 2014 at 05:54:39
The CNET article is misguided. Putting the pagefile on a flash drive will not add memory. If the laptop really does support only USB 1.1 then putting the pagefile on a flash drive would be a very bad idea. USB 1.1 was never intended to be used for a storage device and is much too slow for such purposes. This would degrade performance not enhance it.

I don't know of any free equivalent to Ready Boost on XP. It is generally not useful with 2 GB RAM and in any event USB 1.1 is much too slow.

Just leave the pagefile as System Managed.

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August 5, 2014 at 09:25:19
2GB RAM should be plenty for Windows XP. That is my setup on a daily basis.

Your system specs say "1.6".

If it is a Pentium 4 1.6 and you are running a patched up-to-date XP, that is your performance problem. Pentium 4 1.6 was released nearly 15 years ago. And I believe the Pentium 4 1.6 maxes out at a 256KB L2 cache and 400MHz system bus, both specs which will greatly hurt your performance. 256KB L2 is very low by today's standards.

You should investigate if your system can run a Pentium 4 with a speed of at least 2.4GHz with 512KB L2 cache and 533MHz FSB. Would make a big difference.

Realistically, a fully patched Windows XP system these days will run much faster on modern hardware than a processor that was introduced that long ago. I recommend anyone running a fully patched XP/Vista/7 system to use at least a dual core processor (Core Duo/Core 2 Duo) for best results.

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August 5, 2014 at 14:05:22
Yes, that article is way off beam. Virtual memory and memory (RAM) are quite different things.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

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August 5, 2014 at 21:34:54
How much space is left on your hard drive? The only reason to use a USB drive for the swap file would be if the main drive is getting full. Maybe you can just install a larger drive.

About your USB speed. You think but aren't sure you've got 1.1. Look in device manager under 'universal serail bus controller' and see if there's an entry there for an 'enchanced host controller'. If it's there you've got 2.0 USB support.

Then if you still want to try the flash drive, format it and change the virtual memory settings--system properties--advanced--performance settings--advanced--virtual memory change.

Don't forget to preorder your Hatch green chili for this fall. Many vendors ship world-wide.

message edited by DAVEINCAPS

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