Sunday, August 28, 2011

MS ReadyBoost Implementation Tips - Do Not Bother

Recently I got a small Lenovo V470 IdeaPad and have been playing with it with Windows 7 Pro 64 bit version. Along with it I found out about the ReadyBoost technology they have added into the OS since Vista.

Initially ReadyBoost does not seem to be doing anything. In fact, initially it even slows you down as it builds the cache, and actually does not make Booting faster by much. What it makes faster is applications to launch faster, especially when more applications are running consuming more RAMs and disks are working hard to service the applications.

I ran into a couple of snags thought I resolved it so here is a quick summary of how you can implement Readyboost on your laptops.
  • As far as I know this works only with the Built-In SD card slot which is wired into the PCI bus and does not go through the USB.
  • Get at least a 16 GB SD card with at least Category 10 capability. I had Category 4 and that failed the qualification step to activate ReadyBoost.
  • Before doing anything, Format the card with NTSF and not FAT32. The reason for this is that for FAT32, the maximum file size will be limited to 4 GB.  For your laptop applications, you would want as much Readyboost cache space as possible. Typically this is 3 times or more of the RAM. Given most PCs are sold with 4 GB RAM. Having a 16 GB SD would be sufficient.
  • Don't use Readyboost on your laptop unless it is connected to the AC power (this makes ReadyBoot almost useless while in battery operation.) As soon as you boot, it starts to cache data and also re-encrypts data. This means this activity occurs during every reboot and every wake-up from hibernation. NOTE: If you run into this situation while in battery operation, you can pull the card out without causing a problem. Re-encryption cannot be turned off on external devices so there is no easy way to turn this off.
  • If you have lots of RAM, you may not notice the difference.
Hope this helps.

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