[Release] Ram Disk Add-On v3.0

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dougiefresh
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[Release] Ram Disk Add-On v3.0

Post by dougiefresh » Sat Jun 24, 2006 8:41 am

Image
I've written a Ram Disk add-on that is integratable with Windows XP. Default settings place a 32mb Ram Disk at drive Z:. Ram Disk is already enabled at first boot. Control Panel applet allows control over the size and other settings of the Ram Disk.

Source Files: http://www.arsoft-online.com/index.php? ... einfo&id=2
Initial Instructions @ MSFN: http://www.msfn.org/board/index.php?showtopic=37947

NOTE: AR Soft discontinued support for the RamDisk. Permission to distribute was sought, and completely ignored by AR Soft.

Image
FileName: Doug_RamDisk_AddOn_v3.0.7z
Size: 36kb
MD5: 7729EA802DB77FF891A8C1FE5E9B705F
Last edited by dougiefresh on Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:43 pm, edited 38 times in total.
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Post by T D » Sat Jun 24, 2006 1:28 pm

It would be a good idea. I thought of that and started making an addon of extra drive creator pro (google it) but I got lost halfway and I'm not bothered now.
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Post by stealth17 » Sun Jun 25, 2006 9:55 pm

Nice idea. EXCEPT, make it for FireFox too!

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Post by dougiefresh » Wed Oct 04, 2006 6:56 pm

Been almost 4 months now with no response from developer..... Should I just write the thing?

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Post by Stellvia12 » Sat Oct 21, 2006 11:22 am

yeap... It would be an awesome product. But are you going to make it do caching for firefox or anything else you wish?
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Post by dougiefresh » Mon Oct 30, 2006 9:38 pm

Stellvia12 wrote:yeap... It would be an awesome product. But are you going to make it do caching for firefox or anything else you wish?
Let me look into FireFox's cache method. If it's easy to manipulate like IE, then yes. If not, then it depends on my skills with AutoIT. I don't use Firefox, though.

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Post by dougiefresh » Sat Jul 21, 2007 11:44 am

Released first version (Ram Disk only)!!! Sorry about the delay. I thought it prudent to wait a sufficient amount of time for a response from the developer. A year seems too much, though....
Last edited by dougiefresh on Sat Jul 21, 2007 12:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by code65536 » Sat Jul 21, 2007 12:18 pm

Re: Firefox... Using a RAM disk for FF would be rather pointless because FF does not use the cache as a temporary storage place for downloads (their .part files in the final destination is much more sensible and efficient) and because, like all Mozilla browsers, it also uses a memory cache of a size that you can configure. So jack up the memory cache size from its low default value and reduce or turn off the disk cache size, and you will get a similar effect.

(yes, I know I'm responding to some old posts)
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Post by dougiefresh » Sat Jul 21, 2007 12:42 pm

code65536 wrote:Re: Firefox... Using a RAM disk for FF would be rather pointless because FF does not use the cache as a temporary storage place for downloads (their .part files in the final destination is much more sensible and efficient) and because, like all Mozilla browsers, it also uses a memory cache of a size that you can configure. So jack up the memory cache size from its low default value and reduce or turn off the disk cache size, and you will get a similar effect.
Interesting..... good to know about FireFox's cache. It will make writing the script a little easier for moving the cache to the Ram Disk, as I will be able to omit FireFox.... correct?
Last edited by dougiefresh on Sat Jul 21, 2007 1:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by project51 » Sat Jul 21, 2007 12:48 pm

RAM Disk vs System Cache -- This has already been debated few years ago about the usefullness of a RAM disk. And for me, I think RAM disk is pretty much useless. The system cache is almost smart enough to hold as much as memory needed and gives off some memory when needed.

If you have extra memory, do NOT use it to RAM disk to cache temporary files. Just let the System Cache do its job.

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Post by dougiefresh » Sat Jul 21, 2007 12:59 pm

project51 wrote:RAM Disk vs System Cache -- This has already been debated few years ago about the usefullness of a RAM disk.
If you could give me a link to these forum debates, it would be greatly appreciated!
project51 wrote:And for me, I think RAM disk is pretty much useless. The system cache is almost smart enough to hold as much as memory needed and gives off some memory when needed.
My dad is on dial-up out in the boon-docks. No cable or DSL internet available there. He can use an advantage out there. That is why I'm writing this add-on. If other people find it useful, so be it.
project51 wrote:If you have extra memory, do NOT use it to RAM disk to cache temporary files. Just let the System Cache do its job.
Are you talking about FireFox or Internet Explorer?

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Post by code65536 » Sat Jul 21, 2007 1:14 pm

The other thing that I don't quite get is how a cache on a RAM disk will speed up browsing for a user with a low bandwidth connection. For that user, the speed is limited by the bandwidth, and it will be so limited by the bandwidth that any speedup from a memory cache would be negligible at best. In fact, because the memory cache is volatile and thus data cannot be cached between boots, this would actually reduce performance. The only instance where a cache on a RAM disk would improve performance is a case where a user has very slow disk access, in which case, if memory usage could be favored over disk usage (though keeping in mind that reducing the memory available will increase the likelihood of disk paging), in which case, this could be accomplished with Firefox by killing the disk cache and boosting the memory cache (no need for a RAM disk). A RAM disk would thus be needed only for browsers with no memory cache or a memory cache whose size cannot be configured (i.e., IE). But with modern-ish computers (basically, any box from, say, 1999-2000 or beyond), disks should not be that slow that a performance gain would be observed with a RAM disk. And if your computer is new enough that it has a RAM to spare for a RAM disk, then it probably has a sufficiently speedy disk.

In other words, if a RAM disk is improving web browsing performance, then either 1) you've got a slow disk (once again, this would be independent of connection speeds and the slowness would be observed regardless of speed and in activities that are done apart from transmission) or 2) it's a placebo effect. It's a simple matter of cache speeds being totally unrelated to the amount of bandwidth that could be carried over the voice frequencies of a POTS.

The only real use I've had for a RAM disk is when HDD access is not possible or not desirable (e.g., booting from a CD ROM and wanting to limit all your activity to a RAM disk because either there is no HDD or you want to limit the "footprint" of what you're doing so that you don't touch the HDD).

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Post by dougiefresh » Sat Jul 21, 2007 1:22 pm

code65536: I can't say why that I saw a performance boost when I installed the Ram Disk driver and redirected the cache to it. I just know there was a difference. To me, it seemed to be a significant difference. The computer seemed to be able to surf the net faster. Don't know why, though....

EDIT1: Oh, by the way, I didn't say it would result in a huge difference. It just appeared to be a noticable difference.

EDIT2: I'm going to correct the first post. (Corrected) Evidentally, I said that there would be a "sizable" increase. It would probably only be visible on computers with dial-up connections. Cable and DSL connections probably aren't going to see any change in speed.

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This has been debated for a few years...

Post by rootfile » Sat Jul 21, 2007 1:32 pm

The reason we all use personal computers is because we can set them up according to our personal tates. That said, this addon does not promote the improper use of a ramdisk: i.e.,subsitituting a ramdrive for the Windows pagefile in an attempt to boost speed.

Instead, this ramdrive addon helps increase privacy and speed, particularly with respect to cookies and temporary browser files, because it writes those files to a ramdisk, which is faster than writing to a harddisk. For a discussion of browser cache in memorysee this page or or this page. In addition, using a ramdisk insures that cookie files get deleted everytime you reboot or clear the ramdisk .

There are a couple of caveats, however: (1) I think the default temporary browser cache for IE is 200mb, so I would make my ramdisk at least that size or change the IE settings and (2) You probably should have more than 1GB of system RAM if you are going to devote 200 mb to a ramdisk. I've never had any problems with downloading even gigabytes of code, when designating a ramdisk of 200mb or more.
Last edited by rootfile on Sat Jul 21, 2007 1:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by code65536 » Sat Jul 21, 2007 1:32 pm

Well, I'm sure that there is a performance boost. Because now writing to the cache is faster. And retrieving from the cache is faster. I'm just saying that in the case of slow connections this is not going to be significant because 1) it's not going to affect the transmission speed and 2) the transmission speed is so slow that most of your wait is with that and not with waiting for disk operations. Now, for a sufficiently fast connection where the connection speed is so fast that hardly any time is spent with transmission, then forcing the browser to use memory instead of disk will have a much more noticeable effect (but still small in absolute terms).

And furthermore, in the case of slow connections, cache volatility between boots could significantly reduce performance because you're losing all your cache with each boot.

Edit: And yes, there are perfectly legitimate uses for RAM disks. Like what I mentioned about booting up with no HDD or if you're in an environment (public computer) where you don't want to touch the HDD. And perhaps RAM volatility could be useful too in the form of ensuring data deletion after reboot (though if one is really that paranoid, then EFS would probably be a more effective tool). What I am saying is that browsing performance boosts, especially for someone on dialup, is not a good reason to use RAM disks.

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Post by Mavericks choice » Sat Jul 21, 2007 4:09 pm

Bit off topic & can see this as a worthwile addon.
Just wandering if the following virtual ramdisk plugin could be used to do same? http://www.911cd.net/forums//index.php? ... 9711&st=0 & made as an addon :o
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Post by dougiefresh » Sat Jul 21, 2007 5:02 pm

Mavericks choice wrote:Bit off topic & can see this as a worthwile addon.
Just wandering if the following virtual ramdisk plugin could be used to do same? http://www.911cd.net/forums//index.php? ... 19711&st=0 & made as an addon :o
I've downloaded it and will look at it. Maybe....

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Post by Mavericks choice » Sat Jul 21, 2007 7:41 pm

No worries Doug.
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Post by dougiefresh » Sat Jul 21, 2007 10:49 pm

Mavericks choice: That add-on shouldn't be too hard to write. And no, I will not replace my ram disk drivers with said software. I can hide the RAMDISK control panel applet and register my own. With the software you specified, it would be too easy for a user to screw up the drive configuration by removing or moving drive. Unfortunately, non-novice users probably will be able to find the hidden CPL from my add-on and monkey with the system anyway....
rootfile wrote:this addon does not promote the improper use of a ramdisk: i.e.,subsitituting a ramdrive for the Windows pagefile in an attempt to boost speed.
It's unfortunate that I can't keep someone from doing so, however.
rootfile wrote:There are a couple of caveats, however: (1) I think the default temporary browser cache for IE is 200mb, so I would make my ramdisk at least that size or change the IE settings and (2) You probably should have more than 1GB of system RAM if you are going to devote 200 mb to a ramdisk. I've never had any problems with downloading even gigabytes of code, when designating a ramdisk of 200mb or more.
Did not know this.... When you downloaded gigabytes of code using the ramdisk of 200mb or more, what browser were you running? Was it IE6 or IE7? Firefox, even? Just curious....

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I use maxthon

Post by rootfile » Sun Jul 22, 2007 10:09 am

But if you do have a problem with download limits you can always us a download manager and specify another location on your disk to save the file. Maxthon may do this automatically. I don't know.

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Post by dougiefresh » Tue Jul 24, 2007 8:16 pm

Fixed INF problem that cropped up during test install. Sorry about this, folks!

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Post by dougiefresh » Mon Dec 17, 2007 4:41 pm

UPDATE: I'm in the process of writing a new INF for this add-on. I've found the original INF installer and should be able to publish a new add-on soon.
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Post by larciel » Fri Dec 21, 2007 8:16 pm

Sounds good. Keep us updated

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Post by dougiefresh » Sun Dec 23, 2007 11:31 pm

UPDATE: Anytime I try to install the new INF using DefaultInstall and rundll32, the computer prompts to install "Memory Device" (which is the category name for the ramdisk) instead of "AR Soft Ram Disk". I've tried another method involving DevCon, but it doesn't work unattendedly. So, I guess that the add-on won't be updated after all....
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Post by ricktendo64 » Mon Dec 24, 2007 12:56 am

I have a RAMDisk addon but its different than this one, if you want I can maybe give it a try.
I tried devcon also but did not work for me either

Image

Sent you a PM with info on the addon (its not freeware so sorry fellas)

Trial vers http://users.compaqnet.be/cn021945/RAMD ... iskent.htm

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Post by dougiefresh » Mon Dec 24, 2007 8:09 am

Nice add-on, rick! I didn't know that services could be added like that. I thought that hive edits were the only way to accomplish that! Cool.... There's hope yet!
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Post by ricktendo64 » Mon Dec 24, 2007 9:42 am

Another thing I tried and failed on is editing SYSSETUP.INF and added the ramdisk.inf directly to it to be installed.

Code: Select all

[DeviceInfsToInstall]
ramdriv.inf ;this method did not work
1394.inf
1394vdbg.inf
61883.inf
avc.inf
battery.inf
bth.inf
cdrom.inf
etc. etc.
BTW that AddReg way of adding services I did not know that worked until I saw RyanVM do it in his updatepack with safedisk
I also like your idea of adding the INF to TXTSETUP.SIF, I think I'm going to give it a shot :)

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Post by dougiefresh » Mon Dec 24, 2007 6:20 pm

Thanks for the info. One less avenue of failure to proceed down....
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Post by dougiefresh » Wed Dec 26, 2007 4:16 pm

Uploaded version 2.0 of this addon.

What Changed:
- Reorganized add-on so that all settings for the driver take place in the RamDskOC.INF instead of doing Hive Edits in order to accomplish same thing.
- Registry settings for IE Cache movement is present, but not enabled without modification of INF.
- Need to write AutoIt script so that it can handle manipulation of INF for IE cache.

EDIT: Version 2.1 uploaded. IE_CACHE.EXE was supposed to be commented out, but hadn't been. It's been corrected.
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Post by dougiefresh » Mon Dec 31, 2007 7:45 am

Version 2.2 uploaded. Default drive changed from B: to Z:.
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Post by Kees030 » Wed Jul 02, 2008 1:17 pm

I remember having used RamDisk on Atari ST. It improved speed a lot running Apps from there. Is IE_Cache nowadays the only possible benefit?

I'm running WinXP with 4M. Windows only adresses 3.5M. Will your RamDisk be able to use that 'lost' memory?

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Post by 5eraph » Wed Jul 02, 2008 1:26 pm

It will not, Kees030. Your "lost" memory is "in use" by the hardware in your system due to overlapping memory addresses. If you want more addressing space you need to move to an x64 OS.

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Post by dougiefresh » Wed Jul 02, 2008 6:10 pm

I don't know if the drivers will support the x64 version of Windows, though...
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Post by Chrysalis » Thu Jul 17, 2008 11:02 am

actually I can see benefits in using a ram disk for web browsing temp files.

1 - writing temp internet files to the hd is going to cause fragmentation, this will eliminate that.
2 - system cache is not too great in XP, default settings it is limited to a too small size, on the large settings it can actually grow so big that windows starts swapping out its own system cache to disk (not good).
3 - this ensures the temp internet files remain cached in ram, whilst on system cache they are subject to been flushed depending on other needs for the cache.
4 - arguably it adds security as the files are lost on a reboot.

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Post by dougiefresh » Sat Oct 25, 2008 5:52 pm

Version 3.0 uploaded and first post updated.

I was going simply to discontinue the ram drive project because nothing since v2.0 worked. So I was looking at my web site and noticed that I still had a v1.0 archive! So I've modified it a bit and am releasing it. Registry entries for IE cache have been removed from the add-on, since they were never added by the Integrator. nLite functionality has not been tested (to my knowledge).
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Post by TranceEnergy » Sun Oct 26, 2008 12:41 pm

There's a free ramdisk program for x64 called "Dataram Ramdisk". Last version i used was 3.5 test3, and i had no problems with it for xp x64. I managed to get TCP ip drivers over on it too, and such things worked great. I couldnt get it over 3gb tho wo problems, but i cant complain. It was free, and i only tried it for a day.

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Post by dougiefresh » Sun Aug 02, 2009 8:58 am

Corrected invalid link....
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Post by kaitsevaim » Sun Aug 02, 2009 4:35 pm

Doug, please correct me, but isnt there a microsoft version for this? I mean ramdisk.sys?? Why is this file available at all if we need that addon.
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Post by dougiefresh » Fri Aug 07, 2009 8:17 am

Well, the MSFN article pointed to in the first post states that Microsoft's Ram Disk driver is limited to 64mb. Microsoft's Ram Disk driver has no Control Panel and I believe it's a static size, set through the Device Manager (if I'm not mistaken). You have to reboot in order to make the change effective.

This ram disk driver doesn't have that restriction. It's size can be set within the Control Panel and changed at any time without a reboot. I believe you can set whether it's seen as a hard drive or as a ram drive too. there are a few other options that can be set through the Control Panel applet.
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Post by kaitsevaim » Sat Aug 08, 2009 4:35 pm

thank you for the good explanation. I havent downloaded it yet, but is this true addon or svcpack addon? Is that a separate program or will it replace ramdisk.sys? In that case, can i remove microsofts ramdisk.sys with nlite or with RVMi removal addon or smth?
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Post by dougiefresh » Sat Aug 08, 2009 9:06 pm

No problem. It's a true add-on and it does overwrite RAMDISK.SYS. You probably can remove the microsoft ramdisk.sys with either one, but it would be a good idea to integrate this add-on AFTER you remove microsoft's ramdisk driver using nLite.
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Post by dumpydooby » Fri Sep 18, 2009 2:49 am

This AddOn keeps Microsoft's Ramdisk.INF file in tact. This was obviously intentional. I'm just wondering why. Is it still necessary for something?


Also, do you have any problems when integrating DriverPacks after integrating this addon? I did. I had the same problem with another addon that I made too that utilizes the same method of integration as your addon.

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Post by proximous » Fri Sep 18, 2009 8:25 am

@dumpydooby: what problem did you have? I use this with DriverPacks and haven't noticed a problem, but now you have me concerned I'm missing something.

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Post by dumpydooby » Fri Sep 18, 2009 1:19 pm

If yours is working, then everything's probably OK on your end. Like I said, I'm having the same problem with two different addons that utilize the same integration method.

Below is a screenshot of my addon that has the problem. But just imagine that "ultradfg.inf" says "ramdisk.sif." That's the problem I have with DriverPacks and this addon.

Image


I made a thread about it on the DriverPacks forums if you care to read the exact details of what causes that error.

The thing that stands out to me, though, is that you don't have the same problem. I think this is a good indicator that the problem is caused by the beta version of DriverPacks BASE that I'm using.

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Post by proximous » Sat Sep 19, 2009 6:54 pm

I'm definitely not having that problem. :)

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Install to running system

Post by galileo » Wed Nov 25, 2009 9:38 am

@dougiefresh

By chance, do you have a version of this that can be installed to a running system...?...Thanks

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Post by dougiefresh » Sat Nov 28, 2009 9:09 am

I've updated the first post to point to the download page of the AR Ram Disk software. You will find the original SETUP.EXE there in a compressed file.

Here is the link anyways: http://www.arsoft-online.com/index.php? ... tdown&id=3
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