How to Set Up Readyboost In Windows Vista

Many users of Windows Vista remain unaware that performance can be improved quite significantly with nothing more than a spare universal serial bus (USB) flash drive and software that is included free as part of Windows Vista. So get your spare Flash drive, or buy a cheap one for under $15, and speed up your PC using Microsoft ReadyBoost USB.

What is ReadyBoost and How Can ReadyBoost Speed Up My Computer?

Traditionally, when a computer runs out of spare memory it uses free space on the Hard Disk Drive (HDD) as a kind of short-term memory. Unfortunately, whilst hard drives are fantastic for long-term storage, they are very slow for short-term storage and hence programs doing this slow down dramatically. Microsoft has presented a solution to this problem in the form of ReadyBoost, which enables users to instead allocate spare space on a flash drive. Because the transfer speed of the USB flash drive is typically 80 – 100 times faster than the transfer speed of a hard drive, this results in a much smoother performance.

How to Set up ReadyBoost in Windows Vista?

Step 1: Get a USB Flash Drive

The first step is to acquire a USB thumb drive that can basically be spared. While ReadyBoost will not really cause much wear on it with Microsoft stating it would take roughly ten years to kill a device, it would still be best if it did not have any particularly important data on it. The device also needs a minimum read speed of 2.5 MB/s and a minimum write speed of 1.75 MB/s, however do not get too bogged down in these details as almost every pen drive built today regardless of price will be able to deliver these speeds. To add to this, the flash drive needs a minimum size of 256 MB. Most flash drives today have at least 1 GB or more, with each gigabyte representing roughly 1000 MB. As such, almost any pen drive you can buy or already have will be over the specifications to use ReadyBoost.

Step 2: Set It up in Windows

The second step is setting up ReadyBoost on the USB thumb drive in question. Open the computer folder from the start menu and insert the USB thumb drive device into a spare USB port. In this folder you should be able to see a collection of drives, with the USB device suddenly appearing after being inserted. Generally, it will take up the last drive letter in alphabetical order and will be labelled ‘Removable Disk’. Right click on this and click properties, then click on the ReadyBoost tab, which should be next to the customize tab. From here, click ‘use this device’ and Vista will guide the rest of the installation. The recommended amount to set as ReadyBoost space is 850 MB. How this works afterwards is that you must leave the device in the USB slot and windows will automatically use it instead of spare space on the hard drive.

Congratulations, you should now have ReadyBoost installed and will notice a speed improvement when normally your PC would have been slowing down.

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