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Tweaking an XP box.

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  • Tweaking an XP box.

    This is probably the wrong place for a post of this type but I could not find anywhere else to post it. While I have long left XP behind, I have a very good XP box that I liked that much that when the board starts to clap out, I bough a brand new identical Intel board from Germany and rebuilt the machine. Some time later I upgraded the memory in a later i7 that used to be my dev box from 8 to 16 gig and had the 8 gig left over.

    For a long time I have known of a mod that can use memory over 4 gig in a 32 bit OS as a ram disk so I hunted around the find the right ramdisk software, extracted the older 4 gig and loaded the 8 gig into the board. Installed the ramdisk software and BINGO, I have a 4.7 gig ram disk that works fine on XP. The memory is nothing exciting being 1333 but benchmarking read and write speeds yielded about 6 gig/sec which is one hell of a lot faster than the best SSD. None the less about all I use the box for is occasionally testing 32 bit software on it.
    hutch at movsd dot com
    The MASM Forum

  • #2
    So, the idea could be that on a PC with a ton of RAM, at startup you could transfer the entire SSD (OS and Data) to RAM and work from there are super speeds? Is there a way to do that, where the OS would work from the RAM? Then on shutdown you copy everything back to SSD. The risk being power glitches.


    • #3
      Its probably the case that the board would be the limit, The Intel board I replaced had a limit of 8 gig so getting 4.7 gig as ramdisk was a real gain. I have found that as long as a machine has enough memory, the speed of the OS partition does not matter that much as many OS components are already in memory. The real win is either using ramdisk for fast changing data or opening a very large file in ramdisk and using it like additional memory. I doubt that later versions of Windows would allow copies of OS parts to be made.
      hutch at movsd dot com
      The MASM Forum


      • #4
        Steve , you have come to the man.
        On any hardware that will recognize memory 8 gig and even better 16 gig.
        You can do a lot.
        Try to keep your ram in Dual channel, using the same kind of ram chips and hopefully the exact same ram stick with serial numbers of the manufacturer even close. Dual channel ram is faster than single channel.
        win xp sp3 pro will be able to see your extended ram.
        I will later send you a listing of the free software to use and some version numbers ofmthe driver.
        You have options.
        You can place your pagefile.sys on the ramdisk, your TEMP and TMP directory, and other volitale files
        i do not get carried away and try to save and restore the ramdisk.
        if you only got a 4 gig ramdisk. Then you must make choices.
        i am getting 12 gig ramdisk from total 16 gig memory.
        I put my only single pagefile.sys on it, and usually the location of temp files.
        Many programs are very bad about leaving temp behind and do not clean up their stuff.
        Acrobat is one and Abbyy Finereader is another. Sometimes you have to manage the temp directory in mutliple ways to keep the Temp directory clean.
        i use the ramdisk to speed processes up and to keep my SSD in better shape.

        i have in almost all cases been able to install twice the amount of ram listed in computer's specs.
        i might have also some settings that i changed in the boot.ini file on the bootup drive for windows xp .

        Also, you can change the TEMP and TMP enviromental vaiables just before starting a program in a batch file if you you did not want to hard set it.

        I have tried SoftPerfect software but it eats up main memory but is supper fast and it does not use the PAE memory.
        i have now been using these techniques for years with no issues and have applied the same to all the windows 7 pro 32 bit machines we are now using as well.
        p purvis


        • #5
          I am not sure but with most windows pro 32 bit versions
          The PAE might be limited to 16 gig and i am not pushng any further.
          For virtual machines that are 32 bit and software such as Virtual Box.
          I have done the same on Apple using MAC OSX but will be trying windows 10 64 in the future.
          p purvis


          • #6
            Large files? What are large files? Steve yours are likely huge, huh
            If you place the windows os page file on the ramdisk, then Windows will likely limit you to a size smaller than you can assign on the hard drive to something just less than 4096 MB. Mine are set to 4092 MB.
            So if you are working with multiple programs that use massive amounts of memory each, your likely run out of memory
            You can set the page file on multiple drives, and i have not had the need too so far, but I considered setting up multiple page files on separate drives, but I have not found were you can set a priority on which page files get used first and I have not studied that in depth, yet.
            Depending on what i am doing, i change the page file location, but not too often, depending on my needs. I like to keep the SSD from being used if possible and use the ramdisk..

            The program i wrote called "drvspcok.bas" was made to check a drive's size and available space in a batch process and one of the main reasons I wrote it was to test the size of the ramdisk to see if available disk space is on ramdisk.
            An example might be to use the ramdisk as temporary file location in using compression software such as pkzip.
            p purvis


            • #7
              I have standardized on the drive R: being a ramdisk drive if it is exist.
              Here is some of my files as of now on the ramdisk on a windows 7 pro machine.
              Some of the newer Intel processors take up a lot of ram for video ram that can released.
              This computer is a 6th generation computer but on the 7th generation computers, I have reserved words for Intel for eating away 1 gig on main memory.

              lenovo h520
              Here is a 6th intel generation cpu with 16 gigs memory installed on windows 7 pro 32bit
              The usage memory being shown in system in the control panel is 3.40 GB Usable
              R:\>dirslist /all
              2018-11-23 12:17:00a fri   HSA     4,290,772,992 R:\pagefile.sys
              2018-12-03 03:07:02p mon     A            24,889 R:\TEMP\adobegc.log
              2018-12-03 08:48:42p mon     A           152,869 R:\TEMP\nsp5566.tmp
              2018-11-23 01:13:24p fri     A            24,588 R:\TEMP\MSI692bb.LOG
              2018-11-23 12:17:18a fri     A                 0 R:\TEMP\FXSAPIDebugLogFile.txt
              2018-11-23 01:17:30p fri     A            16,384 R:\TEMP\~DFE86069A6ABBDCEF3.TMP
              2018-12-03 08:50:12p mon   H A                 0 R:\TEMP\etilqs_93SOiS5Z7gw6QeS
              2018-11-23 01:17:36p fri     A            16,384 R:\TEMP\~DF52525AD58D671FEF.TMP
              2018-12-03 08:50:12p mon   H A                 0 R:\TEMP\etilqs_5jPW9fTlvFGS9YZ
              2018-11-23 01:24:30p fri     A            16,384 R:\TEMP\~DF0F413D64D1A733E6.TMP
              2014-05-26 09:06:32a mon              14,461,640 R:\TEMP\ICD1.tmp\SetupWebviewer
              2014-01-27 02:21:44p mon                     264 R:\TEMP\ICD1.tmp\SetupWebviewer
              2018-12-03 08:48:42p mon     A            11,264 R:\TEMP\nsf5577.tmp\System.dll
              2018-12-03 08:48:42p mon     A            29,696 R:\TEMP\nsf5577.tmp\registry.dl
              2018-12-03 08:48:42p mon     A            28,160 R:\TEMP\nsf5577.tmp\FindProcDLL
               Volume in drive R is RamDisk-PAE
               Volume Serial Number is 1234-5678
               Directory of R:\
              01/01/2003  12:00 AM    <DIR>          TEMP
                             0 File(s)              0 bytes
                             1 Dir(s)   9,085,345,792 bytes free
               drive   available bytes          used bytes         total bytes %remaining
               C:       28,871,720,960      55,014,354,944      83,886,075,904      34.42
               L:       11,608,113,152      22,453,829,632      34,061,942,784      34.08
               M:      581,265,440,768     206,597,861,376     787,863,302,144      73.78
               R:        9,085,345,792       4,306,567,168      13,391,912,960      67.84
              environmental variables set using "system properties"
              lenovo h520
              Here is a 6th intel generation cpu with 16 gigs memory installed on windows xp pro sp3 32bit
              The usage memory being shown in system in the control panel is 3.40 GB Usable
              Same hardware, but a different machine as above,
              R:\>dirslist /all
              2018-08-28 07:15:24a tue   HSA     3,204,448,256 R:\pagefile.sys
              2018-08-28 07:16:22a tue   H A                20 R:\Recycled\INFO2
              2018-08-28 07:16:22a tue   HS                 65 R:\Recycled\desktop.ini
               drive   available bytes          used bytes         total bytes %remaining
               C:       11,570,311,168      35,616,653,312      47,186,964,480      24.52
               K:        1,497,800,704     238,555,844,608     240,053,645,312       0.62
               L:       33,532,280,832           8,880,128      33,541,160,960      99.97
               N:        2,352,422,912     139,203,235,840     141,555,658,752       1.66
               R:       10,187,440,128       3,204,472,832      13,391,912,960      76.07

              dell inspiron 3668
              Here is a 7th intel generation cpu with 16 gigs memory installed on windows 7 pro 32bit
              The usage memory being shown in system in the control panel is 2.18 GB Usable.
              Video memory intergrated in cpu or something like that is the reason the memory usage is very low.
              Yes i did put in a dedicated video card and still saw the same memory reduction with the proper bios settings set.
              It is called shared system memory that is eating main os memory up and after 100 hours research, no resolution to this problem.
              I will be adding the results of a dell 3650 with a 6th generation cpu with windows 7 pro 32 bit soon in the days to come, but not setup yet.

              R:\>dirslist /all
              2018-12-03 07:43:50a mon   HSA     4,288,675,840 R:\pagefile.sys
              2018-12-03 09:05:48p mon     A             6,600 R:\TEMP\adobegc.log
              2018-12-03 09:06:00p mon     A                 0 R:\TEMP\FXSAPIDebugLogFile.txt
               drive   available bytes          used bytes         total bytes %remaining
               C:       34,483,847,168      17,943,900,160      52,427,747,328      65.77
               L:       23,824,678,912       9,712,975,872      33,537,654,784      71.04
               M:      270,734,446,592      73,051,676,672     343,786,123,264      78.75
               R:       10,444,087,296       4,288,696,320      14,732,783,616      70.89
              p purvis


              • #8
                Hi Paul,

                You are talking to the already converted, on my win10 64 bit box I have an 8 gig ramdisk that is useful enough but its a 64 gig box so I mainly use ramdisk for processing junk as the box has enough memory to just about anything. On the XP box the Intel board will only support 8 gig in 4 slots, 4 x 2 gig modules. The board is a DP45SG Intel board with an Intel Core2 9650 quad and it was always fast, so much so that I barely use my i7 Win7 64 box for a long time. I had to go that way eventually for 64 bit and later Intel instructions.

                I have never used on board video, it has the problem you mentioned, mess's up shared memory, I tend to use Nvidia video cards. I pinched the video out of the i7 for the XP box and at about 8 years old, it is genuinely fast, I never had a problem running hi res video. What happens when you use higher quality video cards is they use the address range above 3 gig (if you set the /PAE switch) but you get by default about 2.7 gig available which works OK on most apps.

                The SoftPerfect version works fine on my win 10 64 box but for XP I use

                by lyh728
                ramdisk by lyh728.txt

                This one had the right settings to address the higher address range.
                hutch at movsd dot com
                The MASM Forum



                • #9
                  These are the files i use on Windows xp sp3 32 bit and Windows 7 pro sp1 32bit
                  version of rramdisk.sys 1.0.4096.5
                              5,120 C:\utility\RAMDRIVE\GAVOTTE\addswap.exe
                            178,967 C:\utility\RAMDRIVE\GAVOTTE\
                                326 C:\utility\RAMDRIVE\GAVOTTE\nolowdiskspacechecks.reg
                                288 C:\utility\RAMDRIVE\GAVOTTE\ram4g.reg
                              2,247 C:\utility\RAMDRIVE\GAVOTTE\ramdisk by lyh728_chs.txt
                              2,247 C:\utility\RAMDRIVE\GAVOTTE\ramdisk by lyh728_cht.txt
                            128,512 C:\utility\RAMDRIVE\GAVOTTE\ramdisk.exe
                             12,288 C:\utility\RAMDRIVE\GAVOTTE\rdutil.exe
                              5,065 C:\utility\RAMDRIVE\GAVOTTE\readme.txt
                              5,719 C:\utility\RAMDRIVE\GAVOTTE\readme_chs.txt
                              6,105 C:\utility\RAMDRIVE\GAVOTTE\readme_cht.txt
                              3,216 C:\utility\RAMDRIVE\GAVOTTE\rramdisk.inf
                             12,288 C:\utility\RAMDRIVE\GAVOTTE\rramdisk.sys
                             14,848 C:\utility\RAMDRIVE\GAVOTTE\rramdisk64.sys
                             33,792 C:\utility\RAMDRIVE\GAVOTTE\rramdiski64.sys
                              5,632 C:\utility\RAMDRIVE\GAVOTTE\x64\addswap.exe
                             12,288 C:\utility\RAMDRIVE\GAVOTTE\x64\rdutil.exe
                  Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

                  p purvis