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Using a USB Storage Device to Add Memory

Although upgrading the amount of RAM you have in your computer is a good
last resort if you are having performance issues, Windows 7 includes a cool trick
to assist the amount of RAM you currently have. As I mentioned earlier, any
time your computer has to kick applications and data out of RAM —
there is not enough room —   it slows down your computer because it has to store
that data on the slow hard drive. In Windows 7, a new feature called Windows
ReadyBoost allows you to use faster solid state memory devices, such as a USB
memory device, to store this data instead of your slow hard drive. This provides
an instant boost to system performance without even opening your case.

How does it work? The concept is simple. Solid state flash USB 2.0–based
storage devices have a faster read and write speed than most hard drives on
the market. Windows ReadyBoost, with the assistance of Windows SuperFetch
(another caching technology), works with a memory management system to
redirect cached data to the high-speed device. At any time, you can remove
the device if you need to use it for another purpose. To protect the data that is
cached on your removable USB device, Windows encrypts it so that if the device
is removed, your data is safe.
Setting up Windows 7 to use your USB drive to increase performance is very
easy. To get started, you will need a 256MB or larger USB 2.0 flash drive. Then
follow these steps:
  1.  Plug your USB drive into one of your available USB ports.
  2.  After your computer recognizes the new device and it shows up in
Computer, make sure that you have at least 235MB of free space on
the drive. Right-click the drive and select Properties,

3.  When the Properties window is shown, click the ReadyBoost tab.
  4.  Select Use this device and adjust the slider to set the amount of space to
use for ReadyBoost,

5.  Click OK when you are ready and Windows ReadyBoost is now set up
on your computer.
After you set up Windows ReadyBoost on one of your USB devices, it can be
removed at any time. You can disable it by selecting Don’t use this device on
the ReadyBoost tab you worked with earlier. Also, after you set up Windows
ReadyBoost on your USB device, it cannot be used for Windows ReadyBoost on
another Windows 7 computer without first having Windows ReadyBoost disabled
on the computer it was set up with

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