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Using ReadyBoost (Windows 7)

This article applies to all computers with Windows 7.
Windows 7 ReadyBoost is a tool that can help speed up the computer by using a removable media device, such as a USB flash drive. The flash memory device acts as an additional memory cache that the computer accesses much more quickly than data from the hard drive.
Only one flash memory drive can be used at a time for this purpose. Many flash drives can be used, but not all. Read the following section for prerequisites.
For ReadyBoost to work, the computer must have a USB 2.0 port. The USB device must be in the memory range of 256 MB to 4 GB. In addition, the USB device has to have minimum 2.5 MB of throughput for 4K random reads, and 1.75 MB throughput for 512 K random writes. This should be clearly labeled on the packaging. If the packaging is no longer available, it does not harm the computer to try this procedure with any USB memory device. An error message advises if the memory stick cannot be used.
It is a good idea to delete all files from the memory stick before using it with ReadyBoost.
Using ReadyBoost
  1. Turn on the computer.
  2. Insert the USB device into the USB port.
    Windows runs a quick test to make sure the device is ReadyBoost compatible, and then the AutoPlay window opens (see the NOTE just below if it does not).
  3. In the AutoPlay window under General options, click Speed up my system to open the ReadyBoost tab window.
    Figure : AutoPlay window
    Autoplay window with Speed up my system selected
    If AutoPlay does not open automatically: click Start , Computer, and then right-click on the USB device. In the drop-down menu, click Properties and go to the ReadyBoost tab.
    Figure : ReadyBoost tab view
    ReadyBoost tab with Use this device selected
  4. Click Use this device.
    Enable or disable Windows ReadyBoost for a specific flash drive. If the USB memory device has been used by ReadyBoost, and is now to be used for file storage, go to the ReadyBoost window and choose Do not use this device. It can now be used for file storage and transfer again.
  5. Use the slider to assign how much space to assign to ReadyBoost.
    If you do not assign 100% space, the remaining space can still be used for file storage (though not while it is being used by ReadyBoost for performance enhancement).
  6. Click OK.
    ReadyBoost is now enabled to use the USB device for more efficient computer processing.
Select one of the following sections for troubleshooting information:
Turning off ReadyBoost
Errors occur
Second USB device not ReadyBoost-capable
Device does not improve performance


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