It’s not hard to turn an extra USB stick lying around that’s collecting dust into extra memory for your computer, allowing it to run speedier and manage more applications better.
DIY site Instructables has a guide on how to put a flash drive to good use by using it to increase the virtual RAM on your Windows computer. For the best results, Instructables user MoritzB suggests using a USB drive smaller than 4 GB for this little trick. We’ve paraphased some of the instructions for you below:
- Rename your thumb drive as “RAM DRIVE” or something similar, so you can see which drive is being used as RAM.
- Delete all the stuff on the flash drive. Check for hidden files.
- Right click on My Computer, and go to Properties. Once there, click on Advanced and go to the system output’s Settings.
- Click on Advanced, and then Edit.
- Click on your thumb drive above, and select “user-defined size.” Here you can see the size of your flash drive.
- Calculate the size of flash drive, and subtract 5 Mb.
- Type this number in the first box. In the second box, type in the same number.
- Click Set and confirm all your settings, applying them wherever you can.
- Restart your computer.
Windows 7 users should go into their System Properties, under the Performance tab for these options. After you’re done, your computer will recognise your flash drive as extra virtual memory. Do not pull out your thumb drive after these settings are implemented. It could crash your computer. Instructables has the whole tutorial, with step-by-step screenshots below.
Use your USB flash drive as virtual RAM [Instructables]