Many modern computers have one, two or even more gigabytes of ram installed that can be put to good use by the system and applications running on it, but also by something that is called a Ramdisk. A Ramdisk is like a hard drive but instead of using physical space, it uses memory.
A Ramdisk can be used like every other hard drive: you can copy applications and files to it and start them from there if the program allows that. It is for instance possible to move portable applications like Firefox, Thunderbird or Audacity to the Ramdisk. Why you would want to do that? Ram is faster than hard drives, so that programs will start up faster and run better as well. Plus, when you restart your PC, the information is gone and there is no trace on it that files or programs were executed on it.
Ramdisks are also ideal for storing temporary data; you can set the Windows temp folder location there for instance or the browser's web cache. All that data is removed automatically when you restart the computer, so that you don't have to do so manually anymore.
Tip: check out these Ramdisk software reviews as well:
One convenient way to setup a Ramdisk is to use the software AR Ramdisk which is easy to setup and work with. Just install AR Ramdisk and start configuring the settings afterwards. Assign a drive letter to the Ramdisk and choose a size for it. I would not suggest to select more than a quarter of your Ram but you can experiment with the settings if you like. Leave all other settings as they are, and restart your computer afterwards. You should see a new drive letter after the restart, now copy files or applications to the Ramdisk and start them from there.
You will see a noticeable speed increase when running applications from the Ramdisk. A good website to get some portable applications is the portable apps website which has downloads for programs like Firefox, Thunderbird and many others.
It is also possible to use the Ramdisk for temp files of Windows. To do that you need to move the Temp directory from the default location to the Ramdisk. To change the default location go to Control Panel -> System -> Advanced -> Environment Variables and change the Windows temp dir to the Ramdisk.
It should be noted that all data that is stored on the Ramdisk will be lost if you restart the computer. Remember that the files reside in system Ram. This is great for temp files which means that you do not have to delete the temp files by yourself. It can also be used to set the disk cache of Firefox to the Ramdisk which would mean that it would be automatically cleared during shutdown.
Update: The program appears to be incompatible with newer versions of Windows or 64-bit versions of Windows. I tried installing it on a 64-bit copy of Windows 7 and it refused to install on that system. Use the Dataram Ramdisk instead in this case which offers a similar feature set.
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