How to increase the speed of your PC using ReadyBoost and a pendrive

What is ReadyBoost?

ReadyBoost is a feature which was introduced in the Windows operating system many years ago. It can be used to increase the speed of your Windows PC, with the help of a pendrive. All you need to do is follow the steps in this article to enable ReadyBoost in your PC and you’ll be good to go. However, ReadyBoost only helps speed up computers that have slow hard drives. So, if you have a slow hard drive then this article is for you.

How ReadyBoost increases the speed of your Windows PC

ReadyBoost relies on some technology known as SuperFetch. SuperFetch caches the programs or applications you frequently use on your computer into the external flash drive that you insert. This causes the programs to load faster into the RAM. Hence, with ReadyBoost enabled, you can cut down on the time your computer takes to load application data into the RAM of your computer. It will be easier for the computer to access the files from this external drive and this might increase the speed of your computer.

Flash drives v/s internal hard drives?

Here is a little insight to how hard drives work. Hard drives actually have a mechanical arm attached to them which moves back and forth at very high speeds to read data from the disks. Whereas external flash drives or memory cards have no moving parts in them. The computer can access random data faster from them. This is the reason why a flash drive proves to be faster than a hard drive in terms of reading random data by the computer.

You might question what random data means. Actually, there are two types of data, sequential and non-sequential or random. Data is actually stored in several pieces in a hard drive. If the pieces of data that are required by the computer are stored at random positions or locations in the hard drive then the data would be called non sequential or random data. On the other hand, if the data is stored in locations adjacently or one after the other, then it would be called sequential data. Sequential data can be read from or written to internal hard drives faster than non-sequential or random data.

Are there any risks of using ReadyBoost?

You might not know this but you can read from or write to flash drives for a limited number of times only, after which they become non functional. Since by using them for the ReadyBoost feature they are used very extensively and frequently their life might get shortened.

Also, it is recommended that you use an empty flash drive or memory card for this feature.

How to activate the ReadyBoost feature on Windows 10

If your machine is running windows 10 on it you can follow the following steps to activate the ReadyBoost feature on it.

  1. Insert the flash drive into the PC (or the memory card)
    NOTE: Make sure that the flash drive runs faster then your hard drive, also if you’re using a memory card, it is preferred to insert it into the computer’s internal card reader.
  2. Go to ‘My Computer’.
  3. Right click on the USB icon and select ‘properties’.
  4. Visit the ReadyBoost tab.
  5. Now you can choose how much space you want ReadyBoost to use in your flash drive or memory card.
  6. You can choose the ‘dedicate this device to¬† ReadyBoost option if you’d like to use your external drive for this purpose only. If not, choose ‘Use this device’ option.
  7. In order to save changes, press OK.

How to Deactivate the ReadyBoost feature

Follow the first 5 steps just as before and then choose the ‘do not use this device’ option to quit using the ReadyBoost feature. Now by pressing OK, your changes will be saved. Also, delete the file created by ReadyBoost on your flash drive or memory card.

How to know if ReadyBoost is actually helping you?

Suppose you want to know if ReadyBoost is actually doing the work that it’s supposed to do, which is, speeding up your computer. There is actually a way by which you can see the performance charts in your PC. Follow the steps below to do the same.

  1. In the search bar in the start menu of your Windows PC, type in ‘Performance Monitor’
  2. Now, a window will appear. You have to select the ‘Performance Monitor’ in the pane on the left.
  3. To add a counter for ReadyBoost related performance, you will have to click on the plus icon on the top which is green in color.
  4. Now you will see a window called ‘Add counters’. You need to select the ‘ReadyBoost cache’ option from the list shown.
  5. Click ‘add’ and then ‘ok’.

Should you really use the ReadyBoost feature?

Although ReadyBoost sounds like an exciting feature but you really don’t require it if you have an already good computer. By good it is meant that all the computer peripherals are new and/or your computer has great specs already. This feature was more used in the older times, when people had computers with really poor specifications. Now a days, the situation is much different. Many people these days have RAM not less than 8 GB in their computers and some people even have Solid State Drives (SSD) which cost more than normal hard drives of similar capacity but are much faster than them.

So, the conclusion is, if you have no choice but to use an old hard drive which works really slow, you might enjoy this feature. On the other hand, if you have a PC with already high specs, you’re probably better off without using the feature.

A word of warning

If you notice that your computer hasn’t got any faster than before, one of the possible causes for this could be that you are using a flash drive or memory card that is slower than the hard drive in your computer. Without fulfilling this requirement you destroy the whole point of using the feature. If you know how ReadyBoost works, you will be able to understand why this requirement holds to be necessary. To understand how ReadyBoost works, scroll up and read it in this article.


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