Activate ReadyBoost to Speed up a Slow Windows PC - dummies

Activate ReadyBoost to Speed up a Slow Windows PC

By Dan Gookin

ReadyBoost speeds up computer performance. It does so by supplementing system memory and mass storage access with a portion of fast flash memory from a flash drive, such as a USB thumb drive. Windows 7 and Windows Vista users can employ the ReadyBoost tool to improve system performance. It’s painless and simple, as these steps confirm:

  1. Plug the flash drive into a USB port on your PC.

    Yes, you must have a flash drive that plugs directly into a USB port. For that reason, you cannot use a media card reader with ReadyBoost, even when the media card reader is part of the PC console.

  2. In the AutoPlay dialog box, choose Speed Up My System.

    The flash drive’s Properties dialog box appears with the ReadyBoost tab upfront.


  3. Choose the Use This Device option.

  4. Click OK.

Your PC immediately starts using the flash drive to improve performance. Supposedly, the best performance increase is noticed in PCs with less than 1GB of RAM.

  • ReadyBoost isn’t available in Windows XP.

  • ReadyBoost can use only as much as 4GB of memory on a flash drive.

  • The minimum size for a ReadyBoost-compatible flash drive is 256MB.

  • The best flash drive size to use with ReadyBoost is a flash drive with the same amount of memory as your PC. For example, if your PC has 2GB of RAM, get a 2GB thumb drive.

  • The option Dedicate This Device to ReadyBoost isn’t available in Windows Vista. When you choose this option, the flash drive is automatically configured for use with ReadyBoost every time you add it to your Windows 7 computer.

  • Windows technology allows for only one flash drive to be used for ReadyBoost at a time.

  • Flash memory is designed with a limited number of read/write cycles. Eventually, flash memory wears out. Don’t fret about wearing out a thumb drive with ReadyBoost, however: Microsoft estimates it would take about ten years of normal use for a typical thumb drive to be exhausted by ReadyBoost.