How to increase the size of a RAM disk with an image

Started by Dan

I have a 500 MB RAM disk with an image file, and I would like to expand the disk size to 1000 MB. I noticed there is a size setting for creating both an image and a RAM disk. My image file is 500 MB. Can I just dismount the image, create a new RAM disk of 1000 MB, and then mount that same image on the new larger RAM disk?
SoftPerfect Support forum - Ann avatar image
Ann

Re: How to increase the size of a RAM disk with an image   16 July 2022, 16:14

No, it won't work like that. Because when you are creating a RAM disk based on an image, the disk size parameter is irrelevant and should be left blank, and the size of the RAM disk is determined by the size of the image.

To increase the size of RAM disk with an image:
  1. Create a new image file of the size you want via Image - Create Image in the main menu (if you are making the image larger, make sure that your computer has enough free RAM to accommodate that).
  2. Mount this image file via Image - Mount Image.
  3. Copy your data from your RAM disk to the newly mounted image.
  4. Unmount the new image via Image - Unmount Image.
  5. In the RAM disk properties select the new image for it.
  6. Reboot your computer (for the RAM disks where data isn't written/read at that moment, it is safe to simply remount the disk instead of rebooting the computer).
  7. Now you should have a disk with the new size and with your old data. The old image file can now be deleted.
Excellent. I really appreciate the step-by-step, and the explanation.

Here is a related question: I am using the RAM disk for day trading programs. I install these programs completely into the RAM disk, which allows them to run very very fast.

I know that I need to create an image file first and then mount that image file on a RAM disk to create a disk that Windows can see, and one that is copied and replaced each time I reboot the computer.

My goal is to create the fastest RAM disk possible for this application. Honestly I am a little bit confused by all the different
choices, including which format to select, whether I need to tick "emulate hard drive" which is slower, etc.

Can you please walk me through the steps of the selections that you would make to create the best possible arrangement this for the above situation? Walking me through the correct creation of the image file, best format to select, and then mounting that file onto the RAM disk.
Note that I am running Windows 10.

I really like this product, but I remain confused on how best use it.
Thank you so much for your assistance!
SoftPerfect Support forum - Ann avatar image
Ann

Re: How to increase the size of a RAM disk with an image   18 July 2022, 12:14

For maximum performance, the best choice would be an exFAT image used in a RAM disk without hard disk emulation:
  • exFAT normally is a little faster, as it has a simpler structure compared to NTFS. NTFS includes extra data and functions for a greater reliability, but this has a lesser importance for the volatile nature of a RAM disk.
  • Hard disk emulation is only beneficial for the applications that need direct access to disk partitions. Most applications don't need it and can run faster without it.

We have a generic guide on how to create a persistent RAM disk, meaning it will keep its data between sessions. If you install the trading software on such disk, it will run faster.

However, the bottleneck here could be the fact that the trading software might still be keeping its data somewhere on your hard drive. For the best course of action, you may wish to contact the vendor of your trading software and ask them where it keeps its data and caches, and see if those could be moved to the RAM disk too.
This was extremely helpful. Looks the rule for combining an image file with a RAM disk is that both need to be set to exactly the same size, correct? E.g. 500MB image goes onto 500MB RAM disk; 1000MB image goes onto 1000MB RAM disk.

If I'm correct on this principle, with a persistent RAM disk that is larger than I need, I could downsize it by following similar steps to those outlined here for increasing the size. Yes?
SoftPerfect Support forum - Ann avatar image
Ann

Re: How to decrease the size of a RAM disk with an image   22 July 2022, 10:44

Yes, as the size of the RAM disk that is associated with an image is determined by the size of that image file, you can decrease or increase its size by following the same procedure. So, if you create a 1000MB image and add its path in the properties of the disk, the disk will automagically assume the size of 1000MB. The same will happen if you create a 500MB image.

The two things to keep in mind:
  • Make sure that you have enough available RAM for your RAM disk. E.g. before creating a 1000MB image, ensure that you definitely have 1000MB of guaranteed free memory.
  • Always carefully follow the create-mount-copy-unmount-edit-reboot sequence of actions that was described above.

You may also like to have a look at these two pages in the RAM disk manual for more detailed information: Image files and Adding a disk.
Tangentially related to the original post.

If, just like Dan, "I install these programs completely into the RAM disk," not so much because "it allows them to run very very fast", but in order to reduce SSD wear, would the creation of a persistent RAM disk with its associated image file defeat this purpose?
SoftPerfect Support forum - Andrew avatar image

Re: How to increase the size of a RAM disk with an image   24 July 2022, 21:59

For app installation files it doesn't really matter.

For example, if you install an app on your SSD once, from that time on it is only read, but not written. You can open the app many times, but no writing occurs, so your SSD doesn't wear out.

Similarly, if you install an app on an image-based RAM disk, writing will only happen once, during the installation and initial setup. From that time on, the image will be read, but not written, as the installed app does not change. Unless of course that app gets updated very frequently.

It's the frequent writing to SSD that wears it out (temporary files, frequently-updated data, intermediate output, etc), but for apps that are only updated from time to time, it doesn't make a big difference. Surely, they will start a bit faster from a RAM disk than an SSD, but there is no difference in regard to disk degradation.

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