Trick to Enable & Use Any USB Key or Flash Drive for ReadyBoost

»»»Trick to Enable & Use Any USB Key or Flash Drive for ReadyBoost
ReadyBoost is one of the new features that first included in Windows Vista, and includes in each subsequent Windows versions such as Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, with the aim to speed up the Windows performance. ReadyBoost is actually an disk caching technology that uses flash memory on a USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 drive, such as Secure Digital (SD), CompactFlash (CF), Memory Stick, MMC card, or other form of USB flash memory, USB flash drive or USB key, as extra virtual memory in order to boost system performance and make system more responsive. The theory is that flash drive which has no mechanical part, has a much faster seek time (less than 1 millisecond), thus will be able to service random disk reads requests for certain system files faster then hard disk. Beside, ReadyBoost also leverages the inherent parallelism of having two sources to read data from.

Although the actual performance increase by using ReadyBoost is minimal, you may still want to try to activate ReadyBoost to see if it helps and boosts your system speed or not. However, not all flash device are compatible and can be used to Ready Boost. In order to use an USB key or flash memory with ReadyBoost, it must meet at least the following specification requirements of ReadyBoost-capable flash memory (NAND memory devices):

  1. The capacity of the removable media must be at least 256 MB (or 250 MB after formatting).
  2. ReadyBoost will only utilize maximum of 4 GB flash memory. The ReadyBoost.sfcache file size is also limited by FAT32 filesystem to 4GB.
  3. The flash devices must be capable of 2.5MB/sec throughput for 4K random reads spread uniformly across the entire device.
  4. The flash memory must also be capable of 1.75MB/sec throughput for 512K random writes spread uniformly across the device.
  5. The device should have an access time of 1ms or less.
  6. Sequential performance of the flash is not measured.
  7. The device must have at least 235 MB of free space.
  8. Both NTFS and FAT32 filesystem are supported.
  9. ReadyBoost supports one flash device at any time as of currently.

So if you have purchased a USB key or flash drive purposely for ReadyBoost, but unable to meet these specifications and AutoPlay doesn’t show you Speed up my system using Windows ReadyBoost, you can use the following hack as shown in video tutorial to enable ReadyBoost on unqualified USB flash drive too, submitted by a reader, Steve.

Video is no longer available

Trick to Use Incapable USB Flash Drive with ReadyBoost

  1. Insert USB Key into any USB port. Let Windows detects and install driver fro the flash memory disk.
  2. Ignore AutoPlay popup dialog window.
  3. Open up Computer.
  4. Right click on the Removable Media drive, then select Properties.
  5. Click on ReadyBoost tab.
  6. Check (tick) Do not retest this device, then click OK.
  7. Open Registry Editor (type regedit in Start Search).
  8. Navigate to the following registry key:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\EMDMgmt

  9. Inside EMDMgmt registry key, all USB keys that been detected before is listed with the pattern such as (in one line, split for readability):
    _??_USBSTOR#Disk&Ven_SanDisk&Prod_Cruzer_Micro&Rev_0.1#
    20042203920759B05025&0#{53f56307-b6bf-11d0-94f2-00a0c91efb8b}_2253922835

    Inside the value date of the key, there are ReadyBoost requirement check status. So locate a registry subkey that belongs to your USB flash disk. If you fail to recognize the name of your USB flash device brand or model, try to check for value DeviceStatus which has value 4 (failed ReadyBoost check).

  10. On the right pane, double click on DeviceStatus, and modify the value date to 2.
  11. Double click on WriteSpeedKBs and change its value data to 1000 (Decimal) or 3e8 (Hexadecimal), or any higher amount.
  12. Reinsert the USB key to computer.
  13. Open My Computer.
  14. Right click on Removable Disk drive for the USB key, and select Properties on contextual menu.
  15. Click on ReadyBoost tab.
  16. Select Use this device option button.
  17. Click OK when done, and enjoy ReadyBoost although on a slower flash memory.

By | 2016-12-09T08:39:51+00:00 December 9th, 2016|Categories: Windows|Tags: , , , , , , |15 Comments

About the Author:

LK is a technology writer for Tech Journey with background of system and network administrator. He has be documenting his experiences in digital and technology world for over 15 years.Connect with LK through Tech Journey on Facebook, Twitter or Google+.
  • Robert

    The reason why there is a lower speed limit set, is because Vista writes to both your RB and HDD device, and will only read it back from your RB device if it believes it can do it quicker than reading from your HDD.

    If you force Vista to use a slow RB device – Guess what !?! – Your system may be SLOWER reading the info from your RB device than if Vista just read back the info from your HDD cache.

    The minimum requirement speed was set for a reason people !!

  • Con

    You know.. its people like you that simply look for an issue to assault someone, the poster stated its a way to get a slower flash drive working, then test for yourself if its faster. No where did he say it would be faster, only to test and see.

    The minimum brain cells required to post are not high enough here, read and think people !!

  • lol:) stop fighting

    each of you has a point, but the goal of this tutorial is only to show you how to force vista to accept smth that wasn't approved by Microsoft 😛

  • kim

    How do I get them off my 4 gb flash drive so I can burn them?

  • steven

    what do you mean by "Reinsert the USB key to computer."?

  • somebody with a 2 gb

    if i use a usb drive from the years when they were luxury then vista would be slower than when using virtual memory

    would be good if they gave it as an update to xp

  • prezzhax

    Does NOT work in Windows 7 – looks like some things have changed and MS has smartened up ;^)

  • The late Poster

    hmm, i dont think ill do it, i think my system would just go slower using this method

  • soulistyce

    FOR WINDOWS 7 tested on build 7600 RTM

    plug the usbdisk make a test then go to regedit Hotkey_Local_Machine/Software/Microsoft/Windows NT/Currentversion/EMDMgmt/(here the description of the usbdisk used)..change the Device status from 6 to 2…close dont remove the usbdisk go and make the desire size of ReadyBoost on properties…thats it, for those o think ReadyBoost doesn´t make any efect try to use more then 1 usbdisk..and more then 4gb for example like me 7gb in 3 usbdisks..you fill the diference quite well… 🙂

  • viral

    thank u. its done. muuaaaaah.

  • istanbul nakliyecile

    reason why there is a lower speed limit set, is because Vista writes to both your RB and HDD device, and will only read it back from your RB device if it believes it can do it quicker than reading from your HDD.
    If you force Vista to use a slow RB device – Guess what !?! – Your system may be SLOWER reading the info from your RB device than if Vista just read back the info from your HDD cache.

    The minimum requirement speed was set for a reason

  • IceBlast

    I made another DWORD value for the WriteSpeedKBs to work for me and it worked! Dedicated 4000 mb for now from my 1 TB portable hard drive and see if it improves my computer’s performance 🙂 Thanks for the help guys!

  • Amol

    I have a 32GB PD, the PD Name description is showing Udisk
    (General UDisk USB Device). The PD write speed is 4 to 5MB/sec & read speed
    is 12 to 15MB/sec.. I wanted to increase the speed of PD.

    The same I have your 1 of article dated of 25Jun2007, the
    same I follow the steps & do the same. But after process the PD speed did
    not increased.. Kindly help me the same.

  • Nothing new in this article but it is useful for new users.

  • Кирилл Фролов

    I was able to create 32 gb readyboost.

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