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Use RAM disks for a VirtualPC speed gain Apps
I have gained VirtualPC performance by using the RAM disk Creatora>.:
  1. Create a RAM disk just big enough to copy Virtual PC application then launch VirtualPC from the RAM disk. There's noticeable performance gain. All of your changes are saved on the Virtual PC Disk, so it doesn't matter if Virtual PC application gets deleted off of the RAM disk.

  2. You can REALLY get a huge performance gain if your VirtualPC disk is small. If you are running Windows 95 or NT, then the VirtualPC disk size is around 200megs, and you can copy the application and the disk into the RAM disk. This is real performance boost. Just remember to copy back the PC disk to your hard drive before ejecting RAM disk!Otherwise, your data will not be saved!
Alternatively, you can copy the VirtualPC application and the VirtualPC disk (if small enough) to the RAM disk, then create another VirtualPC data disk to save your data on your hard drive. This way, you don't have to copy back the VirtualPC disk.

[robg adds: A previous hint discussed RAM relative to web browsing, and this much older hint covers methods of creating RAM disks yourself without any third party software. I don't have VirtualPC yet, so I can't confirm any speed boost from this technique.]
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Use RAM disks for a VirtualPC speed gain
Authored by: daybrother on Oct 05, '04 12:06:36PM
I've thought about trying this. Thanks. BTW, I've never seen a disc ~200MB. The smallest install of win 2K I ever managed was 700+MB and XP is currently 1.5GB. How did you ever get a 200MB OS?

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Use RAM disks for a VirtualPC speed gain
Authored by: thinkincolor on Oct 05, '04 12:15:26PM

My Windows 98 installation for VPC is 378megs.
Windows NT installaion is only 68.6megs.



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Use RAM disks for a VirtualPC speed gain
Authored by: boredMDer on Oct 05, '04 06:22:48PM

One can get a fully functional LFS install (with webserver) in under 8 meg.

If you look beyond Windows, a <200 meg install is quite feasible.



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Use RAM disks for a VirtualPC speed gain
Authored by: thinkincolor on Oct 05, '04 12:11:18PM

I am the submitter of this hint.

Yes, I must confirm this trick really works well. I've tried using NT image which was less than 200megs, and it flies.

The only drawback is that this hint works only with VPC 7.



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Use RAM disks for a VirtualPC speed gain
Authored by: pbw on Oct 05, '04 06:51:57PM

First, how much total RAM do you have?

I don't fully understand OS X's memory management but I was under the impression that OS X RAM disks can "lose performance" if they get swapped out by virtual memory. In other words, could the RAM disk essentially get written to disk? And if so, could that make performance worse or would it just make it no different than running VPC normally (not in a RAM disk)?

I am much more interested in trying to run the app and VPC disk in RAM for max performance. However, I have a feeling that I would need more than 2 times the amount of RAM compared with the RAM disk size (e.g. 1+ GB RAM for 500 MB RAM disk). I don't have VPC7 to test this out...



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Use RAM disks for a VirtualPC speed gain
Authored by: blubbernaut on Oct 05, '04 08:52:09PM

I can confirm that hint works for VPC 6.0
I had to stuff my VPC application to be able to copy into my Ram disk as there were permissions problems involved in just dragging it over. I couldn't be bothered fiddling with Terminal, so I just stuffed it and dragged that into the Ram disk, then unstuffed it there. You do have to enter your admin password to "finalise this installation" and virtual switch networking failed, but the PC environment itself worked a treat. Can't really say if it's heaps faster, but loading and saving the environment seemed pretty snappy. You can just then keep the stuffed version of the app sitting in your Applications folder and just drag that over each time.



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Use RAM disks for a VirtualPC speed gain
Authored by: larkost on Oct 06, '04 05:22:50PM

This hint is not going to speed up the operation of VPC (or any other application) at all. The only reason it seems to speed up things is because in the process of opening the ram-disk you cause everything to be loaded into memory already.

MacOS X's virtual memory system works like a ram-disk until you change something... it caches the reads from the disk, and until it needs that space in memory (with a complicated system for prioritizing things) it does not page it out to disk. People used ram-disks in MacOS 9 because this advanced system did not exist. It was a way of simulating it for special cases.

This hint simply shows that most people don't understand how the virtual memory system works on MacOS X.



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Use RAM disks for Shared Files
Authored by: swordbourne on Oct 21, '04 03:52:31PM

larkost doesn't know what he is talking about?

I'm using this for Bittorrent and my hard drive is no longer being accessed, but it is still uploading! This must be faster and help prevent wear and tear on my hard drive.

If Mac OS X was caching everything then I wouldn't have heard the hard drive all day while this file was being shared.



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Use RAM disks for a VirtualPC speed gain
Authored by: thinkincolor on Oct 06, '04 06:46:38PM

Maybe I don't completely understand how Ram Disk in OSX works. But i can't deny the fact that VPC runs snappier indeed. When I check the Activity Monitor, VPC is using the RAM space I've allocated via Ram Disk.



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Use RAM disks for a VirtualPC speed gain
Authored by: plisken on Oct 09, '04 11:35:15AM

I have created a 512MB RAM disk and I am installing Win2k on it now. I am a little confused as to how to create a "data disk" on a VPC virtual machine outside of the RAM disk. I don't seem to see a setting in VPC 6.x that will allow to place data elsewhere. Can someone PLEASE elaborate? Thanks!



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