Free RAM Disks or RAMDisk Drivers
Create a RAM Drive on Your Computer
Free RAM Disks or RAMDisk Drivers
The drivers and tools on this page allow you to create a RAM disk on your system. RAM drives appear like a physical drive (such as a real hard disk drive) to the operating system and other programs but are actually a pseudo-drive created by setting aside a portion of your system's memory (RAM). This results in a drive that is blindingly fast, since there are no physical moving parts involved. The contents of RAMdisks also disappear when you turn off your computer or when you reboot.
These two characteristics of RAM drives, its speed and transient nature, make them appealing for people who want to create a temporary drive whose contents are not permanently recorded. For example, it is used in things like emergency Windows rescue disks (which boot from a CD and does not write to the physical hard disks on the system, making the CD useful for recovery and forensic purposes) and Linux "live" CDs (which allows you to use Linux without actually installing it). In the days of the MS-DOS compatible systems, RAM drives were also handy since it could use the part of the RAM that was out of reach to DOS programs. On modern systems, some people with lots of idle RAM on their system create a RAM drive for applications that insist on using a TEMP directory, to speed up those programs.
Free RAM Drives
- Microsoft Sample Ramdisk.sys for Windows 2000 (Windows)
This driver is designed primarily for Windows 2000, although Microsoft also provides some information, along with a caveat or two, about how you can modify it to work on XP. To configure your ramdisk, such as to change its size, sectors per cluster and drive letter, you will need to modify the Windows registry. The driver comes with source code, and is the basis of most, if not all, free Windows RAM disk drivers.
- Modified RamDisk.sys (Windows)
This RAM disk is essentially the same as the Microsoft Ramdisk sample listed elsewhere on this page with some modifications to allow it to work on XP and provide a way for you to configure the disk from Device Manager rather than through the registry.
- RAMDISK for Windows 2000 and XP (Windows)
This RAM disk is a modified version of the Microsoft Ramdisk sample (see elsewhere on this page Besides the driver, the package includes an installation file (RAMDisk.inf) and it installs a property sheet into your Device Manager so that you can change the size and drive letter of your RAM drive from the Device Manager.
- DISKFILE.SYS (Windows)
This RAM disk creates an NTFS-formatted hard disk in your RAM that you can use for whatever purpose you wish, such as to serve as a temporary drive. It also includes a utility that can generate a dump of the current file structure on that disk, so that you can easily recreate the structure each time you reboot your system.
- ReSizeable RAMDisk (DOS)
This is a RAMDisk for FreeDOS and other MS-DOS compatible operating systems that uses XMS and EMS memory for your drive. It allows you to resize the RAM disk without rebooting or loss of data. It is open source and licensed under the GNU General Public License.
- Make RAM Disk (Mac OS X)
This utility is basically a graphical front to the underlying Mac OS X support for creating a RAM drive on Mac OS X. You can use it to create, format and mount RAM disks on your system. (Note that you can also create RAM drives on OS X from the Terminal without any additional programs.)
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