ReadyBoost was one of the features introduced Windows Vista, but most of the users are still not aware of it. And the same feature is also exist in the latest Windows 7 with some improvements such as support to multiple flash drives (up to 8 drives) and increased cache size from 4GB to 32 GB for a single storage device.
ReadyBoost is a nifty feature that allows you increase the Windows performance by utilising the storage space on USB drive to cache frequently used data. There some ReadyBoost ready USB drives out there with better read and write speed.
To turn on ReadyBoost in Windows 7:
Step 1: Insert your USB key, digital flash card or any flash device.
Step 2: Right-click on the USB/flash device and select Properties.
Step 3: Switch to ReadyBoost tab and select Use this device.
Step 4: Select the space to reserve for system speed. Note that you can’t use the space reserved for the ReadyBoost for any other storage purpose.
For optimum performance, use a flash drive or flash memory card with available space of at least double the amount of memory (RAM) in your computer, and preferably four times as much memory.
Step 5: Click on the Apply button. Windows may take a few seconds to configure the cache.
Step 6: You are done.
To turn off ReadyBoost:
Step 1: Right-click on the USB drive and click Properties option to open Properties dialog.
Step 2: Under the ReadyBoost Tab, select Do not use this device option.
Step 3: Click Apply. That’s it!
Note: If you planning to use a flash drive with more than 4GB space, you need to format the drive with NTFS as storage devices formatted with the older FAT32 file system can’t store more than 4 GB. As you can see in the above picture, one can configure the space to reserve for system speed under ReabyBoost tab. We also recommend you check out ReadyBoost Monitor tool to monitor the performance of ReadBoost.