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RAMdisk and FILEdisk drivers


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#1 Nuno Brito

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 03:20 PM

The Ramdisk driver we use for this guide is almost identical and based on the Microsoft sample driver described here: Microsoft KB 257405. The version we use in this article fixes a bug with Windows XP and NTFS partitions (described in the MS KB article) and adds the ability to change drive letter and disk size in a more user-friendly way, using the Device Manager.

We can install/configure the Ramdisk in three simple steps:

1. Download and uncompress the Ramdisk driver in an empty directory you can remember: Ramdisk Driver
2. 2. In Control Panel -> Add/Remove Hardware , select Add a new device -> select hardware from a list -> Other(All) devices -> Have Disk , then point to the folder that contains the RAMDisk.inf file you extracted in step 1. Click next/finish to complete the driver installation.
3. You can change the size / drive letter of your new Ramdisk from the Device manager: Right-click on My Computer , select Properties -> Hardware -> Device Manager -> expand the RAM Disk -> Properties

At this point you have successfuly installed and configured a RAM Disk drive on your system. Keep in mind that the contents of the RAM disk are lost when changing its size and/or drive letter in Device Manager! They are also lost if power is lost, computer rebooted, etc. You might want to reboot and copy some files to your new RAM disk from within Windows Explorer to ensure it's operating properly.

Notes: In Windows XP, you might have to go to Control Panel -> System to access the device manager. Depending on your OS, you might be prompted to reboot after the drive is installed. Keep in mind that the size of your Ramdisk is substracted from the available RAM, so don't use any wild values. Depending on the intended use, 1 - 16 MB should be the enough, even in systems with plenty of RAM


quoted from:
http://www.ramdiskzo...rd/articles.php

This is likely one of the first editions from qsoft based on the microsoft one, anyone willing to upload the more recent versions with source code?

This version allows to use some predefined values up to around 60Mb.

Attached File  ramdisk_inst.zip   650.49KB   1054 downloads


:P

#2 was_jaclaz

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 08:02 PM

Here is a list of resources related to RAMdisk and FILEDISK based drivers, that I am collecting/putting together for the use of people interested in helping here:
http://www.boot-land...?...ic=1441&hl=

Microsoft original Win2k RAMdisk driver:
http://support.micro...kb/257405/en-us
Another article (version of ramdisk.sys unchecked):
http://www.picobay.c...disk-drive.html

A related article:
http://www.jsifaq.co...ip.aspx?id=3515
A new version (untested)
http://www.microsoft...;displaylang=en
WSSRA_Deployment_Toolkit.msi

An old NT 4.0 one (through archive.org):
http://web.archive.o...oad/ramdisk.zip]
same can be found here:
http://www.jsifaq.co...ip.aspx?id=0020


Latest FREEWARE version of Christian Ghijselinck:
http://users.compaqn...ramdiskfree.htm

http://www.talkabout...ages/46808.html

http://www.speedguid...cles.php?id=131
http://www.codeguru....icle.php/c5789/

http://www.arsoft-on...t...12&Itemid=2
http://www.arsoft-on...t...select&id=2



http://p-nand-q.com/...d/diskfile.html
http://p-nand-q.com/...ls/diskfile.zip

A post claiming that DOS RAMdrive.sys can work under XP:
http://www.hardwarea...ent/topic/7663/
if the above is tested and confirmed, would it be possible to use either
Franck Uberto's one:
XMSDISK fu_rd19i.zip
http://www.simtel.net/pub/pd/4825.html
or SRDISK:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/srdisk
(I doubt it, but you never know)


Some japanese related apps:
http://www.vector.co...e/se039495.html
http://www.vector.co...e/se168213.html
http://www.vector.co...e/se108927.html
http://www.vector.co...e/se168218.html

A thread on 911CD Forum with same links, some more and some interesting ideas:
http://www.911cd.net...o...=17624&st=0

COMMERCIAL RAMDISKS (with trial versions):
http://www.winsoft.sk/ramdisk.htm
http://www.cenatek.c...uct_ramdisk.cfm
http://www.superspeed.com/ramdisk.php
http://www.superspee...top/ramdisk.php

A complete solution for booting 9x/2K/XP in RAM
http://www.disklessangel.com/


FILEDISK based drivers and info:

http://www.acc.umu.se/~bosse/
http://www.acc.umu.s...filedisk-14.zip
http://www.acc.umu.s...se/filedisk.zip

http://www.winimage..../filedisk64.htm
http://www.winimage....dbin64_tray.zip
http://www.winimage..../filedisk64.zip

http://chitchat.at.i...vmware/vdk.html
http://chitchat.at.i...dk32-050406.zip
http://chitchat.at.i...ksrc-050406.zip

http://chitchat.at.i.../vmware/vdk.zip
http://chitchat.at.i...ware/vdksrc.zip

Sherpya's filedisk plugin:
http://sourceforge.n...ckage_id=140761

Filedisk thread on msfn.org by bilou_gateux:
http://www.msfn.org/...showtopic=38118
A filedisk.exe version able to use encryption:
CrossCrypt
http://www.scherrer.cc/crypt/

A COMMERCIAL app similar to the above:
http://www.windiskxp.com/en/

NON-FILEdisk based Virtual Drive drivers:
OsrVirtualCdAndDisk
http://www.osronline...cfm?article=410
(subscription needed for download)

********


A NEW (at least for me) Virtual Disk Driver with INTERESTING features, complete with source code:
http://www.ltr-data.se/opencode.html

ImDisk Virtual Disk Driver - Latest version 1.0.2 built 27 april 2007.

ImDisk is a virtual disk driver for Windows NT/2000/XP/2003. It can use one or more disk image files to create virtual hard disk, floppy or CD/DVD drives .The install package installs a console-mode control program called imdisk.exe and a Control Panel applet. After install is finished, type imdisk without parameters for syntax help or double click the ImDisk icon in the Control Panel. It also adds a menu item in Windows Explorer so that you can right-click on a file to mount it as a virtual disk drive. Users of mdconfig in FreeBSD will probably be familiar with the command line syntax of imdisk.exe. The driver, service and control program can be uninstalled using the Add/Remove programs applet in the Control Panel. No reboot is required for installing or uninstalling.

The install package also contains a user-mode helper service that enables the virtual disk driver to forward I/O requests to other computers on the network. This makes it possible to boot a machine with NTFS partitions with a *nix Live-CD and use the included devio tool to let ImDisk on another computer running Windows on the network mount the NTFS partition on the machine you booted with the *nix Live-CD. This way you can recover information and even run chkdsk on drives on machines where Windows does not boot. I am working on a Live CD image with devio and other useful things for this pre-loaded. Will publish that one for download soon.




A (very old) resource for writing Filesystem Drivers for NT, FIFS - FRONT RPC:
http://web.mit.edu/fifs/www/

Something not really like the above, but maybe a good start point:
http://icculus.org/physfs/

VHDMOUNT:
http://myitforum.com...ve-Locally.aspx

I have finally understood WHY filedisk/vdk do not work/are not seen in Disk Manager, it seems like they are not a "real" NT miniport driver, I found some commercial/demos that do behave as a full miniport driver:
http://www.cooldev.c...oolstorage.html
UPDATE: The cooldev "koolstorage" site has "disappeared", courtesy of The Wayback Machine:
http://web.archive.o...oolstorage.html
http://web.archive.o...oolsockets.html
http://web.archive.o...m/download.html
http://web.archive.o...orageoverip.zip
http://web.archive.o...ol/ksockumh.zip

http://www.perisoft....iport/index.htm
(the above two are limited in size but work very well)
http://www.eldos.com/cbdisk/


In my wanderings on the net, I also stumbled upon the iSCSI concept:
http://www.microsoft...;DisplayLang=en
http://www.rocketdiv...n.com/wind.html
http://www.rocketdiv...n.com/port.html
http://www.nimbusdat...mysan/mysan.htm
http://www.iscsicake.com/

http://www.kernsafe.com/download.aspx
http://www.kernsafe....oduct.aspx?id=1
the latter, while the actual iSCSI part is trial/expiring, provides for a Virtual Disk driver that appears to work VERY well :P


This appears to be a very nice solution for virtual disks (encrypted), the working is similar to filedisk, but the development is very active:
http://www.freeotfe.org/

********


ireneuszp has posted on the 911CD forum, here:
http://www.911cd.net...o...ic=20280
a link to here:
http://www.mydigital...nd-2003-server/
where a Ramdisk driver called "RRamdisk" is discussed.
it appears to be the work of "Gavotte" and of "lyh728".

The accompanying article states that it works with Vista, besides 2K and XP (which of course is a good thing) but also contains some "strange" ideas:

Potential usage include adding of “ramdisk imgfilename” to system boot up script such as autoexec.bat to load the data into memory disk.


(bolding is mine)

From a little search around, this Ramdisk appears to be rather popular on Chinese sites, and I found a version (with same driver/executable release) with a readme in Chinese, so I suspect that the Authors are also from China.

Driver appears to have not a home page, and the date of the files are end of 2003/start of 2004, latest registered change in the readme.txt is 9 December 2003, also, the English readme.txt appears a bit "Chinglish", (no offence intended to our Chinese friends :P), and I find a bit odd that in almost 4 years this app wasn't massively used in the west, until IMDISK came out, FREEWARE known working solutions were just filedisk for image files and Christian Ghisler's Ramdisk. :P

It seems to have some nice features, though, so if you are into experimenting a bit, it could be an option to try.

If any Chinese speaking member has the time/will to check the readme.txt translation, and/or add any information that might be available in Chinese only, he/she would be welcome.

A Chinese page sporting the original version is here:
http://www.piaodown..../soft/25148.htm
(where the app is referenced to as:

Ramdisk V1.1 Final


thunn has recompiled the rramdisk.sys adding a few mods:

The revised ramdisk driver linked to is based on Gavotte's work, I can't take too much credit. I simply made some revisions to the code to remove branding, hardcoded drive letters, and the creation of a default temp dir., which all seemed a good idea.
The scripted linked to uses the driver under pe, though it can also be used in normal windows, maybe you could extract it an do a test or two on your system. I've had no errors from the driver yet, bsod or otherwise. The rramdisk driver has a front end for windows, designed to use the fixed letter 'r'.
Anyway, hope you like the script, please don't forget to verify other/related scripts drive letters when changing the ramsisk drive letter.

Link to .script:
http://bartpe.boot-l...NTRamdrv.Script

dejan at 911CD published a plugin for Rramdisk:
http://www.911cd.net...o...c=20846&hl=

A newish version of RRamdisk said to allow for 4 Gb size:

01.01.2008 support >=4G ram under 32bit windows (UsePAE=1)

has been released and is attached here:
http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=4064

A new version is out:

About the Rramdisk by gavotte, the offcial release is in this thread on the CCF forum(In Chinese):
https://bbs.et8.net/...ad.php?t=906641

the newest version is 1.0.4096.5.Because CCF forum is not a open forum. You cannot download the attachment without a membership. I uploaded the 1.0.4095.5 version to here.

More details on the dedicated thread:
http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=4064

********


A newish SDK for Virtual Disk Driver is available here:
http://www.eterlogic...alDriveSDK.html

It includes C, C+, C#, Delphi samples too.

Any of the programmers wish to have a try with it? :P


********

Some newish related applications are available here:
http://www.pismotechnic.com/

Mounting a file as filesystem object....
some more details here:
http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=6092

********

Found another nice-looking project, by Primoz Beltram, OPEN SOURCE!
http://sourceforge.n...cts/virtualdisk
Besides sourcecode, there are built binaries :P:
http://sourceforge.n...group_id=193026

bilou_gateux found a very interesting Microsoft driver, as often happens strangely named and "hidden" in something seemingly unrelated, VSS SDK:
http://www.microsoft...;displaylang=en
Board Topic:
http://www.boot-land...?...ic=6492&hl=

Another kind of driver, Gizmo drive:
http://arainia.com/s...rview.php?nID=4

********

Kernsafe has a FREEWARE app, called Total Mounter:
http://www.kernsafe.com/Default.aspx
http://www.kernsafe....oduct.aspx?id=7
http://www.kernsafe.com/DownLoad.aspx
http://www.kernsafe....Mounter1.32.exe
which includes a Virtual Disk Driver. :P

A very preliminary report, but it seems like this one is the "right" one :P :
  • ksbus.sys installs with LoadOrderGroup = Boot Bus Extender :P
  • it appears as a FULL, SCSI miniport device, and as a "Local" disk

NEW, EXPERIMENTAL, but WORKING RAMDISK DRIVER:
Firadisk, by our member karyonix :P
http://www.boot-land...?...ic=8804&hl=

ANOTHER NEW, EXPERIMENTAL and under development/tests RAMDISK DRIVER from Andy Tim Sha0 :P :
WinVblock, as well reported to be working:
http://www.boot-land...?...=8168&st=50

17th August 2010 Update:
member snype711 Posted:

I think Dataram's Ramdisk is a decent piece of software. Free up to 4GB but you shouldn't need any more than that. Hope it helps!

http://memory.datara...oftware/ramdisk

I'll update and complete the post from time to time, if you have any more hints/links, please post it below, I'll add/edit this post and delete yours.

In other words, this thread is NOT meant for comments, just as a quick list of links, if you have meaningful comments, opinions or whatever, do post to a new thread with them and I'll add here a link to it



jaclaz

#3 was_jaclaz

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Posted 20 June 2010 - 12:00 PM

02 May 2007

Links in post #2 added and updated, with particular reference to imdisk, see new thread about it.


12 September 2007

Added link in post #2 for "Rramdisk" or "Gavotte ramdisk"


24 December 2007

added link to thunn's script for the recompiled "Rramdisk"
added link to BartPE plugin for "Rramdisk"

01 March 2008
added link to new version of "Rramdisk", supporting 4 Gbyte size

08 October 2008
added link to a newish SDK from Eterlogic

27 October 2008
added link to Pismo apps

18 January 2009
Added links to:
  • virtualdisk "VDBUS" by Primoz Beltram
  • Microsoft own VSS Vstorcontrol
  • Gizmo drive

18 July 2009
Added links to:
  • The Wayback Machine for the CooDev apps
  • Kernsafe Total Mounter (driver ksbus.sys)

25 August 2009
Added link to FIRADISK

26 August 2009
Added link to the newish still-not-officially-named driver by Andy Tim sha0

02 September 2009
the newish still-not-officially-named driver by Andy Tim sha0 has now an official name: WinVBlock

20 June 2010
added link to newish version of Gavotte's RRamdisk thanks to Climbing
Just for the record there are new, very intreresting developments of BOTH WinVblock and Firadisk, finally direct mapping of images is possible :unsure: (though still EXPERIMENTAL):
http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=8168
http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=8804

17 August 2010:
member snype711 posted about Dataram's Ramdisk
http://memory.datara...oftware/ramdisk

jaclaz




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