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Suggested addition: type "ram" in command line usage


Best Answer jmelcer , 05 February 2017 - 05:54 PM

Olof, thank you for your detailed attention and the change in the FAQ.

 

On the download page http://www.ltr-data.se/opencode.html/, I think it would be best to move the Toolkit paragraph up, and state a suggestion that first-time users or non-technical users are encouraged to install the Toolkit and use the Control Panel applet or the included Ram Disk Configuration utility.

 

I finally downloaded the Toolkit and I find that the AWE option is very well explained in the Toolkit when you hover over it. 

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#1 jmelcer

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Posted 05 February 2017 - 06:46 AM

I am new to imdisk, and let me say that I really appreciate all the time and effort Olof put into this great project.

I haven't used a RAMDISK since the old DOS days. If I understand correctly, imdisk can be used to create a file system that will reside in RAM only and will not ever be swapped to the HD (just as the RAMDISK in the DOS days ...) using syntax like this:

imdisk -a -t file -f \\.\awealloc -s 400M -m R: -p "/fs:ntfs /q /y"

It took me some time to discover that. I think for new users like me adding a type named "ram" (or similar) would make that learning curve much easier. The following would then create the same RAMDISK as above:

imdisk -a -t ram -s 400M -m R: -p "/fs:ntfs /q /y"

I would suggest a similar change in the GUI interface (Control Panel).

Thanks for considering this.



#2 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 05 February 2017 - 11:39 AM

I am not sure to understand the original issue. :unsure:, the awealloc is used to store the image above normally accessible memory.

 

The "-f \\.\awealloc" is to use AWE allocated memory:

http://reboot.pro/to...w-tos/?p=150252

 

I believe it has been modified (see FAQ #5) to work as "-o awe":
http://reboot.pro/to...qs-and-how-tos/

since around 2013:
http://reboot.pro/to...w-tos/?p=173541

 

But if you create a RAMdisk it is volatile anyway (even if it resides in "conventional" RAM instead). :dubbio:

 

:duff:

Wonko



#3 Olof Lagerkvist

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Posted 05 February 2017 - 01:11 PM

Like Wonko writes, there is nowadays a -o awe option for creating virtual disks backed by physical memory. Virtual disks backed by virtual memory can be created using the -t vm option like before.

The Control Panel applet was also changed so that there are now radio buttons for selecting physical or virtual memory (or direct image mounting). So, no need to type in \\.\awealloc manually anywhere any more.

So, are you really using the latest version? Latest version can be downloaded here: http://ltr-data.se/o...ode.html#ImDisk

Also in general for first time users of this software I recommend ImDisk Toolkit instead. It provides much better, end-user oriented interface.
https://sourceforge....imdisk-toolkit/

#4 jmelcer

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Posted 05 February 2017 - 03:00 PM

Olof, thanks. Thank you Wonko, too.

 

I downloaded the latest stable version form http://www.ltr-data.se/opencode.html/.

 

Regarding the Control Panel applet, I simply missed the "Create Virtual disk in physical memory" radio button. So my suggestion does not apply to the GUI. My mistake, sorry.

 

Regarding the command line I do think my comment/suggestion is valid.

 

First, I suggest to amend FAQ #5 if it is meant to address the question how to create a RAM disk in physical memory using the command line. The question reads "I want a RAM disk that uses memory above 4 GB in 32 bit Windows. Can ImDisk do that?" and the answer starts by saying "If your 32 bit Windows version supports memory access above 4 GB through address window extension (AWE) and with physical address extension (PAE) turned on, it could be done ..". I run 64-bit Windows, and my concern is that the RAM disk be in physical memory and not in virtual memory (virtual memory may be swapped to the HD).

 

Right now it is really difficult and time-consuming for a new user to learn and understand that he or she should use the syntax imdisk -a -s 400M -o awe -m R: -p "/fs:ntfs /q /y" to create a RAM disk in physical memory.

 

Second, the syntax I suggest is more intuitive and consistent with the existing syntax for virtual memory RAM disks. If virtual memory is a type ("vm"), why isn't physical memory?

It appears that   imdisk -a -s 400M -o awe -m R: -p "/fs:ntfs /q /y" is of type "file". (Apparently –t can be omitted and then defaults to file (*).) I find type file for a RAM disk in physical memory counter-intuitive.

 

One final point: I did not see the recommendation that first-time users should install the ImDisk Toolkit (nor did I find a link to the Toolkit on the download page http://www.ltr-data.se/opencode.html/). Maybe this recommendation can be made more prominent? (I haven’t tried the toolkit after reading Olof's reply, since right now my chrome browser for some reason blocks the download as possibly harmful …)

 

Thanks again. I hope you don't find that my suggestion is a trivial complaint. I just want to make a small contribution to this great project by trying to make life easier for first-time users, and save them some valuable time.

 

(*) I did not find this mentioned in the syntax, which makes it appear that –t is always required: "imdisk -a -t type -m mountpoint [-n] [-o opt1[,opt2 ...]] [-f|-F file] …. "

 



#5 Olof Lagerkvist

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Posted 05 February 2017 - 04:10 PM

Regarding the Control Panel applet, I simply missed the "Create Virtual disk in physical memory" radio button. So my suggestion does not apply to the GUI. My mistake, sorry.
 
Regarding the command line I do think my comment/suggestion is valid.


Thanks for you suggestion and I understand that it is currently counter-intuitive in many ways. There are technical reasons for this though from the driver's point of view. There are two separate drivers involved with separate system requirements and the command line tool is meant to be a very low-level tool that should pretty much only send commands directly to the driver. There are other user interfaces of various kinds that are more end-user oriented that could present oddities like this to a user in a lot more intuitive way.
 

First, I suggest to amend FAQ #5 if it is meant to address the question how to create a RAM disk in physical memory using the command line. The question reads "I want a RAM disk that uses memory above 4 GB in 32 bit Windows. Can ImDisk do that?" and the answer starts by saying "If your 32 bit Windows version supports memory access above 4 GB through address window extension (AWE) and with physical address extension (PAE) turned on, it could be done ..". I run 64-bit Windows, and my concern is that the RAM disk be in physical memory and not in virtual memory (virtual memory may be swapped to the HD).


You are absolutely right. The FAQ is a little "dated" in many ways I really should try to update many things in it. I have changed #5 to something that also mentions physical memory now. Thanks a lot for this suggestion! (The edit seems to have messed up the FAQ quite badly though, I'll see what I can do about it shortly.)
 

Second, the syntax I suggest is more intuitive and consistent with the existing syntax for virtual memory RAM disks. If virtual memory is a type ("vm"), why isn't physical memory?


I agree, but there are technical reasons for the difference because of the separate driver that is used for physical memory allocation. For a very low-level tool like imdisk.exe I think it makes at least some sense to reflect how the driver works. At least as long as there are far better alternatives for new users.
 

One final point: I did not see the recommendation that first-time users should install the ImDisk Toolkit (nor did I find a link to the Toolkit on the download page http://www.ltr-data.se/opencode.html/). Maybe this recommendation can be made more prominent?


Could be. What do you think, could it be useful to move up the paragraph about ImDisk Toolkit (with the link) a bit and make it appear closer to the "basic" ImDisk driver links? Or should I have some small note close to the driver download link where I could recommend new users to scroll down to the ImDisk Toolkit paragraph? I am sure this could be bettered somehow, just not sure really how to do it!
 

(I haven’t tried the toolkit after reading Olof's reply, since right now my chrome browser for some reason blocks the download as possibly harmful …)


That is sadly a common problem. There was a false positive malware detection for that software a while ago and even though that seems to have been corrected Chrome still decides to block that website.
 

Thanks again. I hope you don't find that my suggestion is a trivial complaint. I just want to make a small contribution to this great project by trying to make life easier for first-time users, and save them some valuable time.


No problems! Suggestions are always welcome! (Hope you don't find my answers to "grumpy" either, that would in no way be my point with anything I write here!)
 

(*) I did not find this mentioned in the syntax, which makes it appear that –t is always required: "imdisk -a -t type -m mountpoint [-n] [-o opt1[,opt2 ...]] [-f|-F file] …. "


Very well spotted! This is obviously a very old mistake that nobody seem to have actually seen before. At least not myself and I have also never heard anything about it before. But it sometimes happens that almost 13 year-old mistakes get discovered too. :) Thanks!

#6 v77

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Posted 05 February 2017 - 05:51 PM

Yes, ImDisk Toolkit is still marked as harmful by Google Safe Browsing. Therefore it is no longer indexed by Google and Chrome obviously prevents the download.
Today, the current 32-bit version has 9 alerts on VirusTotal. It's not the worst result we had for this software...

There is no way to submit a false positive to Google Safe Browsing, unless to be the owner of the website, which is not the case for tons of small softwares like this one.



#7 jmelcer

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Posted 05 February 2017 - 05:54 PM   Best Answer

Olof, thank you for your detailed attention and the change in the FAQ.

 

On the download page http://www.ltr-data.se/opencode.html/, I think it would be best to move the Toolkit paragraph up, and state a suggestion that first-time users or non-technical users are encouraged to install the Toolkit and use the Control Panel applet or the included Ram Disk Configuration utility.

 

I finally downloaded the Toolkit and I find that the AWE option is very well explained in the Toolkit when you hover over it. 


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