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"Unmanaged" RAM above 4GB; usable to map a bootable RAM disk ?


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#1 NT Five

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 08:28 PM

Hi there,

 

I would like to know if there is a way to boot XP from RAMdisk using the unmanaged RAM (>4GB) with third party drivers.

Currently I am running XP from ramdisk using the WinVblock driver.

Apparently some drivers like Gavotte Ramdisk support the use of "unmanaged" RAM.

 

It would be great to use this unmanaged RAM to hold a bootable disk image instead of gobbling up the precious memory below 4 GB.

 

Any ideas if this can be accomplished ? :)

 



#2 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 23 April 2019 - 08:11 AM

Hi there,

 

I would like to know if there is a way to boot XP from RAMdisk using the unmanaged RAM (>4GB) with third party drivers.

Currently I am running XP from ramdisk using the WinVblock driver.

Apparently some drivers like Gavotte Ramdisk support the use of "unmanaged" RAM.

 

It would be great to use this unmanaged RAM to hold a bootable disk image instead of gobbling up the precious memory below 4 GB.

 

Any ideas if this can be accomplished ? :)

Sure it can, and sure it can be done using Gavotte's, though there may be issues on some motherboards (depending on the BIOS) that might not allow the (full) use of the "unmanaged RAM".

 

See:

http://reboot.pro/to...ottes-rramdisk/

 

Bilou_gateux posted a nice howto to install it:

http://reboot.pro/to...mdisk/?p=135682

 

A redistributable copy of devcon (re-compiled from published Microsoft sources) is here:

https://msfn.org/boa...comment-1091396

 

The latest info (including some analysis of a motherboard that uses more RAM than needed) is here:

http://reboot.pro/to...bit-35gb-25gb/?

 

But I don't understand the idea of the bootable disk image, you want to boot to *something* (let's say grub4dos), then dd copy the image (residing on some mass storage device) to this unmanaged RAM area and then boot from it?

Then most probably you want to try grub4dos+Firadisk :unsure:, see:

http://reboot.pro/to...ting-questions/

 

 

:duff:

Wonko


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#3 NT Five

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Posted 23 April 2019 - 05:25 PM

Hello Wonko ! :)

Thanks for the links. :thumbsup:

 

[...] I don't understand the idea of the bootable disk image, you want to boot to *something* (let's say grub4dos), then dd copy the image (residing on some mass storage device) to this unmanaged RAM area and then boot from it?

Then most probably you want to try grub4dos+Firadisk :unsure:


Well... for the last 10 years I've been systematically running heavily modded and slimmed down versions of Windows XP in ramdisk mode on ALL my machines, using ramdisk.sys or Grub4DOS and WinVblock.
I frequently use modified versions of the IMG_XP package to set up my machines, and I love multitasking and pushing my machines to their limits.

Sometimes I run a web browser with 20+ tabs open, while encoding video and batch downloading YouTube videos and executing other resource intensive tasks, most of the time without using a pagefile, so I need all the available RAM I can get ! :ph34r:

Ramdisks are the best thing since the invention of sliced bread !
I can't live without them, but unfortunately they gobble up precious RAM, and XP can theoretically only see and manage 4 GB of RAM, so just adding an extra 4 or 8 GB of RAM to the motherboard will do nothing to solve this problem when one is using "standard" ramdisk drivers like WinVblock or ramdisk.sys.

On my daily driver the C drive running in the managed RAM gobbles up 700 MB (XP, + drivers + Sandboxie's sandbox folder (containing a web browser, email client and other internet facing applications).
I want my system drive and sandbox to be running in RAM for performance and security reasons (every reboot a nice clean slate; "autowipe" cookies, browser cache, and potential malware files, and in the worse case scenario getting rid of malicious system modifications in case something evil manages to escape the sandbox prison)

It would be nice to push this bootable image in the unmanaged RAM using a different ramdisk driver, so I can recuperate the 700 MB, and make it available to applications.
Currently I've got 4 GB of RAM installed, and XP can only see 3.2 GB of that (in filedisk mode).

Hopefully it's possible to stick the bootable image in the section of RAM that XP can't see, or alternatively I could add another RAM module to my motherboard.

It is <the current year> and nowadays motherboards support way more than just 4 GB, so it makes sense to try to use the capabilities the hardware to the fullest extent in order to improve the user eXPerience of good ol' 5.1. :wub:
Hopefully there are easy and simple point-and-click methods to accomplish this, but if I have to I am willing to spend countless sleepless nights messing around hex editing binaries, or editing .inf, and .reg files... :dubbio:

Cheers,
--------
NT Five


Edited by NT Five, 23 April 2019 - 05:34 PM.


#4 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 23 April 2019 - 06:24 PM

Good :).

 

The last link provided:

http://reboot.pro/to...ting-questions/

more specifically this one:

http://reboot.pro/to...tions/?p=207335

 

makes use of the newish --top switch for map --mem in grub4dos.

 

But as you can see here:

http://reboot.pro/to...tions/?p=207342

the issue may be a specific motherboard/BIOS, if you have only 4 GB it is unlikely that you can use the feature (though some motherboards reportedly can), given the cost of RAM nowadays, maybe you would be better served with 8 GB replicating what Karyonix reported.

 

 

As a side note besides firadisk, I would now suggest you the new kid on the block, SVBus:

http://reboot.pro/to...r-for-grub4dos/

which is giving a lot of successful reports.

 

:duff:

Wonko






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