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You are here: MacNN Forums > Enthusiast Zone > Classic Macs and Mac OS > RAM disk

RAM disk
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Mar 30, 2000, 12:32 AM
Why would I make one, and what would I do with it?

Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 1999
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Mar 30, 2000, 12:57 AM
Here's an idea:

Set your RAM disk large enough (assuming you have that much free REAL RAM) to fit a basic system with anything you'd need to surf the net. Put that system and your browser in the RAM Disk, set your RAM Disk as the startup disk, and watch your computer start up in just a few seconds!

Plus, when you're surfing, since everything's in RAM, you'll go very fast, very quietly, and your cache will be loaded instantly.

If you have a PowerBook, this is a great way to save your battery, because your hard disk never spins up.
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Oberlin, OH, USA
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Mar 30, 2000, 04:51 PM
I have a PowerBook 150 without a working hard drive (filled with bad blocks). I use a RAM disk on this because it is the only way to use the computer. On the upside, it boots up very fast. On the downside, a 4MB HD is pretty small.

I have used a RAM disk to make Virtual PC faster (using a tip from http://www.resexcellence.com ) which has you load a system onto the RAM disk, with Virtual PC loading instead of Finder. It sped up VPC by about 20%, IIRC.

You can put your browser cache on a RAM disk and it will speed up loading of images from cache. This makes almost no difference with IE5 on my G4, but on older computers it can speed up the cache significantly.

Simon Kornblith
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Clinically Insane
Join Date: Apr 2000
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Apr 1, 2000, 02:18 AM
Unfortunately, with more modern computers (about OS 8.5 and over I think) you are not able to set the RAM Disk as the startup disk - it gives you a warning that all contents will be lost on restart. Anyone know a way around this? I haven't had a chance to play around much as my home computers has only 32 megs of physical RAM, but on a Beige G3 with 160 megs RAM, and OS 8.6, I know it doesn't work.
Also, I have a theory that any computer that uses the MacOS ROM file (any "coloured" computer) cannot use the RAM Disk as a startup disk - can anyone confirm?

Thanks in advance
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Join Date: Mar 1999
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Apr 1, 2000, 10:04 AM
has absolutely nothing to do with which MacOS you are using, has everything to do with the fact that Macs (since the first iMac) have what is known as NewWorld ROM.

Two ROMS. one called 'boot ROM' (hardwired, physical ROM) and one called 'MacOS ROM' (exists in RAM) and because of this 'division of labor' you can't use RAM Disk as startup. think about it.
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