Speed Up Windows 7 with ReadyBoost and Removable Drives

When your PC and especially a netbook goes low on memory (RAM), it is bound to slow down. It does try to get that extra memory from the hard disk, but that hardly enhances the overall performance.
Most netbooks ship with 1Gb of Ram, and many older netbooks shipped with even less.  Even if you want to add more ram, often they can only be upgraded to a max of 2GB.  With ReadyBoost in Windows 7, it’s easy to boost your system’s performance with flash memory.  If your netbook has an SD card slot, you can insert a memory card into it and just leave it there to always boost your netbook’s memory; otherwise, you can use a standard USB flash drive the same way. Also, you can use ReadyBoost on any desktop or laptop with Windows Vista or Windows 7; ones with limited memory will see the most performance increase from using it.

ReadyBoost is a feature in Windows which helps it make use of the flash memory of an external USB flash drive when it needs it. It can speed up PC when RAM goes over limit, and also works with multiple devices in Windows 7.  You may even notice better battery life when multitasking with ReadyBoost, as it lets you use your hard drive less.

So how much should you use? Microsoft recommends, “a 1:1 ratio of Flash to system memory at the low end and as high as 2.5:1 flash to system memory.” So if you have 4GB of RAM, you should pair it with at least a 4GB USB drive, but a 16GB USB stick would be overkill.

Here’s a step by step process to use this feature.

Insert an SD card into your card reader, or connect a USB flash drive to a USB port on your computer.  Windows should automatically ( via AutoPlay) see if your flash memory is ReadyBoost capable, and if so, you can directly choose to speed up your computer with ReadyBoost.


If you don’t see that as an option, you may still be in luck.
Open Windows Explorer or My Computer and try configuring ReadyBoost by right-clicking the device in Windows Explorer, clicking Properties, and then clicking the ReadyBoost tab. The only configuration option is to configure the space reserved for the cache.


Click Ok, and Windows will setup ReadyBoost and start using it to speed up your computer.  It will automatically use ReadyBoost whenever the card is connected to the computer.

You should choose at least 256MB. But according to Microsoft, for Windows 7 your flash drive should have at least 1 GB free space. For best results you should use flash drive with double the amount of RAM space available in your computer.

You can also click on the option “Dedicate this device to Readyboost”. This option will use maximum available space on the external media for Readyboost process.

If you need to remove your drive to use elsewhere, simply eject as normal. Windows will inform you that the drive is currently being used.  Make sure you have closed any programs or files you had open from the drive, and then press Continue to stop ReadyBoost and eject your drive.

If you remove the drive without ejecting it, the ReadyBoost file may still remain on the drive.  You can delete this to save space on the drive, and the cache will be recreated when you use ReadyBoost next time.

Worried about someone pulling out your USB stick and walking away with the files you’ve been working on for months? Don’t be. Information on ReadyBoost drives or disks is safe from casual hackers. All files on removable drives are encrypted with Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 128.  In any case, while ReadyBoost stores data and programs as files, and not as raw data, you can’t access these files as if the USB stick was a normal drive.

Here is a short video from MS

Something to consider;

Unfortunately, not all SD and CF cards, or even USB flash drives, work with ReadyBoost. While some storage media advertise that they’re “enhanced for Windows ReadyBoost,” they may not actually be ReadyBoost worthy.

Here is a good list from NewEgg. One of my favorite technology sources.

If you have a netbook or laptop this can do a lot for your performance. I hope this helps.

Turbo charge your wireless router!

Here is something some of you may wish and be able to do.

It is possible to take many home wireless routers and greatly increase their signal strength and output, enabling you to get coverage over a much greater area of your house or business.Again I said maybe, because I don’t know if your router is supported and some of you have a ‘technical impatience’ and difficulty following precise exacting directions. That may inhibit you. 😉
But if you are up for some learning and tweaking this is for you.

As with all things technical, there may be things and concepts you don’t understand completely or at all. If that is the case you have the greatest reference resource the world has EVER seen – the Internet! Use Google or Bing to look up what you don’t know and read, read, and read some more! Read more that the first page of results get as much information as possible.In the caveman days I used to have to go to the encyclopedia, dictionary and then the library.
But you don’t have to go anywhere and you now have more information available than has every been to any other generation.

These articles from Lifehacker.com and others describe how to ‘flash’ your wireless router to dramatically increase wireless broadcast strength and throughput, thereby distance, while at the same time adding reliability and more security.

It seems Tomato is simpler and easier to use, but does not support as many routers. DD-WRT looks like it supports more routers and has a very advanced configuration (which 99% of people will NEVER need). So the choice is yours.

Remember this information is provided with no warranty or grantees. If you mess up you could turn your router into a ‘brick’. Of course you could always reset it to the original factory settings most cases though. But if you are afraid of technical challenges and don’t want to spend the time fixing a mistake DON’T TRY THIS.

I have a friend who used Tomato and was really shocked at how much more distance he was able to get. He had a Linksys router. I do know of someone else who used Tomato on a netgear too (http://www.myopenrouter.com/blog/entry/10288/Installation-of-Tomato-Firmware-on-NETGEAR-WGR614L/)



Tomato’s site:http://www.polarcloud.com/tomato

DD-WRT’s site:

Well happy tuning and good luck.

Speeding up Firefox

I have written here before of the extensions and add-ons I use in Firefox. [see end of post]
So I though I should add what tweaks I use to speed up and enhance the browser itself.
Give them a try and if they do not improve you browsing experience with Firefox you can always go back to the default settings. [see end of article]

To speed up Firefox 3.x:
Launch Firefox thenType in
into the navigation bar, you will thne be ‘warned’ say you will be careful.
You are going to be adjusting the browsers default settings and parameters.

To find a value simply type the name of the setting (or copy between the quotes and paste it) in to the ‘Filter’ line and hit enter.
If the configuration exists it will be displayed.
Simply double-click and make the adjustments – change integer or boolean value.

If the key/setting does not exist you will have to add/create it.

For values with “true” after them,
Right click below the ‘Filter bar’ (in the empty space since no values were found)>Choose New>boolean insert the value, hit ok then select true

For values with numbers after them,
Right click below the ‘Filter bar’ (in the empty space since no values were found)>Choose New>Integer insert the value, hit ok then insert the number

Insert OR adjust these values and settings (no quotes):

“network.http.pipelining”, true

“network.http.proxy.pipelining”, true

“network.http.pipelining.maxrequests”, 8

“content.notify.backoffcount”, 5

“plugin.expose_full_path”, true

“ui.submenuDelay”, 0

“content.interrupt.parsing”, true

“content.max.tokenizing.time”, 2250000

“content.notify.interval”, 750000

“content.notify.ontimer”, true

“content.switch.threshold”, 750000

“nglayout.initialpaint.delay”, 0

“network.http.max-connections”, 48

“network.http.max-connections-per-server”, 16

“network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-proxy”, 16

“network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-server”, 8

“browser.cache.memory.capacity”, 65536

“browser.turbo.enabled”, true

Restart Firefox, and it should be much more responsive and faster!

This works for nearly all high-speed connections and modern PC’s (Mac’s included).
If you are a dial-up connection DON’T DO THIS.
Please step in to the 21st century, and get some form of high-speed (dsl, cable etc.) internet.

If these don’t seem to work for you, you can always reset them to their original state:
When you change a preference setting or add a new preference, the associated about:config entry will appear in bold type with a user set status.
To restore a preference setting to the default value or to remove an added preference, context-click (right-click) on the preference and select Reset.

Or you can read more at Mozilla’s site:

Firefox Extensions I Use

Windows Utilites and Tools

After cleaning up a friends system recently and dramatically improving it’s performance, appearance and usability I was asked again, nay begged, to recommend as many of the applications and or utilities I use(d) to install or put onto an existing or new installation of Windows to ‘protect it’ and to help keep it running optimally and take full control of your applications, system preferences and resources.

The list below contains most of the things I install on, or use, on all of my machines.
There are also ‘portable’ or ‘non-install’ versions of nearly all of these applications which I carry on my thumb drives too. But I will not provide the links for them as they can be easily found the same place as the full installs of these applications.
There are of course many others I use for network administration but I won’t include all of those here now.
I just wanted to put this up so that those of you looking for some very good freeware applications to enhance and improve your computing experience could find them in one place. And to keep it as secure and trouble free as possible.

Download here
[see list at end for Firefox extensions and add ons I use too]

7-Zip opensource file archiver:

Notepad++ Opensource notepad on steroids:

Windows PowerToys:

ClearType Tuner PowerToy:

Alt-Tab Replacement:

Open Command Window Here:

Tweak UI:

The entire Syinternals Suite:

Complete tool set:

Of those I use most are:
Process Explorer and AutoRuns

Revo Uninstaller – freeware:


Mike Lin’s Startup Control Panel:



File assassin

A great spyware finder:

Spybot Search And Destroy

Don’t confuse this application with other that are trading on the ‘Spybot’ name and are in
and of themselves ACTUALLY spyware. The one and only original FREEWARE application is here.



Taskbar Shuffle – a simple, small, free utility that lets you drag and drop your Windows
taskbar buttons to rearrange them:

Another program much like Tweak XP:

ImageBurn CD/DVD burner:

VLC Media Player:


I have used both of these and they are fine freeware applications.
I also am quite happy with corporate versions of McAfee and Symantec despite the idiot rantings of people who don’t do this for a living.

AVG free AV:
App Download:
Freeware download

Clamwin Free AV:

Better Gmail

Google toolbar:

pdf download:

stop autoplay:


Video DownloadHelper

Adblock Plus

Redirect Remover

Grease Monkey for firefox – allows of additional script functionalities in firefox:

GreaseMonkey Scripts:

Remove Facebook Ads:

YouTube HD Ultimate: