Yes, you can technically use a flash drive, external drive, etc for storing a paging file...it's automatically listed as an option when you go to manually adjust the settings. However, there are two things to note:
1.) Given the age of the computer it uses USB 1.0, meaning unless you add a USB 2.0 PCI card it will most likely offer worse performance than your hard drive.
2.) If you ever removed the flash drive before switching the paging file back to your hard drive you would encounter potential errors and crashes.
Personally, for the limited performance increase I wouldn't bother. With Windows Vista, however, the ReadyBoost technology will perform a similar task automatically and give you a much more significant performance increase. Something to look forward to.
Hope this helps,
Can you use a USB flash drive as the page(paging) file instead of the hard drive? I'm asking because...
A. I had read that if you set up your paging file on a separate hard drive that you will get some performance increases because your main hard drive can stick to the reading/writing for applications in use while the 2nd drive is used for virtual memory.
B. I don't currently have a 2nd hard drive, so I wanted to see if I could use a USB flash drive thumb could be substituted for the 2nd hard drive in the scenario I laid out above as an easier/cheaper alternative.
C. My PC won't accept more than 256 MB of ram (despite the fact that it should), so rather than try to continue to fight that battle, I'm hoping that if I can swing this little trick with the flash usb drive it will boost performance a bit.
The computer I ultimately hope to use it on is a HP Pavilion 8756c that I had to install XP Pro on a new drive when the old OS (Windows ME) and drive died. It's a Pent. III (approx 800-900 MHz) with 256 MB of RAM. However, if it works, I'd try it at work too on more current Compaq machine running Windows 2K with a Pent. 4 (1.8 GHz)and 528 MB RAM.
I don't need anyone to bust a nut trying to figure it out, but if someone could tell me if it's possible/plausible and also how to get it done. Hopefully I'll be getting a new machine in the next few months, but improving what I've got wouldn't hurt in the meantime.