RAMdisks and Windows 10 RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have been playing around with RAMdisks and Windows for years. In certain very narrow applications, I have found them to be useful- and in a handful of cases, one of the best solutions.

    I think that it's high time we got the option to run the entire operating system in RAM, in the form of suspending an entire system disk. With current DDR4 module sizes, and six and eight channel memory controllers in market, this makes a kind of sense.

    It's not as if this cannot be done already- We are living in an age of hypervisors and virtual machines, so tricking out a box to do this is not really hard. The problem is, that the current design of windows pretty much hamstrings all of the reasons that a person might want to do this.

    The real reasons not to run windows in RAM are tied to all of the things in the kernel that are there to make relatively slow storage systems function faster. You really cannot easily turn off write caching, which would actually slow things down if you were to run windows from a RAMdisk. There are a lot of other things like this that make a great case for running windows in this manner a bad idea, and I completely acknowledge all of that- running wondows from a RAMdisk = stupid.

    Really, I just want to know if I am the only person that wishes there were a version of windows where the memory controller and storage systems were expressly designed with this in mind, from the ground up?

    Think about that for a second.

    There would be no loading from storage, ever. If every file on a system disk were already in memory, there would be no need to ever change the location of a single file. Therefore, loading anything into the CPU would be a lookup in a table to determine file location only. There would be a lot of benefits to having the option to do things this way-

    This would greatly reduce the complexity of the memory controller, for one. This would increase stability and decrease attack surface, enhancing security. Getting rid of the hard disk entirely would also decrease power consumption. Not to mention performance improvements beyond what could be achieved in any other manner.

    Now, it is true that you would need to load the system disk from a drive into memory on boot, and save it back to that drive on shutdown- and these are downsides- But if the machine could be entirely sans hard disk while running, the performance would be amazing- it literally could not run faster.

    Am I only guy that wants a version of windows designed to run this way? I would love to develop a workstation based on this concept, but doing so is not really possible without vendor support from MS. You can trick out a machine with various hacks to run entirely out of RAM, but the current design does not run well at all this way- any advantages are minimal at best.

    I would love to convince Microsoft to try this.


    Robert Scott

    Thursday, September 5, 2019 3:15 AM


All replies

  • The only thing I can say to this is the Windows Setup media and Windows PE. The default for Windows PE is to load into a RAM disk.

    This is a signature. Any samples given are not meant to have error checking or show best practices. They are meant to just illustrate a point. I may also give inefficient code or introduce some problems to discourage copy/paste coding. This is because the major point of my posts is to aid in the learning process.

    Thursday, September 5, 2019 5:10 AM
  • Hi Robert,

    Welcome to the MSDN forum.

    According to your description, this issue relates to RAMdisks and Windows 10, since our forum is to discus the VS installation issues, I will help you move this thread to seek for the appropriate forum for better support, thanks for your understanding.

    If you have any other VS installation issues in the future, please feel free to let us know.

    Best regards,


    MSDN Community Support Please remember to click "Mark as Answer" the responses that resolved your issue, and to click "Unmark as Answer" if not. This can be beneficial to other community members reading this thread. If you have any compliments or complaints to MSDN Support, feel free to contact MSDNFSF@microsoft.com

    Friday, September 6, 2019 2:58 AM
  • I'd try asking for assistance over here.



    or provide this suggestion using the feedback hub




    Regards, Dave Patrick ....
    Microsoft Certified Professional
    Microsoft MVP [Windows Server] Datacenter Management

    Disclaimer: This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties or guarantees, and confers no rights.

    Friday, September 6, 2019 3:16 AM