RAMDISK Version 1.0 for Windows 2000/Windows XP

Tuesday Oct 29th 2002 by Christiaan Ghijselinck
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This code and sample are for a RAM disk driver (RAMDisk.sys), an Installer/Property sheet provider (RAMDisk.dll), and an installation file (RAMDisk.inf), which together form an installable RAM disk on Windows 2000 and Windows XP.

Environment: Windows 2000/XP, VS.NET, XP-DDK

This software consists of a RAM disk driver (RAMDisk.sys), an Installer/Property sheet provider (RAMDisk.dll), and an installation file (RAMDisk.inf), which together form an installable RAM disk on Windows 2000 and Windows XP.

The driver is almost identical to the Microsoft sample driver (See KB Article Q257405). The installer/property sheet provider DLL, however, adds additional possibilities to change the drive letter and disk size in a more user-friendly way, using the device manager. This makes this package almost mature enough to concur with other RAM disk products on the market.

To install the driver on Windows 2000, follow these steps :

  1. In Control Panel, double-click to start the Add/Remove Hardware utility.
  2. Select Add/Troubleshoot a device.
  3. Select Add a new device.
  4. Select No, I want to select the hardware from a list.
  5. Select Other devices, and then click Next.
  6. Click the Have Disk button and point to the folder that contains the RAMDisk.inf file.

To install the driver on Windows XP, follow these steps :

  1. In Control Panel, double-click to start the Add/Remove Hardware utility.
  2. Select Add a new hardware device.
  3. Select Yes, I have already connected the hardware. Click Next.
  4. Select Add a new device.
  5. Select Install the hardware that I manually select from a list. Click Next.
  6. Select Show All Devices.
  7. Select the Have Disk button and point to the folder that contains the RAMDisk.inf file.
  8. Select Next, Next, Finish.

Let the PC reboot if Windows asks for it. Note that this may not always be the case.

The Property Page provider allows you to change the drive letter and/or size of the RAM disk without rebooting. To change the drive size and/or drive letter, follow these steps :

  1. Select System (Properties).
  2. Within System Properties, select Device Manager.
  3. Expand RAM Disk; select Ramdisk [QSoft] and click the right mouse button.
  4. Select Properties; select Ram Disk Properties.
  5. Select an appropriate drive letter and/or a disk size.
  6. Click OK.

On Windows 2000, you may open the Device Manager by selecting subsequently "My Computer --> Properties --> Hardware".

ATTENTION: The content of the RAM disk is LOST after changing the disk size and/or drive letter!

It may happen that the RAM disk is not properly functioning anymore after you increased the disk size, due to lack of contiguous memory space. In this case, you may need to reboot your PC or fall back to a lower disk size to resolve the problem. The default drive letter used during installation is B:. You may change this default after installation, according your own needs.

The "RAMDISK_inst.zip" contains the necessary installation files for the RAM disk driver Version 1.0. RAMDISK_src.zip contains the sources of this software. It allows you to freely modify and rebuild the binaries using Visual Studio.NET and the Windows DDK for XP, build 2600. Both the driver and the installer are extended with a lot of trace outputs to learn how the OS interacts with these binaries. The Installer sources demonstrate also show how you can use basic MFC functions (CString , CArray, ...) within a Driver Property Sheet Provider.

If you used the original Microsoft RAMDisk sample (Q257405), you have to uninstall it first before installing this version. It is also recommended to delete the Driver Class from the Registry for the MS Sample Driver by deleting the next entries and their sub-keys:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet002\Control\Class\
{78A1C341-4539-11d3-B88D-00C04FAD5171}]

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\
{78A1C341-4539-11d3-B88D-00C04FAD5171}]

Also, search within the %SYSTEMROOT%\Inf for the original *.inf file that contains the text "ClassGuid={78A1C341-4539-11d3-B88D-00C04FAD5171}" and delete this *.inf file.

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