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Windows 7 ReadyBoost Problems with SanDisk Fit

For those of us who aren’t too keen on the price differential of solid state drives (at the time of this writing, a 1TB 7200 RPM Western Digital hard drive costs $100, whereas Samsung’s 1TB SSD costs $770), Microsoft developed ReadyBoost, a way to create an off-disk cache for quicker access to frequently-accessed files. Windows 7 even boasts the ability to determine the quality of any thumb drive it detects, promising it won’t use the drive if it doesn’t meet the 2.5MB/s random read/1.75MB/s random write speed. Apparently, other factors will affect performance significantly.

I used to use a SanDisk Cruzer 16GB drive and saw a small improvement in runtime while gaming, but a slightly longer load time while the files were being written to the drive.

sandisk-cruzer-8gb

But this drive is long and leaving it sticking out of my desktop is a recipe for a broken USB port, so I figured I’d pick up one of these fancy low-profile drives.

Don’t do this.

269902-sandisk-cruzer-fitWhile this drive is great for extremely portable and low-profile storage, it gave me serious fits under ReadyBoost, causing significant delays in load times while gaming, including freezing and render degradation. I can tolerate a lot of lag, so when I complain about it, we’re talking more than 30 seconds, not skips. Additionally, I couldn’t boot into Windows or Linux with the Fit in a USB port during boot. I have two separate Fit drives of different sizes, one for ReadyBoost and one for backup storage, and the boot issues occurred regardless of the which drive was attached.This doesn’t happen with any of my other flash drives, regardless of the partition scheme, manufacturer or data on them.

I used the software SanDisk provided to remove the bloatware that was U3 from the Cruzer, but to my knowledge, there is no software to remove the software that comes with the Fit. Although that likely has nothing to do with the boot issues, I can’t rule it out either.

If you’re thinking of using a flash drive to improve your system’s performance, check this for read/write speeds and do some research.

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