Preparing XP For Copying

This section covers the steps required to prepare a Windows XP install for booting from a RAM Disk.

For testing purposes I recommend that you complete a clean install of Windows XP. Before completing the following steps I installed Windows XP Home with service pack 3, and installed all hardware drivers but no programs.

Note - the firadisk driver must be installed. Boot the Windows installation you plan to copy to the disk image and install the firadisk driver (follow the instructions here).

As previously stated, Windows XP will need to be tweaked to run from a RAM Disk. This section covers reducing the size of the XP install to enable it to fit in as small a disk image as possible - remember that the disk image is mapped to system RAM so using a smaller disk image will result in more RAM being accessible by an operating system booted from the image.

The following instructions are a small selection of tweaks that can be made to reduce the size of your XP install - see here for a detailed guide.


Windows XP uses two types of memory; random access memory (RAM) and virtual memory (the pagefile). During the installation process the pagefile is created on the partition containg the operating system - the default size is 1.5 times the installed RAM. Having a pagefile running in RAM is a waste of system resources, as physical memory is being used as virtual memory. When booting Windows XP from a disk image either remove the pagefile or create it on a physical disk. To remove the pagefile -

Leaving the pagefile running on a physical disk is covered in the walkthroughs (here and here).

Turning off System Restore

Remove Hibernation File (hyberfil.sys)

Delete dllcache