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writeable ramdisk for winpe2005


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I have been working a little more on this and it seems to be working nicly.

The thing to remember is the image to ramsize ratio. A 256Mbyte system kan boot a 150-160MB image. If you go larger the ramdrive fails. On a 512Mbyte I have booted a 260Mbyte image with working ramdrive.

It was this above 160 border i hit when i used the /WMI switch. With more memory or a smaller image /WMI vill work with the ramdrive too

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Hi mats,

thank you very much for your detailed guide!

I finally found the problem with my image - I used the ramdriv.sys from BartPE 3.14. This one is not working! You have to use the ramdriv.sys from BartPE 3.13. They both have the same version but differ in size. Small difference- big problem :blink:

Thanks for your help


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Microsoft has a new Ram Disk driver for PE 2005 that has a simplified process of installation. It uses what MS calls "REG SLAM". It's a one step process (rather then the 2 step process that the PE 1.2 driver required). MS even provides a cmd file to launch the installation process.

All settings are in a reg file that you can modify... Size, Drive letter...

If you are using the old PE 1.2 driver... Get teh newer one.


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The new MS driver works really nice.

That's the one i wrote about from the beginning but you need fair/fair plus contacts with ms to get it, therefore I tried to get the Qsoft driver to work since that is availible in pebuilder 3.13 from www.nu2.nu

The true advantage with the regslam is that it updates the buildfolder and not the winpe folder as the old solution did. Therefore you don't need an extra winpe folder to switch between ramdrive and non ramdrive builds.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 5 weeks later...

I was waiting for my Microsoft Premier Support Rep to supply the Server 2003 sp1 OPK, but I am impaitent. I was able to use the ramdisk.sys and setupldr.bin from Server 2003 sp1 as described above to get WinPE 2004 to boot to a ramdisk (x:).

My problem is - where is my CD drive now? What is it's drive letter?

Never mind. I must be getting tired. I found it at E:.

Edited by noseph
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You can get an updated Microsoft ramdrv.sys from the WSSRA deployment kit here.

If you take the default install options you'll find the driver in C:\WSSRA\Deployment Kit\MSAAPFTree\WinPESupport. You don't need the inf file - if you've already modified your winpesys.inf then just chuck this updated ramdrv.sys into \system32\drivers and you're good to go.

Mind you it still has all the limitations of the original sample driver... if you can use the Qsoft one from BartPE, do so!

Edited by n00dles
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  • 3 weeks later...
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How to add a Ramdrive (Ramdisk) to Windows PE (WinPE)

Written by Johan Arwidmark - jaw@lutteman.se

Microsoft MVP - Setup / Deployment

If you find any errors or have suggestions for improvement, please send me an email and I will update the article.

/ Johan

Step by step procedure

1. Download the free version of Christiaan Ghijselinck's RAMDisk (almost identical with the Microsoft sample driver, KB 257405) from


2. Copy the WINPE folder from the Windows PE CDROM to C:\

3. Create a textfile named WINPE_RAMDISK.INF in the C:\WINPE folder using the following info.

Signature="$WINDOWS NT$"

; Begin - Ramdisk [ QSoft ] Free Version
; DriveLetter is set to Z:
; Ramdisk size, (DiskSize value)
; 4 MB 0x00400000
; 8 MB 0x00800000
; 16 MB: 0x01000000
; 32 MB: 0x02000000 (maximum in free version)

HKLM,"ControlSet001\Control\Class\{FFA1C341-4539-11D3-B88D-00C04FAD5172}\0001","DriverDesc",0000000000,"Ramdisk [ QSoft ]"

HKLM,"ControlSet001\Enum\Root\UNKNOWN\9999","DeviceDesc",0000000000,"Ramdisk [ QSoft ]"

HKLM,"ControlSet001\Services\Ramdriv","DisplayName",0000000000,"Ramdisk [ QSoft ]"





; End - Ramdisk [ QSoft ] Free Version

4. Modify CONFIG.INF using the following info


setupreg.hiv = .\winpesys.inf,AddReg

- to -

setupreg.hiv = .\winpesys.inf,AddReg,.\WINPE_RAMDISK.INF,AddReg

5. Insert the Windows XP SP2 CD-ROM (F: in this example). Start a command prompt and type this.

cd c:\winpe
mkimg.cmd F: c:\mywinpe

6. Extract the downloaded Ramdisk (installfiles.zip). Rename RAMDisk.inf to ramdrv.inf and rename RAMDisk.sys to ramdrv.sys

7. Edit ramdrv.inf, do a search and replace of ramdisk.sys with ramdrv.sys

8. Copy the ramdrv.inf file to c:\mywinpe\i386\inf

9. Copy the ramdrv.sys file to c:\mywinpe\i386\system32\drivers

10. Create a Bootable CD by starting a command prompt and type this.

cd c:\winpe
oscdimg -h -n -betfsboot.com c:\mywinpe c:\mywinpe.iso

11. Burn the .iso to a CD using Nero or other cdr burning software


FILE: Ramdisk.sys Sample Driver for Windows 2000


Christiaan Ghijselinck's RAMDisk


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