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RAMdisk with Windows Server 2016/2019 - Configuration Guide

RAMdisk Server 2016 Windows latency Configuration guide

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#81 Nobudy

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 02:15 PM

Here are the files that work correctly guaranteed!

 

BootICE

 

FiraDisk drivers

 

Firadisk Registry insertion

 

Grub4Dos

 

NTboot ISO file

 

RMPrepUSB Utility

 

WinNTSetup

This files work 100%



#82 bodiebill

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 06:45 PM

This files work 100%

 

For you, but not for me :-| as you could have read earlier in this thread:

 

The problem is with the grldr file:

RAM boot is OK.

Trying to boot via ntboot.iso results in “not supported Grub4DOS version".

Trying to boot direct from VHD (without ntboot.iso) at first seems to go well, but then there is the light blue screen "Windows has to restart", so again the boot is not successful.


xigmanas or local hd => Streacom FC8 PC i7 16GB RAM Windows 10, Audirvana+ / HQPlayer => optically isolated ethernet => either DSD256 => renderer HDPlex H1.S i3 8GB RAM powered by SBooster 19V with GentooPlayer (Linux), mpd+upmpdcli or NAA, ramdisk => Regen USB=> Lush^2 => SOtM tX-USBhubEX => Lush^1 => Lampizator Lite 7 Amanero or PCM 176kHz => i5 8GB Server 2016 core, AO, FP, JPLAY FEMTO => Regen USB => Lush^2 => SOtM tX-USBhubEX => Lush^1 => Audiophilleo 1 => Audio Aéro Prestige => Lightspeed Attenuator => power amp Cayin A-88T (modified) => speakers Spendor SP100 + 2x REL T5  / Taket H2 + TR2 / Hifiman HE-6; HDPlex LPSU


#83 Nobudy

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Posted 13 February 2019 - 05:42 AM

how big is your vhd file



#84 Nobudy

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Posted 13 February 2019 - 07:20 AM

see blue above

"however the RAM boot then halts at 496MB."

 

this is usually due to
1, bad memory module,
2, inconsistent hdd, run checkdisk on c: when booted on vhd file



#85 pavgeris

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Posted 13 February 2019 - 06:22 PM

Guys,

I have been away for a couple of days.

Things have been solved. For me at least, 100%.

No Firadisk issues, no drivers issues, nothing at all.

Beta 33 solves all this nighmare.

I am just expecting for the final release and final installation!

 

Good luck to all of you!


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#86 ThuanB

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Posted 13 February 2019 - 06:58 PM

Feels great to smell the sense of success  :)


WS2019 Datacenter Core, Dual PC, AO3 Beta 36 - 1A/2D, JPLAY Femto - KS/US/1000Hz/Hibernate, BubbleUPnP.

#87 bodiebill

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 07:51 PM

Lacking a grldr file that allows for RAM boot as well as normal boot, on my grub4dos usb stick, when in RAM boot mode, I have the following files:

 

grldr    =RAM-boot capable file

grldr_normal

menu.lst    =RAM-boot option default

menu_normal.lst

 

I also have a batch file sg ('switch grub'):

 

@echo off
Title Change grub4dos mode...
cls
d:
ren grldr grldr_temp
ren menu.lst menu_temp.lst
if exist grldr_normal ( 
echo changing grub4dos mode to RAM
ren grldr_normal grldr
ren menu_normal.lst menu.lst
ren grldr_temp grldr_ram
ren menu_temp.lst menu_ram.lst
pause
) else (
echo changing grub4dos mode to normal
ren grldr_ram grldr
ren menu_ram.lst menu.lst
ren grldr_temp grldr_normal
ren menu_temp.lst menu_normal.ls
pause
)
 
where D: is the drive letter of the grub4dos stick.
This batch job results in the following files:

 

grldr     =normal-boot capable file

grldr_ram

menu.lst    =normal-boot option default

menu_ram.lst

 

and voila! I am in RAM boot mode.

 

Running the batch job again brings me back to normal boot mode. Like a toggle.


xigmanas or local hd => Streacom FC8 PC i7 16GB RAM Windows 10, Audirvana+ / HQPlayer => optically isolated ethernet => either DSD256 => renderer HDPlex H1.S i3 8GB RAM powered by SBooster 19V with GentooPlayer (Linux), mpd+upmpdcli or NAA, ramdisk => Regen USB=> Lush^2 => SOtM tX-USBhubEX => Lush^1 => Lampizator Lite 7 Amanero or PCM 176kHz => i5 8GB Server 2016 core, AO, FP, JPLAY FEMTO => Regen USB => Lush^2 => SOtM tX-USBhubEX => Lush^1 => Audiophilleo 1 => Audio Aéro Prestige => Lightspeed Attenuator => power amp Cayin A-88T (modified) => speakers Spendor SP100 + 2x REL T5  / Taket H2 + TR2 / Hifiman HE-6; HDPlex LPSU


#88 smazur

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 07:45 AM

I've been booting from RAMDISK for a few years now, but I will say, even with everything setup and working properly, I still have occasional errors when booting.  Sometimes the shell won't load properly--sometimes everything looks right but a particular program won't work (regedit, DAC driver panel).  Only solution I've found is to make multiple boot attempts until eventually everything just works.

 

As for the other instabilities I reported, I actually think they may be related to the size or number of files on the vhd....  For instance, on my audio pc, I boot a 10GB vhd into 16GB of RAM.  That system boots to RAM correctly 90% of the time, but once in a while I still get an error.  On another system I've setup a 16GB vhd to load into 24GB of RAM, with a lot more applications running, and that one is even more troublesome to get to boot correctly.  Sometimes you'll think everything's good, but then find an error when loading an audio or video editing plugin, for example.  Mind you, everything will work perfectly 100% of the time when booting from the vhd, but when loaded to RAM, it might take several reboots before it's totally stable.

 

I had some time recently to experiment and investigate the issues I described.  I’m happy to report, with thanks to information shared in this thread, I’ve been able to completely resolve my problems!

 

For me, like pavgeris, the issues I experienced were all related to the version of grub4dos I was using.  In my case, I had been using NeoGrub, a custom build of grub4dos distributed with the utility program EasyBCD.  While this version worked okay for me, it was not without problems, as described above.  I never would have guessed a different build of the bootloader would have accounted for the errors I experienced, but after switching to the version supplied in this thread (grub4dos-0.4.5b-2011-04-23), I have had none of the same issues, on either of the systems described above, after multiple boots.

 

However, the one issue I did encounter with the 0.4.5b build was that I could not boot to RAMDISK if the computer was running headless (no GPU and onboard graphics disabled).  I tested this many times and it just wouldn’t work for me--I could boot fine to the VHD with or without a GPU, and boot to RAMDISK as long as there was a GPU present, but when disabled, I would just wait and wait and never be able to login with Remote Desktop.  Strange, since booting headless had not been a problem with the NeoGrub bootloader I had previously used.

 

Frustrated again, I began looking at other builds of grub4dos.  There is an archive of grub4dos versions here (http://grub4dos.chenall.net/).  I tried one of the newest builds of 0.4.6a, but with that one I couldn’t boot to RAMDISK at all, getting an error that the VHD would not fit in the RAMDISK or something like that.  Finally I found the magic version (for me) - 0.4.5c.  I downloaded the latest version of that build (grub4dos-0.4.5c-2016-01-18) and everything is working: boot to VHD, boot to RAMDISK, computer headless.  (FYI, I also tried a later build of 0.4.5b and that one wouldn’t work headless either).

 

So, I’m very happy with these results.  Also, one thing I’m doing a little differently in my system that might interest some of you…rather than install grub4dos as the sole bootloader, I actually setup my boot drive with a regular Windows BCD/bootmgr bootloader, and manually add grub4dos as a separate entry in the BCD menu.  If you do this you won’t need to use the NTBoot.iso file Felipe provided in order to boot to the VHD, you can simply add the VHD as an entry to the BCD menu and select it directly, then you only need to select grub4dos when you want to boot to RAMDISK.  This is preferable for me as I am much more comfortable using bcdedit commands when I want to change something, than I am using grub.  If anyone wants to setup their system this way and is having trouble, let me know and I can provide some details (tip: you have to add grldr AND grldr.mbr to the boot drive, then follow these instructions to manually add the grub4dos entry: http://diddy.boot-la...ws.htm#windows3).

 

Thanks to FelipeRolim for taking the time to write a guide, and to others for sharing their experiences.  I probably never would have figured out my issues without this thread.


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#89 darkfrank

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Posted 07 March 2019 - 03:20 PM

Hello, I'm little bit confused when reading the guide.

 

Before the chapter "Configure loading of vdisk to RAM", all action above must be done on an installed OS of the target audio PC?

 

If its the case, after installing grub4doc and moving vhd file to usb disk, the new OS no longer need to load anything from the previously installed OS, which mean we can disconnect that ssd?



#90 FelipeRolim

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 11:39 PM

Hello guys. I've been around for some time without updating the topic. I set up this week another dedicated computer, now with a Core i7-4750T, 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD. I started experimenting with RAMdisk as soon as I put it to work. I used, to try out, version 0.4.5c of Grub4Dos that smazur indicated and everything is working perfectly, too. I now have two computers with RAMdisk and both running perfectly. I ask you to apologize, but there are certain things that I cannot help because I cannot emulate the problems on my own computers. The first computer is with version 0.4.6a of Grub4dos and the second with version 0.4.5c, both working perfectly, be it in the RAMdisk mode, or in the normal loading mode of the VHD. To do this, I use the NTBOOT.iso file I shared in Google Drive and it works! I really don't know what happens, but I think that's something related to the motherboard.

 

Replacing the notebook with this computer brought a very impressive result. I'm still using the original switched source and I'm already surprised. Tomorrow it will also receive a linear power supply, so there will be two computers with linear power supply, RAMdisk, JPLAY FEMTO and Audiophile Optimizer. Control-PC has two network cards (common, so far), one of them exclusively for communicating with Audio-PC. The result is scary! It's hard to stop smiling. I intend, in the future, to buy two JCAT Net Card FEMTO and one SATA audiophile cable. Now I'll need them.

 

Hello, I'm little bit confused when reading the guide.

 

Before the chapter "Configure loading of vdisk to RAM", all action above must be done on an installed OS of the target audio PC?

 

If its the case, after installing grub4doc and moving vhd file to usb disk, the new OS no longer need to load anything from the previously installed OS, which mean we can disconnect that ssd?

 

Hello darkfrank! Welcome! This procedure needs to be done on the pendrive or storage device that you use to load Windows on the computer on which it will permanently reside. Yes, you can disconnect the SSD if you use it only to store Windows. In my case, I use only a 1TB SSD, which after loading Windows to RAM, is exclusively for playing music. Taking the time to respond to your PM, the low loading speed is probably due to the pendrive you are using. A good USB 3.0 pendrive should solve. I went through the same problem, bought another and solved it.


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- Speakers KEF Reference 203/2 with spikes;

- Integrated amplifier Sunrise V8 MK IV;

- DAC Ayre QB-9 192/24 + Furutech FI-03 ( R);

- Source: the Control-PC is a dedicated computer with an Asrock Q1900-ITX motherboard, 16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3 RAM 1333MHz, 1TB Samsung 840 Evo SSD and SOtM SATA II Filter; the Audio-PC is a dedicated computer with an Asrock H81M-VG4 R2.0, an Intel Core i7-4750T, an Arctic Alpine 11 Passive Cooler, 16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3 RAM 1600MHz and JCAT USB Card FEMTO. Both computers use Windows Server 2019 Core Mode with RAMdisk as Operational System, JPLAY FEMTO Alternative version and Audiophile Optimizer v. 3.00 (1A in Control-PC and 4D in Audio-PC). Both also use a hand made linear power supply with a Furutech FI-06 ( R).

- Cables: Nordost Tyr (speaker), Nordost Valhalla XLR (interconnect), Curious Cable (USB), Nordost Valhalla Power Cable (power distributor), Transparent PowerLink MM² (integrated amp.), Purist Audio Design Canorus Praesto Revision Power Cable (DAC), Nordost Valhalla Power Cable (computer), Kimber Kable 12TC + gold plated connectors (24 way internal power supply cable of the mother board);

- Acessories: Furutech GTX-D (G); Furutech GTX-D ( R) (x2); Sunrise Deep Line (x4); spikes Viablue HS; ebony spikes, carbon fiber bases; Nordost Qv2 (x3); acoustical and electrical reinforcements.


#91 ThuanB

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 11:56 PM

Scary is the right word, my friend.
WS2019 Datacenter Core, Dual PC, AO3 Beta 36 - 1A/2D, JPLAY Femto - KS/US/1000Hz/Hibernate, BubbleUPnP.

#92 bodiebill

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 03:52 PM

I had some time recently to experiment and investigate the issues I described.  I’m happy to report, with thanks to information shared in this thread, I’ve been able to completely resolve my problems!

 

For me, like pavgeris, the issues I experienced were all related to the version of grub4dos I was using.  In my case, I had been using NeoGrub, a custom build of grub4dos distributed with the utility program EasyBCD.  While this version worked okay for me, it was not without problems, as described above.  I never would have guessed a different build of the bootloader would have accounted for the errors I experienced, but after switching to the version supplied in this thread (grub4dos-0.4.5b-2011-04-23), I have had none of the same issues, on either of the systems described above, after multiple boots.

 

However, the one issue I did encounter with the 0.4.5b build was that I could not boot to RAMDISK if the computer was running headless (no GPU and onboard graphics disabled).  I tested this many times and it just wouldn’t work for me--I could boot fine to the VHD with or without a GPU, and boot to RAMDISK as long as there was a GPU present, but when disabled, I would just wait and wait and never be able to login with Remote Desktop.  Strange, since booting headless had not been a problem with the NeoGrub bootloader I had previously used.

 

Frustrated again, I began looking at other builds of grub4dos.  There is an archive of grub4dos versions here (http://grub4dos.chenall.net/).  I tried one of the newest builds of 0.4.6a, but with that one I couldn’t boot to RAMDISK at all, getting an error that the VHD would not fit in the RAMDISK or something like that.  Finally I found the magic version (for me) - 0.4.5c.  I downloaded the latest version of that build (grub4dos-0.4.5c-2016-01-18) and everything is working: boot to VHD, boot to RAMDISK, computer headless.  (FYI, I also tried a later build of 0.4.5b and that one wouldn’t work headless either).

 

So, I’m very happy with these results.  Also, one thing I’m doing a little differently in my system that might interest some of you…rather than install grub4dos as the sole bootloader, I actually setup my boot drive with a regular Windows BCD/bootmgr bootloader, and manually add grub4dos as a separate entry in the BCD menu.  If you do this you won’t need to use the NTBoot.iso file Felipe provided in order to boot to the VHD, you can simply add the VHD as an entry to the BCD menu and select it directly, then you only need to select grub4dos when you want to boot to RAMDISK.  This is preferable for me as I am much more comfortable using bcdedit commands when I want to change something, than I am using grub.  If anyone wants to setup their system this way and is having trouble, let me know and I can provide some details (tip: you have to add grldr AND grldr.mbr to the boot drive, then follow these instructions to manually add the grub4dos entry: http://diddy.boot-la...ws.htm#windows3).

 

Thanks to FelipeRolim for taking the time to write a guide, and to others for sharing their experiences.  I probably never would have figured out my issues without this thread.

 

Great, thanks! I will try with 0.4.5c-2016-01-18 when I can. Alas my Supermicro motherboard broke down, so I will have to be patient... 


xigmanas or local hd => Streacom FC8 PC i7 16GB RAM Windows 10, Audirvana+ / HQPlayer => optically isolated ethernet => either DSD256 => renderer HDPlex H1.S i3 8GB RAM powered by SBooster 19V with GentooPlayer (Linux), mpd+upmpdcli or NAA, ramdisk => Regen USB=> Lush^2 => SOtM tX-USBhubEX => Lush^1 => Lampizator Lite 7 Amanero or PCM 176kHz => i5 8GB Server 2016 core, AO, FP, JPLAY FEMTO => Regen USB => Lush^2 => SOtM tX-USBhubEX => Lush^1 => Audiophilleo 1 => Audio Aéro Prestige => Lightspeed Attenuator => power amp Cayin A-88T (modified) => speakers Spendor SP100 + 2x REL T5  / Taket H2 + TR2 / Hifiman HE-6; HDPlex LPSU


#93 smazur

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 11:48 PM

I have to amend my previous comments on this subject.  After further testing, I found that grub4dos 0.4.5c-2016-01-18 actually behaves very similarly to the NeoGrub build I had been using earlier.  Too many errors when booting my larger system (16GB VHD into 24GB RAM) which runs a lot of audio and video editing software.  The smaller Audio PC (10GB VHD into 16GB RAM) works without issue 90% of the time, occasionally I'll see and error on bootup (shell won't load, e.g.).

 

For my larger system, I've reverted back to grub4dos 0.4.5b-2011-04-23, the version pavgeris had linked here.  That one has given me absolutely zero issues after many reboots.  Only problem is I still can't get either of my systems to boot headlessly with this version.  For my smaller audio pc, which I prefer to use headlessly, I'm sticking with 0.4.5c and just deal with the very occasional error.  I'm content with this solution, though I might still eventually try some other versions (maybe earlier versions of 0.4.5c) and see how they behave.

 

Also, I tried the version Felipe displayed in his video (grub4dos 0.4.6a-2015-08-25) and with that one I got the problem of system starting to load to RAM, then hanging and rebooting after ~3000MB, as others have reported on this thread.  But clearly it works for Felipe, so there must be other things at play, motherboard or RAM or something.


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#94 FelipeRolim

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Posted 15 March 2019 - 12:50 PM

Since from the beginning I always say I believe that the problems related to (i) infinite loop at loading VHD to RAM; (ii) incompatible version of the grub4dos, and; (iii) problems in selecting RAMdisk and NTBOOT.iso are directly related to the hardware of each one. I gave up claiming this after the incisive insistence of pavgeris, that said he had tried on three computers, but I still believe. It's for this reason that I cannot replicate, on my computers, the problems that you go through. And it seems that even if the manual is followed accurately, there's still a risk that the Grub4Dos version will be incompatible with the hardware.

 

I'm using version 0.4.6a in Control-PC and 0.4.5c (grub4dos-0.4.5c-2016-01-18) in Audio-PC and both are fully functional. Just for the sake of conscience, I decided to try to invert the versions and use 0.4.6a in Audio-PC and 0.4.5c in Control-PC. Well, 0.4.5c ran on Control-PC, but 0.4.6a didn't run on the Audio-PC. Whenever loading to RAM came in at 2000MB, the computer reboot itself and start everything again, in an infinity loop. This only confirms my position that the operation of the Grub4Dos version is directly related to the hardware. Besides that, I noticed that loading to RAM using version 0.4.5c is a lot slower than using 0.4.6a.

 

So, especially thanks to smazur, I believe we should look for a 100% functional version of Grub4Dos for our hardware, or hope for there to be some.


- Speakers KEF Reference 203/2 with spikes;

- Integrated amplifier Sunrise V8 MK IV;

- DAC Ayre QB-9 192/24 + Furutech FI-03 ( R);

- Source: the Control-PC is a dedicated computer with an Asrock Q1900-ITX motherboard, 16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3 RAM 1333MHz, 1TB Samsung 840 Evo SSD and SOtM SATA II Filter; the Audio-PC is a dedicated computer with an Asrock H81M-VG4 R2.0, an Intel Core i7-4750T, an Arctic Alpine 11 Passive Cooler, 16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3 RAM 1600MHz and JCAT USB Card FEMTO. Both computers use Windows Server 2019 Core Mode with RAMdisk as Operational System, JPLAY FEMTO Alternative version and Audiophile Optimizer v. 3.00 (1A in Control-PC and 4D in Audio-PC). Both also use a hand made linear power supply with a Furutech FI-06 ( R).

- Cables: Nordost Tyr (speaker), Nordost Valhalla XLR (interconnect), Curious Cable (USB), Nordost Valhalla Power Cable (power distributor), Transparent PowerLink MM² (integrated amp.), Purist Audio Design Canorus Praesto Revision Power Cable (DAC), Nordost Valhalla Power Cable (computer), Kimber Kable 12TC + gold plated connectors (24 way internal power supply cable of the mother board);

- Acessories: Furutech GTX-D (G); Furutech GTX-D ( R) (x2); Sunrise Deep Line (x4); spikes Viablue HS; ebony spikes, carbon fiber bases; Nordost Qv2 (x3); acoustical and electrical reinforcements.






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