When ReadyBoost goes wrong

I opened the Computer window on my main desktop machine (running Windows Vista Ultimate) and did a double-take when I saw the scrambled label on my F: drive:

Scrambled label on Readyboost drive

Hmmmph. That’s a 4GB Apacer Steno flash drive, and it’s supposed to be handling ReadyBoost cache chores. A quick inspection of the properties reveals that the ReadyBoost tab is gone. And displaying the contents of the drive shows some, shall we say, interesting file details:

Readyboost drive - files scrambled

(I’m dying to know what’s in that file dated January 4, 2047.)

The last ReadyBoost cache was created on this device on March 13. After I remove the device from the machine and reinsert it in a USB port, I get an indication that the drive has failed completely; a generic driver loads, but the system thinks it’s an empty removable drive.

I’m going to assume this is a hardware failure. Anybody else see anything like this?

Update: Wow, that was fast. Immediately after posting this, I went to Apacer’s website and posted a support question. Less than 40 minutes later, I had a reply from a support rep who attached a low-level flash drive formatting utility. In the comments, Scott Hanselman (upon whose recommendation I bought this drive) notes he had the same problem and this utility cleared it up right away.

All fixed now.

Kudos to Apacer for excellent support, and thanks for the confirmation, Scott!

8 thoughts on “When ReadyBoost goes wrong

  1. Oh my… you’ve got a USB stick from the future! Watch out Ed, you might get caught up in some sort of “temporal cold war”.

    Ok, so seriously – that is weird.

  2. I vote for hardware failure, or obscure ReadyBoost bug that only just now buzzed out after certain real-world conditions were met.

  3. Ya, I had this problem also. You can low level format the drive with a special Apacer utility…it only works on XPSP2, but you can do the “compatibility” properties page and hack it to run on Vista. It worked after the format. Email me for the tool if you like.

  4. I have been battling ReadyBoost for ages. I have an Acer Ferrari 500, Windows Vista Premium Ready, but ReadyBoost stops working at will.

    I use the internal SD card reader, which is fine, but if Windows locks on the screen saver ReadyBoost will stop. I’ve even changed SD cards, brands, speeds and sizes with no fix. And Microsoft is not good at responding to this yet…

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