Saturday, May 7, 2016

Running SandboxIE on a RAM disk


A virtual machine (VM) is like a second computer running inside your machine.

This is done for security (so that if it's compromised you can delete it) but you likely see a performance decrease because it shares the same resources as the rest of the computer.

While running Chrome on Windows 10 64 bit clean install, I noticed a slow down in opening and browsing that was enough to have me contemplate buying a new PC.

32 bit OS would not be advisable since RAM is limited to less than 4 gigs

The Pieces

Super Talent USB RamDisk (but I'm sure you can find a free RAM disk software alternative, I had already purchased this previously)

SandboxIE (but I'm sure you can choose another option, even a full VM)

Google Chrome (for the saving of settings on Googles server but this is possible with other browsers as well)

The Process

Install Chrome as you normally would, run it once, login and let it sync all your settings.

Why a USB flash drive? Technically that doesn't have anything to do with this. This product touts itself as having the software to make a RAM disk (why isn't this already in Windows?) and backs up the RAM disk to the flash drive every so often and at shutdown.
Create the RAM drive. I created one of 2.76 Gigs and it works fine, not even close to being full (I usually don't have more than 10 tabs open at a time and shut off my PC every night)

In SandboxIE choose Sandbox > Set Container Folder and point it at the RAM disk
Create a Sandbox and right click on it to choose Sandbox Settings
Delete > Delete Invocation: Never remove this Sandbox or  delete it's contents
Program Start > Forced Folders: I paid $20 a year for the licensed version of  SandboxIE (I wanted to test it before purchasing a lifetime license) so that whenever any executable within C:\Program Files (x86)\Google launches, it will run within this Sandbox

The RAM disk is automatically created at every boot (this fails enough to not have me set this up on a non-technical users computer since Chrome won't open if it the RAM disk isn't there)

By clicking any Chrome shortcut, it automatically opens in the Sandbox, even in Incognito mode

Bonus Chrome Tip

Set Flash as "Click to Run". Settings > Advanced > Content Settings > Plugins = Choose Let me choose when to run plugin content; then click "Manage Individual Plugins" and click Enable to Disable them all

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