I'm not at all familiar with BasicLinux or even to my knowledge, of that distro existing. But if you tried it and it run s on ram and you want something to run off the harddrive, sounds like you want to try a different distro. Mandrake and Red Hat are good starter distros. And if you add the option within the install it automatically adds X and gcc to the file system.
Nice easy gui for installation and very noobie friendly. I hear debian and slackware are a lil more advanced but still not too complicated.