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Thread: Things you MUST do to run and tweak your SSD in Windows 7

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    Default Things you MUST do to run and tweak your SSD in Windows 7

    Personally I bought myself a SSD(Solid State Drive) and was thinking what changes I might need to make in BIOS or how to install windows 7 for SSD's, any special instructions in this case or not etc. While reading through forums, I’ve noticed that a ton of people are now using solid state drives (SSDs) instead of hard disk drives (HDDs) for their operating system partition and, sometimes, for the entire computer’s storage. That’s all fine and dandy, but if you run an SSD, you pretty much don’t benefit as much from it as you would if you knew how to prepare your operating system for it. Windows 7 supports certain features that SSDs need to operate at optimum velocity, but it doesn’t enable them by default. This means that you have to come in and change OS settings to support the full potential of your SSD. Let’s get down to it!

    1. Enable AHCI

    The Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI) is a paramount feature for ensuring that Windows will support all of the features that come with running an SSD on your computer, especially the TRIM feature, which allows Windows to help the SSD perform its routine garbage collection. The term “garbage collection” is used to describe the phenomenon that occurs when a drive gets rid of information that is no longer considered to be in use.
    To enable AHCI, you’ll have to enter the BIOS of your computer and enable it somewhere within its settings. I can’t tell you exactly where the setting is, as each BIOS functions differently. You’ll have to do a bit of hunting. Chances are that newer computers will have this enabled by default. It’s most recommended that you enable this feature before installing the operating system, although you might be able to get away with enabling it after Windows has already been installed.


    2. Enable TRIM


    We’ve talked about TRIM enough in the previous section. You could see how such a feature would benefit your computer’s speed greatly, so let’s get to enabling it!
    Open up your command prompt and enter the following:

    fsutil behavior set disabledeletenotify 0

    That’s all you have to do! Onto the next step!


    3. Disable System Restore

    This isn’t an obligation. But, just so you know, your drive doesn’t exactly have infinite space. System restore undermines both the speed and space of your SSD. Why don’t you just get rid of it?
    Click your Start menu, right-click “Computer,” and click “Properties.” Click “System Protection” on the upper left-hand corner:


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    Once in the window, click “Configure,” like so:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Once in the configuration dialog, click “Turn off system protection.” Click “OK” and you’re all set!


    4. Disable Indexing

    A good part of your SSD speed is consumed in indexing files for Windows search. This could be useful if you store everything you have on your SSD, but you might be annoyed by it if you experience slow-downs due to the periodic indexing process that occurs every time you add new data to the drive. You’re better off without it in an SSD, because the speed boost from the indexing process is superfluous in such environments.
    Click your Start menu and click “Computer.” Right-click your SSD and click “Properties.” De-select the box labeled “Allow files to have contents indexed in addition to file properties” and click “OK.” Once you do this, the operating system will apply this to all the files and folders on the drive. If you see a dialog telling you that it couldn’t remove a file from the index, click “Ignore All.” That will streamline the process and ignore any errors.


    5. Disable Scheduled Defragmentation

    Because the SSD is a solid media with no moving parts, you often don’t see a performance drop due to file fragmentation. Therefore, there’s no need to actually defragment the drive as frequently as you would defragment an HDD, per se. That’s why we’re about to disable this!
    Access your Start menu, click “Accessories,” click “System Tools,” and then click “Disk Defragmenter.” Click “Configure schedule,” like so:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Once in the schedule configuration window, uncheck the box labeled “Run on a schedule.” Click “OK,” and you won’t have to worry about scheduled defragmentations again.


    6. Remove The Page File

    The page file in Windows refers to a file on a disk reserved for the storage of application components that would otherwise fit into physical memory. It’s like a form of RAM on your hard drive. Disabling the page file on a solid state drive would greatly increase the focus it would have on running system processes. Don’t do this if you run your computer solely on one SSD. If you paired an SSD with an HDD, then you can easily configure the HDD to handle the page file. The most ideal setup, though, is one SSD to run the page file, another SSD to run Windows, and an HDD for storage.
    The process of configuring the page file differs based on your setup, so we’re only going to teach you how to reach the configuration window.
    Right-click “Computer” in the Start menu and click “Properties.” Click “Advanced system settings” on the top left-hand side of the window and access the “Advanced” tab. Click “Settings” under “Performance.” You should now be at a window like this:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click the “Advanced” tab and click “Change.” The rest of the configuration process should be easy enough!


    7. Disable Hibernation

    Windows occupies at least 2 GB for the hibernation state image. If you want to keep it, that’s fine by me, but you’re not getting all the juice you can out of your drive. Type “powercfg -h off” in your command line to disable it. You’ll be thankful for those two extra gigabytes when you have an intense game to install on it!
    8. Disable Prefetch and Superfetch

    Windows sometimes places information in your physical memory and virtual memory belonging to programs that you don’t currently use, but use very often. This is known as “Prefetch” and “Superfetch.” If you are stuck with having to cope with virtual memory on your SSD, you’re better off just doing away with these two features. You can find them on your registry editor under


    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\CurrentControlSet\Control\SessionManager\Memory Management\PrefetchParameters

    as two values: EnablePrefetcher and EnableSuperfetch. Set both values to zero and be done with it!
    9. Configure Write Caching

    On many SSDs, user level write caching can have a detrimental effect on the drive. To figure this out, you’ll have to disable the option in Windows and see how the drive performs afterwards. If your drive performs worse, enable it again.
    To reach the configuration window, right-click “Computer” on the Start menu and click “Properties.” Click “Device manager,” expand “Disk Drives,” right-click your SSD, and click “Properties.” Select the “Policies” tab. In this tab, you’ll see an option labeled “Enable write caching on the device.”


    Click image for larger version. 

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    Benchmark your SSD with and without the option and compare results.


    10. Disable Services for Windows Search and Superfetch

    Even with the above-mentioned registry tweak and index removal, your computer might continue slowing your hard drive with their respective services. Press “Win+R” on your keyboard, type “services.msc,” and press “Enter.” Find both services mentioned in the title of this section and disable them.
    11. Disable ClearPageFileAtShutdown and LargeSystemCache

    Windows is quick to implement things that are no longer necessary. An SSD operates on flash memory, making it possible to easily overwrite things on the disk. Therefore, the page file doesn’t need to be erased while the computer’s shutting down. This will make the Windows shutdown process much faster. LargeSystemCache, on the other hand, exists primarily in Server versions of Windows, and tells the computer whether to use a large cache for pages on the drive.
    Both these options are found in your registry editor under

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\CurrentControlSet\Control\SessionManager\Memory Management

    Set them to 0.


    12. Set the “High Performance” Power Option

    This should be a no-brainer. When your SSD powers on and off all the time, you’ll notice a slight lag whenever you use your computer after you’ve been idle for a while.
    To switch your power options, access your control panel, click “System and Security,” and then click “Power Options.” Select “High Performance” from the list. You might need to click “Show additional plans” to find it.


    The Finale

    So guyz I hope this helps
    Last edited by aayman; December 9th, 2012 at 00:36.

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    Aitai khujtesilam thanks

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    @blood stain child My pleasure

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    Stuck as requested.

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    A very helpful post indeed.

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    Nice and helpfull.

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    Helpful, but I would not disable the following things:

    1) Prefetch
    2) Superfetch
    3) Write caching
    4) Page file

    Disabling these (except the page file kept only for legacy apps) will only make the startup and shutdown faster but slow down everything in between

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mazhar View Post
    Helpful, but I would not disable the following things:

    1) Prefetch
    2) Superfetch
    3) Write caching
    4) Page file

    Disabling these (except the page file kept only for legacy apps) will only make the startup and shutdown faster but slow down everything in between
    Disabling write caching has detrimental effect on the drive. To figure this out, you’ll have to disable the option in Windows and see how the drive performs afterwards. If your drive performs worse, enable it again

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mazhar View Post
    Helpful, but I would not disable the following things:

    1) Prefetch
    2) Superfetch
    3) Write caching

    4) Page file

    Disabling these (except the page file kept only for legacy apps) will only make the startup and shutdown faster but slow down everything in between
    I believe one of the reasons Super and Pre-fetch are suggested to be disabled, is due to something that Prefetch does with the list of boot files and/or applications that it maintains in a list for pre-loading. By default, every three days it sends a defragmentation command to the C:/OS drive, with an option that causes it to move the boot files and applications in that list to the beginning/fastest portion of a HDD to further decrease the loading time of those files.Not only is that not applicable to SSDs (there isn't any faster or slower access or speed NAND in a SSD) it also runs a useless defragmentation on the SSD. Not only are the additional writes from the defrag to the SSD providing no gain in performance, the defrag will ruin the SSDs wear leveling, by putting all the files in near-sequential LBAs. The SSDs firmware will need to do extra work to undo the crowding of files into one or two NAND chips, out of the four, eight, or more that the SSD may have. That will cause unnecessary writing on the SSD. If that defrag is allowed to run all the time, the SSD's firmware will be constantly trying to fix it's wear leveling that the defrag just ruined again. The amount of writing and write amplification occurring during those processes is useless wear on a SSD, much more than simply using the SSD normally. Superfetch is an extension of Prefetch, so it may not be possible to only have Superfetch running without Prefetch running. There is also the question of will the scheduled special Defragmentation occur if the defrag service is disabled, or if it can be stopped from occurring. Both of those services are not "free", the file list must be maintained and is updated regularly, so there is some overhead involved. There was also supposedly an issue with Superfetch in Vista that caused it to constantly access the OS drive, and cause the general performance of the PC to slow down. That may have been fixed in Windows 7, I've never heard about it again.
    Last edited by VANGUARD; August 20th, 2012 at 17:02.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vanguard View Post
    I believe one of the reasons Super and Pre-fetch are suggested to be disabled, is due to something that Prefetch does with the list of boot files and/or applications that it maintains in a list for pre-loading. By default, every three days it sends a defragmentation command to the C:/OS drive, with an option that causes it to move the boot files and applications in that list to the beginning/fastest portion of a HDD to further decrease the loading time of those files.Not only is that not applicable to SSDs (there isn't any faster or slower access or speed NAND in a SSD) it also runs a useless defragmentation on the SSD. Not only are the additional writes from the defrag to the SSD providing no gain in performance, the defrag will ruin the SSDs wear leveling, by putting all the files in near-sequential LBAs. The SSDs firmware will need to do extra work to undo the crowding of files into one or two NAND chips, out of the four, eight, or more that the SSD may have. That will cause unnecessary writing on the SSD. If that defrag is allowed to run all the time, the SSD's firmware will be constantly trying to fix it's wear leveling that the defrag just ruined again. The amount of writing and write amplification occurring during those processes is useless wear on a SSD, much more than simply using the SSD normally. Superfetch is an extension of Prefetch, so it may not be possible to only have Superfetch running without Prefetch running. There is also the question of will the scheduled special Defragmentation occur if the defrag service is disabled, or if it can be stopped from occurring. Both of those services are not "free", the file list must be maintained and is updated regularly, so there is some overhead involved. There was also supposedly an issue with Superfetch in Vista that caused it to constantly access the OS drive, and cause the general performance of the PC to slow down. That may have been fixed in Windows 7, I've never heard about it again.
    I dont believe that the OS sends a defrag command to the SSD under Windows 7, nor does it send the files to be loaded in a sequential LBA. It simply sends a list to be pre loaded to the RAM from the SSD. The only difference would be a faster OS load time with superfetch disabled but the commonly used programs (being prefetched) would be loaded from the SSD instead of the RAM which is faster. So it boils down to whether you want a faster load time or want to load the commonly loaded apps to load faster.

    An SSD with fast random read/writes will have no trouble with prefetching disabled and write slightly less on the SSD along with slightly faster boot times. Slower SSD's on the other hand, especially if used for a period of time, may encounter a slight loss in performance with no prefetching. So its safer to just keep it on unless that minimal difference in load time is important or the SSD is fast enough with random read/writes to make the difference between loading an app from the RAM or SSD indiscernible

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    Very helpful, thanks a lot, I am using a SSD for past two years, seems faster but never as much as the pack informed. Will give it a try and see how it goes!
    nature will merely shrug and conclude that letting apes run the laboratory was fun for a while but in the end a bad idea

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    nice post... Thanks ...

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    will enabling AHCI cause problems with my HDD drives?
    Currnently i am using one 128 gb ssd and 2 HDD.

    Few months back i damaged one of my HDD during enabling AHCI, I guess. But not sure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fahimspider View Post
    will enabling AHCI cause problems with my HDD drives?
    Currnently i am using one 128 gb ssd and 2 HDD.

    Few months back i damaged one of my HDD during enabling AHCI, I guess. But not sure.
    some hdd doesnt support AHCI.

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    Thanks!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by THS View Post
    Thanks!!!
    This is going to be your only warning.

    Stop bumping up old threads unless you have questions of your own.

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    @radeef Putting the Pagefile on Mechanical HDD kind of defeats the purpose of having an SSD to some extent. Some of the guides says the same as well.

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    For Tweak#11 the correct key location is:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management
    However, When I reached there the values were already set to "0" as recommended.

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    I think that's automatic if you are on Win8. I didn't change it and it's default at 0.

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    Quote Originally Posted by minitt View Post
    @radeef Putting the Pagefile on Mechanical HDD kind of defeats the purpose of having an SSD to some extent. Some of the guides says the same as well.
    Actually the best case scenario would be if you have 2 SSD's and 1 HDD. Put system on 1 SSD, Page file on another SSD and HDD just for storage

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