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Before Installing Your SSDEdit

Update BIOS firmwareEdit

Before Installing Your Operating SystemEdit

Set the disk's SATA controller to AHCI mode in BIOSEdit

Do not select IDE or ATA. Look for the setting under “SATA Configuration” or “Integrated Peripherals”. AMD systems have the SATA set to IDE in the BIOS by default. The BIOS may not support AHCI.

Update SSD FirmwareEdit

(This can also be done after the installation of the OS.)

Unplug the power to any other hard drives before installing Windows (optional)Edit

Sometimes Windows will create its “System Reserved” partition on a drive other than the one where the OS is installed, potentially causing problems. This can be avoided by unpluging the power to any other hard drives that you have until installation is complete.

Create a custom Windows 7 install (optional)Edit

Remove uneeded components to save space on smaller SSDs. A program like RT7Lite will allow you to create a custom install from an ISO.

After Installing your OSEdit

Install the latest storage driverEdit

Verify SettingsEdit

When Windows 7 detects that you have a properly configured, fast SSD drive, it disables several unnecessary features, including Superfetch, Prefetch, ReadyBoot and defragmentation.

Check the Windows Experience Index.Edit

Running the Windows Experience Index should allow Windows 7 to identify the drive as an SSD, and it should automatically disable defragmentaion, enable TRIM, and any other settings for the drive.

The Primary hard disk score for a properly configured SSD should be over 7.0.

Verify that Native Command Queuing (NCQ) and TRIM are enabled.Edit

You can do this using a program like CrystalDiskInfo

Verify the correct AHCI drivers are installedEdit

You can confirm this using a program like AS-SSD. Look for “msahci - OK”.

Verify the partition on the SSD is aligned to 4kEdit

You can confirm this using a program like AS-SSD . Windows 7 should do this automatically.

Verify the SATA controller is set to AHCI Mode.Edit

  1. On the Start menu, select Control Panel.
  2. Double-click 'System' from the Classic View (or the small or large icon view in Microsoft Windows 7).
  3. Select 'Device Manager' in the left pane.
  4. From the Device Manager, look for an entry named IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers.
  5. If this entry is present, expand it and look for one of the controllers to list AHCI.
  6. If an AHCI controller is identified, then the system is in AHCI mode.
  7. If none of the controllers above are shown, then your system is not in AHCI mode.

If you already installed your operating system in legacy IDE mode, it is recommended to switch to AHCI after completing the steps listed in this Windows Article (assuming your platform supports AHCI).

Performance TweaksEdit

Many of these tweaks are good for some SSDs, but not all. It may be helpful to run a benchmark before and after the tweak is applied to see if the effect is beneficial.

Adjust Power Management settingsEdit

Benefit: Allows the SSD's garbage collection to operate, even while idle.

How to:

  1. Go to Control Panel
  2. Select Power Options and click the drop-down for Show additional plans
  3. Select the High Performance bubble to apply it
  4. Click Change plan settings for the High Performance profile
  5. Click Change advanced power settings
  6. Click the Hard disk drop-down menu
  7. Change Turn off hard disk after to 0 minutes, reflected as Never
  8. Hit OK and save your settings

Disable Windows Write-Cache Buffer Flushing (optional)Edit

Benefit: performance boost for some SSDs.

Risk: Data loss resulting from a power outage while the computer is operating. This is not recommended for Intel drives, as it may a negatively impact performance. Note of your performance before and after this alteration to see if it improves performance. Detailed info.

How to:

  1. Right-click Computer in the Start menu, then select Properties
  2. Select Device Manager
  3. Select Disk drives
  4. Right-click your SSD and select Properties
  5. Under the Polices tab, check the Turn off Windows write-cache buffer flushing on the device box

Disable SuperfetchEdit

Benefit: Superfetch caches files used often, but with the low access times of SSDs this option can be disabled. Windows 7 may disable this feature automatically.

Risk: May hurt performance.

How to:

  1. Select the file path "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\SessionManager\Memory Management\PrefetchParameters"
  2. Right-click on both EnablePrefetcher and EnableSuperfetch
  3. Select Modify on each of these to change the value from 1 (or 3) to 0
  4. Restart

Disable PrefetchEdit

Benefit: Free up system RAM.

Risk: May result in poorer performance for some SSDs.

How to:

  1. Press the Windows key + 'R' to launch the Run dialogue box
  2. Type "services.msc" (without the quotes) and press Enter
  3. Scroll to Superfetch, right-click, and select Properties
  4. In the Startup type drop-down menu, select Disabled, then select OK
  5. Scroll to Windows Search, right-click, and select Properties
  6. Click the Stop box, use the Startup type drop-down menu,, select Disable, and hit OK

Disable ClearPageFileAtShutdown and LargeSystemCacheEdit

Windows 7 may automatically disable these settings.

How to disable:

  1. Open the "Run" dialogue box
  2. Type "Regedit" (without quotes) and hit Enter
  3. Select this file path:
    1. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\SessionManager\Memory Management
  4. Right click ClearPageFileAtShutdown and LargeSystemCache
  5. Select "Modify..." on each and change the value from 1 to 0
  6. Restart your system


Disable loggingEdit

Align partition to the SSDs sector size of 4KEdit

Windows 7 does this automatically, other OSes may not.

Set Firefox to use the RAM for cache instead of the SSDEdit

How to:

  1. Type about:config into the Firefox address bar and pressEnter
  2. Double-click "browser.cache.disk.enable" and set the value to False
  3. Right-Click on this list and select "New", "Integer", "Preference Name" and set the name to "disk.cache.memory.capacity"
  4. Set the value to "32768" for a 32MB SSD, 65536 for 64MB, 131072 for 128MB, etc

Set Windows to “No GUI Boot”Edit

Benefit: This tweak is not specific to SSDs, but can speed up start times.

How to:

  1. Type "msconfig" into the Run box
  2. Under the "Boot" tab, tick the box next to "No GUI Boot"

Space Saving TweaksEdit

Resize the Paging FileEdit

Not recommended for systems with less than 4GB of RAM.

Risk: If the system runs out of physical memory, having no virtual memory available to allocate is likely to result in crashes.

How to resize the paging file:

  1. Right-click Computer
  2. Select Properties
  3. Select Advanced system settings
  4. Select the Advanced tab
  5. Select the Performance radio button
  6. Under Virtual memory, select the Change box
  7. Un-check Automatically manage paging file size for all drives
  8. Select Custom Size

If you have at least 4GB of RAM and you find you never hit the limit, try setting it the minimum to 200 and the maximum to 1GB (1024MB).

Disabling the paging file altogether is not recommended, and may lead to system instability. However, if you would like to:

  1. Right-click Computer
  2. Select Properties
  3. Select Advanced system settings
  4. Select the Advanced tab
  5. Select the Performance radio button
  6. Under Virtual memory, select the Change box
  7. Un-check Automatically manage paging file size for all drives
  8. Select No paging file, and click the Set button
  9. Select OK to allow and restart.

Disable HibernationEdit

Risk: Computer waking up slower from being idle.

Benefit: Considering the speed of SSDs, the difference in waking from hibernation versus normal startup times is probably imperceiveable, so save space by disabling it.

How to disable:

  1. Click Start
  2. Type "cmd" in the Start Search box
  3. In the search results list, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as Administrator.
  4. When you are prompted by User Account Control, click Continue.
  5. At the command prompt, type powercfg.exe /hibernate off and then press ENTER.
  6. Type exit and then press ENTER to close the Command Prompt window.

Disable or resize System RestoreEdit

Risk: Being unable to restore your system.

Benefit: Besides saving space, reduces number of writes to the SSD.

How to:

  1. Right Click "My Computer"
  2. Select "Properties"
  3. Click "System Protection"
  4. Select the system drive (typically C:) and click "Configure"
  5. Adjust the amount of space reserved for System restore. 3-5% is a good tradeoff for space savings/abilty to restore.

Disable the Windows Indexing ServiceEdit

Benefit: Besides saving space, reduces number of writes to the SSD.

Risk: Disabling the indexing service completely is not recommended, as it may affect performance. Don't do this if you need to search files frequently.

How to disable the indexing service (not recommended):

  1. Open up Computer in the Start menu
  2. Right-click your SSD and select Properties
  3. Un-check the box marked "Allow files on this drive to have contents indexed in addition to file properties"
  4. If a dialog box appears, stating there is an error applying attributes, select "Ignore All" and continue

Using another drive with an SSDEdit

Move the Paging FileEdit

Risk: Computer waking up slower from being idle. Considering the speed of SSDs, the difference between this and normal startup times is probably imperceiveable, and not worth the storage space cost.

Move the Windows Indexing ServiceEdit

How to move the Indexing files to another drive in your system:

  1. Click Start and type "index" in the search box.
  2. Click Indexing Options from the results list to open the Indexing Options dialog box.
  3. Click Advanced to open the Advanced Options dialog box.
  4. In the Index Location section, you can see the current location of the Index (by default, this is in C:\ProgramData\Microsoft).
  5. Click Select New and select a location on another drive.

Move the TEMP directoryEdit

How to:

  1. Right click on My Computer and click on Properties
  2. Click on Advanced
  3. Click on the Advanced tab
  4. Click on Environment Variables.
  5. Both "TMP" and "TEMP" may be listed in the section labeled User variables.
  6. In the Variable value Edit box, specify a new path to a directory on another drive

Move User directories to another driveEdit

To relocate User directories (such as Documents):

  1. Right click on the folder and select Properties
  2. Select the Location tab, and enter a directory on a seperate drive

For a more advanced and time-consuming, but more inclusive move of User files following a fresh install, please see this guide.

Move installed programs to and from another drive, as neededEdit

Software/UtilitiesEdit

Sources/Other GuidesEdit

Tweaks to be AddedEdit

  • Disable Logging
  • NTFS Memory Usage
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem
  • Disable 8.3 Filenames
  • Disable Date Stamping
  • Disable Boot Tracing
  • Move the WINSXS folder