Optimizing Your Operating System For Use With an SSD Drive

By far one of the best things you can do to improve the performance of your PC right after adding more RAM is to purchase an SSD (Solid State Drive).

If your are still looking to purchase a new SSD Drive, then here are our recommendations:

SATA 3 SSD Drive: SanDisk SSD Plus 240GB 2.5-Inch SDSSDA-240G-G25

SATA 3 Controller Card: SIIG SC-SA0L11-S1 PCI-Express 2.0 SATA III (6.0Gb/s) 2-Port Host Adapter
Keep in mind that the SIIG controller card above if used in a PCIe x1 slot, will limit the throughput to just about 200MBpS.

This series of articles will help optimize your system to make the most of the SSD drive you have just purchased. But first a few provisos:

Release Of Liability

Although we have done our very best to explain the following optimizations and procedures and optimizations listed. It is your own choice to use these instructions and we cannot be held responsible for any problems or damage that may occur to your computer.

These optimizations range from simple to complicated. Where the reader is shown methods of altering the operating systems registry. If you do choose to complete these optimizations, please be careful.

 

Set Your Operating System to use AHCI Mode

WARNING: Do not change the AHCI mode in the registry if you have not enabled the AHCI mode in BIOS first. If your motherboard does not support AHCI, there are many good SATA controllers cards that can be added to add support for SATA III and AHCI SSD drives. Here is an example.

Most computers that were setup (Windows Installed) with and IDE drive will not have the AHCI (Advanced Host Controller Interface) mode enabled by default. Systems that had SATA drives installed may have the AHCI mode enabled and some may not. It all depends on if the BIOS setting was setup with AHCI mode enabled before the Operating System was installed. The AHCI mode allows for plug and play installations for SATA devices to use the NCQ (Native Command Queuing) which can increase the performance by as much as 15%.

1. Using the ‘Start’ menu enter into the search box ‘regedit’ and press Enter
2. Select the file path: ???HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTE2. Select the file path:
Windows 7: ???HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\msahci???
Windows 8: ???HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\storahci???
3. Right Click on ‘Start’ and choose ‘modify’to 0
5. Restart the system.

 

Disable System Restore

TRIM is a very important part of SSD maintenance and allows for background wiping of previous deletions to retain SSD performance.

System Restore allocates restore points when you install software or when Windows installs updates.
The TRIM system does not work well with System Restore. System Restore degrades the performance of the TRIM system over time. Disabling System Restore also will save you up to 10% of your valuable SSD hard drive space.

1. Right click on ‘My Computer’ and select ‘Properties’.
2. Select ‘System Protection’.
3. Select ‘Configure’
4. Select ‘Turn Off System Protection’.

 

Disable Drive Indexing

The purpose of drive indexing a harThe purpose of drive indexing a hard drive is to allow quicker search access to a file. This is not necessary on an SSD drive where access is almost instantaneous (.01ms).

First Stepk ‘My Computer’
2. Choose ‘Manage’.
3. Choose ‘Services and Applications’ then ‘Services’
4. Find the service ‘Windows Search’
5. Right click and choose ‘Properties’
6. Change the ‘Startup type’ to ‘Disabled’

Second Step

1. Go into My Computer;
2. Right click your SSD and select Properties.
3. Uncheck the box marked Allow files to have contents indexed in addition to file properties.

This process can take up to a half an hour or so.

 

Disable Drive Defragmentation Scheduler Service

Windows 8 users skip this tip as the Windows 8 defragmenter will issue a TRIM command and will not do the standard file defragmenting.

Windows 7 should, by default, disable Windows Defrag automatically. This does not usually occur if the SSD drive is an upgrade for an older IDE or SATA drive. Disk Defragmentation is not required in a SSD because there are no mechanical parts to delay random access as there is in a standard drive.

1. Right click on ‘My Computer’
2. Right click your SSD drive and select ‘Properties’.
3. Select the ‘Tools’ tab.
4. Select the button ‘Defragment Now’.
5. Select the button ‘Turn off Schedule’.
6. Uncheck the box ‘Run on a Schedule’.

1. Using the ‘Start’ menu enter into the search box ‘services.msc’ and press Enter
2. Scroll to the ‘Disk Defragmenter’ service, right click and select ‘Properties’
3. In the drop down menu select ‘Disabled’ and select Ok

Note: The subject of if to defrag a SSD drive has been in question with today’s SSD drives.

 

Turn Off Hibernation (Optional to save space)

Disabling Hibernation can save 2 – 4Gb of valuable SSD space.

1. Using the ‘Start’ menu enter into the search box ‘cmd’ and press Enter
2. In the command line type ???powercfg -h off???.

This will take only a few seconds it has finished once the command prompt reappears.

Note: To turn hibernation back on type ???powercfg -h on???.

 

Turn Off Windows Write-Cache Buffer Flushing

Turning Off Write-Cache Buffer Flushing may or may not increase or decrease the performance of your SSD drive We recommend that you perform benchmark test with it checked and unchecked.

1. Right Click ‘My Computer’ and select ‘Properties’
2. Select ‘Device Manager’
3. Select ‘Disk Drives’
4. Right click the SSD drive and select ‘Properties’
5. Under the ‘Policies’ tab check the box ‘Turn off Windows write-cache buffer flushing on this device’.

 

Disable Perfetch and Superfetch in Disable Perfetch and Superfetch in the Registry (Method 1)

SuperFetch is a Microsoft computer technology that preloads software into memory to reduce their load times. Since an SSD drive is basically like RAM there is no need for SuperFetch.rs who leave the system running for days or weeks at a time and open and close many applications, disabling prefetch and superfetch can save several GB of RAM within the time period.

1. Using the ‘Start’ menu enter into the search box ‘regedit’ and press Enter
2. Select the file path:
3. ???HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ CurrentControlSet\Control\SessionManager\Memory Management\PrefetchParameters???
4. Right click on both ‘EnablePrefetcher’ and ‘EnableSuperfetch’
5. Select modify on each of these to change the values from 1(or 3) to 0
6. Restart the system.

 

Disable the Windows Search and Superfetch in Services (Method 2)

Note: For users who leave the system running for days or weeks at a time and open and close many applications, disabling prefetch and superfetch can save several GB of RAM within the time period.’Start’ menu enter into the search box ‘services.msc’ and press Enter
2. Scroll to the ‘Superfetch’ service, right click and select ‘Properties’
3. In the drop down menu select ‘Disabled’ and select Ok
4. Scroll down further to find ‘Windows Search’, right click and select Properties
5. Click the ‘Stop’ box then use the drop down menu to ‘Disable’ select Ok.

 

Disable the Recycle Bin

This will assist in instant activation of trim upon delete for smaller files.

1. Right Click Recycle Bin select ‘properties’
2. Select the SSD Drive
3. Select ‘Don???t move files to the Recycle Bin. Remove files immediately when deleted’
4. Select Apply.

 

Decrease the Windows Shutdown Time

This particular optimization can result in the loss of data of unsaved application data. It forces any running programs to shutdown immediately rather than using the application closing procedures.

1. Using the ‘Start’ menu enter into the search box ‘regedit’ and press Enter
2. Select the file path: ???HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control???
3. Locate WaitToKillServiceTimeout.
4. Right Click and select ‘Modify’ and change the value from 12000 to 1000.
5. Restart the system.

NOTE: If you experience program hang-ups increase this by 1000 and try again.

 

Verify that TRIM is Enabled

Verifying that TRIM is working properly is impossible. Verifying this method will at least confirm that the TRIM commands are being sent from the software to the SSD drive.

1. Using the ‘Start’ menu enter into the search box ‘cmd’ and press Enter
2. In the command line type ???fsutil behavior query DisableDeleteNotify???

If DisableDeleteNotify=0 TRIM is Enabled.
If DisableDeleteNotify=1 TRIM is Disabled.

 

Optimize the Power Settings

1. Go to Control Panel
2. Select System and Security
3. Select Power Options and Click the drop down for Show Additional Plans
4. Select the High Performance bubble to apply it
5. Click Change Plan Settings for High performance
6. Click Change Advanced Power Settings
7. Click the hard disk drop down option
8. Change Turn off hard disk after to 0 minutes (displays as ‘never’ after applied)
9. Select OK
10. Select Save Settings.

 

Disable the CLEARPAGEFILEATSHUTDOWNDisable the CLEARPAGEFILEATSHUTDOWN and LARGESYSTEMCACHE Settings

1. Using the ‘Start’ menu enter into the search box ‘regedit’ and press Enter
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ CurrentCHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ CurrentControlSet\Control\SessionManager\MemoryManagement???
3. Right click and select Modify on each of these (CLEARPAGEFILEATSHUTDOWN and LARGESYSTEMCACHE) to change the values from 1 to 0
4. Restart the system

 

Optimize NTFS Memory Usage & Disable NTFS Name Creation

1. Using the ‘Start’ menu enter into the search box ‘regedit’ and press Enter
2. Select the file path:
???HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem???
3. Right click on ‘NtfsDisable8dot3NameCreation’ and modify to 1
4. Right click on ‘NtfsMemoryUsage’ and modify to 2
5. Restart the system.