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Windows 7 SSD Tweaking Guide

post #1 of 65
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Windows 7 SSD Tweaking Guide

Installing Windows 7 on your SSD

1)Switch to Storage Setting to AHCI (refer to motherboard's manual)

2)Boot from the Windows 7 DVD

3)When you see the three options related to choosing a language, click Next

4)When you see the window with the big "Install Now" button, click the text below it that says "Repair Your Computer" to provide access to where we need to be

5)You'll see a little window appear named "System Recovery Options" which will immediately search for Windows installations

6)When it finishes, you will see a dialog box. Select "Use recovery tools that can help fix problems starting Windows. Select an operating system to repair." Now highlight the appropriate Windows installation and then click Next.


Start here if you are using your SSD as a Data Drive and Windows is already installed.
-Note: This can be done from a command prompt in windows or with Disk Management if you are using your SSD as a data drive.

7)Click "Command Prompt"

8)Type diskpart to load DiskPart

9)Type list disk

10)Type select disk 0 (or whichever number your SSD gets, the size should tell you which is drive is which)

11)If you want to be sure you have the right one selected, type list partition.

12)Once you know you have the right drive selected, type clean.

13)Type create partition primary align=1024

14)Type format quick fs=ntfs

15)Once its finished, Type active

16) Type list partition to verify the new parition.

17)Type exit

18)Type exit again

19)Click Restart

20)Boot from the DVD again and perform a normal installation using the "Custom (advanced)" type of installation. DO NOT FORMAT THE DRIVE AGAIN!!


My recommended changes in windows for your SSD

The following steps are intended to limit the amount of unnecessary writes to your SSD and also save you some space. Although the TRIM command has increased the life of an SSD dramatically, you may still want to limit the amount of writes to your drive to preserve the NAND cells and keep it running in top shape while saving disk space. This guide will be more beneficial for the anal retentive and SSDs without TRIM.

Verify TRIM is enabled on your SSD
A) Click start and type in cmd and hit the enter key
B) Type in fsutil behavior query disabledeletenotify
- DisableDeleteNotify = 1 (Windows TRIM commands are disabled)
- DisableDeleteNotify = 0 (Windows TRIM commands are enabled)

Disable automatic defragmenting
A)Click the Windows start button and type Disk Defrag and hit Enter.
B) Click the Configure Schedule Button.
C)Uncheck the box for Run On a Schedule then click Ok and Close.
D)Never Defrag a Solid State Drive

Disable System Restore (If OS is on SSD)
A)Hit Start and right-click on Computer and select Properties
B)On the left side of the window, click System Protection.
C)Highlight the Drive located on your SSD and click Configure.
D)Click the radio button to Turn Off System Restore, click Ok, and Close

Reduce Page File Size
A)Hit Start and right-click on Computer and select Properties
B)On the left side of the window, click Advanced System Settings.
C)Under the Advanced tab, in the Performance section click Settings…
D)Click the Advanced tab, and under Virtual Memory, Click Change
E)Uncheck Automatically manage paging file size for all drives.
F)Highlight your SSD and underneath it, click the Custom Size radio button.
G)Under Initial size and Maximum size, type in 1024 and then click Set and click OK. You must reboot for this to take effect
Move your temp files to a Mechanical hard drive. (If Users Folder is being used on the SSD)
A)Hit Start and right-click on Computer and select Properties
B)On the left side of the window, click Advanced System Settings.
C)Under the Advanced tab, in the on the bottom click Environmental Variables…
D)Click on the variable TEMP then click Edit…
E)Under the Variable Value: box, enter in the new path you would like for your temp files, ex. D:\Temp Files\TEMP
F)Click on the variable TMP then click Edit…
G)Under the Variable Value: box, enter in the new path you would like for your temp files, ex. D:\Temp Files\TMP
H)Click Ok and you must reboot for this to take effect.

Disable Hibernation
A)Type cmd in the windows start menu search box, then right click on cmd.exe and choose Run as administrator.
B)In the command prompt type in powercfg –h off and hit enter. You must reboot for this to take effect.
Moving or Disabling Memory Dumps (Especially helpful for us overclockers)
A) Hit Start and right-click on Computer and select Properties.
B)On the left side of the window, click Advanced System Settings.
C)Under the Advanced tab, in the on the Startup and Recovery box, click Settings…
D)Under the System failure section, you will see Write debugging information and a dropdown box. To disable memory dumbs click the dropdown box and select (none)
E)If you would like to keep memory dumps change the path in the Dump file: box for example; D:\Temp Files\Memory Dumps\MEMORY.DMP
Disable Superfetch (SSDs are Fast enough to disable Superfetch to free up RAM)
a. In the Windows start menu search box, type regedit and hit enter.
b.Navigate to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management\PrefetchParameters and you will see a Binary Value called EnablePrefetcher
c.Double click on EnablePrefetcher and change the value from 3 to 0.
d.You must reboot for this to take effect.


Disable Recycling Bin on your SSD
A)Right click on your Recycling Bin and click Properties.
B)Under Settings for selected location you will see a radio button called Don’t move files to the Recycling Bin. Remove files immediately
when deleted
. Click this radio button and click OK.


Enable Write Caching on your SSD
A)Open up your Computer. In Computer, right click on the drive that is your SSD and click Properties.
B)Click on the Hardware tab at the top.
C)Double click on the Disk Drive that is your SSD. Now in the new window click the Policies tab.
D)Under the Write-caching policy box, make sure Enable write caching on this device and Turn off Windows write-cache buffer flushing on the device are both checked. Now click OK and exit.


Disable Indexing on your SSD
A)Open up your Computer. In Computer, right click on the Drive that is your SSD and click Properties.
B)Click on the General tab at the top.
C)At the bottom you will see a box called Allow files on this drive to have contents indexed in addition to file properties, uncheck this box and hit Apply.
D)Make sure the radio button for Apply changes to the drive C:\, subfolders and files is selected and click OK.
E)You will be prompted with a window that says Error Applying Attributes, click Ignore All and it will disable indexing on all files on your SSD, this will take some time.
F)Click OK to close the window.


Disable Reliability Monitor (If OS in on SSD)
A)Type cmd in the windows start menu search box, then right click on cmd.exe and choose Run as administrator.
B)In the command prompt type in:
schtasks.exe /change /disable /tn \Microsoft\Windows\RAC\RacTask and hit enter.
C)If you want to enable reliability monitor run the command:
schtasks.exe /change /enable /tn \Microsoft\Windows\RAC\RacTask and hit enter.
D)If a SUCCESS message comes up after the command is entered then it worked.


I also made a guide to move users off of your OS drive to a different partition/drive For more SSD Tweaks to help reduce useless SSD writes, improve performance, and save more space Here


Web Browser Cache Managing for Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer

Firefox Cache

How to Move Disk Cache Location
A) Open Firefox and in the address bar type about:config and hit enter.
B) Click I'll be careful, I promise! Navigate to browser.cache.disk.capacity and then double click to edit the value. Enter in the amount of disk cache you would like to use for Firefox in Kilobytes. I use 30mb so I enter in 30000 and hit OK.
C) Right click on the web page and choose New then String. In the Preference name box add browser.cache.disk.parent_directory and hit OK. Under the browser.cache.disk.parent_directory box, enter in where your Firefox Cache location will be. I have mine set to S:\Temp Files\Firefox Cache.

How to Disable Disk Cache and Use Ram Cache
A) Open Firefox and in the address bar type about:config and hit enter.
B) Click I'll be careful, I promise! Navigate to browser.cache.disk.enable and then double click to so that it is set to false.
C) Right click on the web page and choose New then String. In the Preference name box add cache.memory.capacity and hit OK. Under cache.memory.capacity, enter in the amount of RAM you would like to use in kilobytes. I use 30mb so you would enter 30000 in the box for that.

Chrome Cache

How to Move Disk Cache Location
A) Right click on the desired chrome shortcut and click Properties.
B) Next to the Target: you will see the path for the chrome.exe location; after chrome.exe type in --disk-cache-dir="S:\TempFiles\Chrome Cache"
*NOTE: S:\TempFiles\Chrome Cache is an example, you would enter in where you want the chrome cache to be stored on your computer.

How Change Disk Cache Size
A) Right click on the desired chrome shortcut and click Properties.
B) Next to the Target: you will see the path for the chrome.exe location; after chrome.exe type in --disk-cache-size=1 --media-cache-size=1". This will change the maximum cache to 25mb.
*NOTE: If you want to edit Chrome to change the directory and cache size, it would look like this: --disk-cache-dir="S:\TempFiles\Chrome Cache --disk-cache-size=1 --media-cache-size=1"


If you guys have any suggestions on how to make the guide easier to follow or any other good tweaks I missed I would appreciate it thumb.gif
post #2 of 65
Somethings I agree with, other things I strongly disagree with. One thing I strongly disagree with is moving the page file off the SSD. You should just set it to a small static number such as 1024-1024 and keep it on the SSD. Every SSD maker will tell you the same.

Moving all your temp files/page files off the SSD is defeating what the SSD is good at. Yes, SSDs have a "max number" of writes.. but the number is so large that the drive will fail from something else far before you reach the max writes. This goes double for larger SSDs, the larger the SSD - the higher it's rated for max writes.
Edited by Murlocke - 10/5/11 at 4:41pm
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post #3 of 65
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Murlocke;15193487 
Somethings I agree with, other things I strongly disagree with.

One thing I strongly disagree with is moving the page file off the SSD. You should just set it to a small static number such as 1024-1024 and keep it on the SSD. Every SSD maker will tell you the same.

You are right about that but my main intentions were to save space and reduce writes. I think I will go with you on this one though and reduce the size instead of move it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Murlocke;15193487 
Moving all your temp files/page files off the SSD is defeating what the SSD is good at. Yes, SSDs have a "max number" of writes.. but the number is so large that the drive will fail from something else far before you reach the max writes. This goes double for larger SSDs, the larger the SSD - the higher it's rated for max writes.
Not having cache or temp files on your ssd will not affect your noticeable performance anyways. Most people periodically clear there cache and temp files anyways. The only thing it will affect are programs that extract their contents to the temp folder before installing. Also, just a reminder of the main reason I made this guide in the first place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UsedPaperclip 
The following steps are intended to limit the amount of unnecessary writes to your SSD and also save you some space. Although the TRIM command has increased the life of an SSD dramatically, you may still want to limit the amount of writes to your drive to preserve the NAND cells and keep it running in top shape while saving disk space. This guide will be more beneficial for the anal retentive and SSDs without TRIM.

Edited by UsedPaperclip - 10/5/11 at 4:52pm
post #4 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by UsedPaperclip;15193514 
You are right about that but my main intentions were to save space and reduce writes. I think I will go with you on this one though and reduce the size instead of move it.

I can see doing it with some of the older/smaller SSDs that the OS barely fits on. Those SSDs will also suffer much more from temp file writes because there are less sectors to write on. In that case I would debate moving temp files/page files.

For the people with newer 120-240GB SSDs, max writes really isn't anything to be concerned with. Many newer SSDs are rated at ~50GB/day for 5 years, and I don't know many home user that even use 10GB/day. I think most people on here probably will upgrade their SSD every 2-3 years too.

I've had my 80GB X25-M with a 1GB page file and all temp files on it for almost 2 years, and i'm about to reach 3TB of writes - which averages out to about 8GB/day and I consider myself a pretty heavy user. tongue.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by UsedPaperclip;15193514 
Also, just a reminder of the main reason I made this guide in the first place.

Don't mind me, just giving my 2 cent. I know many people do this. I just never understood the whole "reducing unnecessary writes" part of it. In most cases, the SSD will die from something else far before reaching max writes.

If you are low on space or your SSD doesn't support TRIM, I would definitely recommend moving temp files/page files off of it.
Edited by Murlocke - 10/5/11 at 5:02pm
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post #5 of 65
Nice! There can never be too many of these guides! I learn something new with every one.
   
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post #6 of 65
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Murlocke;15193747 
I can see doing it with some of the older/smaller SSDs that the OS barely fits on. Those SSDs will also suffer much more from temp file writes because there are less sectors to write on. In that case I would debate moving temp files/page files.

For the people with newer 120-240GB SSDs, max writes really isn't anything to be concerned with. Many newer SSDs are rated at ~50GB/day for 5 years, and I don't know many home user that even use 10GB/day. I think most people on here probably will upgrade their SSD every 2-3 years too.

I've had my 80GB X25-M with a 1GB page file and all temp files on it for almost 2 years, and i'm about to reach 3TB of writes - which averages out to about 8GB/day and I consider myself a pretty heavy user. tongue.gif


Don't mind me, just giving my 2 cent. I know many people do this. I just never understood the whole "reducing unnecessary writes" part of it. In most cases, the SSD will die from something else far before reaching max writes.

If you are low on space or your SSD doesn't support TRIM, I would definitely recommend moving temp files/page files off of it.
Dont get me wrong I appreciate the help, and I know that SSDs especially larger ones with trim perform better and last longer but I still felt that OCN needed a cleaner guide than what has been written before. Maybe I am a bit late but at least we have a guide that I am personally satisfied with biggrin.gif
post #7 of 65
Oh wow...I was actually writing a guide just like this for the last week but I was busy with college... doh.gif

I call a lock on "going from hd to ssd thread", mines!
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post #8 of 65
Even TwoCables couldn't answer the following question:

What is the purpose/benefit in creating manual alignment of 1024 instead of the default one which is done by Windows 7 during installation?

I couldn't find any evidence supporting the fact that this alignment gives better performance or anything.

Nice guide nevertheless wink.gif
post #9 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by XSCounter;15197512 
What is the purpose/benefit in creating manual alignment of 1024 instead of the default one which is done by Windows 7 during installation?
As I understand it the thrust is that by forcing alignment to 1024 you ensure that you partition on the erase block size boundries on the SSD. If you fail to do this then a single delete operation sent to the SSD can span two blocks and thus effectively have to perform two delete operations, one on each block. This will impact performance.

Here's a reasonable link on the issue.
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post #10 of 65
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by infected rat;15198050 
As I understand it the thrust is that by forcing alignment to 1024 you ensure that you partition on the erase block size boundries on the SSD. If you fail to do this then a single delete operation sent to the SSD can span two blocks and thus effectively have to perform two delete operations, one on each block. This will impact performance.

Here's a reasonable link on the issue.

That is right, a lot of people dont realize this. I wish I still had my benchmarks from testing. I gained a decent amount of performance aligning the SSD properly over just letting windows use its default format on the SSD. It is definitely worth it to spend the extra 4 minutes properly formatting it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanWebster;15193999 
Oh wow...I was actually writing a guide just like this for the last week but I was busy with college... doh.gif

I call a lock on "going from hd to ssd thread", mines!

Lol, the more the better, a lot of people like to do different things, this is just what I do. The only thing I have in there I may not do is disable superfetch because I have plenty of RAM but others may not and can benefit from the extra ram. I have had these sitting around for quite some time and my boss just recently asked me about SSDs because he was going to buy one so I figured I would share both of my "SSD" how to's with OCN.
Edited by UsedPaperclip - 10/6/11 at 6:24am
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