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Discussion Starter #1
Windows 7 SSD's Setup and Secrets

SSD-showcaselink.jpg


Now what do our Overclock Guru's have to say.

NOTE: To install Win7 on a SSD only have the SSD and DVD/CD connected, do not have any other hard drives connected. Make sure your BIOS is set to boot off the DVD. After you get your OS installed set your BIOS back to boot off the SSD. After you get your OS running fine off your SSD then you can hookup the rest of your Hard Drives.


Quote:
Change from IDE to AHCI Mode after Windows 7 Installation

AHCI stand for Advance Host Controller Interface. AHCI is a hardware mechanism that allows software to communicate with Serial ATA (SATA) devices (such as host bus adapters) that are designed to offer features not offered by Parallel ATA (PATA) controllers, such as:

Hot-Plugging and Native Command Queuing (NCQ) -might improve computer/system/hard disk responsiveness, especially in multi-tasking environment

There is one way to fix this, although you need to have knowledge of registry editing. The detailed steps from Microsoft website are as follows:

(1) Exit all Windows-based programs.

(2) Press [Win] + R or take the RUN option from the start menu.

(3) Now type regedit there and press Enter Key to open up the Registry Editor Window. (If you receive the User Account Control dialog box, click Continue.)

(4) Locate and then click the following registry subkey:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\msahci

(5) In the right pane, right-click Start in the Name column, and then click Modify.

IDE%20to%20AHCI.jpg


(6) In the Value data box, type 0 [3 is default], and then click OK.

IDE%20to%20AHCI%20modify.jpg


(7) On the File menu, click Exit to close Registry Editor.

(8) Restart your computer

(9) Go to BIOS and enable AHCI, Save & Reboot

(10) Another restart will be required to finish the driver installation.

Now you are ready to enter the bios and Work some real magic.

(1) Check the board is in AHCI mode, if no option is available there is nothing you can do.

(2) Check if S1 and S3 sleep are supported in bios, I usually set S1 but S3 should be ok also....if they are not in bios there is nothing you can do

(3) Check ACPI 2.0 is in bios and enabled, if its not in bios there is nothing you can do.

(4)
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoCables;11028564
I think that the installer doesn't align it properly to begin with. Here's a method that was recently taught to me that I guarantee will work perfectly to properly align a solid state drive:

(5) Check and see if there is an Update to the FIRMWARE of you SSD and Update if necessary.
  1. To make things easy, disconnect all other drives (but leave any optical disc drives connected)
  2. Boot from the Windows 7 installation DVD
  3. When you see the "Install now" button, click "Repair your computer"
  4. You'll see a little window named "System Recovery Options" appear that searches for Windows installations.
  5. 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.", and then click Next.
  6. Click "Command Prompt"
  7. Type diskpart to load DiskPart
  8. Type list disk
  9. Type select disk 0 (or whichever number your SSD gets)
  10. If you want to be sure you have the right one selected, then type list partition.
  11. Once you know you have the right drive selected, type clean.
  12. Type create partition primary align=1024
  13. Type format quick fs=ntfs
  14. It will appear like it's going to take forever, but then like 5-10 seconds later, it suddenly finishes, jumping straight from 0% to 100%.
  15. Type active
  16. Type list partition to see your creation.
    smile.gif
  17. Type exit
  18. Type exit
  19. Click Restart
  20. Boot from the DVD again and perform a normal installation using the "Custom (advanced)" type of installation.
So to summarize:
  1. Get to that Command Prompt
  2. Type diskpart
  3. Type list disk
  4. Type select disk 0 (or whichever number it turns out to be)
  5. Type clean
  6. Type create partition primary align=1024
  7. Type format quick fs=ntfs
  8. Type active
  9. Type exit
  10. Type exit
  11. Click Restart
  12. Install Windows 7
Immediately after installing Windows:

(1) Turn Off Hibernation File: Type cmd in search, right click cmd symbol that comes up and choose "run as administrator". Type "powercfg -h off" and press enter.

OPTIONAL BUT RECOMMENDED SHORT STROKE DRIVE 25%: control panel/administrative tools/computer management/storage/disk management/ right click on C drive/ shrink volume follow instructions to shrink volume shrink so you have 25% unallocated space minimum. Helps drive maintain its self at higher performance and helps overall drive life.

(2) OPTIONAL BUT HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Turn off paging file: control panel/ system/advanced system settings/performance settings/advanced/virtual memory/change click no paging file, click set, apply, ok. (Restart later) Note: if you want to use a paging file for some reason set the minimum size to 1000mb and the maximum size to 1000mb. (Restart Later)

(3) OPTIONAL BUT HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Turn off system protection: control panel/ system/system protection make sure all drives are off especially C. You can make system images so system protection is just a giant waste of disk space.

(4) Turn off drive indexing: Right click all drives and uncheck drive indexing, click apply (ignore all when comes up) Also go to windows storage manager select the system reserved partition right click uncheck drive indexing, click apply (ignore all when comes up).

(5) OPTIONAL: Turn off Recycle Bin or reduce in size.

(6) Turn Off Reliability Monitor: Admin tools, open task scheduler. expand task scheduler library, then Microsoft, then Windows. Scroll down and click on RAC. Go to the top and select View then show hidden tasks IF RACTASK is not showing. Right click on RacTask and select disable. To re-enable it, you right click it and select enable.
Here is the good part.... disabling it stops it from PROCESSING reliability data and errors for reliability viewer. The data is still collected in the logs, just stored efficiently. You can re-enable it and see the reliability stuff when U wish. Disabling it saved RAM and some drive churning until U need to look at it.

(7) Set the power state to high performance and set the machine to never sleep, HDD power down to OFF (off is before 1 minute).

(8) Disable SuperFetch: Type regedit in search, click on symbol then go HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Contro l\Session Manager\Memory Management\PrefetchPerameters right click EnableSuperfetch hit modify and change to 0 and hit OK. (NOTE: alot of people also disable prefetch as well as superfetch but i find system runs better with prefetch enabled).

(9) Enable Large System Cache: Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Contro l\Session Manager\Memory Management right click LargeSystemCache hit modify and change to 1 and hit OK.

(10) Go to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem right click NtfsDisable8dot3NameCreation hit modify and change to 1 and hit OK then right click NtfsMemoryUsage hit modify and change to 2 and hit OK.

(11) Disable SuperFetch in services: Go to Control Panel select Administrative Tools\Services double click SuperFetch select startup type as disabled then click ok.

(12) While in Services double click Disk Defragmenter select startup type as disabled then click ok.

Now Restart Your System For The First Time then:

(1) Install Chipset Drivers.

(2) Use win7 native AHCI (Will be automatically installed by windows during installation) driver for AMD. Use the newest Intel RST driver (Download and install after windows installation. Note INTEL Chipset Drivers should be installed first then RST driver.)for INTEL systems.

(3) RESTART

(4) Enable windows write back catching on C drive: right click C drive/hardware/your drive/ properties/change settings/policies/ check turnoff windows write-caching buffer flushing.......................
This will prevent Windows 7's installer from creation that 100MB partition, and it will also be properly aligned!
cheers.gif
If this helps you send some love to "Two Cables" for his wisdom.

BTW. Two Cables informed me that he got this info from lsdmeasap
Much love to you and all.
Quote:
Originally Posted by coelacanth;12487881
SSDs aren't really a pain. Pop them in, install OS. Done. Experience ridiculous speed that will have you swearing off mechanical hard drives forever. No need to use it in moderation, NAND flash should last more years than anyone will even have these drives for the most part.

All of these tweaks and stuff are to get even more out of the SSD, though none of this stuff is mandatory. Some people really enjoy the hacking and tweaking, but none of it is necessary. But who doesn't like a free performance bump?

The biggest reason not to get a SSD is the price, but those are falling pretty fast.

For a comparison of SSD vs. mechanical hard drive, check this out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kiLSXvNaCME
A Word about Indexing..
Quote:
Indexing is not that big of a problem, as long as you move the index files by going into Indexing Options and specifying a location on a mechanical hard drive. People will say you don't need it because the SSD is fast, and that would be true if everything you want to search is on the SSD. But in many systems, you need a hard drive for mass storage anyway, and the fast SSD isn't going to make searching the HDD faster.

Also in Indexing Options, you have to specify which drives/folders you want indexed, as Windows only indexes part of C: by default.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Here is a portion of ZD NET's blog on the subject.
Quote:
1. Make sure you have the latest firmware. Because firmware updates wipe out all data on the drive, you must do this operation as the first step; make sure to back up all existing data first. You'll need to check with the drive manufacturer or the OEM, depending on whether you purchased the drive as a retail upgrade or as part of an OEM PC. Follow the instructions to complete the firmware update; this typically requires booting from removable media such as a USB flash drive.

2. Set the disk controller to AHCI mode. In the system BIOS, set the SATA controller for Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI) operation before installing Windows. This step is crucial. Using the legacy IDE or ATA mode prevents you from installing the proper disk controller driver later and will result in reduced performance.


3. Consider using a Secure Erase utility to reset the drive to its original, out-of-the-box state.
This step isn't essential but can be helpful, especially on a well-used drive. Do not perform a full format using Windows disk management tools. For Intel drives, you can use the Intel Solid State Drive Toolbox. If you have a Lenovo computer, this feature is available as part of a BIOS Menu Setup Extension. For OCZ drives, see this discussion thread for links to a Secure Erase utility. The HDDErase tool also works with many drives; see this tutorial for download links and instructions.

4. Boot from the Windows media and begin the clean install. Use the Windows Setup utility to create the partition. If you have a partition created using any other tool, delete it and use the Windows 7 disk tools to create a new one. This ensures that the partition is properly aligned.

5. Install the latest storage driver. If your system includes an Intel SATA controller, you should use the most recent version of the Intel Rapid Storage Technology driver, which is located here. Currently (January 2011), the most recent version is 10.1.0.1008.

6. After completing setup, check the Windows Experience Index. Click Start, click Computer, then click System Properties. On the System page, click Windows Experience Index, which takes you to the Performance Information and Tools page. The Primary hard disk score for a properly configured SSD should be over 7.0. If necessary, click Re-run The Assessment to refresh the numbers.

To verify that all the features of the SSD are working properly, install the free CrystalDiskInfo utility. As this example shows, it confirms that Native Command Queuing (NCQ) and TRIM are enabled.

It also offers an interesting glimpse at the health of your disk.

When Windows 7 detects that you have a properly configured, fast SSD drive, it disables several unnecessary features, including Superfetch, Prefetch, and ReadyBoot. It also disables scheduled defragmentation operations for the SSD, which isn't necessary, and can reduce the usable life of the drive.

In the final installment of this series, coming up next, I'll discuss the best ways to split up system and data disks.
SSD TWEEKER...

Thumbs up SSD Tweak Utility

SSD Tweak Utility

With all the advice online for SSD hard drives it can take hours of research and fiddling to properly setup your SSD drive. Now with this little app you can Tweak Windows 2K/XP/Vista & 7 including x64 in seconds.

SSD Tweaker 1.8 Lets you Tweak the following:

Windows Services
Query and Set Windows 7 TRIM Status (Pro Only)
Experimental TRIM Optimization (Pro Only)
Hibernation Settings
Use Large System Cache
Ntfs Memory Usage
Disable 8.3 Filenames
Disable Date Stamping
Disable Boot Tracing
Windows Prefetcher
Windows Vista Superfetch
Windows Indexing Service
System Restore
Windows Defrag

The only thing is not having the GUI Boot on the Boot up. I turned mine back on. But that is just personal Preference.

MSCONFIG/guiboot I like the window to glow and start up. It gives me a bad feeling when I don't see it.
win7boot_thumb.jpg


startmsconfig.png


NOGUIbootWindows7savetime_thumb.png


This last option is basically taking away the Windows Logo upon start up. Personally I like this feature and I left the GUI on startup Checked. Like all of these it is not vital for you to do every one of these tweaks but it helps to do most.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
What is TRIM

In computing, a TRIM command allows an operating system to inform a solid-state drive (SSD) which blocks of data are no longer considered in use and can be wiped internally.

TRIM was introduced soon after SSDs started to become an affordable alternative for traditional hard disks as permanent storage in PCs. Because low-level operation of SSDs differs significantly from traditional hard disks (see details below), the typical way in which operating systems handle operations like deletes and formats (not explicitly communicating the involved sectors/pages to the underlying storage medium) resulted in unanticipated progressive performance degradation of write operations on SSDs. TRIM enables the SSD to handle garbage collection overhead, that would otherwise significantly slow down future write operations to the involved blocks, in advance.

Although tools to "reset" some drives to a fresh state were already available before the introduction of TRIM, they also delete all data on the drive, which makes them impractical to use for ongoing optimization. More recent SSDs will often contain internal idle/background garbage collection mechanisms that work independently of TRIM; although this successfully maintains their performance even under operating systems that do not (yet) support TRIM, it has the drawback of increased write amplification and associated increased wear of the flash cells.

1. Here is what OCZ Says about Write Amplification, Trim and GC



2. (ZDNet) Windows 7 and SSDs: Cutting your system drive down to size.


3. (OCZ Forum)Great SSD Guide..

4. (OCZ Forum) SSD Windows 7 Tweaks
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesschmidt82;12453640
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/922976

That guy right there. Down the page they have an automatic DL that you can use instead of having to go into reg and do it yourself if your like me and dont want to mess something up lol

Also might wanna skim through some of this I found on my search to my headaches lol. My retain to people with more c300's though not sure.

http://www.evga.com/forums/tm.aspx?m=646971&mpage=1&print=true

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/itprovistasecurity/thread/19ccf0d4-bc9b-40ad-80cf-be2be546e4c0

http://windows7forums.com/windows-7-installation-upgrade/5119-setup-unable-create-system-partition.html
Quote:
Originally Posted by ACHILEE5;11129726
Hi
smile.gif


The purpose of this thread. Is to bring to the attention of SSD owners. To what I consider to be maybe the best App, as an SSD owner
cool.gif

Now, don't let the name put you off
wink.gif

The App is Steam Mover! But it is so much more
band.gif

With it. You can move any program or game. From your HDD to your SSD, and back!

You just select the "Location and destination" and click move
cool.gif

And this means! You can have all your games installed on a HDD. And move games "on and off" of the SSD when ever you wish
smile.gif

And so, the game of the "moment" is just where you want it!
cool.gif


sm.png


I know, its just using standard Windows commands to move files and set up a junction point!
But not every one knows how to do that
wink.gif

And "SSD owners, Must have App!" might be a little bit Strong!
And that, it has been mentioned in posts before!
But I feel this App, is that good! That it's worth a special mention here where SSD owners will see it
smile.gif

And not just "in a post as an answer"
wink.gif


Also! The App just runs, you don't install it
cool.gif


So Author. If you read this. Thank you!
AC
smile.gif
 

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Wow great information will do this to my SSD once I go for round two of building my new computer tomorrow. Does my 30gb Kingston SSD have trim?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Tips On RAID 0

Quote:
Originally Posted by moonmanas;12482189
Fairly sure NCQ is just when using a raid array, and nothing to do with a single drive. My vertex2's in raid0 didn't hit thier full potential till i used the raidXpert AMD program as menched earlier. The whole raid thing was doing my crust in took aeons as it was my first EVER attempt at Raid.

Bloke on ocz forum said I should use the program and enable NCQ or there aint much point bothering with Raid0 otherwise..., I was lothe too as just about had enuff by then! Anyway I did and my read/ writes shot way up over prior benchmarks.

Thing was I hadn't accounted for longer boot times! So after spending all day setting raid up I broke the array , loaded windows back on a single disk n flogged the other! "It's all a learning curve" I try to convince da misses with! lol
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by hell167;12228274
is it the same alignment if in raid?
Not sure about Raid Yet.. Just started the forum so I am still learning as well. just wanted to help out as much as I can.
 

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Holy moly. Information overload on my brain.
 

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Great info Enigma, thanks muchly
thumb.gif


Just on
Quote:
5. Install the latest storage driver. If your system includes an Intel SATA controller
On the p67 ud5, they're the white ports right? Need to make sure I get the right drivers for it.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by EasyC;12240656
Great info Enigma, thanks muchly
thumb.gif


Just on

On the p67 ud5, they're the white ports right? Need to make sure I get the right drivers for it.
Thanks all of you for the KUDO's.. It is really hard to find a really consice order of operation to install and calibrate your new SSD.

Bless you All.

Enigma8750
 

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I think the two white ports are the Sata 3 and the Raid driven ports.

I checked the Manual and it is confirmed ... The White are SATA 3 number 0 and 1
 

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Discussion Starter #16
http://www.zdnet.com/blog/bott/windows-7-and-ssds-cutting-your-system-drive-down-to-size/2941?tag=nl.e539

Windows 7 and SSDs: Cutting your system drive down to size
Quote:
Like any modern operating system, Windows 7 does a fair amount of behind-the-scenes housekeeping to help it respond more smoothly when you launch a program or open a file. Those features can consume a fair amount of disk space. On a conventional hard disk, the impact is almost unnoticeable, but on a small SSD it can add up quickly. Here are four places where you can minimize the amount of space used on the system drive.

Several of these settings use the System Properties dialog box. You can access it from Control Panel, but I find it easier to c lick Start, then click Computer, and finally click System Properties. From the sidebar on the left, click Advanced System Settings.

Paging file

Let's start with the most controversial one of all. Windows creates a paging file (sometimes referred to, inaccurately, as a swap file) on the system drive. The initial size of the paging file is determined by the amount of memory you have installed. The more memory you have, the larger the paging file.

The paging file is literally that: a file, called Pagefile.sys, stored by default in the root of the system drive.

You can move the paging file to your alternative data drive, or you can re-size the existing paging file on your system drive. I could spend hundreds of words on the pros and cons of each strategy and the calculations you can use to calculate the correct paging file size, but I'll save that for another day.

To change these settings, you have to burrow deep into dialog boxes. On the Advanced tab of the System Properties dialog box, under Performance, click Settings. That opens the Performance Options dialog box, where you'll find yet another Advanced tab (yes, this is very advanced). Under Virtual Memory, click Change.

The first thing you need to do is clear the Automatically Manage box at the top. That unlocks the remaining options on the page.
6191305-354-464.jpg


In my case, because my desktop system has plenty of RAM and never uses it all, I have set the initial size to a svelte 1024 MB, allowing it to grow to 4 GB if necessary. After you make any changes, be sure to click Set. To move the paging file to a different drive, first select the system drive, click No Paging File, and click Set.

Then select the secondary drive and choose either System Managed Size or Custom Size (entering appropriate values); then click Set.

Hibernation file

Windows supports two types of low-power states. One is sleep, and the other is hibernation. Hibernation is essential for notebooks, less so for desktops, especially those that have a reliable uninterrupted power supply. Hibernation works by reserving space in a hidden file called hiberfil.sys, which is stored in the root of the system drive. By default, this file uses 75% of your total installed memory.

You can reclaim this space on a desktop PC with a small system drive by disabling hibernation. To do so, you need to open an elevated Command Prompt. Click Start, type cmd, then press Alt+Shift+Enter. In the command window, enter powercfg -h off and press Enter. (To re-enable hibernation, use the same command, but change off to on.) From that same command prompt, you can verify the size of both your paging file and your hibernation file: use the command dir c:\ /as.

System Restore

The System Restore feature has two benefits: it allows you to reverse system configuration changes, and it keeps track of previous versions of files that you change. It does this by periodically saving snapshots of the current configuration and saving them as restore points. You can completely disable System Restore on any drive, but I don't recommend this extreme measure for your system drive. Instead, change the amount of space set aside for restore points.

To restrict the amount of space used, open the System Properties dialog box and click System Protection. From the list of drives, click the system drive (C:) and then click Configure. That allows you to configure settings. As you can see here, I've adjusted the amount of reserved space so that it uses only 3% of the total disk. That's enough to save a handful of restore points-enough to get out of trouble in the event of a failed driver installation.
6191306-421-472.jpg


Index

Windows Search is one of the killer features of Windows 7, but it comes at a price. Every file that you save in user data folders is indexed so that you can find it based on its contents or properties. The same is true of e-mail. This index is stored as a group of files in a hidden folder on the system drive, and the total size of the index can get very large-even into multiple gigabytes, depending on how many documents you have on your data drive. I have seen some authors recommend turning the Windows Search service off completely. That is very bad advice, in my opinion. Instead, move the index so that it is stored on your data drive. Here's how:

1. On your data drive, create a new, empty folder to hold your index files. In this example, I've created a folder called Index on the X: (data) drive.

2. Click Start and type index in the search box. 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). Click Select New and pick the folder you created in step 1.
6191308-396-497.jpg


When you click OK, Windows moves the index files off your system drive and onto the location you specified. The net result is you recover a potentially large amount of disk space without compromising your ability to search quickly.
ZDNet..
 

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Just used this guide last night to set up my C300. Thanks a lot for compiling all of this info into a concentrated source!

+rep!
 
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That was my exact Idea. To be honest that is my whole goal with this thread. To get all the info into one concise Location and make it as easy and thorough as possible. Thanks for the Rep and I am so glad it helped you. I am learning from this thread myself because there is so much info out there but its all over and hard to find.
 

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This guide is pretty good, sans one critical flaw. There's no point in short stroking a SSD because it has no moving parts. The reason it was a good performance boost for traditional HDDs was because the platers in the drive had to move and it was less work for the drive.
 
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