Now solid state drives, or SSD drives, are actively capturing the market and replacing the good old HDD media. They gradually fall in price, and their volume is constantly increasing. But not everything is so simple. These drives have their downsides. The fact is that the service life of memory cells is limited, and it is strongly affected by the number of overwrites. That is why the correct configuration of the SSD drive under Windows 7 directly affects the life of this device. Let's analyze all this in more detail.
This drive is a conventional flash memory, i.e. chips. There are no mechanical, moving parts. This flash memory is made up of cells, and they tend to wear out. The more you write information to the disk, the more they wear out. Therefore, setting up an SSD drive for the Windows 7 operating system is very important. If the disk is being read, then it does not affect its wear.
There are various utilities that can help you get information about the operation and status of the drive. One of them is CrystalDiskInfo. With its help, you can find out many characteristics anddisk performance. For example, firmware, serial number, total hours of operation, number of inclusions, rotation speed (if we are talking about HDD), etc. We will be interested in the field showing the number of host records. The disk controller counts the total amount of data written to the memory for the entire time of its operation. This is due to the peculiarity of the flash memory. Therefore, the figure given here in gigabytes will exceed the size of your disk.
Configuring SSD under Windows 7
Modern flash memory (MLC) is designed for a fairly large number of rewrite cycles, such as 1000, 2000, etc. This means that you can completely rewrite the disc, for example, a thousand times. If you have 128 GB, then you multiply this value by a thousand and get the final result - the total amount of data that you can write to the drive for the entire time of its service. This indicator appears in the "Total host records" column. It refers to the amount of data written to the disk since it started. For comparison, it must be said that 128 GB SSDs are designed to record 40-70 TB of information. With very active use of the disk, on average, about 10 TB of information accumulates per year. Thus, its service life will be about 4-7 years.
With moderate use of the SSD, the amount of data written to the disk will be two or even three times less, and its service life will be correspondingly longer. That is why they are recommended for installing the operating system. But first you need to achieve the correct settings for the SSD. Installing and configuring an SSD under Windows 7 will not takea lot of time. But that's not all. In order to achieve the best results, another process is performed. This is a Windows 7 setting for optimal SSD performance.
How the system is set up
Above, we learned how flash memory works and what its resource is. Now let's look at how Windows 7 is configured and optimized for the correct operation of the SSD drive. It does not require deep knowledge of computer science or deep knowledge of the system. Even a novice user can do it. You will need to complete eight steps, after which Windows will optimize to use the SSD drive. Myths and reality are closely related to each other, and one might get a little confused. We will tell you step by step where to click and what commands to set.
Disabling System Restore
We need to disable System Restore. You need to open the "Control Panel", then - "System and Security", then - "System". Then you need to open "Advanced system settings". In the "System Protection" tab, click on "Configure". There are several options here: "Enable protection" and "Disable protection". We can also adjust the number of gigabytes that we give under the protection of the system.
This refers to the automatic creation of a copy of the system, the so-called restore point, and how much disk space is allocated for this. The default is 2.5 GB to 10 GB. Accordingly, if we disable system restore, then the specified number of gigabytes will be freed on the disk. This setting makes sense to increase the free space of the SSD and at the same time reduce the amount of data written to the SSD. However, system protection is a very useful feature, and it's up to you to disable it or not. If your SSD is large enough, then you can leave it as is. If not, or if you don't use protection, you can turn it off.
Turn off data indexing
This item has a more practical meaning, which directly affects the speed of your SSD-drive and its durability. In the "My Computer" tab we find "System Disk" and go to "Properties".
Bottom, by default, the option to allow indexing of files on the disk is enabled. This feature was designed to optimize the performance of HDD media. This was due to the specifics of their magnetic plates and heads. There is no such need for SSD drives, so we uncheck this function. This will eliminate unnecessary write operations to the SSD. If an error occurs, it will be related to the paging file. It will need to be disabled, reboot the system and repeat the disabling of the above option.
Turn off swap file
By default, Windows creates a special file on the system drive - this is the paging file. It is used to write some information from RAM to an area on the system disk. This is used in resource-intensive applications, for examplePhotoshop. Part of the information is unloaded from the RAM to the hard disk, and when necessary, it is loaded back. If you have enough RAM (8 GB or more), then this paging file can be safely disabled. This will reduce the number of writes to the system disk. If the RAM is small and the applications you are using are quite powerful, then disabling this file may cause system instability. Here it is necessary to look individually.
To disable the file, go to the following path: "Control Panel", then "System and Security", then "System", then "Advanced Settings", then "Advanced", then "System Performance", "Settings", then "Advanced", "Edit". By default, it is enabled, you must uncheck it, and then click "No paging file".
Turn off hibernation
Hibernation is a special sleep mode with a new feature. It was developed for Windows Vista. In this mode, data from RAM is written to the system partition, and we can turn off the computer from the network. After switching on, all information is restored, automatically read from the system media into RAM. Thus, all open programs are again on the desktop. In normal sleep mode, data will not be restored. If you don't use hibernation, you can turn it off. By doing this, you will reduce the number of writes on the SSD and free up additional space.
Go to the command line: the "Start" menu, in the search, enter "cmd", run it as an administrator. We enter the following phrase there: "powercfg-hoff", and then press Enter. After that, we restart the computer. If in the future you want to return everything back, then you will need to enter "powercfg-hon" in the command line, and then restart the computer.
Disable Prefetch (Files in RAM)
This function loads some data into RAM if you access it frequently. The operating system itself keeps track of these files and anticipates this possibility. For example, you often use the Word text editor. Some files are already loaded into RAM, and this program starts faster.
For an SSD, you will not get any noticeable increase in speed, because it works faster than an ordinary HDD, so you can turn this feature off. Most often, the operating system itself disables this feature when installing Windows on an SSD drive.
How to check if this option is enabled and how to disable it? This is done using the system registry. You need to open the Registry Editor. We go: the "Start" menu, enter "Run" in the search bar and open the "Run" window in the results. Enter the word regedit there and click OK. The Registry Editor window opens. Herego to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE directory, then to the SYSTEM tab, then CurrentControlSet, then Control, then SessionManager, MemoryManagement and PrefetchParameters. Click the EnablePrefetcher mouse, select "Change" and instead of the number 3 we put 0. Click OK, reboot, and the function will be turned off.
Turn off SuperFetch (off by default) and Windows Search
This feature can be disabled more easily, without the system registry. We go: "Control Panel", then "System and Security", then "Administrative Tools", then "Services" and look for Superfetch in them. Click the mouse and select "Properties". Then click "Startup type" and then "Disabled". Next, click "Apply", OK. After the reboot, the changes will take effect.
If you wish, you can turn off the Windows Search service. It helps you find files on your computer. Accordingly, its disabling will be at your discretion. If you still decide to do this, then in the above "Services" you need to find Windows Search, then "Properties", then "Startup Type", then "Disabled", OK. In principle, this is optional.
Disabling clearing the Windows cache
This step will not positively affect performance for all drives. For example, on Intel SSD drives, the company itself does not recommend disabling this option.
Choose: "My Computer", "System Disk", "Properties", "Hardware", the desired SSD,Properties, General, Change Settings, Policy. Check the box "Disable cache buffer clearing…". If after these steps the performance of your disk has dropped, it is recommended to uncheck this box.
Disable ClearPageFileAtShutdown and LargeSystemCache (off by default)
The ClearPageFileAtShutdown option allows you to clear the paging file when the computer boots, and the LargeSystemCache option is the size of the file system cache memory. By default, when installing an operating system on an SSD drive, these options should be disabled. Windows 7 disables them on its own. In order to check this, you need to go to the system registry.
Also go to the registry editor (how to do this, see above). In the branch, go to the following folder: "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SYSTEM/CurrentControlSet/Control/SessionManager/MemoryManagement". In the right field we find the file LargeSystemCache. Click on "Change". If the field is 0, then it is disabled. We immediately find and also check the ClearPageFileAtShutdown. If the field is 3, then you need to change it to 0, then click OK and restart the computer. Read on to learn how to set up an SSD drive for Windows.
That's basically it. Here the basic settings have been touched. It is definitely necessary to disable the ClearPageFileAtShutdown option and LargeSystemCache, SuperFetch and Prefetch, data indexing. Optionally, if RAM allows, you can turn off the paging file. System Restore and Windows Search tooturned off at will. To clear the cache, you need to look at the performance of your drive.
Setting up an SSD for Windows 7
Now let's talk about how to configure an SSD drive so that it makes optimal use of the resource embedded in it. What steps and points need to be followed in order for the disk to work as quickly as possible and its memory cells to keep their performance for a sufficient amount of time? Setting up an SSD for Windows 7 is quick and easy.
There are two modes of operation of the SATA controller. The first one is IDE and it is usually enabled by default in the BIOS. The second mode is AHCI. It is he who will allow us to use NCQ and TRIM technologies, which will increase the speed of random writing and reading from an SSD drive. The TRIM command is sent by the system and allows disk cells to be freed from physically deleted data, thus increasing disk performance.
Activate AHCI controller mode
If you haven't installed Windows yet, you can easily change the mode from IDE to AHCI in the BIOS. After that, Windows 7 is installed and configured on an SSD drive, and everything works. If you have already installed the system, then the procedure will be described below.
We need to go to the registry editor by finding the regedit.exe file. How to do this was discussed above. In the system registry editor, you need to open a branch according to the following scheme. SSD setup under Windows 7occurs in the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\msahci directory. Here we need to find the ErrorControl parameter. Click and select "Edit". The default value will be 3. You need to replace it with 0, then OK. A little lower we find the Start parameter. Also change the value from 3 to 0 and click OK. Next, restart the computer and go into the BIOS. Now we change the controller mode from SATA to AHCI, save the BIOS and boot the operating system.
Now we need to check if there have been changes in the system. To do this, go to "My Computer", then "Properties", then "Device Manager" and find the IDEATA item here. It needs to be opened, and if you have the line "Standard PCIIDE controller", then nothing has changed. If you have AHCI in this place, then everything is in order, the SSD setup under Windows 7 was successful. These actions can be carried out before the start of changes in the registry and BIOS. You may already have AHCI enabled.
Now we have the TRIM command working, which will allow the disk to function faster when data is polluted, and NCQ technology is available, which allows you to increase the speed of random reading and writing information.
Thus, the optimization of the SSD under Windows 7 was successful. The tips given above should also help you in setting up the system for SSD. All this will make your computer work as best as possible.efficient.