Optimizing an SSD drive in Windows: step by step instructions

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Optimizing an SSD drive in Windows: step by step instructions
Optimizing an SSD drive in Windows: step by step instructions

Solid-state drives in the form of SSDs, which replaced the old hard drives, are increasingly being used in standard PC builds and have gained unprecedented popularity, because they are head and shoulders above their outdated counterparts in terms of speed. By accessing them faster, the overall performance of the entire computer system is improved. But to achieve the maximum effect, it may often be necessary to optimize the SSD (in the 10th version of Windows - that's for sure). But what is meant by optimization and how to perform it? All these questions, as well as some related nuances in setting the necessary parameters, will be discussed further in as much detail as possible. It’s worth saying right away that solid-state drives are very picky in terms of settings, especially from the operating system, so you should follow the steps below very carefully and carefully. One wrong move– and the consequences can be completely unpredictable.

Do I need to optimize SSD drives?

It's fairly common to see hardware manufacturers and Windows operating system developers claiming that changing the default settings and options for solid state drives is not required. Unfortunately, this is not always true. None of the existing operating systems of the Windows family has yet acquired at least some significant SSD optimization tool.

SSD optimization in Windows 10
SSD optimization in Windows 10

Windows 10, for example, when installed on such a drive, in most cases, it produces completely different performance indicators (indices) that are expected. That is why you have to change the default settings, despite assurances that you should not do this. But let's see what is the essence of SSD optimization in the 7th or any other version of the system and what options can be changed to achieve maximum performance and extend the life of the drive.

Auto setup

First, let's look at some aspects related to the basic parameters that are used by default for disks of this type. Basically settings include the following options:

  • disable defrag;
  • Superfetch deactivation;
  • power optimization;
  • ReadyBoot deactivation.

Despite the options presented in the list, the options that can be enabled or disabled are completelyby changing the settings, much more. And about them, that manufacturers, that developers, for some reason, are silent. Everything is clear with the developers - they do not recommend changing some system settings, believing that this will not benefit Windows systems. This is not true. In the process of optimizing Windows for SSD, no critical changes are made to the system parameters, and the affected functions can be changed without affecting the operating system.

Save free space and install programs

So, let's get down to practical steps. What should you pay attention to first of all? Optimizing SSD performance in Windows 7 and above should start with the simplest steps to install the operating systems themselves and user programs (we will not consider Windows versions below, since the use of solid-state drives for them looks completely inappropriate).

It is believed that the best solution would be to install on the SSD only the operating system itself and heavy software packages that consume a lot of system resources during operation, and applications should be accessed as quickly as possible. It is better to install less "gluttonous" applications and save user files or documents on ordinary hard drives if they are used in tandem with SSD drives (RAID arrays) or in logical partitions on the solid state drives themselves.

At the same time, the optimization of the SSD-disk has one more, so to speak, undocumented nuance. Most experts agree that in order to achieve the bestperformance, the disk must always have free space equal to at least one-sixth of the total volume. At the same time, it is also desirable to increase the reserved space allocated for the system cache.

Defragmentation Issues

Now a few words about defragmentation. It would seem that it should increase the speed of disk access when starting programs by moving frequently used application files to the fastest areas of the hard disk. In the case of conventional hard drives, it is. But not with an SSD! The paradox is that defragmentation is absolutely contraindicated for such drives, since it can even reduce their service life.

Thus, it becomes clear that it cannot be produced under any circumstances. But SSD optimization in Windows 7 or in any other modification of the OS concerns not only the standard process launched at the user's request, but also the defragmentation of system files, which is performed in the background when the operating system starts. Disabling this feature on your own will be quite problematic. How to do this, we will consider a little later when describing specialized utilities for configuring SSD parameters.

Firmware update

In matters of SSD disk optimization in Windows systems, the firmware plays by no means the last, although quite often not the main role. The firmware itself is in a sense very similar to the control programs for all hardware, called drivers, since it ensures the correct operation of the device. With herIt's very common to notice a slowdown in disk performance when it becomes obsolete, so it needs to be kept up to date, but not always.

SSD Firmware Update
SSD Firmware Update

Usually, the developers of such firmware installation software offer special utilities that can be downloaded along with the firmware from the official website. In some cases, it is enough just to save it to disk and reboot the system, after which it will be installed automatically. Quite often, users have to install firmware through the command line. If you have no experience with the command console, it is better to immediately read the recommendations and procedures on the developer's resource on the Internet.

As for practical recommendations when optimizing SSDs on Windows systems, here are a few tips:

  • before installation, copy the necessary information to another hard drive or removable media;
  • pre-read reviews about the firmware on the forums (some versions of constantly updated firmware may contain flaws and bugs);
  • if the drive is working normally and in normal mode, and there were no problems with functionality, do not install every new update;
  • after installing the firmware upgrade, be sure to check the device's performance using specially designed utilities.

Paging file

Optimization for SSD 7th modification of the OS (or systems of a higher rank) includes a number of measures and actions related topaging file (pagefile.sys), which is responsible for reserving disk space for the needs of virtual memory. It is recommended to completely disable it, regardless of the amount of RAM.

Disabling the paging file
Disabling the paging file

To do this, through the properties of the computer, go to the performance settings and call the virtual memory settings section, then disable automatic setting of the paging file size for the system and activate the option to turn it off ("Without paging file" line). After saving the installed options, a full system restart is required.

Hibernation Mode

As it is believed, disabling the use of this mode can create some inconvenience in work, because when it is active, the computer system is not completely turned off, and program data is stored on the hard drive, which helps to quickly turn on the computer and continue working with applications. True, the more programs you run, the more disk space the hibernation file hyberfil.sys takes up, and constantly changing its size (overwriting) can negatively affect the life of the device.

To optimize the SSD drive in Windows 10 or earlier systems, through the Control Panel, you need to open the power section and start using the power button setting (on laptops, you can access the section through the RMB menu on the battery icon in the system tray).

Disabling hibernation
Disabling hibernation

In the menu on the left, select the appropriate item, and thena hyperlink is pressed to change currently unavailable parameters, after which the checkbox is unchecked from the item for enabling this mode.

The next step in optimizing Windows 10 for SSDs is to disable automatic hibernation.

Disabling hibernation
Disabling hibernation

To perform such actions on the main page of the power section, you need to go to setting up the current scheme, use additional power settings, select the "Sleep" category in the window that appears and set the values for the transition to sleep and hibernation fields to "Never".

The proposed course of action is somewhat inconvenient, if only because you have to constantly navigate through additional sections and menus to set the necessary options. It's much easier to disable hibernation through the command line. You can call the console through the Start menu by entering the abbreviation cmd, but only on behalf of the administrator. If this procedure is not provided, in Windows 10 you can use the RMB menu on the Start button, which will have two types of startup (normal and administrator). Next, the command powercfg -h off is written in the console, and the enter key is pressed. After executing this command, not only the hibernation mode is turned off, but also the file responsible for it is deleted from the disk.


Another point related to Windows 7 SSD optimization and higher OS versions is to disable indexing for file search, which creates an additional file for each object on disk.information record (label), which helps to increase the speed of searching for the desired content. Of course, deactivating indexing will slightly reduce the search speed, but it will have a positive effect on increasing the life of the drive.

Disable search indexing
Disable search indexing

To disable, in the standard "Explorer" you need to right-click on one of the disks or logical partitions to go to the properties, and then uncheck the indexing permission line. You need to perform such actions for all partitions, without exception, into which the SSD disk is divided. In the case of RAID arrays, when a regular hard drive is used as one of the disks, such actions are not required for it and the logical partitions present on it.

System Protection

High-quality and complete SSD optimization in Windows is impossible without disabling some of the protective functions of the operating system. This refers to the deactivation of the permanent creation of recovery checkpoints in the reserved area of the disk with permanent overwriting of the contents. Many users may object to such actions, because after such an "optimization" of the SSD, it will be quite problematic to return the system to a working state. Yes indeed, in a sense they are right. However, don't focus solely on checkpoints and backups. At the very least, the backup can be stored on some capacious removable media. In addition, you can use both installation and recovery distributions with the systemtools. The benefit of disabling the creation of rollback points, again, is to prolong disk life.

Disabling system protection
Disabling system protection

To perform this procedure, you must use the computer properties section and go to advanced settings by clicking the link in the menu on the left. Next, on the system protection tab, the change button is pressed, and in the new settings window the line for disabling protection is simply activated, after which the changes are saved.

AHCI mode

Speaking about SSD optimization in Windows 7 or any other modification, one cannot ignore the use of the AHCI disk mode, the use of which allows you to reduce energy consumption and increase the performance of the computer system. True, it is in this case that you should remember that these settings go beyond the recommended options for installation, so you will have to act at your own peril and risk. Nevertheless, most specialists in the field of SSD parameter tuning and optimization agree that enabling this mode will not harm the disk and will have a beneficial effect on the performance of the entire system as a whole, despite some prohibitions from the manufacturers of the disks themselves and the developers of the control software for them or even Windows-class operating systems.

First, you should check the status of the mode for activity. To do this, use the "Device Manager". You can call it from the usual "Control Panel" through the control section (RMB menu on the computer icon) or use the "Run" console for this, inwhich fits the command devmgmt.msc.

Checking AHCI Mode
Checking AHCI Mode

In the device list, expand the IDE ATA/ATAPI controller group. Opposite the name of your disk model, there will be a postscript at the end indicating the currently used mode of operation (IDE or AHCI).

However, the modes themselves are switched exclusively in the settings of the primary BIOS / UEFI systems (usually these are sections with names like IDE or SATA Configuration on the main page or in the hardware section). After setting the required options, don't forget to save your changes on exit (F10 followed by "Y"). Reboot on exit will follow automatically.

But not everything is so simple. Even with AHCI mode enabled, the operating system may refuse to use it due to some of its features. Therefore, to optimize the SSD in Windows 10 or below, you need to tweak the values of some system registry keys. You can log in to the editor through the "Run" menu by entering the abbreviation regedit. If there is no option below to log in as an administrator, you can do it through the RMB menu after setting the search or run the executable file of the same name from the System32 directory, again with admin rights.

Activating Disk Mode
Activating Disk Mode

Here we need the HKLM branch, in which we need to go down through the SYSTEM and CurrentControlSet sections to the Services directory, which has several subsections. You need to change the keys below, assigning the specified values:

  • subsection iaStorV – Start parameter (value "0");
  • subsection storahci - Start parameter (value "0");
  • subfolders iaStorAV\StartOverride - parameter "0" (value "0");
  • subfolders storahci\StartOverride - parameter "0" (value "0").

To apply the installed options and complete the SSD optimization, be sure to perform a hard reboot of the system. Otherwise, the set values will have no effect.

Expediency of deactivating ReadyBoot, Prefetcher and Superfetch services

Optimizing an SSD in Windows 7 and later versions of the operating system also involves performing some operations with the above services. They are considered together, because they are directly related to each other. As for the advisability of deactivating them, the first two can be disabled, since the active Superfetch service has no effect on the processes of writing information to disk. But, so to speak, just in case, you can get rid of it. By the way, deactivating the ReadyBoot component, which is a kind of addition to the Prefetcher service, will not give much performance improvement (except that it will slightly reduce the time it takes to write data to disk).

The Superfetch component can be disabled in the services section (services.msc in the runtime console). After double-clicking, you need to enter the options editing, stop the service execution with the corresponding button and set the value in the "Disabled" startup type field.

Two other services can be deactivated in the systemregister. By the way, you can also use this method for the Superfetch component (perform all actions in one place - the registry editor). To access the required parameters, use the HKLM branch.

Disabling Superfetch
Disabling Superfetch

In order not to search for the desired directory with the settings of the values of the necessary keys for a long time, to deactivate Superfetch and Prefetcher, set the search branch (Ctrl + F) of the final directory PrefetcherParameners. The following settings are set here:

  • EnablePrefetcher parameter - "0";
  • EnableSuperfetcher parameter is "0".

Note: there may not be a second key in the section, so you will have to create it yourself (DWORD parameter) and assign the appropriate name and value.

To deactivate ReadyBoot in the search, specify the Autologger directory (it will contain the ReadyBoot subfolder, to which you need to go). On the right, the value of the Start key, which is set to zero, is subject to editing. As usual, after editing the registry, a full restart is performed.

Note: before doing any key editing, it is highly recommended to back up the registry via the export function. If necessary, it will be possible to restore a working system from such a copy if something goes wrong. In extreme cases, you can also burn a disk image with the operating system and all installed applications by placing it on external media (for example, on a USB-HDD drive). It won’t get any worse, but it will always be completely at hand.a working copy that only takes a couple of minutes to restore.

SSD Mini Tweaker: What can you do with it?

Finally, consider a small automated utility specially designed to manage the settings and parameters of solid state drives of any manufacturer. In principle, there is not much difference whether this program will be used to optimize SSD in the 10th version of the system or in modifications below. It works without problems in any of them.

SSD Optimization in SSD Mini Tweaker
SSD Optimization in SSD Mini Tweaker

Everything is extremely simple here. After launching the application, a settings window will appear, in which you must check all the automatic settings or use the manual mode, and then click the apply settings button. Upon completion of work with the application, restarting the computer system is required.

In the presented list, one of the most interesting is the Trim function. In order not to delve too deeply into technical terms and not to engage in detailed consideration of the mechanisms of its operation and use, a very simple explanation can be given for the average user. The fact is that in the normal mode of operation, when a file is deleted, it is not deleted from the disk as such, and when another object is saved in the same disk cell, the existing deleted file is overwritten. The Trim function allows you to not only completely remove unnecessary objects, but also remove them from logical sectors. Roughly speaking, cells that may contain deleted files are cleared immediatelysame.

SSD Fresh app

In terms of how it works, this program for optimizing SSD media is very similar to the previous utility, but differs only in a more interesting interface and displaying the optimization level indicator in real time, although many experts tend to think that it is very conditional. This is somewhat reminiscent of the calculation of the performance index, which can be found in the Windows systems themselves, and which also does not fully reflect the true state of the computer device.

Nevertheless, it makes sense to use it to optimize the SSD in Windows 10 or earlier systems, especially since you only need to press one button to set automatic settings, and the program will optimize the necessary options on its own.

Additional measures

It is believed that all that was described above is enough to set the optimal settings for solid-state hard drives. However, a couple more settings can be used as additional solutions. So, for example, you can transfer the cache of applications (mainly Internet browsers) to another drive without increasing its size on the SSD drive. It is extremely unreasonable to use ordinary hard drives for this, since we still need acceleration. In this situation, the use of special RAM disks seems to be a good option (1 GB will be enough).

Also, to optimize SSD media, you can disable NTFS file system maintenance and use of the USN journal, which records change trackingfiles.

Finally, you can transfer folders for storing temporary files TEMP related to environment variables from an SSD to a regular HDD.

Summary of conclusions

That, in fact, is all about all the steps that you need to go through to set the optimal options and parameters for solid state drives. Do not be confused by the fact that in the description of setting the necessary parameters, ordinary HDD hard drives were sometimes mentioned, which can work in conjunction with SSD media in the form of RAID arrays. It is completely optional to use them. As mentioned above, a RAM disk is enough, especially since their price is acceptable for an ordinary user. The same models from Samsung are quite inexpensive.

It goes without saying that all the optimization decisions have been given here, but some components like ReadyBoot or Superfetch, by and large, can be left untouched, since they are especially important for the condition of the disk, its speed or life extension. do not affect. This, as they say, is just in case of a fire.

Well, as for the optimization process itself, there is a choice. If you do not want to deal with manual settings, no one forbids the use of automated utilities. But for those users who want to study all the processes of setting the optimal parameters for an SSD in more depth, of course, it is worth going through all the setup steps on their own. It won't hurt,despite the time spent, and knowledge can be useful in the future.

And of course, the two programs discussed are far from being the only ones of their kind. If you dig a good deal on the Internet, you can find a great variety of such utilities, and some manufacturers of solid state drives post such utilities on their websites for free download.

Finally, it should be said that the above solutions for optimizing the operation of SSD media, increasing the performance of the entire system as a whole and extending the life of the disk are just recommendations, not dogmas. Naturally, it is worth putting them into practice, but you can do without it, leaving the parameters set by the manufacturer as they are.

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