Solid State Drive (SSD)

Windows supports certain features that SSD’s need to operate at optimum velocity, but it doesn’t enable them by default. This means that you have to come in and change OS settings to support the full potential of your SSD.

Solid State Drive (SSD)
Solid State Drive (SSD) installed by Valley Computer

1. Enable AHCI

The Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI) is a paramount feature for ensuring that Windows will support all of the features that come with running an SSD on your computer, especially the TRIM feature, which allows Windows to help the SSD perform its routine garbage collection. The term “garbage collection” is used to describe the phenomenon that occurs when a drive gets rid of information that is no longer considered to be in use.

To enable AHCI, you’ll have to enter the BIOS of your computer and enable it somewhere within its settings. I can’t tell you exactly where the setting is, as each BIOS functions differently. You’ll have to do a bit of hunting. Chances are that newer computers will have this enabled by default. It’s most recommended that you enable this feature before installing the operating system, although you might be able to get away with enabling it after Windows has already been installed.

2. Enable TRIM

We’ve talked about TRIM enough in the previous section. You could see how such a feature would benefit your computer’s speed greatly, so let’s get to enabling it!

Open up your command prompt and enter the following: 

fsutil behavior set disabledeletenotify 0

Solid State Drive (SSD)
Solid State Drive (SSD) installed by Valley Computer

3. Disable Scheduled Defragmentation

Because the SSD is a solid media with no moving parts, you often don’t see a performance drop due to file fragmentation. Therefore, there’s no need to actually defragment the drive as frequently as you would defragment a mechanical HDD. Access your Start menu, click “Accessories,” click “System Tools,” and then click “Disk Defragmenter.” Click “Configure schedule,” Once in the schedule configuration window, un-check the box labeled “Run on a schedule.” Click “OK,” and you won’t have to worry about scheduled defragmentation again.

4. Disable Hibernation

Windows occupies at least 2 GB for the hibernation state image. If you want to keep it, that’s fine by me, but you’re not getting all the juice you can out of your drive. Type “powercfg -h off” in your command line to disable it. You’ll be thankful for those two extra gigabytes when you have an intense game to install on it!

5. Disable Prefetch and Superfetch

Windows sometimes places information in your physical memory and virtual memory belonging to programs that you don’t currently use, but use very often. This is known as “Prefetch” and “Superfetch.” If you are stuck with having to cope with virtual memory on your SSD, you’re better off just doing away with these two features. You can find them on your registry editor under. Set both values to zero and be done with it!

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\CurrentControlSet\Control\SessionManager\Memory Management\PrefetchParameters

6. Disable ClearPageFileAtShutdown and LargeSystemCache

Windows is quick to implement things that are no longer necessary. An SSD operates on flash memory, making it possible to easily overwrite things on the disk. Therefore, the page file doesn’t need to be erased while the computer’s shutting down. This will make the Windows shutdown process much faster. LargeSystemCache, on the other hand, exists primarily in Server versions of Windows, and tells the computer whether to use a large cache for pages on the drive.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\CurrentControlSet\Control\SessionManager\Memory Management

7. Set the “High Performance” Power Option

When your SSD powers on and off all the time, you’ll notice a slight lag whenever you use your computer after you’ve been idle for a while.

To switch your power options, access your control panel, click “System and Security,” and then click “Power Options.” Select “High Performance” from the list. You might need to click “Show additional plans” to find it.

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