A Solid State Drive, or SSD, has no moving mechanical parts, generates less heat, and consumes less energy than a traditional hard drive. In short—an SSD runs silent, cool, and green. And they’re fast.
Here are five things you can do from the keyboard to make sure you’re getting optimal performance from your SSD.
- Enable TRIM.
First check and see if it’s enabled (most Windows 7 users will find that TRIM is already enabled, but you’ll want to check just to make sure). Click Start, type “cmd” and right click your search result and click “Open as Administrator”. Now type “fsutil behavior query DisableDeleteNotify” (without the quotes). If you get DisableDeleteNotify = 0 then TRIM is working. If you get DisableDeleteNotify = 1 then you need to enable it. To enable it, type “fsutil behavior set disabledeletenotify 0″ (without the quotes) and restart your computer.
- Disable Defragging.
Mechanical hard drives need defragging. SSDs don’t. Disable as follows: click Start, click on Control Panel, then “System and Maintenance”. Under “Administrative Tools” you’ll see something called “Defragment your hard drive”. Open that up, see if “Run Automatically’ is selected. If it is, de-select it. Alternatively, you may type in “disk defragmenter” in the Start menu search bar and disable automatic defragging from there.
- Disable Superfetch and Prefetch.
SSDs have extremely fast access times that are many times faster than traditional HDDs. Superfetch and Prefetch will just eat up precious memory without giving you much of a performance benefit. Click Start, type “regedit”, right click your search result and click “Run as Administrator”. Navigate to: “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\SessionManager\Memory Management\PrefetchParameters”. Right click EnableSuperfetch and EnablePrefetcher and modify their values to 0. Then restart your computer.
- Disable Indexing.
Indexing takes what it thinks are the most commonly used files and stores the file locations for quick access. This may not slow down your SSD, but it can put a load on your processor. With SSDs being fast enough to access all files, there’s really no reason to have indexing, so turn it off. Click Start, click Computer, right click your SSD (normally C:), click “Properties”, look under the General tab and unclick “Allow files on this drive to have contents indexed”.
- Disable Hibernation.
This will free up a lot of valuable space. And, of course, with your SSD you can boot into Windows from a complete shutdown and open your work up again just as fast as you can resume from a state of hibernation. (Or you can use the other sleep mode called “Standby.”) Simply click Start, type “cmd”, right click the search result and click “Run as Administrator” and type “powercfg -h off”.
With a few keyboard strokes and a couple clicks of your mouse, you’re on your way to getting the best performance that your SSD has to offer. But when you really think about it, it’s probably safe to say you’re looking for more than high performance when you buy an SSD—maybe even extreme performance. It might be worth noting that Plextor offers the Xtreme version of their M5 Pro—which may be the best and fastest SSD currently available. It delivers dramatically enhanced speed, massive throughput, and fault tolerant performance that’s ideal for prosumers, serious gamers, and system integrators. May be something worth thinking about.