Complete guide to solid-State Drives (SSD)

How to get the most out of our SSD

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What are SSDS, as changing performance

A solid-state drive or solid state drive, SSD (from the corresponding English term solid-state drive), is a type of mass storage device that uses solid-state memory (flash memory) to store data. The important difference with the classic drive has the ability to store non-volatile, with large amounts of data without using mechanical parts (engines, heads, etc.) as do traditional hard drives.

Add a solid-state disk (SSD) to your Computer, it could be the best investment to do in the current state of the art of IT. Even installing a SSD on a PC is able to "resurrect"literally the machine in an outstanding way. But as with any new technology, there is a lot to learn.

A SSD of last generation can speed up a Computer in many situations, such as:

  • Boot times significantly reduced system
  • Time to launch any application next to instant ’
  • Move and copy speed definitely files faster
  • No noise, extremely break rate lower and greater energy savings

Here's everything you should know about your SSDand if you want to optimize performance or just to get an idea about how some features (excuse the pun) of your system. The screenshots were saved using Windows 8.1so may differ from those of Windows 7.

The guide is aimed at experienced users, or at least know all or part of the topics covered. I take no responsibility for problems, damage and malfunction, proceed to your system.

10 and Best-practice Tips to increase Performance

A SSDUnlike the traditional Harddrive, will "deteriorate" whenever a memory access. Normally, then, to make it more performant and long-livedIt is good to optimize its performance to do the least amount of memory accesses.

1. set your SATA Controller AHCI Mode on

During installation of the operating system, make sure that our BIOS has our Controller SATA configured (and therefore also compatible) with AHCI. This mode is required for native support of TRIM (we're going to explain the next step), used by our SSD.

If you are sure you have installed your operating system remotely IDE (and your BIOS supports AHCI), it is recommended to go in -> SATA AHCI After completing these steps described in the following article: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/922976

2. Make sure the TRIM is active

The command TRIM allows the operating system to inform the SSD drives which data blocks are no longer used and can be deleted. Basically, the TRIM to avoid performance degradation in writing thanks to the way it handles deleting and writing.
Windows 7 (and above) supports the TRIM automatically, but it's still good thing make sure the TRIM support is enabled. Here's how you can do:

  • Launch a The Command Prompt in mode Administrator (Click Start, type "cmd.exe" in the search box and press Ctrl Shift Enter)
  • The Prompt screen writing fsutil behavior query disabledeletenotify
  • If the command returns us DisableDeleteNotify = 0 It will mean that the TRIM is Active.
  • If the command returns us DisableDeleteNotify = 1 It means instead is disabled.
  • If it is disabled, to make it active just configure SATA AHCI Controller as explained in point 1, the TRIM is a native feature of Windows 7, 8 and above.

Screenshot per il TRIM

Screenshot of a Prompt

3. disable System Restore

The system restore on a SSD can degrade performance SSD over time, however, making it very difficult to TRIM work. So you may want to disable the system restore utility to prevent this work to TRIM weight, both to regain valuable storage space!

Here's how:

  • Right Click on Computer and select Properties
  • Click on System protection
  • Click on the button Configure
  • And finally select "Disable system protection"and then you Apply
Ripristino configurazione sistema e SSD

Screen where we will disable the "System Restore"

4. Disable indexing service of unity

With access times of an SSD (0.1 ms for the most part), you do not need to index this drive for faster response times as with a standard hard drive.

  • Go to the screen Computer
  • Right Click on our SSDS, and select Properties
  • In the screen that will open Deselect the box where it says "Allow the ’ indexing of content and properties of files on this unit"and click on Apply
  • It might appear a warning message to alert us that there are errors in your application file attributes, it is normal to fear not, select "ignore all" and continue.
Disabilitare indicizzazione per gli SSD

Screenshot for the properties of the storage media

5. Disable hibernation

Is it possible to free up space on our SSD (roughly the amount of RAM) by disabling Hibernate the system. Disable the suspension will prevent the use of this power saving mode, but the free space that we will recover it will be worth.

Here's how:

  • Click Start, type cmd, right-click the cmd icon and choose Run as administrator
  • At the command prompt, type powercfg-h off and press enter

    Disabilitare l'ibernazione del sistema per gli SSD

    Screenshots on how to disable the Hibernate ’

6. Disable automatic disk defragmentation

By default, Windows 7 (and higher) should automatically disable defragmentation because it is part of the requirements of TRIM. If you do not do so, it is strongly recommended to disable this feature, because defragmenting a SSD is not a good thing!

How to disable:

  • Go on Computer
  • Right click on our SSD selecting first "Properties"and then the tab"Tools
  • In the section "Drive defragmentation and optimization"click on the button"Optimizes
  • Will open a new window where we will have a complete view of our storage media (Screenshots)
Ottimizzazione deframmentazione SSD

Disk optimization screen on Windows 8.1

  • Click on the button "Change settings"at the bottom of the window
  • DeselectRun according to a schedule (recommended)"and click on"Ok"to save our preferences

    Pianificazione defrag su SSD

    Disabilitiamo la deframmentazione pianificata

  • After we close the window changes to disk optimization

7. Disable ClearPageFileAtShutdown and LargeSystemCache

  • Select the path "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINECurrentControlSetControlSessionManagerMemory Management
  • Right click on ClearPageFileAtShutdown that on LargeSystemCache
  • Select Edit on each of two entries and change the value from 1 to 0
  • Reboot your PC to finalize the setting ’

8. Disable Windows Search and optimization startup (Superfetch)

Search for Windows creates a index of files and folders primary storage medium, that occupies about 10% of the space represented by the same reference data. When you look on the Windows search, the system looks for the files directly in memory, then the search is very fast.

Once again, this system is very effective, but d ’ loses interest with SSDS Thanks to their great responsiveness. The benefits obtained from this service does not compensate the loss of valuable Gb on our SSD.

  • Press the Windows key R and on the run window that opens write "services.msc"
  • Scroll the list until you find the service "Startup Optimization", right click and select"Properties
  • On "Startup type:", let's click on the pull-down menu and select "Disabled"and then press"Apply” e “Ok
  • Then scroll down the list until you find "Windows Search", right click and select"Properties“;
  • As well as we did before, on startup type do click on the pull-down menu and select "Disabled"and then press"Apply” e “Ok

9. disable Prefetch and Superfetch

How to do it:

  • We press the Windows key R and on the Run that opens write "regedit
  • Select the path "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlSessionManagerMemory ManagementPrefetchParameters
  • Right click on EnablePrefetcher that on EnableSuperfetcher
  • Select Edit on each of the two voices and change the existing value to 0. (The values of these two items may vary from 0 to 3, each with different meanings)

    Prefetch e Superfetch disabilitati per gli SSD

    Change log entries

  • Reboot your PC to finalize the setting ’

10. Enable write caching on the device

Write caching is a feature that improves the performance of traditional Hard drives and SSDS. When the "write caching" is active, the volatile memory is used to collect and to cache write commands are sent to the Hard Disk.

  • Right click on "Computer"and select"Properties
  • Select "Managing Devices
  • Scroll the list until "Unit Disco"and we expand the section
  • Do right click on our SSD and select "Properties
  • In the tab "Criteria", activate the option"Enable write caching on the device"and we press"Ok

    Cache scrittura per SSD

    Write caching should be enabled on most of SSD

ATTENTIONThis option should not be enabled on branded SSDS Intelbecause they have been reported and verified performance dips! Always run your tests.

Utilities and Software for testing performance

AS SSD Benchmark (version Portable/standalone)

Some have already heard maybe. This software allows us to test the efficacy read and write performance of our Solid State Drive.

The tool consists in different tests, the first aimed at determining the sequential and random writing of SSD, the latter designed to test the access time, read, and write files with 1 GB for each trial. 4 testing testing performance randomici 4 k blocks. All tests are performed without the ’ OS cache usage.

Download AS SSD Benchmark (Dimensione 279,6 KB)

CrystalDiskMark (Portable Version)

CrystalDiskMark is a Benchmark utility that measures performance for the writing and reading both sequential that random. It is very useful to test and compare the speed of mobile storage devices for what fixed storage. Requires you to be running in administrator mode.

The software can measure speed reading and writing blocks of 512 KB, 4 KB, 4 KB, and has support for different types of data (testRandom, 0Fill, 1Fill)includes support for Visual themes and is multilingual.

Download CrystalDiskMark (Size 1.3 MB)


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About the Author

Andrea

IT Security Specialist, PMO, Cisco Instructor - Amante del'Informatica e della Pesca Sportiva. Scrivo di IT per evangelizzare e fare informazione. Mi occupo principalmente di Networking e di Sicurezza informatica con attività di Red Team. Mi sforzo e cerco di contribuire per avere un Internet libero e sicuro.

7 Comments

  1. Hello. congratulations for the excellent guide. I followed to the letter and everything works perfectly. I have only one question. Now I tell my 2 internal disks in the "safely remove hardware". Like external drives such as usb sticks or portable hard drives. My OS is WINDOWS 7. Is it normal? I don't like the idea of being able to disable a hard disk by mistake.
    Thank you.
    Alberico

    • Hi Dave,

      quiet is normal! It is because the controller SATA ha la funzionalità “Hot-Plug” (Collegamento a caldo) che è parte della specifica AHCI (Probabilmente hai un controller Marvell). Anche provando a fare la “Rimozione sicura hardware” non rimuoverà un bel niente, vai tranquillo 😉

      There is a procedure to fix this kind of "bug", but implies making small changes to the registry, I'll write a guide about it over the next few days!

  2. ho da poco preso un ssd
    lo partizionato con easeus in tre partizioni la prima so la seconda e terza dati
    col controllo AS SSD Benchmark
    leggo in verde alla prima partizione ia stor ok
    sotto in verde 1024k ok
    la seconda partizione pero indica ias stor ok in verde e sottto in verde pero 92413916k -ok
    mentre nella la terza partizione leggo 396299456k – ok in verde

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