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Guide for your hard drive to work faster



Do you notice that your SSD is not going like the first day? Would you like to get more out of your performance? We bring you some tricks so you can make the most of your operation on your PC.

We will never tire of recommending the installation of an SSD as a method to recover the performance of an old computer.

By doing so, the PC or laptop recovers the speed of response and everything is executed much faster. The performance improvement is remarkable even in computers with support for the SATA2 interface, since in this case, although the transmission potential of the SSD is not used 100%, the maximum bandwidth is used and the latency is eliminated , so there is also a noticeable improvement in the response.

Windows 10, contrary to what happened in previous operating systems such as Windows 7, already has full support for SSD storage, so the system detects that an SSD has been installed and automatically performs all the necessary adjustments to optimize the use of the SSD drive making it work correctly.

However, you should take precautions and make sure that the system has set everything correctly. However, if you still use Windows 7, you must manually configure some functions to get the best performance from your SSD. We tell you the tricks so that your SSD goes faster.

Update the firmware of your SSD

In the same way that the drivers of the graphics card or BIOS (or UEFI) of the computer are updated, it is also necessary to update the firmware of the SSD to its latest version to improve performance and optimize the SSD.

This firmware is responsible for setting the behavior of the SSD, so sometimes it may be that the manufacturer improves the performance of the SSD or optimizes its operation.

Each manufacturer carries out this process in a different way, although it is more usual to do it from the management and maintenance software of the brand. The firmware will be available from the manufacturer's page.

Enable TRIM in Windows 10 and turn off defragmentation

The SSDs are based on memories that are formed by small cells in which the information is stored. TRIM technology is responsible for communicating to the operating system which blocks of data are no longer in use and, therefore, can be re-filled with new data.

Enabling this technology improves the performance of the SSD as the system keeps the status of the data stored in the unit up to date.

Windows 10 should automatically activate this function when recognizing the SSD, but it does not hurt to ensure its activation. This check is essential if you use previous operating systems.

You can do this check easily. You just have to open a Command Prompt window. Press the Windows + X combination and choose the Command Prompt (administrator) option and enter the command: fsutil behavior set DisableDeleteNotify 0.

The result for this command will be NTFS DisableDeleteNotify = 0 (Disabled), which indicates that TRIM technology is enabled.

SSD better with AHCI

When Windows 10 is installed on an SSD, the installer usually activates the AHCI interface (acronym for Advanced Host Controller Interface) instead of the usual IDE interface on Windows 7 or earlier systems.

SSDs take better advantage of their potential when they work under the AHCI protocol instead of IDE. As a general rule, this change must be made when reinstalling the operating system since not all BIOS (or UEFI) allow to change the protocol and blue screens may occur due to incompatibilities in the controllers.

Therefore, if you have not yet done the upgrade to an SSD, consider reinstalling the system from scratch so that the AHCI interface is automatically activated instead of the IDE.

Disable search indexing, Prefetch and Superfetch

The search indexing of Windows and the functions Prefetch and Superfetch are a vestige of when the HDD was the only possible storage system in the computers. All of them are aimed at optimizing the access speed of the HDD to the data, correcting the shortcomings of this storage system.

The problem is that the SSD no longer suffer from these shortcomings, so these processes do nothing but add unnecessary tasks for an SSD.

For example, the search indexing function creates a kind of "list" for the system in which the location of each file managed by the operating system is indicated exactly. In this way, when the user searched for a certain file, the system consulted the list and could find it almost immediately.

With the arrival of the SSD and the total absence of latency, access to data is immediate, so this function does nothing but ballast the performance of the unit by adding one more process between the request of a file and its delivery.

To deactivate it is really simple since you only have to go to the window of This Team, click with the right button of the mouse on the SSD unit and choose the Properties option.

In the box that appears, uncheck the Allow files in this unit to have the indexed content box in addition to the file properties that you will find at the end of the General tab and click Apply.

Disabling the functions of Prefetch and Superfetch is somewhat more complicated since you must access the Windows Registry and modify one of the keys.

You do not need the write cache

The SSD units have a limited life span to a certain number of millions of write operations in the memory cells that form them.

As we have seen in the previous section, Windows 10 has inherited some functions of previous operating systems such as Windows 7, designed to manage other types of hardware. The write cache is one of those functions that speeds up the access to the data in the HDD, but that does nothing more than "consume" data writing operations in the SSD, reducing its useful life.

Disabling this feature may not make your SSD go faster, but it is a trick to stretch the life of your SSD.

To deactivate the write cache you only have to click with the right mouse button on the SSD and choose the Properties option. Next, go to the Hardware tab, select the SSD in the list and click on the Properties button.

Next, a new window will open. In this, access the General tab and click the Change settings button. A new window will open in which you must access the Policies tab to uncheck the Enable write cache option on the device. After accepting the change, it will be necessary to restart the computer to apply the changes.

Do not wait for it to fill up

Not letting the storage unit fill up completely is not only a trick to make your SSD drive go faster, it can be applied to any storage system.

The system needs a certain storage space to "move" and function, since they are constantly creating and destroying temporary files that generate the applications. So, if you max out the capacity of the SSD, the system will work in a less efficient way.

In fact, such is the importance of this courtesy space for Windows, that in the next major update of Windows 10 the system will automatically reserve that space that you can no longer occupy.

Ideally, keep around 10% of the total disk capacity free for the operating system to use when needed. If you have already exceeded that maximum limit, you should think about updating your unit for a higher capacity SSD.