In the previous posts we have talked about how SSDs can really enhance our system’s performance. We discussed how an SSD drive enables your computer to boot and shut down so quickly, how gigantic applications response instantly. And the best part of SSD technology is being backward compatible, that is even if your motherboard doesn’t support SATA 3, you can still use the SSD.
So now that you have decided you want an SSD drive, following are some tweaks you should be performing on your computer to take the most out of your SSD.
Flash memory can be written a limited number of times, about 10.000 writes only. So we have to make sure that we don’t do any unnecessary tasks on an SSD.
Do not Defragment your SSD
Like I just said, an SSD drive has a limited lifespan, so you don’t need to perform tasks like defragmention, because it will only eat-up its life. Besides modern SSDs have built-in wear-levelling techniques that ensure writes are spread across a drive (evenly to all its blocks).
Windows 7 OS was designed keeping SSDs in mind, not only Microsoft disabled the disk defrag option for an SSD by default, it also introduced a low level command called Trim which can free up blocks that would otherwise slow write speeds. If you have bought your SSD very recently, there are good chances that several services like indexing, superfetch and windows search are made disable by default.
Turn off Hibernation
Hibernation came into existence because PCs were talking too much of time booting up,and ages loading all the startup programs and drivers, so we needed a system that can save the current state of the computer to the hard drive. (Note: Sleep does the same thing, but the difference is that when you are pushing your computer to the sleep mode, it still consumes power, however little that might be). Now that we have SSD, booting and these processes are incredibly fast, hence you do not need to hibernate your system and you get to save around 3 GBs of space as well.
To turn off the hibernation, open Command Prompt, and enter powercfg –h off .
Disable system restore
Although if you do disable system restore, you won’t be able to restore your computer, but if you do, and because system restore writes a lot of data to the SSD, taking a good amount of space, you will save a lot of memory space on your SSD.
Move the swap file
The swap file, or the pagefile we have on our Windows computer’s hard drive that enables your computer to use some part of your hard drive space as the RAM, can also be moved to some other drive to save up your SSD space.
Here is how we do that, go to Computer, select properties, and click on ‘Advanced system settings’, click on the ‘Advanced’ tab, and look for the Settings button under ‘Performance’ section. Click on the SSD drive and select ‘No paging file’ option. Now, choose any of your hard disk drive and select ‘System managed size’. This way you are making your computer not compromise its basic needs to function well, and saving space as well.
Disable GUI boot
The booting windows logo, splashing all over your screen while your system boots also takes some memory space, and more importantly delays the boot process. The good thing is, you can disable it anytime you want. Run msconfig (Type or Run, msconfig) and go to the ‘boot’ tab and check on the ‘No GUI boot’.
Besides, you should also monitor what programs and files are taking up so much space on your SSD, there are many apps for that, some of my favorite ones are WinDirStat. Also, you can check your library directories (My pictures, My Videos, My documents) and see if there are any large files. Do not forget to change your download managers’ and BitTorrent client’s default directory for keeping the downloaded files to some hard disk drive.
I am not a gamer, but some of my friends are, I have seen them downloading and managing their games with the Steam software. Now if you have it, you would know how gigantic storage space new titles take these days. But again, SSD is not the most convenient option for storing larger files. So try this app, called Steam Mover which will help you move the game to your hard disk when not in use, and when you want to play that game, it will return it to the SSD, because we know that the experience of playing game, the response time while using an SSD drive is awesome.
Important Note: I have presumed that you will be installing your Operating System on your SSD, because for majority of users that’s what it is meant for, and that is how it should be used, hence most of the tweaks above are accordingly written.
Also read our guide explaining the fundamentals of SSD, and things you should keep in mind while buying one. CLICK HERE