SSD Tweaks and Tips

Discussion in 'VAIO / Sony' started by Oscar2, Nov 16, 2010.

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  1. Oscar2

    Oscar2 Notebook Deity

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    Here is a collection of Tweaks and Tips for Solid State Disks (SSDs).

    These are gathered together from discussions folks have had on this Forum.
    It centers around the VPC-Z with SSD's and RAID0, but should be generally applicable.

    As suggestions, and corrections, are made I will update the OP.

    Enable Write Caching: This provides faster writeback of related small disk writes, at the expense of less safety in the case of a power loss. Not so much of a risk on a laptop (which has batteries) compared to a desktop (which can just have a power cord kicked out).
    On the Z use the Intel Rapid Storage Technology app: "Manage | Advanced | Write-back cache: Enabled"
    Otherwise can use: "Device Manager | Disk drives | Double click on Volume 0 | Polices". Select "Enable write caching on the device", unselect "Turn off Windows write-cache buffer flushing on the device"

    Disable indexing: This imposes some overhead every time files are written, modified, or deleted. With lots of small files it can have a noticeable impact. Even with it off, searching happens lightning fast.
    In Windows Explorer, or My Computer: Right click on C: Drive | Properties. Uncheck "Allow files on this drive to have contents indexed..."

    Turn Off the Disk Defragmenter Schedule: It's Ok to occasionally defrag an SSD, and a small benefit will result. But there is no need to do so on a daily or weekly basis (and it increases wear).
    Run Disk Defrag, turn off regular schedule

    Disable Superfetch: This preloads programs into memory that Windows thinks you may use. Some people like to turn it off since programs load so quickly anyway off the ssd.
    In RegEdit: "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management\PrefetchParameters". Change "EnableSuperFetch" value from 3 to 0.

    Disable Prefetch: This imposes some overhead, increases boot time, and seems to provide negligible benefit on an ssd.
    In RegEdit: "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management\PrefetchParameters". Change "EnablePrefetcher" value from 3 to 0.

    Firefox - Use memory cache instead of disk cache: Small block disk writes are the bane of SSD's everywhere :), and Web browsers are one of the worst perpetrators of small block disk writes.
    Either create a RAM disk and point the browser cache to it, or set Firefox to use memory cache:

    1. open up about:config (type it into the url bar)
    2. type browser.cache into the filter bar at the top.
    3. Find browser.cache.disk.enable and set it to false (by double clicking on it).
    4. set browser.cache.memory.enable to true
    5. create a new preference by right clicking anywhere, hit New, and choose Integer.
    6. Call the new preference browser.cache.memory.capacity and hit OK.
    7. In the next window, where it asks for the number of kilobytes you want to assign to the cache, just enter -1 to tell Firefox to dynamically determine the cache size.

    See: Speed Up Firefox by Moving Your Cache to RAM, No RAM Disk Required

    The downsides are:

    -Disk cache, unlike the memory cache, persists across restarts.
    -Size of memory cache is capped at a lower number than size of disk cache.
    -Possible slight slowdown for some plug-ins such as Adobe reader, which get to their data as a disk file.

    See: moving cache to RAM instructions making the rounds - mozilla.dev.apps.firefox | Google Groups

    Future Firefox may be able to have both disk and memory cache and so have the best of both worlds.

    Set up a RAM disk: This can be used to speed up many types of programs, also save power and increase drive life, whether used with an SSD or a mechanical hard drive. A side benefit can be security if properly set up, as temporary files containing sensitive information go away instead of sticking around forever, when the the machine is shut off. Downside is it uses up precious RAM which might otherwise be put to better use.

    From psyang: DataRAM provides a RamDisk with persistence between reboots and is free for up to 4GB. See: RAMDisk Software - Dataram
    Also: Set up a RAM disk

    Disable Hibernation: While useful for speeding up boot times on a mechanical drive, is less useful with SSDs as they boot more quickly (plus there's always the option of Sleep/Standby mode). Disabling Hibernation can return 1/2GB - 4GB disk space. From start menu type “cmd” and run as Administrator. In the command line type “powercfg -h off”.
    From anseio: SSD Optimization Guide

    Turn off Pagefile: If you have 4GB+ of RAM, consider turning off or reducing the pagefile size. On an 8GB system the pagefile size will default to 8GB. The irony is that the more physical memory is available, the less pagefile is needed. Nevertheless this one is more controversial than the others as it can cause problems when all available physical memory is in use and there is no pagefile to turn to for virtual memory. If you know your memory usage and feel so inclined:
    1. My Computer | Properties | Advanced System Settings | Performance tab | Advanced tab
    2. Select the virtual memory change box.
    3. Unselect automatically manage pagefile size for all drives.
    4. Select no paging file, or reduce it. and apply (then restart as required). Fwiw: Microsoft indicates debug info doesn't get written out if pagefile <400MB.

    Other Links:

    Jim_Kirk listed this useful link with SSD tips: Guide * Windows 7 Ultimate Tweaks & Utilities *

    anseio listed: SSD Optimization Guide, and http://forum.notebookreview.com/hardware-components-aftermarket-upgrades/429972-ssd-thread-benchmarks-brands-news-advice.html

    sugarkang suggests that less is more when it comes to optimization: ssd optimizations
     
  2. JP$

    JP$ Notebook Evangelist

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    Nice compilation Oscar. Rep added.
     
  3. Ichinenjuu

    Ichinenjuu Notebook Deity

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    About the regular defrag issue; I thought I read somewhere that Windows 7 will automatically disable regular defragging if you have an SSD. Is that true?
     
  4. JP$

    JP$ Notebook Evangelist

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    The defrag schedule was on on my Sony Z until I disabled it. I don't think W7 cared that I had an SSD. Then again, I never gave it a chance to run on its normal schedule.
     
  5. Jim_Kirk

    Jim_Kirk Newbie

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  6. Oscar2

    Oscar2 Notebook Deity

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    Yes indeed, that's why I had included your link in the original post. The only thing is, you have to read through to the end of the post to be able to see it. :)
     
  7. TheBugMan

    TheBugMan Notebook Consultant

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    SSD Tweaks are always welcome!

    Thanks Oscar2 (^_^).
     
  8. anseio

    anseio All ways are my ways.

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    Hmmm... a bug man... in a rainy city... with a Z12. I know you! :p
     
  9. anseio

    anseio All ways are my ways.

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    Win7 is supposed to, but I don't think it's consistent. My first Intel X25-M that I got in August was never seen by Windows as SSD. I replaced it a month later, for other reasons, and the new one is recognized by Windows.

    Can't say why.
     
  10. bryan1988

    bryan1988 Notebook Consultant

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    Good Post Mate!
     
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