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Old September 27, 2012, 11:15 AM
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Default Fresh SSD Boot drive install suggestions

Greetings.

I've been somewhat avoiding using a SSD drive but I got a good deal on a new Crucial M4 128mb so I took the plunge. Now I know I won't realise the unfettered speed of this drive because I have a rather old mobo (Asus P5Q-E Socket 775 with a Marvell 88SE6121 Sata 2 drive controller) but for my first SSD I think I'll still realise a significant speed increase with regards to windows load times ect.

I'll be using Windows 7 64bit and doing a fresh install. Now I've read places that there's one or more Bios options I need to do before I install and subsquent steps after the install to move the virtual drive cache whatever to a IDE drive because swapping data back and forth like that is supposed to be bad for the SSD. So if someone would be so kind to give me a checklist or some very basic advice or point me to an article that would assist me I would be greatful indeed. Tia
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Old September 27, 2012, 02:55 PM
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Step 1: Set your sata controller to AHCi mode. AHCI will allow TRIM to work (cleans the drive of old, invalid files and keeps the drive running speedily) You don't want it to be the default "IDE".

Step 2 Install windows as you normally would.

Step 3: There are many optimizations to do, but these ones I think are the most important are:

a) clearing and disabling system restore and

b) disable the pagefile and set it to zero ( you don't want the system using valuable ssd space as a memory pagefile)

c) disabling hibernation mode:
run cmd prmpt as the admin,
type: powercfg -h off and hit enter.

These 3 things will free up some much needed free space on the drive. There are other tweaks such as disabling prefetch and indexing and that sort of thing, but I don't bother with those. Google around to learn more about these other tweaks if you are interested.
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Old September 27, 2012, 04:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dandelioneater View Post
Step 1: Set your sata controller to AHCi mode. AHCI will allow TRIM to work (cleans the drive of old, invalid files and keeps the drive running speedily) You don't want it to be the default "IDE".

Step 2 Install windows as you normally would.

Step 3: There are many optimizations to do, but these ones I think are the most important are:

a) clearing and disabling system restore and

b) disable the pagefile and set it to zero ( you don't want the system using valuable ssd space as a memory pagefile)

c) disabling hibernation mode:
run cmd prmpt as the admin,
type: powercfg -h off and hit enter.

These 3 things will free up some much needed free space on the drive. There are other tweaks such as disabling prefetch and indexing and that sort of thing, but I don't bother with those. Google around to learn more about these other tweaks if you are interested.
Don't disable the pagefile just move it to another drive .. which you SHOULD have right?
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Old September 27, 2012, 08:47 PM
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The important bit before you install is setting AHCI mode. Everything else can be easily done after the OS is installed.

See #9 on the stickied post: So you wanna buy a SSD? Read this first.
(Note the defrag and superfetch should be disabled for you if you install Windows on the SSD and the Windows Experience Index test is run: Support and Q&A for Solid-State Drives - Engineering Windows 7 - Site Home - MSDN Blogs)

As enaberif noted, completely disabling the pagefile may run into issues with programs that expect it to be there, no matter how much system memory you have. I personally set a very small pagefile (less than 1GB) just for this.
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Old September 27, 2012, 09:08 PM
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I haven't had any issues with running no pagefile, but to be safe either move it or control its size as others have just said.
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Old September 28, 2012, 06:06 AM
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If you have enough memory, a pagefile is unnecessary - at least for home systems. With 8GB of RAM, I just turn it off. I lose crash dumps, but I NEVER use these at home. I remember turning off the pagefile on an old T42 that had 1GB of RAM and chrome kept crashing when it ran out of memory, so depending on how you use your system a pagefile may not be necessary.
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Old October 5, 2012, 09:38 AM
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OK I finially got this lil gem delivered and installed. The setting for the AHCi in my peticular BIOS was a little hidden but I found it. Now I've installed windows 7 64bit and WOW!!! I mean like really folks HOLY CRAP it boots and shuts down soooo fast!!! All my programs which I installed to this drive load up in a blink it's made me a bit giddy and the thought of it only getting faster when I get a mobo that supports the 6gb/ sata 3 has me hyped beyond belief. Anywho... I did as suggested Dandelioneater and completely shut off system restore ( I never used it once since M$ included it in thier OS ages ago) and also disabled hibernation mode in the cmd promt. I dunno why I did that but it's done.

Now for the Page file I'm sorta stuck. I got into the option for it but unfortunatley my unfamiliarity with what I should set the virtual memory space to stopped me and also how do I tell it to throw those files to my IDE drive? (I only have 4gb of ram) Ohh and I verified in the CMD prompt by typing "fsutil behavior querie disabledeletenotify" if my TRIM was enable and it said disabledeletenotify = 0 so from what I read that means it's all good. I'm going to find some benchmarking util and play around next but already my Windows experience index went from a 5.9 to a 6.6 because my old HD was the lowest score and now with the SSD it's in the middle of the pack of my components. Thanks guys
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Old October 5, 2012, 11:35 AM
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I highly recommend keeping the page file intact in order for Windows to write kernel memory dumps, for this you must have a page file on the C: partition as well. A good size for the page file is 1.5x the amount of installed RAM (in your case: 6144 MB) or just choose the recommended size. Also keep in mind that if you ever use Photoshop, it allocates 70% of your system memory by default.

To move the page file: (Start Menu, type in Virtual Memory) or:
1. Control Panel
2. Advanced System Settings
3. Advanced tab
4. Settings button under Performance
5. Advanced tab
6. Virtual Memory
7. uncheck "Automatically manage paging file size for all drives"
8. select your hard drive, and select custom size
9. type in 6144 MB for both "Initial size" and "Maximum size"
10. click Set, OK, and reboot.

Windows requires a minimum 800MB page file, so even if you select "No Paging File" Windows will create one anyway (although it won't actually page to it) So for C: set an "Initial" and "Maximum" size to 800MB following the same steps as above (or do them at the same time)

To completely remove the Page file from C:(Again, under the Advanced System Settings tab)
1. select Advanced
2. Startup And Recovery, click "Settings"
3. under Sytem Failure and Write Debugging Information sub-sections, change the drop-down menu to "None"
After this, you should be able to delete the pagefile.sys from C: following a reboot.

Aside from HWC, a good site for SSD's and optimizations, etc is The SSD Review The SSD Review The Worlds Dedicated SSD Education and Review Resource. The SSD Review
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Old October 5, 2012, 12:48 PM
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Thanks so much Bryce for the info and that link to SSD Review. The clear explanations and how-to's with screenshots made it so easy to follow I completed all 6 pages of recommended optimizations for my new SSD in about 15mins. Now I bought a new video card at the same time and thought it would constitute the lions share in regards to performance increase but really this SSD makes my system scream and is undoubably the cheapest system wide performance increase I've ever witnessed. Not to shabby for $99. Thanks again everyone for your invaluable assistance.
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Old October 5, 2012, 01:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alwaysrun View Post
Thanks so much Bryce for the info and that link to SSD Review. The clear explanations and how-to's with screenshots made it so easy to follow I completed all 6 pages of recommended optimizations for my new SSD in about 15mins. Now I bought a new video card at the same time and thought it would constitute the lions share in regards to performance increase but really this SSD makes my system scream and is undoubably the cheapest system wide performance increase I've ever witnessed. Not to shabby for $99. Thanks again everyone for your invaluable assistance.
Good to see you around here again Alwaysrun!

Yes, the SSD is the best speed upgrade for those with fully-compliant AHCI systems right now.
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