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Moved your Windows 7 install to an SSD? Read here!

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DISCLAIMER: THIS INFORMATION APPLIES ONLY TO PEOPLE RUNNING WINDOWS SEVEN ON A SOLID STATE HARDDRIVE.

 

IF YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE, OR WHAT THIS MEANS, DO NOT FOLLOW THE INFORMATION IN THIS THREAD.

 

Piriform assumes no responsibility to damages you do to your computer through use of the information in this thread, or the extensions file Winapp2.ini.

 

***********

 

If you moved your Windows 7 installation from a traditional platter hard drive to a solid state hard drive, there is some information you should know:

 

When a solid state drive is present, Windows 7 will disable disk defragmentation, Superfetch, ReadyBoost, as well as boot and application launch prefetching.

 

Windows 7 by default uses a prefetch, which subsequently creates files in C:\Windows\Prefetech

Windows 7, when moved to an SSD disables the following:

 

Disk Defragmentation

  • SSD's handle files using flash memory, which eliminates the need for defragmentation. Defraging only causes unessescary wear and tear on your expensive SSD.

Superfetch

  • Used to load files into memory before you launch them, to speed up loading. This is moot on an SSD since it is inherently faster than a HDD.

ReadyBoost

  • Uses flash memory as RAM. Not something you want happening to your SSD.

Boot and Application launch preteching

  • Same as Superfetch.

These operations all execute read/write cycles frequently, reducing the life of your SSD, this is why they are shut off.

 

Windows 7 should autonomously shut these things off, but there is no data to say that it does so when moved using an image file from a hdd to an ssd, so you should explore the following options to improve your drives lifespan:

 

run services.msc and disable the following services

 

Superfetch

Disk Defragmenter

 

You should also

 

Turn off the automatic disk defragging

Disable the prefetching service

 

To disable the prefetching service, run regedit and navigate to the following key:

 

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management\PrefetchParameters

 

It will have a subkey named EnablePrefetcher, which will likely have a default value of 3 (Application launch and boot enabled)

 

Set the subkey's value to 0.

 

Now that the prefetch is disabled, you can delete the contents of the prefetch folder.

 

To do this with CCleaner, you can add the following to a file called Winapp2.ini, and place it in the CCleaner installation directory

 


[Windows Prefetch*]

LangSecRef=3025

DetectFile=%WinDir%\Prefetch

Default=False

FileKey1=%WinDir%\Prefetch|*.*|REMOVESELF

 

Then you need only open CCleaner, select the entry and run it once, and the useless prefetch files will be removed from your system.

 

Otherwise, you can navigate there manually and delete the files yourself.

 

 

User's choice:

The following are possible other things you can do to help improve the life of your SSD.

 

- Pagefile

I chose to move Pagefile into another drive (HDD). In my opinion takes too much space from SSD and moving it reduces writes from SSD. I think setting it to another drive is better than disabling it. Enough amount of RAM is needed if chosen to disable, or move, the Pagefile (probably 8GB and up). On the plus side, if Pagefile is on SSD, it loads faster (recommended on low RAM PC's).

 

- Hibernate

I disabled/deleted hibernate, takes spaces, makes some writes and I don't need/use it. Also might cause problems on some PC's; unable to wake from hibernate etc.

 

 

- Temps

Moving Temps to other drive (HDD), I haven't done this, though haven't yet examined this much.

- Drive Write Cache

- System Restore

- Windows Search & Indexing

 

SSD Wipe / Secure Erase:

 

You shouldn't wipe your SSD with "normal" tools used with HDD. Also, you shouldn't use CCleaner for wiping (overwriting) SSD at all, including "Free Space", "ADS", "Cluster Tips" and "MFT Free Space" options. These operations are useless on SSD, might wear it down (reduce the lifespan) and/or cause some problems, some of mentioned in sources below.

 

Additional Reading

 

 

 

To wipe (reset to factory defaults) your SSD, you should use manufacturer's toolbox if available ("Secure Erase" command) or some other recommended method:

- Sanitary Erase & Wiper

- HDDErase

- PartedMagic

 

Encrypting SSD is also a good way to secure it's contents.

More reading about SSD's security, wiping and encrypting

 

TRIM

Also forgot to mention about TRIM; user's should check if it's on/used.

 

Run Command prompt (as an administrator) and type: fsutil behavior query disabledeletenotify

 

DisableDeleteNotify = 1 (Windows TRIM commands are disabled)

DisableDeleteNotify = 0 (Windows TRIM commands are enabled)

 

How to enable:

fsutil behavior set disabledeletenotify 0

 

How to disable:

fsutil behavior set disabledeletenotify 1

 

 

A nice tweak/guide how to enable AHCI in Windows 7 after instalation

 

 

Here's one link from MSDN Blogs about SSD/Q&A

 

 

 

Drivers such as AHCI & chipset should be installed/updated

 

 

More info on AHCI and what it does

 

 

*Credit to Nodles for the above.

 

 

 

 

Other reading:

 

Windows 7 SSD Q&A

Shut off the Defragmenter

Never Defragment an SSD

Speeding up Vista

 

SSD Tweaking

Tweak Town

Tech-Forums

SSD Tweaking Utility

My Dell Mini

 

SSD Guides

 

 

Thank you Nergal and Nodles for this information.

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Yes, I'd never thought of the implications of moving to an SSD this way, there must be a percentage of users who do this.

 

I would make one clarification, and perhaps try to prevent a misconception from growing into another Gutmann myth (I know in my bones that I can't prevent this). Following the list of options which are disabled when an SSD is installed is:

 

'These operations all execute read/write cycles frequently, reducing the life of your SSD, this is why they are shut off.'

 

This is not true, as is hinted at later on. They are shut off because they are in the main pointless on an SSD. They would, or should, still be shut off even if SSD write cycles were infinite. (Incidentally for non-enterprise use write cycles are effectively infinite: even on the latest small-cell MLC NAND flash with a 5000 write cycle, writing 50 gb a day would give a 250 gb SSD a life of over 60 years.)

 

I don't know how many users could, or would, move the pagefile and temp files, although the 'improve the life' comment could worry some. As for hibernate, that is so annoying that I would disable it on any device.

 

Ah, WFS and secure erase. You can't securely erase a file on an SSD: secure erase is an overwrite, and you can't overwrite an SSD page. It writes it somewhere else, so SE is pointless. WFS is more complex, far more complex. WFS writes enough dummy files to fill the device, then deletes them, so in theory it could be done on an SSD, and I have done it on a small flash drive. But a modern SSD will have over-provisioning, dedicated write cells, and who knows what manner of complexity peculiar to the design and manufacture of the device, so it would be almost impossible to say how effective WFS would be (but reportedly not very). In the event the use of TRIM, wear levelling and garbage collection routines will do the wiping anyway. I wouldn't advocate WFS on an SSD.

 

I don't think that the comment about encryption is valid. The link is unenthusiatic about encryption, does not discuss user encryption as might be inferred, and uses techniques beyond the grasp of most users.

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Yes, these tweaks/settings are mainly set because they

1. improve performance & lifetime

2. save space from (at the moment pretty limited) SSD

and some services/options (while enabled)

3. are useless on SSD

 

I don't know how many users could, or would, move the pagefile and temp files, although the 'improve the life' comment could worry some. As for hibernate, that is so annoying that I would disable it on any device.

These settings are mainly for saving space on SSD, though Temps could decrease lifetime of SSD (lots of writes).

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Superfetch
  • Used to load files into memory before you launch them, to speed up loading. This is moot on an SSD since it is inherently faster than an SSD. <- Shouldn't this be HDD?

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