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SSD Tweak Utilities and tweaks.

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#1
Well since I am a new adopter of SSD tech I figured I would post a few facts, sites and utilities to help noobs like me answer the hard questions. If anyone sees a mistake in the info I am going to post please speak up! Also if a mod sees something really wrong then please feel free to edit the info. I don't want anyone to trash their drive.

Question: Should I ever format my SSD?

Answer: Yes and No. When you do a clean install you should use a utility like this one. Why? Because unlike standard HDs that just write over old data, SSDs leave the data in and mark it as "invalid" and will be cleaned up by TRIM later on. However if you are doing a clean install why not do it right? Once you run this and you are sure the SSD is clean then do a normal format. This will allow TRIM and alignment to work correctly. (Thanks W1zz).

Just don't make a habit of it as this does cause wear on your SSD. Also unless you are running XP do not mess with the allocation size. Windows 7 will identify your drive and allocate accordingly. If you mess with it you run the risk of improperly aligning it. Also be sure to set your bios to AHCI. IDE is so 90's. :laugh: Plus you get a huge performance jump if you do this. Also make sure you use the lower SATA ports like "0" and "1".

Question: My SSD seems slower then when I first bought it?

Answer: Yeah that happens. Its normal. However its nothing you cannot fix. If you want to go the long route just do a proper clean install as I stated before. If you want to run the short route use this. Basically it speeds up TRIM from what I understand and cleans up free space.

Question: Ok I got my SSD installed and shes running great! Is there anything else I should do?

Answer: Yes. First off turn the defrag off. As a matter of fact turn off the service so you do not forget and run it one day by mistake. Second thing you need to do is download this. SSDTweaker is a cool little application that does all the tedious stuff for you in seconds. It also allows you to make sure TRIM is running. Try it.

Question: Can I run a lot of benchmarkes on my SSD to check performance?

Answer: No. According to G. Skill "Don't run Benchmark such as "CrystalDiskMark (CDM) "、"AS SSD" so frequently. Test filesize don't set too large with so many cycles. Because such behavior would create temporary uncompressible data that will "dirty" the NAND flashes. With more tests, the performance get worse."

Another thing is you do not want to do is allow the OS to put your SSD to sleep. Why? Because when your drive is idle TRIM cranks up and cleans. If your drive is sleeping it can't do TRIM.

Update: Also be sure to turn of indexing. The utility I posted should do it but just in case double check in properties. SSD have sure fast read/writes that indexing is useless.(Thanks to AsRock)


Well I hope this helps some of you and Ill be adding to this over time.
Enjoy your new SSD!
 
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#2
Thanks MM. I'm sure this will be a useful reference thread. Do bold your questions so that people can scan your post more quickly. And do *edit* it to keep it up to date with all good stuff, so people dont have to read a long thread to find a nugget.

Question: If you are on XP do any of these utilities provide the ability to "manually trim" the SSD? People often say that a SSD will degrade in performance on XP/2K3 and because XP has no trim support, there isnt anything you can do about it. Of course this is untrue. While the OS might not have trim support, there is no logical reason that some 3rd party NTFS utility could not provide a manual trim function.

Other note. I think there is also some utility to align a SSD under XP/2K3. I think it is worth mentioning that utility and linking to it in your OP. If I find it, I will post again here.

Turning off indexing
Start / Run... / services.msc / find the Indexing service and disable
 
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#3
Thanks MM. I'm sure this will be a useful reference thread. Do bold your questions so that people can scan your post more quickly. And do *edit* it to keep it up to date with all good stuff, so people dont have to read a long thread to find a nugget.

Question: If you are on XP do any of these utilities provide the ability to "manually trim" the SSD? People often say that a SSD will degrade in performance on XP/2K3 and because XP has no trim support, there isnt anything you can do about it. Of course this is untrue. While the OS might not have trim support, there is no logical reason that some 3rd party NTFS utility could not provide a manual trim function.

Other note. I think there is also some utility to align a SSD under XP/2K3. I think it is worth mentioning that utility and linking to it in your OP. If I find it, I will post again here.
No. XP does not support TRIM. Honestly I do not even know why you would want to run a SSD with XP. Anyway if you know of a third-party utility that will allow TRIM in XP post it up and Ill update the OP. What you can do is do a proper "clean" install once a year or so to restore the drive to its speedy self. Just note that without a proper OS (Windows 7) you are headed for a headache with a SSD.
 

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#4
No. XP does not support TRIM. Honestly I do not even know why you would want to run a SSD with XP. Anyway if you know of a third-party utility that will allow TRIM in XP post it up and Ill update the OP. What you can do is do a proper "clean" install once a year or so to restore the drive to its speedy self. Just note that without a proper OS (Windows 7) you are headed for a headache with a SSD.
There is Intels garbage collection and mine have been running like they were on day one at the rated speeds. Had 0 issue's in vista to so trims not even needed.

Indexing and superfetch is worth turning off too.
 
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#5
Disagree with your comment MM about problems running SSD on XP. That's FUD. I have been running XP and 2K3 on SSDs for over a year, no headaches. I DO AGREE that their performance might not be optimal/maximised but they are still much faster and much more drop-robust than a HDD. Essential for laptop/netbooks IMO. And they give a significant overall performance boost to limited CPU/limited memory laptops/netbooks where the use of disk-based pagefile becomes significantly improved.

Let me also recommend in your thread the use of a ramdisk for temp files... to stop SSD trashing and wear. Not only is a ramdisk faster than SSD, it will avoid worries of SSD wearing for all the internet garbage you collect every day.
 
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#6
Disagree with your comment MM about problems running SSD on XP. That's FUD. I have been running XP and 2K3 on SSDs for over a year, no headaches. I DO AGREE that their performance might not be optimal/maximised but they are still much faster and much more drop-robust than a HDD. Essential for laptop/netbooks IMO. And they give a significant overall performance boost to limited CPU/limited memory laptops/netbooks where the use of disk-based pagefile becomes significantly improved.

Let me also recommend in your thread the use of a ramdisk for temp files... to stop SSD trashing and wear. Not only is a ramdisk faster than SSD, it will avoid worries of SSD wearing for all the internet garbage you collect every day.
Its not FUD. Its just a pain in the ass is all I am saying. Also putting a SSD in a slower system to begin with is a waste of resources IMO.

As for the RAM disk Ill one up you. Just setup your internet temp file on another drive. Setting up a RAM disk takes away from freespace which could effect TRIM.

There is Intels garbage collection and mine have been running like they were on day one at the rated speeds. Had 0 issue's in vista to so trims not even needed.

Indexing and superfetch is worth turning off too.
Im kinda up in the air about superfetch. Some older SSDs benifit from it. I think it should be turned off on a case by case basis. Indexing however Ill add it to the OP. I forgot about that. Thanks!
 
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#7
Here is an article to enable ACHI after you install Win7/Vista
source
 
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#8
As for the RAM disk Ill one up you. Just setup your internet temp file on another drive. Setting up a RAM disk takes away from freespace which could effect TRIM.
Agree. On a double drive system you can do this. But very few laptops/netbooks have two drives, and for some people security is important. If your temps are on a ramdisk (without backup) then on power down it is all gone... no need for diskwiping/cleaning. I have 256MB ramdisk on a 2GB netbook. And I have 1GB ramdisks as standard on 4GB+ machines.

Note that pagefile on a SSD is used less often than temp files in the ramdisk. So, IMO, it is better to "steal" some RAM for a ramdrive and have a slightly larger pagefile on a SSD, than vice versa. Your mileage may vary depending on your usage profile. For photoshop and gaming, I agree with your scenario. For Office and Productivity software, my profile suggestion is better. :pimp:

Example
I currently have Chrome x5. Explorer x3, Acrobat x1 and Word x2 open (plus various system utils like antivirus etc). Memory footprint: 620MB. So there is plenty of space for a ramdrive on a 2GB machine. My pagefile isnt getting hit. Whereas I already have 200MB in over 3000+ files in my Z: drive (ramdisk) holding just the temps from today. That's "a million files" per year, with goodness knows how many SSD write avoids. Let's do some quick back of the envelope sums: Write amplification of 20-40x (often quoted write amplification statistic) and some of those files being more than one sector (average 100K = 25x 4K writes) means that I can assume I'm saving "a million" x (20-40x) x 25x = 500-1000 million writes per year (based on the "older" write amplification statistics). Things have improved a bit. Intel's new drives have improved write amplification by a factor of 10, so depending on your drive, it is still 50-100 millions writes per year saved. So IMO, ramdisk wins!
 
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#9
Thanks for the thread MailMan:toast:
I like the SSD Tweaker utility!!!
 

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#10
how do you turn off windows defrag???
 
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#11
how do you turn off windows defrag???
1. Type in "defrag" into the start menu
2. Click on "defrag"
3. A window will open asking you which drive you want to defrag. Above that will be a schedule button. Click that.
4. Its pretty self explanatory from then on out.
 

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#12
formatting a partition on ssd on windows 7 will send the proper trim commands. deleting or creating partitions does not
 
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#13
formatting a partition on ssd on windows 7 will send the proper trim commands. deleting or creating partitions does not
Yup. I found that out the hard way. You need to so a run a cleaner so that it dumps the old invalid data. THEN do a format.
 

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#14
Yup. I found that out the hard way. You need to so a run a cleaner so that it dumps the old invalid data. THEN do a format.
no, you just can just do the format, it will trim fine
 
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#15
no, you just can just do the format, it will trim fine
But that will take forever for TRIM to dump the old data won't it?
 

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#16
it's fast enough for you to make no difference. trim does not make any guarantees. the drive can do the work any time it wants after receiving the trim

secure erase does clear the whole drive and is specified to guarantee that all data is gone when the command completes. whether all ssd controllers honor that, i dont know
 

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#17
So i installed windows 7 on a fresh install of this SSD. Is it formatted because i couldnt when i was starting the installation. does windows 7 do it on its own at the beginning??
 

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#18
So i installed windows 7 on a fresh install of this SSD. Is it formatted because i couldnt when i was starting the installation. does windows 7 do it on its own at the beginning??
yes, cant use a partition without formatting
 
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#19
it's fast enough for you to make no difference. trim does not make any guarantees. the drive can do the work any time it wants after receiving the trim

secure erase does clear the whole drive and is specified to guarantee that all data is gone when the command completes. whether all ssd controllers honor that, i dont know
Well I fail at life once again.
 
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#20
Question:
If I have a SSD drive I will build into an external HDD enclosure with USB 3.0 interface -
does the same things apply as you mentioned in this post?
I imagine that TRIM does NOT work when running it via USB interface?
 
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#21
Question:
If I have a SSD drive I will build into an external HDD enclosure with USB 3.0 interface -
does the same things apply as you mentioned in this post?
I imagine that TRIM does NOT work when running it via USB interface?
Is it your primary OS drive?
 
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#22
No - I will use it as a portable USB drive.....maybe for backup or OS installation drive - for quick restore/install options
 
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#23
Is it possible to tell Windows which disks to turn off after a while? In the past I've only ever had all HDDs so I'd just set it to "turn off disks" at whatever time I selected, but since SSDs shouldn't be turned off is there a way I can select which ones are?
 
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#24
First post updated with a benchmark question and answer.

No - I will use it as a portable USB drive.....maybe for backup or OS installation drive - for quick restore/install options
Then I wouldn't be to concerned. You can check TRIM with the utility I posted. You can also manually run trim with the cleaner I posted. The guide above is for OS drives.

Is it possible to tell Windows which disks to turn off after a while? In the past I've only ever had all HDDs so I'd just set it to "turn off disks" at whatever time I selected, but since SSDs shouldn't be turned off is there a way I can select which ones are?
Not sure. But I would assume it would have to be in your power management settings. Most drives cycle down when not in use.
 

de.das.dude

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#25
now i want an ssd to try all these out :D