Breaking News

The SSD Optimization Guide Ultimate Windows 8 (And Win7) Edition


Ensuring that your drivers are always up to date on your system is a given but most continuously overlook this.  Where we wouldn’t have recommended it a few years ago, today all of our systems are set to update all software and hardware drives automatically, and even then, we still try to check our motherboard manufacturers to see if new drivers had been released.

Windows 8 Optimization Guide Driver Check

This is a bit different in the case of Intel’s Storage Manager where different versions provide obvious different performance results, sometimes even with older files, and one needs to check for the newest updates automatically.   As well, newer Intel drivers allow for TRIM to be passed with SSDs in RAID, whereas older versions did not. At the time of this report, our system was on the Series 7 chipset with AHCO Storage drivers ver. 11.5 as can be seen above, again through Device Manager.


Of all of the issues we tackle with respect to poor SSD performance, having the SSD data cable connected to the wrong motherboard port is one of the most common. An Intel motherboard will always contain two 6Gbps (SATA 3) ports designated to the chip itself (which in our case is the Z77) as well as at least 2/4 other 3Gbps (SATA 2) ports.  In most systems these days, their are also 2/4 additional ports that ar 6Gbps (SATA 3) and either controlled by Marvell or LAMD controllers.

TSSDR Windows 8 SSD Optimization Guide Intel Ports

The difficulty arises when the user connects the SSD to the SATA 3 Marvell/LAMD port, rather than the Intel port, and then encounters sub-spec performance. The two Intel ports are the top performing and should be used first and foremost.  In the case of our Asus P8Z77-V Premium motherboard, the light blue ports are SATA 2, grey are Z77 SATA 3 and the four navy blue ports connect to the SATA 3 Marvell controller and can be used as secondary SSD connections or caching as Asus has labelled.

TSSDR Windows 8 SSD Optimization Guide On Intel ChipOn Marvell ChipThe result on the left depicts the performance of our SSD connected to the Intel Z77 port while that on the right is connected to the Marvell port, both SATA 3 ports.  Displaying this first hand seems to provide a better understanding we think.


Once again, this is one of those very simple things that leaves people stumped for days, only to hit the Forums and have someone suggest checking their Power Options right away.  Most PC’s are shipped with the Power Option’s set to ‘Balanced.  A new installation sets itself to ‘Balanced’.  To get to Power Options, simply type ‘Control Panel in at the Start Screen for Windows 8 users or click on the Orb in Windows 7.

High Performance

While we are in Power Options, click on ‘Change Plan Settings’, go to ‘Change Advanced PowerSettings, click on ‘Hard Disk’ and change that setting to ‘0’ or ‘Never’.


Turning off System Protection has always been a controversial optimization but it is simpy best for your system.  We first learned this a few years ago after receiving a number of complaints from people that their performance was dropping significantly over time.  These even included our peers and there were several reports published that condemned SSDs for their deteriorating performance over time.  We did not experience that and needed to know why. In examining specific instances, a common characteristic was always that complaints were being received from users who has System Protection turned on, whereas we did not.

SSD Optimization Guide Windows 8 System Restore

We published an article and, in time, received several e-mails with positive response. In our opinion, System Restore creates allocation points of backup data that is meant for a hard drive where the storage location was static.  This is opposite an SSD that continuously moves data around and re-indexes to ensure equal wearing of all memory blocks.  Not only did we form the opinion that System protection slowed the PC, but also, the increase in SSD writes has to be significantly higher. Turning off System restore is a main contributor to available user capacity increase and our opinion is that your PC is all the better for it.

System Protection can once again be found in Control Panel by clicking on ‘System’ and ‘System Protection’.  When shutting it down (as it may already be by default), ensure you dlete the restore points for added SSD capacity


 Pagefile was created in the early days of Windows to compensate for softwares increasing need for memory as well as the significant cost of that memory.  In response, Microsoft introduced Pagefile which created a 4GB (typically) file on your hard drive that acted as virtual memory.  The problem with this concept always was that the information stored and removed from the Pagefile could still only be transferred as fast as the hard drive could accomplish. And then came SSDs and cheaper memory.

Along with Windows 7 came a more effective way, within the OS, of managing active programs and memory became significantly cheaper with a typical system having 4GB of memory.  Our recommendation to shut down Pagefile was originally made in 2010 when we were running MS Vista and had just upgraded to 4GB of RAM.  We have since been through countless systems for business and bench use and have never experienced a problem after shutting down Pagefile.  We realized some time ago that, even though the SSD that the Pagefile resided was fast, pure memory was ten times that of an SSD.  Leaving Pagefile on just didn’t make sense.


 Once again, simply click on the image for a much better resolution…

Given our opinion, we have heard some state that there are programs that require Pagefile but we haven’t discounted our theory with any yet. As with any other optimization, try it, form your own opinion and return it to its original state if you’re not happy with the end result.  Very least, you gain about 4GB of user storage back.

To get to Pagefile, go to Control Panel/System/System Protection/Advanced/ Performance and then click on ‘Settings’. Click on ‘Advanced’ and ‘Change’, uncheck ‘Automatic…” and select ‘No Paging File and ‘Set’.

  • Grec

    Nice work! Many of these are a repeat of what we typically see, even from your previous, but it a huge step up from just saying do this and that. Great links and pulled 128MBs 4k write out of that last tweak…Thanks.

    • The fact that some were rehashed is why we were so late to the game. Only when we sat down and dug into Win8 did we then find it viable to demonstrate the rehashed options by that route. Add on a few new ones, including one very powerful tweak that we hadn’t seen in guides prior, as well as plenty of free software links, and we are happy with the final package. Thanks for the support.

      • PommieB

        Thanks Les read every word and liked it immensely, hope you don’t mind me adding it to my sticky on the extreme overclocking forum, didn’t agree with everything but was very impressed with your explanations, keep up the good work.

      • Pommie my old friend. Of course I don’t mind you adding it and not everyone will ever agree with all. We have come a long way since 07 though when we were condemned for even mentioning Pagefile and restore. Egad! My son is in your end of the world and loving it! University in Australia…how great does life get?

      • PommieB

        Thanks Les, the weathers superb in Australia at the moment, I’m right in the middle of renovating the house, didn’t do the traveling bit, it was costing me too much time so I’m living on the place. Your sons about 700km from where I am but the coasts the place to be, used to live on the coast, did a lot of skin diving when I was younger, intended to live there permanently but never quite managed it due to work. Didn’t get into ssd’s till mid 2009, too expensive then. Couldn’t live without one now.

        There were only the migrating and saving to disk I didn’t agree with, I like doing both. All the best PommieB.

  • fiftyone

    +1 fort sticky & +1 for Les. top article

  • MikeGR7

    Thank you for this Les!
    I knew the tips for Win 7 already but you put them nice
    together in one place made a perfect bookmark!

  • From what i see Mr.Les removes comments that he doesn’t like and only leaves the possitive ones. Typical i guess.

  • ladril

    Is it possible to get this guide in a complete PDF format?

    • Mars

      +1 That’ll be convenient

    • Alan Smith

      + another 1

    • rocky01


      • THRobinson

        Given the age of this post, I’m assuming they aren’t making it print friendly. Shame, it’s definitely something you’d want in front of you while setting the drive up on a new system.

    • Bar?? Yaz?c?

      I made myself a PDF from the webpages, can dowload it here:

  • Mike Piff

    “For a typical user, the difference is mute”

    You meant “moot” not “mute” I think!

  • John Lyu

    Thanks for the guide. I did a fresh install on a SSD as the boot drive so I’ve been reading on this topic.

    From what I’ve read Superfetch and Prefetch will be automatically disabled if Windows 8 detects a SSD in the computer/system.

    I’ve got one question though. If I have moved the Indexing Cache to a mechanical HDD do I have to worry about Indexing using writes on my SSD’s? Do I have to turn it off period?

    • The question that might be raised is why would you move the indexing cache to a hard drive when the SSD is significantly faster? Logically, you may have unintentionally created a bottleneck.

  • Anon

    The rational for making the individual changes seem a little better defined this time around (in my quick scan of the guide) so thanks 🙂

    Anyway, in Win7, turning off the pagefile results in a dialog box warning that data related to a system crash may not be saved. It could be worth rationalizing the importance or lack importance of crash data when a BSOD occurs.

    Also, the part related to prefetch, and checking the registry for superfetch, seemed to be a little too Win8 centric in wording and it wasn’t clear what you did to actually disable prefetch. Then in my win7 case, with the superfetch service disabled and ‘winsat disk’ run in a privileged command prompt, i still had the EnableSuperfetch registry key defined (value=0). Should i manually delete it?

    And why isn’t there any mention of actually running ‘winsat disk’ in win7? Does it not benchmark the disk and determine it is an SSD making appropriate adjustments like disabling defragment schedule and delete the enablesuperfetch registry key (which should be manually checked in Win7 as that didn’t quite happen)? Some comments to clarify the above from a win7 perspective may be worthwhile in the appropriate sections.

    Oh, and a pdf (preferred) or web printable version would be great as i’m not always online when doing such optimizations.

  • Thee MC

    Very nice guide, thank you!

  • Mr G

    Nothing new. Too many myths and some mistakes.

  • Take care with step 13. DISABLE WRITE CACHE BUFFER FLUSHING In my Kingston SSD Now 30Gb the performance drop a lot if you disable the cache. For example, start windows with cache: 20 secs. Without cache: 1min 30 secs.

    • North

      screwed my pc HAD to re-install, id say this is a very dodgy setting even screwed safe mode all im saying be carefull

  • Gamkutopolowk Inhumanoid

    please help! i have SSD+HDD Virtual Memory SSD-> no paging file and HDD-> system managed size? it is ok or no ?

  • vav

    Be careful with moving folders to harddrives (point 18). I made such a folder and couldn’t install anything in it because it still counts as being part of the SSD when it comes to space requirements so if your ssd has like 5 gb left and you want to install photoshop it won’t let you, even if the harddrive folder has plenty of space

  • Asad

    Thanks a lot samsung 120 gb (non pro) this tutorial increased my reading speed but writing speed has been reduced for some reason but i am happy unless any more tricks can help :). Now it’s a lot faster plus I have gained 10 gb of free space. Thanks again

  • Mondy

    I have waded through pages of superfluous waffle to move folders to hdd,and here it is so simple! Thank you.

  • Richard

    When disabling indexing on the SSD drive, apply changes to C: or subfolders too? The fans started running high and it took a long time when I chose subfolders so I cancelled the operation after several minutes… :'(

    • I apply to all subfolders without difficulty. I cannot seak for much larger systems however.

  • Nickleodeon

    How to install windows in SSD and others in HDD?

  • Missing one important tweak for capacity: Move program files 😛 Then again, it might kinda defeat the purpose of an SSD.

  • Will

    For God’s Sake, change the Black color of the website into something else that is not as much as eye-straining.

    I keep Ctrl+A then copy contents into a blank MS Word file so that I can READ.

    One more request for the Sake of Virgin Marry 🙂 reduce page splitting, make an article 1 single page w/o the need to click through 7 pages.


  • Gunner

    Woe, major problems, I’m not blaming anyone, Les please contact me at the below email address if you get a chance. I running a Samsung 840 Pro, and after following the guides instructions, after a reboot my system crashes (restarts) about 3 seconds after I see my desktop. I have a WD My Book running (H:Drive), Ms dialog box pops up saying WD bla bla has stopped working, I hear lock-up buzz, then my System restarts. I can boot into all modes of “Safe Mode”, but that’s it. Any idea where I should start, and can everything in the “SSD Guide” be un-done in Safe Mode? Or anyone else reading this with advanced knowledge.

    • Of course everything can be reversed in safe mode and I might suggest something may have inadvertently not been done correctly as this guide has been followed for years now without difficulty.

      I might try to unhook the H: drive to see how things work from there.

    • Astrix_au

      Use Samsung Magician OS optimisation and set it to Max Performance.
      I use that and set my main SSD to rapid mode 🙂

  • Azad Jannati

    Thank you so much but , I did all of it and my speed is still slow , like this
    and this is my config
    core i7 950
    Motherboard asus p6t deluxe vt
    16 g ram corsair 1600
    ssd 240 corsair , what should I do?

    • Lets tackle this… Was it a fresh install? Are you sure it is on the intel ports and not the secondary? Is your power settings on high? Was it a new SSD?

      • Azad Jannati

        Yes it is a fresh install on AHCI but I don’t sure to connect on intel port ( how should I find it ? my motherboard is asus p6t deluxe v2 , and my power setting is on high

      • Red not orange

      • Azad Jannati

        all of my port is red but my speed is slow

      • Azad Jannati

        at last I got it , my sata is not 3g /byte , it was 3d bit , that’s why I had not the most speed of my ssd hard

  • alex

    great guide, thank you! You know if anything here works with the new Imac Fusion drive? (sorry double post, wanted to post here)

    • alex

      nevermind, the fusion drives ssd is not used in windows bootcamp.

  • aex

    Thanks for a useful guide. Just one comment and that is I found disabling Pagefile sent my Boot time from 15 seconds to about 28 seconds. All was restored when I allowed Pagefile again.
    I use an OCZ Vector 256.
    Regards Alex

  • Eric

    Hi Les,

    Check out this optimization tip for SSDs running Windows 7 & Office:

  • Pinkar

    Turning off Pagefile on my Win 7 system caused AS SSD to freeze.

  • Tsais

    I’d like to keep system protection, its saved my butt more than a few times!

    Isn’t it possible to get Windows to write the restore point data to another drive on the system?

    • Not that I am aware of and, today, this isn’t as much of a problem as it used to be, although it is still at thge forefront of most manufacturers optimization recommendations. If you would believe it, there was a time when I was THE ONLY to recommend this and people used to condemn my ideas calling me nuts. If you are wanting ideal consistent SSD performance over the long term, however, System Restore is not the way to go.

      • higado2

        In my lifetime, I’ve run into about 10 situations where things went south with a PC, and System Restore was ABSOLUTELY useless! It didn’t help one bit! And the last time was at work, where we had a power outage at one building, and once the power came back, many user kept calling us to complain that their PC won’t let them log in, giving them the error: “The trust relationship between this computer and the primary domain has failed”. You know what happened? THE USERS ALLOWED STARTUP REPAIR TO USE SYSTEM RESTORE! And this restored their PC to a previous state, when they were using a different login password! HAHAHA!

  • Hooks

    I also move my browser’s cache files on my HDD along with a few other temporary files folder other programs use

  • pixeldroid

    Wow, thanks for this guide!
    Regarding #8, is there a optimization recommendation for Win7?

    • Gamkutopolowk Inhumanoid

      win8.1 better optimize for sdd than win7

  • pixeldroid

    Just to confirm — # 15, to disable Prefetch, RMB on the key and delete it?

  • Bale

    Howdy! Thanks for the guide, very insightful!

    Running Windows 7.

    I’m wondering about Step 15:

    Specifically what BaseTime and BootId are as our values are very different.

    I have 000000170(368) for BootId, not even sure what that is and I can’t seem to find a good explanation online.

    For BaseTime it’s some long string.


  • Mihai

    Hi, disabling windows search index has crashed my computer, and now I can’t boot, and it continuously restarts. Do you have any advice for that ?

    Running crucial m500 ssd and windows 8.1 x64.

  • El Dinero


    I have a PC with Win 7 installed on a “SAMSUNG 840 Pro Series SSD 256GB”. I also have a additional “1TB Western Digital Blue HDD” built in.

    I get it, that you wouldn’t want your SSD to get defragmented. Win 8 seems to make a good job at determining which kind of drive deserves which type of treatment. How about Win 7 though?

    Can I run an automatic defrag schedule for my HDD, which excludes my SSD? When I try to configure a defrag schedule, Win 7 doesn’t even list my SSD for possible defragmentation, whereas my HDD is shown correctly. I take this as a sign that Win 7 knows that my SSD shouldn’t be included in a defrag schedule, and automatically excluded it from possible defrag?

    Is this correct?

    • Gavin

      Yup. correct.

  • Lestat Craven

    Sry Les I get nothing under: IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers plz advise….

    • Join our Forums and list screen shots. Simply providing advise without system background doesn’t serve a purpose here.

  • zz

    Some good points there, but some not. Well, there is no obligation to usee all of them, isn’t it? A user should use his/her own judgement, and thank yo ufor providing such a long list, even if some points are just an overkill.

  • MERL0

    So i followed your guide and having significant lack of RAM since then. Never had a problem before, now it is in like 100% usage all the time. Definitely taking these “pagefile” and “fetch” steps back. Win 8.1, 4 GB RAM…

    • My suggestion might be that something you did was incorrect. The guide has millions of downloads and has been complimented time and time again. If you want to work through it, join our forums and provide a detailed recount of events.

      • Peter

        4 GB of RAM is not enough for win 8.1 when you disable pagefile. You should turn your pagefile on or expand your RAM to at least 8 GB. (I hope my answer after 2 years will help you 😉 or at least someone else)

  • amy

    Thanks for the guide 🙂

  • Kevin

    Hey Les, I was recently going through and trying to clear space on my SSD, and realized that the hidden AppData folders in the User folders was taking up a significant amount of space (as well as the Temp Folders). I’ve seen in other SSD Optimization Guides that they moved the Temp and TMP folders off the SSD, but would you recommend that AppData be moved?
    I also understand that a significant amount of read/writes are caused by temporary internet files and browsing (which are stored in the aforementioned Temp folders).

    I guess the point I’m getting at is, are there other optimizations above and beyond those you’ve recommended in this guide, or are those the only critical ones. Your advice would be much appreciated. Cheers.

  • Warren Lauzon

    On #18 I can see no reason not to move ALL music, video, photo, document files to the HD – pretty much the entire /users folders.

  • Delimiyimben

    Thanx for this great guide. You (or somebody else) should make an app that contains all this tweaks just by a few clicks. It could be awesome and essential app for after fresh installation of windows. Sorry for bad english.

  • anon

    When turning off indexing, I applied it to sub-folders as well. Was that the right thing to do? Because after that, it went through every file applying the settings.

  • Hello Les,
    Do you know of anywhere I might access similar information relating to SSDs in a server environment?

  • Excellent resource – thanks!

  • Adrian Spicer

    Can anyone give me a link/tutorial on the best version of Windows 7 to install, and optional components in order to save space? I have a 60GB SSD and when I installed windows on it previously, after all the updates it only had like.. 10GB free 🙁

  • Patryk Kulczyk

    You are completly wrong about drive indexing. It is not designed to reduce access time. It it drive content indexing so when you use search in windows (typing something in main screen that you recommended here so many times) it will give you results faster ams won’t scan your entire drive each timd you type to search something. Its like in databases. It actually reduces reads on your drive. Access time to your data has nothing to do with indexing unless uou consider search time as access time…

    • Ya…but we aren’t using or speaking of hard drives…like apples and oranges thanks!

      • Patryk Kulczyk

        No we are not talking apples and oranges. If you type something in search it will show results immediately if there is an index on the drive and “read” performed while doing that with index is minimal. If You do the same without index – while you are typing it will start scanning for files (apps, documents, etc) that are matching your input. This is full blown scan, this slows down your PC while typing, this will not show you results instantly.
        This applies to all drives – SSD and HDD or hybrid. I understand that SSD is fast but to scan full SSD drive with windows system and program files on it will take time – much more than on indexed drive.
        Also index data is minimal -it’s size is so small that it does not have any impact on endurance. Again – Index Off = more workload for the drive and slower search results.
        I can guarantee that I will get faster search results within widows while using HDD and Index on than you with SSD and index off.
        Also please understand that this is just drive content index – very much like in database indexing it has nothing to do how SSD or HDD works. It’s just content index in windows – small database that You use when You search for files.
        Generally what You are proposing is performance lost while searching in windows with no significant endurance benefits or maybe none at all considering number of reads drive needs to do while searching without index.
        This would be only advised to noob users, seriously basic users that open web browser form a shortcut on desktop and Call Of Duty from the next icon and they do not know what command line is or that they can type in run filed to find desired app/file.

  • Dex

    Hello, I would like to point out that disabling Windows Search service caused problem in changing and searching for desktop wallpaper through ‘Personalize’.

  • Rob_Oppen

    Small correction: On page 1 of “The SSD Optimization Guide Ultimate Windows 8 (And Win7) Edition”, you tell users “While on the Windows 8 Start Screen, type ‘Control Panel’ and then select it. … Open Control Panel and look for IDE/ATA ATAPI controllers and select that. ” but the user should be searching for ‘Device Manager’ (and not Control Panel) as that is what is pictured. One can get to the Device Manager thru the control panel, but that step is not shown. Some newbies could get lost.
    Thanks for the great guide!

  • Tracker

    “In either Windows 7 or 8 systems, press the Windows key and the letter ‘S’ simultaneously”. This did not work for me. I had to use Windows Key + R, then type in ‘services.msc’, then find whatever service I wanted to modify. Maybe it’s because I’m on Windows 8.1?

  • mike

    my computer start with 5 second, I save almost 14 gb for ssd! holy shit
    hi, I need this as pdf

  • Telstar

    About point 10, it’s better to DISABLE automatic restart so you get the TIME to read the BSOD code when you get one.

  • Mangel

    Les –
    Thanks for the guide. Do you think we will see a Samsung Toolbox or “Magician” that includes the XP941?

    • No I don’t. The XP941 was not intended to be a retail release and Samsung only increased availability on sites such as Amazon as a result of its popularity. It is still not a retail or consumer item. I don’t think their position will change with respect to this drive, however with the popularity of M.2 in motherboards now, I wouldn’t be surprised if we find a consumer release within the next year that is completely compatible with their Toolbox.

  • Gamkutopolowk Inhumanoid

    TURN OFF PAGEFILE is ok speedy but try turn on system managed ultra highest speedy different speedy !!! i am forever turn on anyway

  • ariskar

    An inclusion of M.2 form factor and PCIe drives would be welcome, as they seem to have a lot of differences and starting to get more into consumer market.

  • McKealty

    For anyone that’s tried anything and everything to convert your SATA controller to AHCI from IDE after having installed Windows 7 and still get a BSOD or no boot…I’ve written out some instructions that worked for me…I hope they help someone.

  • Chris

    Thanks for the guide, One question, what if your running PCI E ssd drives, Windows 7 and 8 still thinks its a hard drive Not an SSD, So if i left it on this could mess up my OCZ PCI E Revo drives yes no maybe ?

    • Data is data as far as the OS is concerned. I have been running several different PCIe drives in our system for years and can comfortably state the system doesn’t affect the drive, or drive life, whatsoever.

  • Hello,

    First of all, thanks for that guide.

    I just bought a new computer and I’ve installed a SSD for the first time.

    My problem is that windows 8.1 automatically installed a small system part on my first HDD ( about 350 Mo).

    Have two questions regarding to that :

    1- Does it have consequences on the speed and efficiency ?
    2 – Can it cause me trouble if I make a backup of image recovery of my SSD ? (since some part of the system seems to be on the HDD ?)

    Thanks for your help.

  • higado2

    WOW! I had fun following along the steps! I would never have imagined that one could do so much to improve the durability of an SSD! And to think that all these years I was using a pagefile even though I had 4GB of RAM …. I feel sooooooo ignorant! Thank you for enlightening me! hehehe

  • higado2

    And yes, it would be great to have a PDF of this guide! It’s great information!

  • Jim

    This is an excellent article; I stumbled on it today after previously using the Windows 7 Optimization Guide. I like the way you present these actions with pros and cons and let the reader decide. I did not buy into all of your corrections but I must say that the changes I made to my two Windows 7 systems, one HDD and the other SSD, have resulted in significant improvements to both.


  • Ovidiu Drobot?

    Great article mate. Thanks for sharing. I’m using Windows 8 and it works perfect. 🙂

  • Jim

    I made many, but not all, of your changes to my Windows 8.1 tablet. It has 2GB RAM and would not tolerate getting rid of the page file. Otherwise, performance is much improved!


  • Nick McMahon

    Les…. disabling pagefile stops my render process after 6% in Sony Vegas with error message that I don’t have enough memory to complete the task… as soon as I revert back to auto adjust page file size problem disappears…. any advice on finding a happy compromise…? In other words would reducing the size of pagefile assist with better SSD performance in degrees…? that way I could find the tipping point where my vegas will render a project without error and get a degree of performance increase with the SSD

  • Having no page file is a horrible idea. I totally approve having a page file on an hdd and not having one on an ssd, but if you have no page file at all, programs will start crashing once you reach the limit of your RAM. I have 8GBs of RAM, and regularly go over that amount. Without my page file, programs and even Windows sometimes would crash. Once I brought back the page file, everything was fixed. Trust me, don’t take the page file off the SSD unless you have an HDD to put it on.

    • Hi Dom… you should check as to why you were crashing; it wasn’t PV. Shutting PV down has gone from far more than just my advise a few years back to being sound advsie today. The original purpose of PV was for antequated systems that did not have enough memory to work without PV. This is a ‘best practice’ even today. Read through the comments.

      • Well, programs would crash because I was running out of RAM. And it just so happens that whenever I restored the page file to be system managed, my programs stopped crashing. I’m a heavy gamer, so I would regularly start to use more than 8GBs at any given moment. I don’t know if the page file was the issue, but based on the fact that the crashing stopped after I restored the page file, I’m going to assume that I need a page file.

      • PeTeR

        In my opinion, it really depends on users. If you are used to have many programs running simultaneously and many tabs in your browser (mainly in chrome – my own experience) than you are probably running out of RAM often. These users may consider keeping pagefile on. I think, you can move your PF on your HDD (if you have one). But that’s only my opinion. I only want to say, that you should consider every advice, if it suits to you or not for reason, I’ve already mentioned.

  • Turn off pagefile? I have OS on 500GB SSD that is currently using only about 250GB for the OS. I have 16 GB memory and sometimes get poor performance in association with “low memory” warnings from OS. When I check memory usage, at these times memory usage is 15+GB. It would seem to me that the recommendation for page file should be based on how much “unused” space is on the SSD relative to the OS “size”, and how many programs are demanding usage of memory, rather than make a blanket recommendation presumed suitable for all users.

    • I was the first to suggest turning off pagefile a number of OS’s ago and was condemned for it. Today, my thoughts are supported by SSD manufacturers WHO ALSO suggest the same. Page file was created for outdated OS’s at a time when RAM was at a premium and people the OS could not manage it’s active programs much like it can today. If you, FOR ANY REASON are getting memory warnings, you need to explore that and it is not the cause of PF, well unless you are using XP and only have 2GB of memory that is.

      Now to look at your situation specifically, 250GB for ANY OS is unrealistic and anyone having 16GB of memory and receiving low memory wearnings needs to explore the cause; it is definitely not the cause of any decreased PF use. 16GB in a modern OS is more than what is typically used by media professionals who need that memory.

      • 250GB for OS unrealistic? I have all the Office 365 apps, Adobe Creative Cloud (6-8 apps installed), Camatasia, stock market trading software and Wolfram Mathmatica. These are all rather large apps. I believe it is the number of installed apps that are pushing me to about 250GB OS. All my data is kept on a separate partiion and not part of the 250GB (with the exception of Outlook data files). Since I am using Win 7 Pro, it is the number of apps installed that causes my OS to reach 250GB. Temporary Internet files, and temporary file from most of the other software is directed to hard drive. I think “unrealistic” depends on what you do with your computer and how many apps you use.

  • Jim

    I have a SAT III capable system and I replaced the original HDD with a SATA III SSD. The SSD is working fine but the Toolbox indicates the connection as SATA III only about 10% of the time; the rest of the time it indicates SATA I(!).

    I think the Toolbox is wrong when it says SATA I

    Is there any way to verify the status of the connection independent of the Toolbox? I suppose the SATA controller selects the speed but I want to verify what it has selected.


    • It is a toolbox issue as the drive will connect SATA 3. Simply test with any of the free benchmarking software we use in our reviews.

      • Jim


        Can you specifically recommend software(s) that you are sure reflect the actual connection speed and not simply the hardware rating?


  • JJ Backer

    Les, Great article! I’m wondering how many of these optimizations will apply to Win 10?

    I have a new custom desktop workstation arriving tomorrow (specs below), preinstalled with Win 10. I would appreciate your advice and guidance on a few questions I have. First of all, I am wondering if there are any known issues or recommendations when installing SSDs in Win 10?

    As a pro photographer I plan on primarily using this system for processing multi GB Photoshop / LR files, a majority of which will be very large panoramas with up to 60+ individual 44MP RAW Files = 10-20GB .PSB’s.

    Could you please review my build below and give me any input / advice on how you would configure the storage options to maximize Photoshop / System performance? I am adding the Samsung P951 512GB myself so the unit is coming with the OS on the Samsung Pro 512GB. My initial plan was to move the OS and programs to the Samsung P951 M.2 … Then use the Samsung pro 512 as my primary LR catalog / image storage w/ backups to the HDD. Finally I planned to use the SanDisk 480’s in RAID 0 as my scratch drive.

    Specifically what are your thoughts on the best way to maximize workflow performance with the P951 in the system? The P951 W/R speeds will be faster but at 1/2 the capacity of the RAID 0 Sandisk’s. I don’t know if the most benefit would be to use the P951 as a superfast Scratch Drive, Running the OS and programs or using it for the Photoshop / LR catalog storage. FWIW, I typically don’t keep more than 100GB in an active LR catalog

    MB: Asrock fatal1ty X99M 3.1 (with M.2 x4)
    CPU: Xeon 1650 v3 6 core
    RAM: 32GB DDR4 2666
    OS drive: Samsung PRO 512
    Drive2: 2 x Sandisk 480 Extreme Pro
    Drive3: Samsung P951 M.2 x4 on MB
    Drive4: 3TB HDD
    GPU: Nvidia GTX 970 O.C. 4GB GDDR5

    Thanks in advance for your help!


  • Budi

    hello i just try this guide and my itunes software suddenly stop working when check for update, can u please help which one should i set, i assume on 3 steps (indexing off, windows search service, system protection)
    please kindly help

  • David Ben Yishai

    I did most of this for my Win 7 but you are unclear. You should run Win 7 and Win 8 optimization guides separately. I just couldn’t find for example the superfetch and have trouble with some other stuff like turning hybernation off. Otherwise, I used this guide several times, when I clean installed or bought new SSDs. It does what it says but you have to be more functional. Other internet sights would sell this optimization guides as a download. But, it is good to have you around!

  • Sohail Rizwan

    Very informative and knowledge-filled article with nice and brief explanation of “What”, “How” and “Why” to do the optimizations.

  • Dead links in number 16