Best practices for SSD disks to apply on Windows systems

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This article will help you configure your Windows 7 or Windows 8 operating system for better use with Solid State Drives (SSD).

Using AHCI or RAID mode

For a start, prior to anything else, you should enable AHCI or RAID operating mode in BIOS for the SSD disk.

AHCI mode has two main advantages over IDE mode that are available to SATA controllers, in the means of NCQ (native command queuing) and hot-swapable drives (latest motherboards),

To use AHCI, the Operating System needs the AHCI driver. Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8 include this driver by default.

If you would like to use AHCI on Windows 7, but you already have your operating system installed, here's how to do it:

Open registry editor and navigate to the following key:


In the right pane, right-click Start in the Name column, and then click Modify.

In the Value box, type 0, and then click OK.

Exit registry editor, restart your machine and enter the BIOS to enable AHCI mode.

If on the other hand you have two or more disks, you can consider using RAID mode, where you'll be able to use RAID 0 - Stripe or RAID 1 - Mirror sets to gain better performance of your drives.

Using SATA 3 for maximum performance

If your motherboard has SATA 3 connectors that can transfer speed up to 6Gb/s and you have also bought SATA 3 SSD drive, make sure that you connect your disk to proper SATA 3 controller on your motherboard to utilize your disks at best performance.

Also, make sure you use SATA 3 cables for this. Usually, those cables are delivered with MBO.

On the other hand SATA 2, will also do the job, but SATA 2 speeds are limited to 3Gb/s max.

Enable TRIM

Once you have installed Operating System, it is time to do some tweaks in it to better utilize SSD drives.

TRIM command allows an operating system to inform a solid-state drive (SSD) which blocks of data are no longer considered in use and can be wiped internally.

On Windows 7 the TRIM is enabled by default, but if you want to be sure, here's how you can check it:

Open Command Prompt with elevated privileges (right click - runas administrator) and type the following command:

fsutil behavior query disabledeletenotify

If TRIM is enabled you will receive the following output:

DisableDeleteNotify = 0

If TRIM is disabled you will receive the following output:

DisableDeleteNotify = 1

To enable TRIM please use the following command:

fsutil behavior set disabledeletenotify 0

To disable TRIM command use the following command:

fsutil behavior set disabledeletenotify 1

Disable defragmentation

Disable default defragmentation or any other third party defragmentation applications for the system drive (SSD) as defragmentation is not needed for SSD drives.

Defragmentation should be disabled by default for SSD drives on Windows 7.

SSD drives physically wear out as you write to them. Defragmentation software moves around all the files on your drive. Therfore, defragmenting an SSD drive reduces its life span without giving you any benefits.

The defragmentation software will defragment for instance several blocks, while it actually it doesn't have a clue where this data is physically located on the disk.