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Power User Guide to Install and configure Windows on an SSD or HDD (Unofficial)
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Lightbulb Power User Guide to Install and configure Windows on an SSD or HDD (Unofficial)
WARNING!

This guide is optional.
Use the set-up guide at your own discretion.
This thread is not a definitive list of how it should be applied.
This set-up guide is not intended for a user who is rebuilding system hardware frequently.
This is to allow users the most, if not all functionality of a Windows installation.

____________________________________________

Unofficial Power User Guide for XP/Vista and Windows 7 Operating Systems on Hard Disk drives and Solid State Drives.
____________________________________________

Table of Contents

I. About this Guide

II. Support links

Part 1. Hardware Method and Practices

1. Some points to consider before installing Windows.

2. RAID0 Over Provision suggestions.

3. RAID0 stripe size and alignment suggestions.

4. Single SSD for Trim support and RAID0 for HDD storage.

5. Single SSD for Trim support and alignment suggestions.

Part 2. The Order to which Windows can be Configured

When the Windows Operating System has completed the installation. Follow these steps to stream line your system drive from start.

Part 3. The System Image and Backup Method

1. To help you save time. Create multiple system image back-ups on one drive with additional partitions.

2. Consider the following.

Part 4. Suggestions for the Windows Operating System Files Redirected in a Multi Drive setup for Optimal Nand Wear Leveling and Recovery in Single or RAID0 Setups with or without HDDs.

1. Senario for setting up the drive system using your 6 internal SATA headers.

2. The Satisfaction.
____________________________________________

I. About this Guide

This Windows set-up guide is intended to stream line your system drive with performance and Security in mind on XP/Vista/Windows 7 32-bit and 64-bit Operating Systems. For use on Desktops, Note Books and Entry Level Server Work Stations. Intended use by the Power User or Enthusiast who has good working knowledge of the inner workings of a Windows Operating System. This guide is not intended for the basic user. Some reassembly may be required in following this guide. Make sure you have a storage plan if possible. Some settings may not apply to all Windows Operating Systems. Refer to your hardware vendors for all installation requirements. When making these changes to Windows. Do the research first! Also use "Run as administrator" for opening the "CMD prompt" window and "reg-edit" to enter the registry window. Any changes you that you make that do not help with your performance can be put back to the default setting(s). Keep a list of the default settings for your reference please. You will be going back and forth through Windows to configure it. This is will allow Windows to adjust to the new set of parameters specified.

II. Support links

Want to change your desktop icons, check out Peter M Dodge's thread here: http://forums.canadacomputers.com/showth...hp?tid=276

For more information on RAID practices visit Defiant's "So you want to run a RAID array": http://forums.canadacomputers.com/showth...p?tid=1142

All research about this thread can be done at the Microsoft Technet website. link: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/ms376608

Part 1. Hardware Method and Practice

1. Some points to consider

Before installing Windows. For computer systems to work at there best is cooling and keeping it cool while working or playing games. I can't stress this enough. Extreme heat will in time cause your hardware to fail. If possible keep your room temp. at around 22C.

If you are connecting a newer drive or changing back to an older drive, most BIOS retain ATA signaling information within CMOS and this often remains present in power-on traces in capacitors. This can then add delays when updating DMI Pool data. Removing the motherboards power completely clearing CMOS and discharging all traces of power from the motherboard can often reset ATA signaling and prevent these delays. This may not apply if you are replacing to a new motherboard. If the motherboard is a warranty replacement you might want to consider it.

There will be BIOS settings to apply, if applicable to your HDD or SSD product. Next, consider how you will configure your BIOS for storage arrangement as in IDE, AHCI or RAID mode. A BIOS update may be needed to support your HDD or SSD. If possible try to include another drive for your back-up needs in this guide. You can make multiple partitions on your back-up drive to create a few system images for safe keeping. This will help you save time.

If you want all the features of Windows 7, then just install to raw space on the disk. Vista and Windows 7 as noted will offset/align partitions correctly. If you are using Windows XP, you must offset/align your SSD correctly. If you don't want the hidden system partition and will not use bit locker on Vista/Windows 7, then manually create the system partition. The default offset/alignment for Vista/Windows 7 is 1024 KB (1MB) which will work well with most common RAID stripe sizes 32k, 64k, 128k and 256k. You can use a different offsets/alignment that suits your needs keeping in mind block erase boundaries. Other offset alignments may yeild some performance improvement, some testing on your part will tell you. For best results create all partition offsets, alignments manually using your favorite disk utilities software that can offset, align partitions for. Or from the Windows based tool Disk Part for Vista, Windows 7. This will ensure the controllers ability to transfer data at faster I/O rates. As power user you must consider alignment, offsets. Even though disk alignment does not increase the performance for single or multiple disk systems. However, there is still the possibility of a cache line missalignment. It will work well for XP/Vista/Windows 7 and only if applied to all drives. You are sure to have a better experience.

If you install Windows onto a SSD RAID volume, SSD will require you to log off for a certain amount of time after the installation has completed. Download the latest Windows Service Packs, hot-fix, device drivers. You may need specific drivers ready for a fresh Windows installation when your BIOS is set to AHCI or RAID mode. Some SSD may require you to clear the nand by following specific instructions for that SSD product on a fresh installation.

For caching on SandForce based SSDs only in a RAID volume, leave the Windows cache setting at the default value in Device Manager. Control the write back cache in the RAID application manager, not in Windows. This is because the SandForce based SSD do not have buffer cache. Although it has an X amount of cache for the controler its self. Any other SSD, HDD that carries a buffer cache will benefit from both Windows cache settings enabled to improved SSD or HDD drive performance.

Suggestions for RAID0 set-ups with the OS installed to it using motherboard SATA ports. Over provision SSD RAID0 volumes by 50 percent. This should ensure great performance. Now don't have to over provision by 50 percent. If you need more space, than over provision the RAID0 volume by at lest 35 percent. It will ensure the best wear leveling until trim is finally supported in RAID volumes. Always use brand new, unused SSDs to RAID if possible. This should provide best results. However you don't have to. Just make sure the SSDs are totally clean and RAW. As Seecure Erase will be necessary. Beware that there is two types of RAID. There is hardware RAID (Option ROM on the motherboard and consult the vendor for support) and then there is software RAID within Microsoft's Disk management tool (Refer to the Technet for more information). Don't mix the two, use one or the other. To RAID or not is based on how large your work files are and RAID is risky in that if a drive fails data will be lost. Consult you motherboard manual and contact the manufacture tech support for RAID level suppport on your motherboard that would work best for you. Most us know that there are different RAID levels for improved data recovery and speed. RAID levels are 0, 1, 1+0, 5, 10.

Should you decide to go with a RAID or AHCI setup. Get an external DVD ROM case. Connect it to a USB port or use the eSATA port. I have found that an internal DVD ROM drive connected to the SATA port on the motherboard when in RAID mode can slow the performance of RAID volumes. When you are ready to install Windows. Only have the one SSD connected or the RAID0 volume setup and connected. Do not connect any other drives before you install Windows. That will be done at a later stage and prevent Vista/Windows 7 from creating a hidden system partition on the other drive that will stop windows from booting unless you make that drive your OS boot. The hidden partition holds the boots files to start Windows up.

2. RAID0 Over Provision suggestions for SSDs only.

There are a few ways you can over provision the RAID0 volume. First is in the option rom of the motherboard when you create the RAID volume. Second, can be done just before you install Windows were you can load a driver or format a disk. And only if you want the hidden system partition. Third, in Disk Management after Windows has been installed, which is at step 3 in this guide. You must also manually create the partition in DiskPart to prevent the Hidden System partition from being created. If you do want the Hidden System partition then install to raw space. Note: Over provisionng is best done before you install Windows. That way the FW on the SSD will know how much raw space is available for wear leveling.

Examples

50GB + 50GB = 100GB total. Over provision by 50%, which will give you 50GB usable space. 2x SSD rated speed if supported.

100GB + 100GB = 200GB total. Over provision by 50%, which will give you 100GB usable space. 2x SSD rated speed if supported.

200GB + 200GB = 400GB total. Over provision by 50%, which will give you 200GB usable space. 2x SSD rated speed if supported.

50GB + 50GB + 50GB = 150GB total. Over provision by 50%, which will give you 75GB usable space. 3x SSD rated speed if supported.

50GB + 50GB + 50GB + 50GB = 200GB total. Over provision by 50%, which will give you 100GB usable space. 4x SSD rated speed if supported.

And so on for any size and number of SSD you choose to RAID0. The end results will vary on different motherboard controllers.

3. RAID0 stripe size and offset suggestions

The OS and other storage drives that will be connected to the motherboard SATA ports when RAID is enabled in the BIOS of the motherboard. The suggestions are for hardware RAID based systems only. If you will RAID0 two or more SSD for the OS to be installed, it is best to use the smallest stripe size which 4k. Although you can use other recomended stripe sizes for the SSD by the manuafacturer. 64k is recommended by Microsoft. 128k and larger stripe sizes are for large file sizes. HDDs you might use as your primary data storage house can be 128k stripe size. Most desktop motherboards go up to 128k.

OS installed. Two or more SSD RAID0. 4k or 8k stripe size. Create a manual partition offset of 1024 KB (1MB).

OS installed. Two or more SSD RAID0. 16k or 32k stripe size. Create a manual partition offset of 2048 KB (2MB).

OS installed. Two or more SSD RAID0. 64k stripe size. Create a manual partition offset of 4096 KB (4MB).

Primary storage house. Two or more HDDs in RAID0. 128k stripe size. Create a manual partition offset of 4096 KB (4MB).

Note: There are other RAID levels such as RAID 5, 10 which will secure your data incase of a drive failure. These may use a stripe size of 64k and would suggest an offset of 4096(4MB).

4. Single SSD for Trim support and RAID0 for HDD storage.
Stripe size and offset suggestions for the OS and other storage drives that will be connected to the motherboard SATA ports when RAID is enabled in the BIOS motherboard. The suggestions are for hardware RAID based systems only.


One SSD for Trim support. Create a manual partition offset of 1024 KB (1MB).

Primary storage house. Two or more HDDs in RAID0. 128k stripe size. Create a manual partition offset of 4096 KB (4MB).

Note: There are other RAID levels such as RAID 5, 10 which will secure your data incase of a drive failure. These may use a stripe size of 64k, suggested offset of 4096(4MB).

5. Single SSD for Trim support and offset suggestions
For the OS and other storage drives that will be connected to the motherboard SATA ports when IDE or AHCI is enabled in the BIOS motherboard.


One SSD for Trim support. Create a manual partition offset of 1024 KB (1MB).

And any other SSD or HDD for storage. Create a manual partition offset of 1024 KB (1MB).

Note: Now beware that some SSDs have internal RAID. Contact support staff for best stripe size and alignment. Always consult with your manual for further instructions to setup hardware RAID on the motherbaord or seek the Technical Support Staff of the hardware manufacturer.

Part 2. The Order to which Windows can be Configured

When the Windows Operating System has completed the installation. Follow these steps to stream line your HDD or SSD from start.

1. In Control Panel/System/click on Advanced system details/System (Restore)Protection tab. Turn off System Restore. Leave it enable if you do not have a back drive plan. Then atlest you will be to store your computer if needed.

2. Set disk usage for Manage Offline Files. This is located in Control Panel/Sync Center, click Manage Offline Files. You can disable this services from here and or select the amount of disk space you want to use. Note: Set both sliders to use 0 disk space first. Add the amount you want to use after you have completed this guide. You may have to re-set the size after re-imaging the system drive if it was not included in the original system image.

3. In Control Panel/Administrative Tools/Computer management/Disk Management. Over provision the RAID0 volume by 50 percent if you did not choose to over provision the RAID0 volume in the BIOS before you installed Windows. To do this, you will need to shrink the current size to half the amount of the total RAID volume or reduse the size by a manufacturer recomended amount. For single SSD, you can if you choose to over provision the space by 10 to 20 percent of the total space. This can help improve wear leveling and maintain speed.

4. This will make the difference between a clean SSD array RAID0 with your OS on it. In fact no matter what you are set to IDE, AHCI, RAID mode. You should install the chipset drivers and restart if needed and connect the drive. A single high speed, low capacity SSD or setup motherboard HDD RAID0 make a 20GB partition for it. Then create a a folder named TEMP. Now move the System Variables folder for TEMP and TMP. If you are in AHCI or RAID mode than you can hot plug a drive and move the folder paths to that single drive. Before you complete the next step. If you want to keep your OS RAID0 volume clean than DO IT! It will mean less IDLE TIME to recover. Note: Make sure you include this partition as part of your system image if you move the SYSTEM TEMP directorys.

5. Activate your Windows Operating system and Install any Service Packs that you will need in Windows. If possible please down load and install Service Packs separately and not through Windows update. Note: you may need to install network drivers for step 5 and 6.

6. Install the applicable the ATA PASS THRU hot-fix update for Windows XP only. A restart is required.

7. Open the CMD prompt. This step only applies to disable Trim for Windows 7 on a SSDs that are RAID array installations with out any single SSD attached as well. Trim commands will not reach the SSD RAID array. Trim is only supported for non member SSD. If and when Trim is finally supported on SSD RAID arrays, then re-enable Trim support. Should you want a single SSD connected then leave trim enabled. If Windows tells you a restart is required, do not restart yet. How to check if Trim is enabled. Copy and paste the line in the window.

fsutil behavior query DisableDeleteNotify

If return 1 = Trim is disabled.
If return 0 = Trim is enabled.


If you want to disable Trim. Copy and paste the line in the window.

fsutil behavior set disabledeletenotify 1

If you want to enable Trim. Copy and paste the line in the window.

fsutil behavior set disabledeletenotify 0

8. Open the CMD prompt and disable last access update. I leave this optional since security software may require this information. If Windows tells you a restart is required, do not restart yet. Vista/Windows 7 should have this disabled already. To check, copy and paste the line in the window.

fsutil behavior query disablelastaccess

If return 0 = Lastaccess is enabled.
If return 1 = Lastaccess is disabled.


If you have an application that needs this value. Copy and paste the line to enable last access.

fsutil behavior set disablelastaccess 0

If you want to disable Last Access, copy and paste the line in the window.

fsutil behavior set disablelastaccess 1

9. Open the CMD prompt and disable 8dot3 name creation. If Windows tells you a restart is required, do not restart yet. To disable 8dot3 name. Copy and paste the line in the window. Note: Maybe be required for some dos programs.

fsutil behavior set disable8dot3 1

If you want to enable 8dot3 name. Copy and Paste the line in the window.

fsutil behavior set disable8dot3 0

10. Click Start/Computer/right click disk/Properties Uncheck drive indexing and apply. As well to its sub folders. You will get a pop-up windows saying "Error occurred applying attributes" Select "ignore all" and continue. If you are going to use HDD in a RAID or non RAID set-up. Do not disable Search Indexing in Windows Services. This will aid HDDs in searching for Indexed files faster. If your system is going comprise of SSD. Disable the Search Indexing in service.

11. Right click/Select properties for the Recycle bin. Turn off the disk space use for the Recycle Bin. If you add more drives later you must turn it off for those drives and partitions on a single drive for best results. Just make sure if you really want to delete any files.

12. Click Start menu/Accessories/System Tools. Turn off Windows Defragment schedule. You will need the service for HDDs in your system. You can disable the service if you will not use it at all in replace of a thrid party program. Or you can set to manual in Windows Services.

13. In Control Panel/Home Group/Move away from the Home Group. If you don't plan on having any home networks connected with your computer to share files. In Change advanced sharing settings. You can disable all sharing within Home or Work and as well in the Public network.

14. Control Panel/System/Advanced system properties/Advanced tab/Performance/Visual Effects. Adjust the Windows Visual Effects for performance. Then Disable the Theme Service. Note: If apply this setting and then you make changes in Ease of Access, this will reset some Visual Effects.

15. In Control Panel/System/Advanced system properties/Start-up and Recovery. Configure the Windows default operating system. However, if you have just one operating system. You can uncheck the box for "Time to display recovery options when needed". If you need to use recovery options you may need to enable it again.

16. Control Panel/System/Advanced system properties/Advanced. In Start-up And Recovery. Uncheck the box for "Overwrite any existing file" for System Failure. This can help reduce the possibility of write amplification and write degradation on all Windows operating systems. Instead a Trim command (Applies only to an operating with Trim support) will be used to clear the SSD nand when logs are deleted (clear log).

17. In Control Panel/Administrative Tools/Task Manager/Expand Task Scheduler Library/Expand Microsoft/Expand Windows. Disable RAC, the Reliability Analysis monitor. If your system has a failure and you need to look at the information. Please enable to veiw the details on what caused the failure. You can save a bit of memory.

18. Install the latest chipset drivers. If a restart is required select restart later. Note: Windows XP users can restart if you don't want to disable prefetch were an SSD is used. Not required for HDD as the system drive.

19. In Control Panel/Administrative Tools/Services. Disable the Superfetch service and please restart the computer. Note: Windows 7 should disable it if your SSD is fast enough and after the first Windows Index score run with a few normal restarts maybe required! You can skip steps 19. to 21 if you want the service for HDD system OS drives and or you will use the ReadyBoost feature.

20. Then open the Windows registry Set the value to "0" to disable Superfetch. Applies to Vista/Windows 7 only. Navigate to the following registry. Right click on Superfetch, select modify to change the value. Please restart the computer now.

Location in the registry.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Contro l\Session Manager\Memory Management\PrefetchParameters

21. Go back to the Windows registry and disable prefetch. Set the value to "0". Navigate to the following registry. Right click on prefetch, select modify to change the value. A restart is required.

Location in the registry.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Contro l\Session Manager\Memory Management\PrefetchParameters

22. In Control Panel/System/Advanced system properties/Advanced/Click Performance/Advanced tab/Virtual memory. Set a custom page file. System Failure will need this space to record an event when a system failure happens. You can set to No Page File on your system drive if you have at lest 3GB of system memory on a 32-bit XP OS. For Vista and Windows 7 at lest 4GB. 64-bit Operating System might require more system memory. Should a new Software program crash because there is not enough memory then you should set a custom page file size that is 1.5 times the total memory installed. What you set for a page file will be to your preference. Each computer will show different results with its configuration. Page file sizes that you can try, 256 - 256, 512 - 512, 1024 - 1024, 2048 - 2048, for the system drive only. Spreading custom page files across multiple drives can increase performance. However, do not make multiple page files on one drive with multiple partitions. Always set a custom page file size to prevent file fragmentation. Page files that are Windows managed can grow and shrink based on Windows need for more space on the drive. Please restart the computer now. Note: Any additional Page File applied to an off system drive would have to be reset if it is not included in your system image(s).

23. Go back to the Windows registry set the second level data cache for your CPU. Navigate to the following registry. Right click, on SecondLevelDataCache, select modify to change the value. Enter a Hexadecimal value. At the bottom are some examples. A restart is required. Section A:How to find out the amount of L2 cache reported in Vista/Windows 7. Section B: Examples for size of Processor L2 Cache. You should see the value in the registry. Note: On current CPUs that carry L3 cache it is not required to apply this step. You must be very careful about what value you set. If you are unsure than skip this step.

Location in the registry.
HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management

Section A:

How to find out the amount of L2 cache reported in Vista/Windows 7.

In Control Panel/Performance Information and Tools/Advanced Tools. Bottom is Generate a System Health report. This is a 60 second health report by Windows. This report only shows half the L2 cache in red, while the report specifies 4 Cores, 4 logical processors in blue. If your report does not show the proper amount. I would recommend that it be set in the registry for Second Level Data Cache. First Generate a 60 second health report.

Expand under the heading of Hardware Configuration/Devices/ then expand under heading of Motherboard Classes/root\cimv2:SELECT * FROM Win32_Processor/inside the box expand Win32_Processor.DeviceID="CPU0"

This example is from a Quad Core CPU in the report.

Returned Objects

Win32_Processor.DeviceID="CPU0"

Property, Value

L2CacheSize, 6144
Note: for this CPU there is actually 12MB L2 cache, Hal could only see 6MB.

NumberOfCores, 4
NumberOfLogicalProcessors, 4

Version


Section B:

Examples for size of Processor L2 Cache. You should see the value in the registry.

256K L2 Hexadecimal 100 = 256

512K L2 Hexadecimal 200 = 512

1MB L2 Hexadecimal 400 = 1024

2MB L2 Hexadecimal 800 = 2048

4MB L2 Hexadecimal 1000 = 4096

6MB L2 Hexadecimal 1800 = 6144

8MB L2 Hexadecimal 2000 = 8192

12MB L2 Hexadecimal 3000 = 12244

24. This step only applies if your system has two or more CPUs in a server configuration. Go back to the Windows registry and enable Large System Cache. Set the value to "1". Navigate to the following registry. Right click on LargeSystemCache, select modify to change the value. A restart is required.

Location in the registry.
HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management

25. Go back to the Windows registry and Disable Paging Executive, set value to "1". Drivers and system code will remain in physical memory. This is useful when debugging drivers. This can improve performance on systems with a lot of memory. Do not use if you will have a page file. Navigate to the following registry. Right click on DisablePagingExecutive, select modify to change the value. A restart is required.

Location in the registry.
HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management

26. Does not apply to Vista/Windows 7, however security is increased with a longer shut down time and a faster boot up time. This could improve shut down performance for Windows XP. Go back to the Windows registry and enable Clear Page File at shut down, set value to "1" in the registry. This setting can improve security in your system when it is not running. However this is not a suitable security alternative. Navigate to the following registry. Right click on ClearPageFileAtShutdown, select modify to change the value. A restart is required.

Location in the registry.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Contro l\Session Manager\Memory Management

27. Go back to the Windows registry and increase NTFS file memory usage value to "1". Only if you have at least 4GB of RAM installed. If you have more than 6GB system memory, you can set a higher value to "2". Navigate to the following registry. Right click on NTFSMemoryUsage, select modify to change the value. A restart is required.

Location in the registry.
HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem\N tfsMemoryUsage

28. Go back to the Windows registry and disable NTFS Compression and set the value to "1". You can leave this enabled if you plan to compress HDD drives. A restart is required.

Location in the registry.
HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem\N tfsDisableCompression

29. Go back to the Windows registry and change the value to reduce the time it takes to kill a service to 1000 from 12000 which is the default. Useful if you have a lot of Icons on the task bar. Just high light Control. A restart is required.

Location in the registry.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Contro l

30. Go back to the Windows registry and change the Menu Show Delay, set to "100" or "90". The default is "400". Just high light desktop. A restart is required.

Location in the registry.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop

31. Go back to the Windows registry and change the Mouse Hoover Time, set to "100" or "90". The default is "400". Just high light Mouse. A restart is required.

Location in the registry.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Mouse

32. In Control Panel/Administrative Tools/System Configuration/Boot/Advanced. Configure Windows to boot with the number CPUs installed in your computer. A restart is required. Note:This may not help on current AMD or CPUs.

33. In Control Panel/Programs and Features/Click on, Turn Windows features on or off. From there you can turn any features or programs of Windows that you will not use.

34. In Control Panel/Administrative Tools/Services. Stop and disable any services that you do not intend to use. A restart is required. User beware of some services that will disable security and functionality. Note: Only disable what you don't need running.

A list of services that you might want to consider to disable.

Computer Browser

Disk Defragmenter - In step 12. Or set to manual for HDD.

Home Group Listener

Home Group Provider - If you don't need home networking first move away from the Home Group in the control panel then disable the services. Home Group Provider should be disabled first before Function Discovery Resource.

Function Discovery Resource

Internet connection Sharing

Media Center Extender Service

Net. Tcp Port sharing Service

Offline Files - In step 2.It is recomended that you use the Windows interface to disable it.

Print Spooler

Remote Registry

Routing and Remote Access

Super Fetch - In step. 19 Note: Windows 7 should disable it if your SSD is fast enough and after the first Windows Index score and a few normal restarts!

Tablet PC Input Service

TCP/IP Net BIOS Helper

Themes - In step 14.

Windows Media Player Networking sharing Service

Windows Search - Disable if you will not use HDD in your computer or use a thrid party program.

Windows update - For Vista and WIndows 7 - set to manual, the service will not start until you check for updates. Don't forget!

These services have special requirements to disable and will stop some functions in the Windows User inface.

Server - If you want to disable this service you must stop and disable computer Browser and HomeGroup Listener. This will completely disable Home network sharing.

Workstation - If you want to disable this service you must disable Computer Browser, Netlogon, Remote Desktop Configuration.

35. Install the drivers for the Network card in your computer. In Control Panel/Device Manager/Expand Network adapters. This setting can only be applied after the device driver is installed along with advanced networking software for it. This can be configured from the device manager under properties for the network card. Set the Interrupt Moderation Rate to the highest setting possible if you have a connection speed of 12 MBPS or faster from your internet service provider. This can improve over all system performance results will vary you can try a lower setting as well. Refer to your hardware manufacturer for more information.

36. Connect the rest of your drives that you will use for RAID storage and backup on the motherboard. Setup your RAID volumes now. Create your partition alignment/offset using your favorite disk utilities software or from Disk Part in Windows. Windows should prompt you to format it. If you are not going to use the motherboard RAID set-up then install your RAID card. Make sure you set the cache policies for your storage configuration in Device manager. Remember to disable Recycle Bins use on each drive and or each partition that you create on single or RAID volumes.

37. If you are using HDDs in your computer system. Consider moving the following folders to reduse writes to your SSD.

Folders that can be safely moved.

A. Under Internet Options/General tab/Browsing history/click settings/click move folder to move the location of the temporary Internet files. First create a partition for it. Then create the folder and name it. Then select that drive and folder. Click ok. You need to logg off and logg back in.

B. Click Start/Type in the Search Programs and files, GPEdit.msc. This will open the Local Group Policy Editor. Under Computer Configuration/Expand Administrative Templates/And high light "All settings". Scroll to Indexer data Location. Create a new folder on drive X: and name it "Index". Right click on Indexer data location, select Edit. Select enable. Add the new path drive X:\index then click apply. Log off and then log back in. The Indexing service will now store Indexer data there. Note: Only applies if you will use Window search. Don't forget to include the drive X: partition in your system image(s)

C. You can also move all your library folders as well. For each one right click/select properties and change the path for each one. Then you end up with more space to store your data. As well can help prevent file fragmenation on the OS system drive. Note: Don't forget to include the drive X: partition in your system image(s).

38. In Control Panel/Administrative Tools/Event Viewer. You can follow one of the methods below to manage Event Log data. This can help reduce the possibility of write amplification and write degradation on all Windows operating systems. In order to change a path to a log you will need to expand the folder, select the log and right click and select properties. From there you can change its path. If you are going to follow method 2 or 3, please create a temporary system image first. That way if you make a mistake it can be restored. This works well if you are transferring to a HDD RAID volume. You will need to encrypt this drive X: or Partition X: for information safety. This will reduse the number of writes considerably to the SSD with the OS on it. I recommend that you open up the note pad and copy/paste the original path of the log should you need to reset the original path and just for safe keeping. Method 3 may take up to 1 hour to complete. You will need to set the path for each log under these folders for Windows logs, Application and service logs and expand Microsoft/Expand Windows, which has a lot of individual logs in its folder. Note: You can skip this step if your system drive is an HDD or you are unsure about it.

Example to move the log folder

1. Create a folder and name it "Logs" on HDD drive X:

2. In event viewer, Expand the folders, select a log, right click/properties. First Clear the log for the current path before you set the new path for the log to be saved.

3. Edit the log path to X:\logs\System.evtx (Even though it says "path", please include the file name too)

4. Press "Apply". A new log is created to the path of drive X: \logs. You can open up the log directly from the that location and see the current events.

5. Repeat steps 2. to 4. for each log.

Method 1

If you don't want to move the folder location of your logs. Configure Windows Event Viewer. Properties for each log. Set to "Archive the logs when full" or "Do not overwrite events (Clear logs manually). For SSD this will help prevent long term write degradation.

Method 2

This method being not to hard. Change the paths in Windows logs, there are only five. As for the rest of the logs, change the way Windows saves logs to "Archive the logs when full" or "Do not overwrite events (Clear logs manually). Note: Remember the X: drive or partition must be included in your system image(s).

Method 3

This being the most difficult. Move all event logs to the HDD drive. Note: Remember the X: drive or partition must be included in your system image(s).

39. Include tweaks from your favorite guide that you want keep in your system image. User beware of some tweaks that will disable security and functionality.

40. Windows Update. Install all necessary Windows updates for best security and compatibility with your favorite software and hardware in mind. A restart may be required.

41. Personalize the desktop by right clicking on the Desktop, select Personalize. Make all the Windows users interface changes you want set if you like your theme.

42. Please consider this step. if you are using your motherboard storage in RAID. Install the rest of your devices and drivers such as Graphics, Sound Card and or keyboard/mouse following the instruction manuals. A restart may be required.

43. If your motherboard has a RAID application manager please install the the latest application manager. Note: Installing this application may have special requirements for installing signed and non signed drivers which ever first. Please refer to your hardware manuafacturer for more information.. A restart maybe required.

45. In Control Panel/Power Options. Set your Power Options to "High Performance" and change your advanced power plan settings to "never turn off your hard disk". You can apply more optional settings.

46. Open the CMD Prompt and turn off hibernation. Vista/Windows 7 only. Copy and paste the line in the command window. A restart may be required.

powercfg -h off

47. Install a Registry cleaner software. Backup the registery and then clean the registry. This will help you maintain your system registry. Doing so will help you identify and resolve registry errors if possible. For all Windows Operating Systems 32-bit and 64-bit. You will have to find a compatible registry cleaner software. There are free registry cleaners over the internet. However, users beware, some registery cleaners can harm your system, always back it up. Install your favorite certified registry cleaner that you intend to use.

48. If you are using the system image guide below, this will be your first system image. So make sure your back drive or nework device is connected first. Use your favorite system image recovery tool to make your back-up system image(s) or use the Windows tool in Control Panel/Back-up Restore. Please inculde all drive paritions for Windows to operate were you have change paths to those drives. If you are not going use a back-up drive to create system images and back-ups for data, continue with step 49. Note: It maybe wise to have an alternative back-up stored in CD/DVD and or Blue-Ray media. Any hardware attached after the first system image would have to be removed.

49. Install your favorite software applications that you intend use. Then go to System Configuration and disable any start-up services that are non essential to hardware or software.

50. If you are using the system image guide below. Please create the second system image now. If you are not using the system image continue to step 51. Please inculde all drive paritions for Windows to operate were you have change paths to those drives. Note: hardware attached after the second system image would have to be removed.

51. Load your data files and then back it up for safe keeping on a seperate backup drive. Don't include your data drive and or partition with system images. You may lose recently saved data if you restore a system image. Note: Always back up your data before you restore a system image for data safety.

Part 3. The System Image and Backup method

1. To help you save time.

Create multiple system image back-ups on one drive with additional partitions. Suggestion for the back drive when the motherboard is in RAID or AHCI mode. Use the eSATA port and put the backup drive on it or use a network storage device for your system images and backups. Have one drive with multiple partitions. Give each volume a distinctive system image name. IE: SysImage1, SysImage2 and the third partition volume is Backupdata disk. Please do not include a system image with your data back-up. Create the partitions with the amount of disk space required for the system image and data backup location.

1. First Image at step 48. Make a distinctive name like "CleanInstallDrivers".

2. Second image at step 50. Make a distinctive name like "SoftwareInstalled"

3. Third image is a back-up of your data and do not include a system image. Preform manual back-ups only. Make a distinctive name like "Mydata".

2. Consider the following.

Any tweaks applied in between these system images would have to be applied again or recreate the system image including these changes. Any hardware installed after the systemimage was create should be removed. Most of us know that an SSD RAID array with the OS installed to it has a long period of time to recover. Breaking up all file writting done in Windows to the SSD RAID array can help counter the recovery time. This means, less idle time needed to recover used nand with invalid data on it. However if you have done heavy writting, deleting or installing software. It may be necessary to logoff for a longer period of time. Remember to include all drives or partitions in the system images that Windows needsto operate from should you have to do a restore.

1. Senario for setting up the drive system using your 6 internal SATA headers.

Disk 0. Two SSD in RAID0 as the OS system drive array.

Disk 1. A single SSD for page file and system variables TEMP and TMP. A high speed low capacity SSD. Trim will be active on this drive since it is a non RAID member in AHCI mode. (Windows 7 only)

Disk 2. A single SSD for Internet Explorer or your choice of web browser, Indexer Data location. This SSD will have to have three or more partitions on it. A high speed medium or larger capacity SSD. Trim will be active on this drive since it is a non RAID member in AHCI mode. (Only an OS that supports Trim)

Disk 3. Two HDDs in RAID0 for OS Event logs, Windows User library folders and mass storage of data files. This array should have one partition for Event logs and Windows User library folders. The rest of the space would be used for your working data files.

Disk 4. A single drive for your data backup only. Can be connected to the network, USB or extra eSATA port.

You can use other drive configurations as well, since some motherboards have more internal SATA headers with faster data transfer rates.

4. The Satisfaction.

You should be good to go at I high level of organized management and improved maintenance to recover your SSD nand with performance on a Windows Operating Systems. Regards and enjoy!
(This post was last modified: 10-03-2011 02:19 AM by sprogis.)
10-03-2011 01:20 AM
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sprogis Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Power User Guide to Install and configure Windows on an SSD or HDD (Unofficial)
Here is a bench with ATTO this RAID0 is a 4k RAID0 stripe. I will post anotherone tomorrow after some IDLE time at the BIOS to show that what has changed.

[Image: ATTObench2.png]
(This post was last modified: 10-07-2011 10:20 AM by sprogis.)
10-07-2011 10:18 AM
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sprogis Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Power User Guide to Install and configure Windows on an SSD or HDD (Unofficial)
Ok here is 8 hours after idle time, no real change. So really if you can move any and all writes off your RAID0 SSD OS system drive. You will be able to use your system without having to IDLE so often. This stripe size is only 4k. It will be possible to hit faster read and writes with a larger stripe size.

Edit: Please note that I have not enabled the write back cache in the IRST App manager which is to provide even more performance which is not seen here in these bench marks. My motherbaord RAID OROM version is 10.6.0.1091 with driver 10.6.0.1002. as I state

Edit: I feel I must state this. The reason I do not use the write back cache is because the SandForce based SSD's don't have drive cache like a normal HDD. On the Sand Force SSD there is a small amount cache, however nobody know how much. That cache is used by the SF controller it self as stated by reveiws. Here is one please read the first two pages of this reveiw.

http://www.guru3d.com/article/ocz-vertex-2-ssd-review/

[Image: ATTObench8hridle-1.png]


This is how my system drives are set-up.

[Image: systemdrivessetup.png]
(This post was last modified: 10-08-2011 12:46 AM by sprogis.)
10-07-2011 11:27 PM
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