Can You Get More Space Or Speed From Your SSD?

Disable The Page File And Hibernation

Disable The Paging File

How to disable:

  • Right-click Computer
  • Select Properties
  • Select Advanced system settings
  • Select the Advanced tab and then the Performance radio button
  • Select the Change box under Virtual memory
  • Un-check Automatically manage paging file size for all drives
  • Select No paging file, and click the Set button
  • Select OK to allow and restart.

Per Wikipedia: "In computeroperating systems, paging is one of the memory-management schemes by which a computer can store and retrieve data from secondary storage for use in main memory. In the paging memory-management scheme, the operating system retrieves data from secondary storage in same-size blocks called pages. The main advantage of paging is that it allows the physical address space of a process to be non-contiguous. Before the time paging was used, systems had to fit whole programs into storage contiguously, which caused various storage and fragmentation problems."

You can disable the paging file to free up space that would have otherwise been set aside on your SSD by the operating system. But bear in mind this move isn't without risks. Should your system run out of physical memory, the fact that there is no virtual memory available to allocate means that subsequent crashes are quite likely. Really, this mostly makes sense if you have a ton of RAM and aren't worried about the potential for data loss should an application crater in the event your system exceed what is installed.

Disable Hibernation

Per Microsoft support, "The Hiberfil.sys hidden system file is located in the root folder of the drive where the operating system is installed. The Windows Kernel Power Manager reserves this file when you install Windows. The size of this file is approximately equal to how much random access memory (RAM) is installed on the computer." It follows, then, that disabling this feature returns as much storage capacity as you have installed RAM.

A desktop armed with an SSD doesn't stand to gain much performance-wise from leaving hibernation on. Simply powering down and booting back up will happen fast enough. If you're using a notebook, powering down and back up is also preferable to letting your machine drop to standby and continue draining battery power.

How to disable:

  • In the Start menu search box, type "cmd" without the quotes
  • Right-click the cmd program and select Run as Administrator
  • In the command line, type "powercfg -h off", again without the quotes
  • Once completed, the command prompt returns.

Hibernation was designed for for systems with conventional hard drives, allowing them to "wake back up" faster than a complete boot cycle would have otherwise allowed. Given the access times of SSDs, though, the feature offers little to no benefit. Meanwhile, that extra capacity is much more valuable.

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    Your comment
  • Indexing is not used to access files more quickly. It's used to find files more quickly in search. Disabling indexing will result in slower searching.

    Hibernation: Amount of space saved by turning this off is equivalent to the amount of RAM in your system. Not limited to 2GB.

    Also, hibernation has benefits over standby where hibernation will allow your system to return to a fully working state after removing power whereas standby requires power to still be supplied to your system. Laptops for example you'll want to hibernate to avoid discharging the battery while in sleep mode.
  • compton
    With system restore disabled, no swap file, and some of the additonal tweaks mentioned here, my two small capacity SSD's are running Win 7 effectively in a small footprint -- my 60GB Agility has 37GB free, while the X25-V in my laptop has over 20GB free. The best part is keeping lots of extra space help longevity, while the tweaks enhance performance while keeping my drives free of junk.

    Thanks for another excellent article -- I'm surprised I haven't seen an article on this subject that's as comprehensive. Toms to the rescue.
  • anttonij
    Thanks for another great article. I would love to see a part 2 of the article where you would explore the causes of the performance drop.
  • cangelini
    KWReidIndexing is not used to access files more quickly. It's used to find files more quickly in search. Disabling indexing will result in slower searching.Hibernation: Amount of space saved by turning this off is equivalent to the amount of RAM in your system. Not limited to 2GB.Also, hibernation has benefits over standby where hibernation will allow your system to return to a fully working state after removing power whereas standby requires power to still be supplied to your system. Laptops for example you'll want to hibernate to avoid discharging the battery while in sleep mode.

    Thanks for pointing both of these things out. You're absolutely correct about indexing.

    I've updated the story for the author to reflect hibernation as well. I added clarification re: desktops and notebooks, though I'd suggest powering down a notebook with an SSD is comparable to putting it into hibernation. I don't think anyone would recommend putting it into standby; as you mention, that continues to drain power.

    All the best!
  • damric
    Why are they testing last generation Sandforce and Intel SSD's?

    SSD's are changing faster than any other computer technology. The current generation SSD's are already twice as fast as the SSD's tested in this article. Tom's Hardware is being left behind in the dust with reviews like this.
  • HalfHuman
    the article is very useful.
    disabling system rstore is usually a good idea, sometimes it's better to just limit it's size form the 10% default value.
    swap disabling is not a good idea, as you said. i'd rather have the swap on a secondary, mechanical drive.
    indexing is very useful. you can relocate the address to where indexing data is stored. i put it on a mechanical drive.
    disabling superfetch and turbo cache are really useful. ssd may be faster than hdd, but they are weak compared to ram speed. read caching really makes a difference.
    hibernation file is not really useful on a desktop but it's a matter of taste. better have it on a mechanical drive if possible
    another thing that really helps is putting firefox profiles on a ram drive. i develop on visual studio and there is a directory where lots of small files are written on build. having this temp folder on a ramdrive helps a lot regarding speed and writes as well.
  • HalfHuman
    oops... i meant having windows superfect and turbo cache (not sure about actual names) active is really useful. the memory that is occupied by caching gets liberated quickly if it's needed by apps. in the mean time it can really help on read caching.
  • ravewulf
    None of my controllers mention AHCI, but my motherboard is set to use AHCI. I do see "AMD SATA Controller," is that it? I also don't see any ATA Channels as in the screen shot, just two IDE channels with no devices on them. I don't have an SSD, so no need for TRIM, but I would like to verify that I'm using AHCI.
  • nyrychvantel
    This article is excellent for those SSD users who have just installed/reinstalled their OS. I will also forward this article to all my friends using SSD.
  • haplo602
    who came up with that idiot description of hibernation ? it was invented to:

    1. save power
    2. restore the previous work withou having to start everything

    I use hibernation a lot on my desktop just because I can leave all the network independent applications running and just power down. after power up, I am in the previous environment state and can immediately continue whatever I was doing before. No need to start applications and reopen saved files.
  • jaquith
    Excellent article and I agree with most of Doug's solid advice. However, as a compromise I would recommend that users reduce the System Restore SIZE versus turning it off all together. System Restore would not be needed in a 'perfect' world, but reformatting or reinstalling windows is a tough trade-off.
  • jaquith
    ...Also, if you are using a monitored UPS {Uninterrupted Power Supply} you must leave Hibernation turned-on. Once the battery hits its' minimum, typically 10% it triggers Windows to go into Hibernation mode to prevent data loss.
  • JackNaylorPE
    No mention of relocating User File locations ? ..... this, by far, exceeds all of the above "space savers" combined. Checked the size of your e-mail inbox / sent box lately ?
  • chesteracorgi
  • tecmo34
    @jaquith... You bring up good and valid points on System Restore and hibernation with a UPS in play.

    @JackNaylorPE... This another very good point on moving USER folder to another drive. It does free up additional space and keep down on writes.

    @Chesteracorgi... There are many threads on tweaking, as the The SSD Optimization Guide is a very good one. The purpose of my article was not necessarily on what tweaks needed to perform but what actual benefits do you receive from performing them.
  • Duskfall
    If i do the ahci setting in my controller or the registry setting which as I see is a universal setting in windows,wont it affect my other HDD's performance which aren't SSD's??
  • cknobman
    This is one of the most useful articles I have ever read here on Toms. Thanks for doing this and I look forward to seeing many more useful articles like this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • wolfram23
    Awesome SSD article. Goes over some points I already knew, but it's now in one easy to find place!

    Also I have a suggestion. For example with System Restore and File Paging, you should make mention that you can simply apply them to your storage HDD instead of the SSD.

    Oh and what's the point of telling us to disable Prefetch, which has no effect on the SSD and can certainly help the system stay faster by preloading onto RAM? Plenty of enthusiasts have 6, 8, or 12 gigs of RAM so it's not like space is a premium...
  • scook9
    Disable disk defragmenter.....
  • ravewulf
    scook9Disable disk defragmenter.....

    Windows 7 does that by default for SSD's
  • dgingeri
    mayankleoboy1would have liked to see a micron controller thrown in the mix.

    Any controller other than Intel's ICH, AMD's chipsets, or an Enterprise level RAID contoller suck. JMicron and Marvel both have major stability problems with their controllers and drivers. I haven't successfully used either. This is one thing Intel and AMD both did right.

    Of course, I now use 3Ware controllers (a 9650 8 port in my file server and a 9750, branded LSI but was designed and produced before LSI took them over, in my main machine) now. The extra hardware read cache makes a huge, HUGE difference in game level loads.
  • huron
    These are the types of articles that I love to read at Toms...very informative and very detailed.

    I'm not far from installing to my new SSD and will use many of the recommendations that I'm read here.

    I only wish I could have seen how each feature affected performance - make each the independent variable. I realize it would have made a much more laborious set of tests, but I think it could be quite revealing about which features actually impacted performance vs the whole mess of tweaks.

    Again...awesome job on the article.
  • mpavao81
    Is it possible to use AHCI while using raid? I can't seem to be able to enable both. my bios only gives me the choice of RAID, AHCI, SATA, SATA Compatible, and SATA Enhanced,
    I have 3 F120 corsair drives in raid 0 is there a way to have both AHCI with my RAID array
  • tecmo34
    RAID enables AHCI, so you are good to go there. You will have to relay on Garbage Collection by your Firmware, as it will not have the support of TRIM in RAID.