Memory, CPU speed, and hard drive capacity have all been consistently upgraded throughout the years. Only recently has hard drive access speed been upgraded in the form of Solid State Drives or SSDs. It has improved access speed by getting rid of any and all mechanical aspects, instead relying entirely on flash memory. In every possible way, an SSD is a direct upgrade from a magnetic hard disk.
Unfortunately, Windows is not designed to handle solid state drives. You need to help Windows along to make sure that it doesn’t end up reducing its efficiency and its longevity.
Disable Windows’ Indexing Service
Windows’s indexing service allows you to search your computer with greater efficiency. Unfortunately, that means that whenever a file is changed or added, the indexing service has to update its files. In a mechanical hard drive, there’s no problem. Unfortunately, Solid State Drives cannot just overwrite pre-existing data. SSDs need to first erase any existing data before it can write on that space – and SSDs only have a limited number of re-writes per sector. That means that Windows’ indexing service will quickly and greatly contribute to the degradation of your hard drive without really improving your Windows experience.
Turning it off is simply. Simply go to My Computer and right-click on your SSD. Click properties. Look for “allow files on this drive to have contents indexed in addition to file properties,” and uncheck it. Exit by clicking okay to save your changes.
If you grew up with a computer, chances are that you grew up thinking that defragging was a good idea. In fact, most kids who didn’t have games on their early computers probably spent a good amount of time defragging simply because it had graphics. Unfortunately, that habit might end up damaging the SSD and reducing its overall longevity. Fortunately, it’s easy enough to disable scheduled defragmentation.
First, click your start button and type dfrgui. Select the relevant SSD and click on configure schedule. Make sure that “run on a schedule” isn’t clicked.
Disable System Restore
While system restore is a useful tool, most of the time it is a tool very few actually utilize. Since it takes snapshots of your hard drive whenever you change a setting or install a new program, it will do the same thing that Windows’ indexing service and defragging would – it would force the SSD to erase and write data repeatedly, which will result in a weaker and shorter-lived drive.
Turning it off is as simple as right-clicking your computer icon and clicking properties. Select “advanced system settings” and look for the system protection tab. Once you’ve selected your SSD, click “configure” and disable System Restore by selecting “Turn off system protection.” It does remove your ability to fix certain Windows issues, but those issues are easily avoided.
Single State Drives can dramatically increase the performance of any computer, but you’ll want to make sure that your Windows OS, no matter which version it is, treats it with the care it deserves. Take these precautions and your SSD will treat you well for years.