Hard drive speed boosts

ByLine
How to Increase Hard Drive Performance in Vista
Synopsis
This will show you how to increase the hard drive performance by enabling Advanced Performance, disabling NTFS from creating 8.3 versions of file names, and defragging on a regular schedule.
How to Increase Hard Drive Performance in Vista

information   Information
This will show you how to increase the hard drive performance by enabling Advanced Performance, disabling NTFS from creating 8.3 versions of file names, and defragging on a regular schedule.
Note   Note
You can follow all the steps below, or just pick the ones you would like to do.




STEP ONE
Enable Advanced Performance for Hard Drive
warning   Warning
This option enables extremely aggressive write caching that will speed up the hard drive's performance, but it can also cause you to lose data in the drive's cache if you lose power suddenly. It is not recommended for laptops that run on battery power all the time. While this is fine for the normal home desktop, it may not be a good idea if you have unreliable power.
Note   Note
This may not be supported by some hard drive setups (Ex: RAID). If it does not, then you will see that it will just change back to the default settings automatically when you look at the Properties again.

1. Open the Control Panel. (Classic View)​
2. Click on the Device Manager icon.​
3. Click on Continue in the UAC prompt.​
4. Close the Control Panel.​
5. Click on Disk drives to expand it. (See screenshot below)​
6. Right click on your hard drive device listing and click Properties.​
Device_Manager.jpg

7. Click on the Policies tab. (See screenshots below)​
8. For a ATA (Parallel) or Serial ATA (SATA) Hard Drive
A) Check the Enable write caching on the disk box. (See left screenshot below step 10)​
NOTE: This should already be checked by default.​
B) Check the Enable Advanced performance box.​
NOTE: If this will not stay checked for you, then check to make sure that you have the latest chipset drivers installed for your motherboard. Also see: Write-Caching - Enable or Disable - Windows 7 Forums

9. For an External Hard Drive
A) Dot Optimize for performance. (See right screenshot below step 10)​

10. Click on OK to apply.​
Policies.jpg EXT_USB.jpg






STEP TWO
Disable NTFS from Creating 8.3 Versions of File Names for Backwards Compatiblity with DOS

NOTE: You will not need this unless you work with DOS or the command prompt and have long file names.
1. Open the Start Menu.​
2. In the white line (Start Search) area, type regedit and press Enter.​
3. Click on Continue in the UAC prompt.​
4. In regedit, go to: (See screenshot below)​
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Filesystem
5. In the right pane, right click on NtfsDisable8dot3NameCreation and click on Modify.​
8dot3.jpg

6. Type 1 and click on OK. (See screenshow below)​
NOTE: To enable it again, type 0 (number) instead.
Modify Dos.jpg

7. Close regedit.​




STEP THREE
Defrag the Hard Drive on a Regular Schedule

1. If you use Vista's Disk Defragmenter, see the link below on how to create a automatic defrag schedule.​
2. If you do not like Vista's Disk Defragmenter, you can use a 3rd party program instead. Auslogics Disk Defrag is a great program that has a status graph of the hard drive's defragmentation progress, but the free version does not have a automatic defrag schedule. Here is the link:​
3. Here is a recommended schedule of times to defrag.​
NOTE: The more you save and delete items off your hard drive, the more often you should defrag. Adjust to your needs.

Scheduled Time

Description

Once a Month

For a user that is only on the computer a few hours a week and does not do much file saving and deleting. You rarely install and uninstall programs.

Once a Week

For most average users that use the computer for a few hours on a daily basis and does a lot more file saving and deleting. You only do a few installing and uninstalling of programs.

Once a Day

For your power user that uses the computer for several hours a day and does an unbelievable amount of file saving and deleting. You do a lot of installing and uninstalling of programs.

Enjoy faster performance,
Shawn




 
Last edited by a moderator:
Shawn Brink

Comments

Option 1 will only really make a difference on RAID setup's, will also increase chances of loosing data if the power dies, but it sure as hell makes a noticable difference in data transfers :D
 
Option 1 will only really make a difference on RAID setup's, will also increase chances of loosing data if the power dies, but it sure as hell makes a noticable difference in data transfers :D
It sure does. I do recommend having a UPS Battery backup if you really can't afford to loose any data due to a power failure. Otherwise the average user probaly will never be affected by it.

Shawn
 
If you put swap file on its own small partition that low disk space warning will drive you nuts. Guess #2 must be same hack I used to disable it.
 
Yes, it's a hack, not a crack. If you were meant to change that setting there'd be a way to do it from the GUI or command line. Which, while I'm ranting, would be nice so I could leave it on for some volumes but not others.
 
The performance option you refer to is not presented on my system. I use Ultra-320 SCSI disks in a RAID-1 configuration and there is one "option" available which is greyed-out - "Optimize for performance".

Any ideas what this means exactly?
 
The performance option you refer to is not presented on my system. I use Ultra-320 SCSI disks in a RAID-1 configuration and there is one "option" available which is greyed-out - "Optimize for performance".

Any ideas what this means exactly?
Hi Qu0ll,

You may need to do it in your Raid card's settings, or from the BIOS if it's an integrated Raid. What is your Raid's model?

Hope this helps,
Shawn
 
It's an Adaptec 2230SLP. The only options available are to turn on the write cache in the RAID BIOS which hasn't helped much with performance. In fact I am very disappointed with the performance of the array given that the disks are 15K RPM and supposedly the fastest available. If I had my choice over again I would stick with SATA II drives in a RAID-10 configuration.

-Q
 
brink,

I see there's a new driver just released. I tried to install it and I thought I had succeeded (the Driver tab said Adaptec and a recent date) but since rebooting the driver has reverted to a Microsoft driver dated August 2006. Now, it won't let me install the Adaptec driver saying that the folder doesn't contain a valid x64 driver (even though I used the same folder before).

What do I have to do to get the Adaptec driver installed?

--
And loving it,

-Q
_________________________________________________
[email protected]
(Replace the "SixFour" with numbers to email me)
 
Qu0ll,

Try doing it manually:
1. Go into Device Manager and click on you RAID device.
2. Click Update Driver
3. Click Browse my computer for driver software.
4. Click Browse, and direct it to where the downloaded driver was installed. (C:\adaptec\driver) I believe.
5. Click Next.

And go from there.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
 
I cant get this to work.
When I check the:
Enable write caching on disk
and
Enable advance performance
and click ok, and open the window again they aren't marked any more.

Any ideas?

Anyway, thanks for a great list of tutorials to speed up vista.
 
Welcome to the forum Syklitengutt, :party:

I hope the rest of the list will help you better. Let's see if we can resolve this one issue. First, I have a few questions to help determine what the problem may be.

What type of hard drive do you have? (EX: ATA or SATA)

How do you have it configured? (EX: RAID, USB, Partitioned, etc)

What is the brand and model of the hard drive?

Shawn
 
Tnx for that.
Lets see.
Lets try to answer your questions.
Under storage in lavasys, and under storage control, ata, device type, I find the disks
to be SATA, disk one is partitioned into C:Vista and F:Data
and disk 2 is D:.
The name of the disks is Disk nr 1 and 2 - TOSHIBA MK1637GSX (149 Gb)
same for the 2. one.

This is in a laptop, Toshiba Satellite X200 if this helps.

Hope this helps.

Chris
 
Chris,

From the information you gave me, it looks good. This option would not be available if the drives where in RAID. It is not recommended to use the Enable Advanced Performance for a laptop. If the laptop's batteries die on you, you could lose the data that is temporarily stored on the drive's cache file. A non laptop has less chance if losing power.

From what I seen from searching the net for similar problems, the problem may be with needing newer BIOS or Chipset drivers for your motherboard.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
 
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