9 things you need to do when using an SSD in Windows 10
It’s safe to assume that at this point, most skilled Windows 10 users have migrated from SATA hard drives to SSDs, either by acquiring a relatively new computer or by upgrading themselves.
Windows 10 has many features that help SSDs reach their full potential, but it doesn’t always enable them by default. In addition, many of the “tasks” rules made in the early stages of SSDs may no longer apply, and we will remove them here. (You may be particularly surprised to hear that defragmentation is not such a bad idea!)
Read the latest list of SSD tasks and precautions.
1. Disable Quick Start
Yes, this may seem irresistible because Quick Start is designed to speed up the boot process for people with SSDs.
However, the time saved from a quick boot at this point is minimal if you have an SSD and disabling a quick boot means that your computer will get a good restart every time you shut down.
A quick start can also cause a variety of narrow issues. For example, if you do a dual boot, you may not be able to use the Windows drive because it is locked. Disabling Quick Start is not necessary, but it can be useful.
To disable Quick Start, select “Settings -> System -> Power & Standby -> Advanced Power Options”.
Then click “Choose what the power buttons do.” If the options at the bottom are grayed out in the next window, click “Change settings that aren’t currently available” and clear the Enable Quick Start box.
2. Make sure the hardware is ready for it
One of the easiest mistakes when buying a new SSD is to assume that it comes with a cable and everything fits perfectly with your current PC configuration. With laptops with 2.5-inch expandable storage, this is kind of the case. You just drop it on the spare bay and you’re ready to leave.
However, if you receive a SATA SSD drive on your desktop computer, you must ensure that your power supply has enough spare slots or cables to accommodate the SATA cable connector. Otherwise, you can still get a Y-separator which allows two SSDs to connect to the power supply molex power supply. SSDs do not consume much power, so that should not be a problem. Of course, you should also have free SATA slots on your motherboard, but that shouldn’t be a problem unless you already have a lot of hard drives.
Then there are the new M.2 SSDs that connect to the M.2 connectors on the motherboard. Typically, only newer generations of motherboards have this connector, so if you have an older computer, you’re lucky. Or look for the motherboard online and make sure it has an M.2 connector. Also, you need to know if your M.2 connector is PCI-E (NVME) or SATA, and make sure the M.2 SSD you are using is in the correct format.
3. Update the SSD firmware
To ensure that your SSD works as well as possible, you should stay up to date with firmware updates. Unfortunately, these are not automated; the process is irreversible and a little more complicated than, for example, a software update.
Each SSD manufacturer has its own method for SSD firmware updates, so you need to go to the official websites of SSD manufacturers and follow their guides.
4. Activate AHCI
The Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI) is a key feature that ensures that Windows supports all the features associated with using an SSD on your computer, especially the TRIM feature, which allows Windows to assist the SSD in routine cleaning. The term “garbage collection” is used to describe the phenomenon that occurs when a station differs from data that is no longer considered in use.
To enable AHCI, you must enter your computer’s BIOS and enable it in one of its settings. I can’t tell you exactly where the setting is because each BIOS works differently. You have to hunt a little. It is likely that it will be enabled by default on newer computers. It is highly recommended that you enable this feature before installing the operating system, although you may be able to survive after installing Windows.
5. Activate TRIM
TRIM is necessary to extend the life of the SSD, including keeping it clean under the hood. Windows 10 should enable it by default, but you might want to check that it’s enabled.
To ensure that TRIM is enabled, open a command prompt and type the following:
Now you want to see next (reciprocally) a message that says “Disabled”, which means that TRIM is enabled as shown below.
6. Make sure that System Restore is enabled
In the early days of SSDs, when they were much less durable and more prone to failure than they are today, many people recommended disabling system restore to improve drive performance and longevity.
Today, this advice is quite unnecessary. System Restore is a very useful feature that we recommend warning you about. So you should go to System Restore and make sure that the SSD has not silently disabled it.
Click Start, type “restore” and click “Create a restore point”
Then right-click your SSD in the list -> Configure in a new window and then click “Enable System Security”.
7. Keep Windows Defrag ON
Another remnant of the early stages of SSDs: Defragmenting an SSD was not unnecessary, but potentially detrimental to the SSD because defragmentation reduced the number of read / write cycles left in the drive.
This is somewhat true, but Windows 10 already knows it, and if you’ve enabled scheduled defragmentation, Windows will recognize the SSD and defragment it (because, contrary to popular belief, SSDs are fragmented, albeit much less).
Nonetheless, it’s best to think of today’s Windows 10 defragmentation option as a complete disk health tool. (Even Windows now calls the process “tune” and not “defragment.”) The process also “cuts” your SSD again, which performs the great TRIM function we talked about earlier.
In other words, Windows Defragmenter adapts to the SSD, so keep going!
8. Configure the write cache
On many SSDs, user-level write caching can adversely affect the drive. To find out, you need to turn off the option in Windows and see how the drive works later. If your player performs worse, reactivate it.
To access the configuration window, right-click the “Computer” button on the Start menu and select “Properties”. Click “Device Manager,” expand “Disk Drives,” right-click your SSD, and click “Properties.” Select the “Policies” tab. On this tab, you’ll see the option to “Enable write cache on the device.”
Compare your SSD with or without options and compare results.
9. Set the power supply option to “High Performance”
That should be clear. When the SSD turns on and off all the time, you will notice a small delay each time you use your computer for a period of time without being used.
To change power management settings, go to the control panel, click “System and Security,” and then “Power Management Settings.” Select “Performance” from the list. You may need to click View Additional Plans to find it.
On your laptop, you can click the battery icon in the notification area and select “High Performance.”
Pat on the back! You have now reached the SSD illumination. For more Windows tips, see our guide for a list of all the software installed on your system and an overview of all the ways you can open Task Manager in Windows 10.