SSDs are the newest craze in the PC data storage market. While SSDs have been available for several years now, they have just recently started dropping to a price where the average consumer could afford them.

Just how much do SSDs cost? Well, a 64GB one should cost you around $100. However, with a drive of that size, you can easily fit your operating system and a few essential games. By placing your operating system on an SSD, you dramatically reduce the time it takes your computer to boot. Some people even say that an SSD can reduce start up times from 2 minutes to just 15 seconds. If you start up your computer a few times a day, then that could add up into quite a few hours of time saved by the end of the year.

If you already have an SSD, then we’re preaching to the choir here. Today, we’re going to show you how to maximize the potential of your SSD and make your computer run faster than ever.

Make sure your computer is running in AHCI mode

If you are putting together a computer for the first time, or have never installed an SSD before, then you may not know to alter the BIOS to AHCI mode. To do this, open up a run command by pressing Windows key + R. Then, type in regedit to go to the registry.

Once in the registry, find: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\msahci

Then, right click and modify Start. Change the number ‘3’ to ‘0’ and then Restart. AHCI allows for plug and play installation of SSDs, and unfortunately, it does not always install itself automatically on a new build. This doesn’t make the SSD useless, but it does cause a 10 to 15% drop in performance.

Update your chipset drivers

SSDs rely on chipset drivers in order to successfully communicate with your motherboard. A new chipset driver update can provide a significant boost to performance, and it may help to solve certain errors you’ve been experiencing with your SSD. Chipset drivers for SSDs can be found through either Intel’s Rapid Storage Technology system or the native Windows 7 MSAHCI system. Each driver system is fairly equal in terms of performance, so it doesn’t really matter which one you choose.

Disable drive indexing

Drive indexing isn’t necessary on an SSD. After all, access times are already so fast that you can’t really benefit through Windows’ indexing system. To disable this feature, right click on your SSD under the ‘My Computer’ menu and select Properties. Then, uncheck the box beside “Allow files to have contents indexed…”and select Apply.

Disable disk defragmentation

Just like indexing, disk defragmentation is not necessary for SSDs. In fact, it can actually hurt your SSD and decrease its lifespan. By default, Windows’ Disk Defragmenter will leave your SSDs alone. However, just to be sure, open up your Disk Defragmenter application and remove your SSD from its run queue.

There are hundreds of different ways to speed up your computer and your SSD. To read the full SSD optimization guide, click here.

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