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Thread: SSD Tweaks For XP <Compilation>

  1. #1
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    Default SSD Tweaks For XP <Compilation>

    Some of these optimizations are for SSD speed/space or both!

    - Go to add/remove programs in the control panel and remove anything you don’t want. Also click on add/remove windows components and remove anything you don’t want.

    - Delete anything in the ServicePackFiles folder. These will only exist if you installed a service pack after installing windows.
    C:\WINDOWS\ServicePackFiles
    NOTE: This will prevent you from uninstalling the service pack.

    - Asus released a utility that essentially makes all programs installed to "C:\program files" reside on the D: drive. Some people have reported having
    problems with the utility, so I suggest reading the short manual for it carefully and only doing it if you've got to this point and still need more
    space. I suggest running CheckDisk on both your C: and D: drive before using the utility; I'm speculating that file system errors may be causing
    some of people's problems with the utility. The current version of the utility is version 3, so it's possible that some bugs in the earlier versions
    were causing some of the problems.
    AutoC2D can be downloaded here:
    http://dlsvr.asus.com/pub/ASUS/EeePC/

    - Delete all files used for windows updates. I suggest running Microsoft update first to make sure everything is updated
    (http://update.microsoft.com). After deleting these folders, if you run Microsoft Update manually it will re-download any deleted files
    needed to perform the updates (so this is safe).

    -In the control panel under automatic updates turn off automatic updates.

    -Delete the following two folders including all contents:
    C:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution\DataStore
    C:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution\Download

    - Again, NOT recommended. Uninstaller files can take up a lot of space—613MB on my 901 as I type this. You can
    completely delete the folder containing the uninstaller information, but you will obviously not be able to automatically uninstall anything after
    doing this. However, one trick to automatically uninstalling a program after removing the uninstall data is to install it again over top and then
    uninstall it (but this doesn't always work).
    To remove the uninstaller info delete all files in the following folder:
    C:\Windows\Installer
    Alternatively, there is a Microsoft program that will allow you to selectively remove uninstallers. Unfortunately it doesn’t show you how much
    space each uninstaller takes up, but you can go to the installer directory, sort it by size, right click on the largest files and click properties, and
    by examining the properties tab you can usually figure out what the uninstaller is for (maybe there’s an easier way of doing that that I’m not
    aware of).

    - Upgrade DRAM memory to maximum allowed (2gb for Intel Atom based PCs) 4GB desktops (although 3GB is seen by the OS)

    - Make sure that XP system files are either less than 50% of SSD disk capacity (if your machine has more than 1 SSD), or are installed on the larger of the 2.

    - Remove all unnecessary Windows components and leftovers following these directions:
    http://forum.eeeuser.com/viewtopic.php?pid=352761

    - Disable Windows XP prefetcher
    Download Prefetcher http://mampan.org/prefetch/Disable_Prefetcher.reg and double click.

    - Turn off hibernation to save space and the drive constantly updating the hibernation file.
    http://www.tech-recipes.com/windows_tips1386.html

    - Turn off System Restore: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/310405

    - Turn off Windows Disk Caching and manually delete the cache files
    Windows XP
    Start at the desktop.
    Right-click on My Computer, then left-click on Properties.
    Click on the Hardware tab at the top.
    Click on the Device Manager button.
    Click on the + next to Disk Drives to expand it.
    Right click on the hard drive on which to turn write caching off, then left click Properties.
    Click on the Policies tab.
    Click on Enable write caching on the disk to remove the tick. It must not be ticked.
    Click OK.

    - How to Disable the 8.3 Name Creation on NTFS Partitions in XP:
    To disable the 8.3 name creation on all NTFS partitions, type fsutil.exe behavior set disable8dot3 1 at a command prompt, and then press ENT

    - Disable timestamp for last access to a file to speed up Windows
    Another frequently seen recommendation is to disable the setting that keeps track of the last time a file. was accessed. Removing the necessity
    for the system to keep reading and writing this information may speed up Windows Explorer. The command is:
    fsutil behavior set disablelastaccess 1
    Note that some backup programs may need this information. If you wish to restore the timestamp, the command is: fsutil behavior set
    disablelastaccess 0

    - Turn off Indexing on All Drives
    http://xpsearch.info/xps-iman.htm

    - Disable the NTFS Change Journal
    The command is:
    fsutil usn deletejournal /d
    Last edited by Oninous; 09-21-2009 at 10:13 PM.

  2. #2
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    - Move Files to HDD instead of deleting
    Instead of deleting any of these folders you could move them to your D: drive and create a junction point that points to the new location.
    For example, if you wanted to move the "C:\windows\installer" directory to "D:\installer" you would just need to do this:
    -First you need a utility that will create junction points. I'll use "Junction Link Magic" for this example, which you can get here:
    http://www.rekenwonder.com/linkmagic.htm
    -Download and install Junction Link Magic
    -Copy the "C:\windows\installer" folder to "D:\installer"
    -Rename "C:\windows\installer" to "C:\windows\installer-old"
    -Create an empty "C:\windows\installer" folder
    -Run Junction Link Magic (and cancel the scanning), click create, set the junction point to "C:\windows\installer" and the destination folder to
    "D:\installer"
    -Now double check that going into "C:\windows\installer" shows all your installer files
    -If it looks good then you can delete the "c:\windows\installer-old" folder
    *Note that if you want to remove the junction you will have to use Junction Link Magic (or another junction utility). If you delete "C:\windows
    \installer" without removing the junction first you'll delete all the contents.

    - Move My Documents
    If your "My Documents" folder is expected to get large, or already is, you may want to move your "My Documents" folder to the D: drive. If so,
    here’s how.
    Right click on "My Documents" in the start menu, click properties, click on Find Target to find your new folder location and then click Move.

    - Move Other Special Folders
    If you want to move any of your other special folders such as the desktop folder to another drive you can do this easily using tweakui, which is a
    free utility from Microsoft.
    http://download.microsoft.com/download/
    In TweakUI it's under My Computer->Special Folders

    - Set antivirus software to scan hard disks at most, once every 2 weeks if you do not download a lot from the internet or if you don't accept email
    attachments that aren't images. Also, in some cases, optimizing for speed rather than maximum security can show a major speed increase. For
    example, set the AV to check only selected types of files , and only check it on READ, not read and write.

    - Grab the public beta version of dataram ramdisk
    https://www.cenatek.com/downloads/
    - This will allow ram disks to 4GB and image save/reload which is what we are looking for. If you have 4GB of ram within XP best you will see is
    3.3GB within the OS, do not worry as XP is not so much of a memory hog. Follow the onscreen instructions for the ramdisk install but do NOT
    format the disk just yet.
    If you have 4GB of ram a 1.5GB ramdisk should be ok. If you have 2GB of ram a 512MB ramdisk will be ok. Overall you do need to be looking at
    getting 4GB in your system for all the tweaks in this thread to work best...so if memory is cheap why not treat yourself.
    - Once you have created your ramdisk the app make spew out an error saying unable to load image...this is because the disk is still
    unformatted...so...go to administrative tools>computer management> disk manager mount the drive, format it NTFS and make a note of its
    drive letter.
    - now exit all programs and reboot.
    - Initial boot may now be slower, this is because ramdisk will have saved an image at shutdown and will now remount the image at boot.
    - Once in XP we need to tweak Internet explorer if this is the browser you use.

    Internet Explorer
    - Go to my computer, click on the ramdrive so you are on the root of the disk. Create a folder called IE_Cache...then go to Internet options...on
    the General tab look for "Temporary Internet files" and hit settings. Set the box size to 50MB or 250MB etc then hit Move folder and point IE
    to the folder you made on the ramdrive.

    IE will now cache all files to the ramdrive, when you power off these files will be saved in an image on the harddrive and remounted for IE to use
    on next boot.

    I would consider setting IE to save temp files for 5 days only so you do not fill up the available space to quickly.

    Firefox 3
    - Go to my computer, click on the ramdrive so you are on the root of the disk. Create a folder called FF_Cache
    - Open a new tab in FF and type "about:config" in the address bar and hit Enter.
    - Right click anywhere on page and from context menu select "New" and "String".
    - For string name, type in "browser.cache.disk.parent_directory" (without the quotes).
    - For string value, type in the path to where you want to move your cache directory. IE D:\FF_cache if D is the ram drive and you created a
    folder called FF_cache.
    - Restart Firefox.

    - Memory Performance Tweak
    These Settings will fine tune your systems memory management at least 512MB of ram recommended.

    - go to start\run\regedit and then to the following key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Contro l\Session Manager\Memory Management
    - DisablePagingExecutive -double click it and in the decimal put a 1 - this allows XP to keep data in memory now instead of paging sections of
    ram to harddrive yeilds faster performance.
    Last edited by Oninous; 09-21-2009 at 10:12 PM.

  3. #3
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    Yes, these are valid tweaks, I've used many myself. Just rename the Thread "WINDOWS XP SSD Tweaks Compilation" so Vista/7 users don't attempt to use them.

  4. #4
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    Good Point... I'm hoping others will volunteer some Vista/W7 tweaks

  5. #5
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    i have personally found that with 2nd generation ssd's (indilinx and i__el), very little tweaking is necessary with xp. in other words, most tweaks do nothing to improve real world performance, and some tweaks (like moving the pagefile off the ssd, if you choose to have one at all) actually hurt real world performance.

    some tweaks are not meant to improve performance, but rather are meant to reduce disk space usage and/or disk writes to the ssd. i can understand wanting to reduce disk space usage, but just bear in mind that any time you move files from the ssd to a spinning hard drive, you've just negated the ssd's performance advantages for those files. for things like music and videos, it might not matter to you (it doesn't to me). as for limiting disk writes to the ssd, patriot torqx's have 10 year warranties. so i don't worry about it. in fact, i don't even worry about it on another manufacturer's drives which 'only' have 5 year warranties.


    it's your ssd, you can tweak it however you want, but here are the ssd-specific tweaks i do for clean xp installs:

    - disable auto-defrag of windows boot files. hklm\software\microsoft\dfrg\bootoptimizefunction, set 'enable' to 'n'. and hklm\software\microsoft\windows\currentversion\opt imallayout, set 'enableautolayout' to '0'.


    that's it.

    bear in mind that these are the ssd-specific tweaks i do on top of what i normally do for hd-based installs (disable hibernation, set internet explorer cache to 20mb, disablelastaccess), and apply to 2nd generation ssd's only. 1st generation ssd's with rubbish small write performance would probably benefit from, uh, minimizing small writes to the ssd (e.g. disabling prefetch, moving ie cache and pagefile to hd, etc.)
    Last edited by bats; 09-18-2009 at 05:01 PM.

  6. #6

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    To remove the uninstaller info delete all files in the following folder:
    C:\Windows\Installer
    I definitely do not recommend this. They will not be able to uninstall/repair/reinstall programs if the uninstallers are gone.

    You have to remember there will be people reading this guide that are not computer savvy. However, they may want to increase the speed of their computer so they are going to apply the tweaks. You are recommending many things that they may not want to do, but will not know that until they have problems in the future.

    I have not had any problems with LargeSystemCache and ATi GPUs, I believe there are more variables to this problem.

    You posted to delete the contents of the temp directories, but the best thing to do is move the enviornment variables to a HDD if one is available. This will be incredibly helpful with cd-burning software, or other software that copies a large amount of data to the drive.

    There are specific fixes and workarounds for Microsoft Outlook 2003 and other local email programs being used on SSDs, none of which were posted here.

    Don't forget about partition alignment.

    Changing antivirus from security to speed for example, nobody should have to do this. If your OS can be modified, you are increasing the risk for a virus. If you get a virus that destroys your OS, it doesn't matter how fast it was. That's besides the point though, you should not feel handicapped by the hardware you are using. If your hardware is not up to the task, you need to change either your hardware setup or your software setup, but you should never do things that handicap you in other areas.

    Setups must always be unique for the user, but you are posting a guide for SSDs. Several tweaks in this guide you will not want to do for the average user. Those tweaks are best kept out of posts like this, because like I said before those that aren't computer savvy won't know any better.

    In the "Best way to setup windows" thread I left many tweaks out, specifically because they are user dependant. If I were to post them, people that should not be applying the tweaks, would be. I understand you wanted to share and help and I appreciate that but I'm just offering my .02
    Last edited by AGlobalThreatsK; 09-18-2009 at 11:55 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by AGlobalThreatsK View Post
    You posted to delete the contents of the temp directories, but the best thing to do is move the enviornment variables to a HDD if one is available. This will be incredibly helpful with cd-burning software, or other software that copies a large amount of data to the drive.

    There are specific fixes and workarounds for Microsoft Outlook 2003 and other local email programs being used on SSDs, none of which were posted here.

    Don't forget about partition alignment.
    Please feel free to contribute these optimizations to the thread and if they can be corroborated, I will add them. This is a compilation and I'm hoping our users will contribute.

  8. #8
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    Just for the record, here is AGlobalThreatsK's "Best Way to Setup Windows" which includes parition alignment (important in XP):

    http://www.patriotmem.com/forums/sho...09&postcount=2

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bats View Post
    i have personally found that with 2nd generation ssd's (indilinx and i__el), very little tweaking is necessary with xp. in other words, most tweaks do nothing to improve real world performance, and some tweaks (like moving the pagefile off the ssd, if you choose to have one at all) actually hurt real world performance.

    some tweaks are not meant to improve performance, but rather are meant to reduce disk space usage and/or disk writes to the ssd. i can understand wanting to reduce disk space usage, but just bear in mind that any time you move files from the ssd to a spinning hard drive, you've just negated the ssd's performance advantages for those files. for things like music and videos, it might not matter to you (it doesn't to me). as for limiting disk writes to the ssd, patriot torqx's have 10 year warranties. so i don't worry about it. in fact, i don't even worry about it on another manufacturer's drives which 'only' have 5 year warranties.


    it's your ssd, you can tweak it however you want, but here are the ssd-specific tweaks i do for clean xp installs:

    - disable auto-defrag of windows boot files. hklm\software\microsoft\dfrg\bootoptimizefunction, set 'enable' to 'n'. and hklm\software\microsoft\windows\currentversion\opt imallayout, set 'enableautolayout' to '0'.


    that's it.

    bear in mind that these are the ssd-specific tweaks i do on top of what i normally do for hd-based installs (disable hibernation, set internet explorer cache to 20mb, disablelastaccess), and apply to 2nd generation ssd's only. 1st generation ssd's with rubbish small write performance would probably benefit from, uh, minimizing small writes to the ssd (e.g. disabling prefetch, moving ie cache and pagefile to hd, etc.)
    A newbie question: Why disable hibernation?

  10. #10

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    The hiberfil.sys file is the size of your RAM and is stuck on the OS partition. If your OS is installed on the SSD, using hibernation will write that to the SSD. This simply means you may have to use the trim feature more often. However in most cases with a SSD the computer will startup and shut down so fast you will just turn it off/on, or use sleep if you need to. You do not HAVE to do this, it is just a recommendation to stop some writes from the SSD.

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