Monday, 23 October 2017

Boosting performance using an SSD

What is this about

 

While it's no big news you can use an SSD to boost the performance of any system , by usually cloning the Drive where Windows are installed , or by just installing the OS in the SSD...
Surely the Internet is full of those tutorials , here i would like to show you a different way to do things , a more low cost way :)

SSDs became cheaper but if we have an old system (has SATA) we might don't want to spend too much to upgrade it

The aim of this hack is to give a new life to our junk making it less painful to use or just to have some fun doing random hacks :D


Before we start just to make sure we are on the same page:

  •   DO IT AT YOUR OWN RISK : I assume you are a person who can install an SSD and has some good knowledge about Windows and of course can format a drive without blowing out the planet. If you don't , i advise you to QUIT NOW (saving the planet)  this is not for beginners.
  • This tutorial is using a CHEAP low storage SSD to BOOST a given system , you can use a 16GB or a 32GB one .
  • Now lets Start 



How this hack works / Expectations

  • We install the SSD to our system and we keep the old one as well
  • This hack uses the fast READ-WRITE and access times of  SSDs to boost our system:
    1. We move the TEMP folders for Windows and Programs to the SSD
    2. To have better performance when RAM runs out,  you can use Ready-boost on the SSD
  • This hack won't make our junk a rocket , but it will make it using it a more humane experience 
  • The cost of this hack is less than 20 EUR , you can find cheap low storage SSD drives on the Internet



Preparation

Install and format the SSD to NTFS format

  
After you have installed the SSD drive , if it is new it's unformatted and you can't see it under "My Computer".
That's Okay ,  now you need to format the drive .

While you can use external tools , i find using Windows tools instead more convenient for our purpose.


On Windows 7:
  1. Right click on My Computer
  2. Click on Manage
  3. Under Storage , click on Disk Manager
  4. After a while you will see all the Disks installed on your System
  5. Right click on the SSD (the unformatted one)
  6. Click on format
  7. Select NTFS and format the drive
  8. Optional but nice to have set the label to SSD to be easier for next steps
Now you can see your brand new SSD Under My Computer ! Congrats!




Implementation

  • Create Folders to use as TEMPs
  • Update System and User Variables
Go to the SSD drive and Create a folder , name it Windows, inside it Create two folders : USER_TEMP and TEMP.
Now lets update the System and User variables:
On Windows 7:
  • Right Click on My Computer
  • Click Properties
  • Click on Advanced System Settings
  • Click on Environment Variables
  • On System Variables scroll and edit the paths TEMP and TMP as shown below , note that D:\ should be replaced with the actual drive letter of the SSD!!!

edit TEMP and TMP keys to D:\Windows\TEMP 







  • On User Variables find and edit TEMP and TMP  like following:
edit TEMP and TMP keys to D:\Windows\USER_TEMP





 Click OK and you are done

Now our System stores temp data on the SSD making our programs faster and more responsive , restart the Computer and now you are good to go.

Pro Tips :
  1. Our System is faster but it can be even faster: Defrag the System drive (where Windows lives) to boost it more.
  2. The SSD can be used to boost your RAM as well ! On My Computer find the SSD : right click it , select properties , select the ReadyBoost tab and set it to use some of the disk space for RAM , if you have a 16GB disk more than 4096 is overkill
  3. If you have space on the SSD , you can install inside it some programs you use very often : an Internet Browser  for example , and you can have even better results.
Share it with friends that might find it interesting !!!

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