Download Sean's Windows 7 Install & Optimization Guide for SSDs & HDDs (1) PDF

TitleSean's Windows 7 Install & Optimization Guide for SSDs & HDDs (1)
TagsWindows 7 Bios Hard Disk Drive Booting Solid State Drive
File Size325.4 KB
Total Pages27
Document Text Contents
Page 1

Sean's Windows 7 Install & Optimization Guide for

Please do not PM me for help with the guide or any questions about
SSDs/HDDs and Windows!

Please post your questions in this thread or make a new thread!
I will no longer be replying to PMs about this information!

Offline version: (link)

Note: for Windows 8 please go here: (link)

Why I created this guide:
I originally made this for myself, family and friends, but since most of the guides here are getting out if
date and are lacking information I decided to share it here. I have spent hours upon hours, even days
researching, testing, and validating the information you are about to read over. This guide meant to
help anyone with a SSD/HDD install and optimize their Windows 7 installation. I've spent hours upon
hours looking up info and reinstalled Windows 7 over 100 times now, this is the best way to go about
installation in my eyes. Please read this thoroughly, I know there is a lot of info, but the actual installation
only takes a few minutes and there are only a few quick steps. I guarantee you will have learned
something new after reading this thread. Furthermore, I will constantly update this guide for everyone's
benefit. If you would like me to put up a video on a step or something just ask and I will have one up
shortly. If you have any suggestions please feel free to let me know as well!

If you have any problem or question on the guide, windows, storage, firmware, drivers, whatever please
do not hesitate to ask in this thread!

A quick word on SSDs:
SSDs do NOT require the confusing and intense setup that a lot of people seem to suggest. The current
day SSDs are much more reliable and literally all that is necessary is to change the SATA mode to AHCI or
RAID in the BIOS/UEFI, install, and you are good to go. Also, if you want to learn more about SSDs or see
my recommended SSDs then click here: (More info here)

System Requirements:�

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• 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor.
• 1 gigabyte (GB) RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit).
• 16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit).
• DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver.
• Internet access (fees may apply).
• Depending on resolution, video playback may require additional memory and advanced graphics

• Some games and programs might require a graphics card compatible with DirectX 10 or higher for

optimal performance.
• For some Windows Media Center functionality a TV tuner and additional hardware may be required.
• Windows Touch and Tablet PCs require specific hardware.
• HomeGroup requires a network and PCs running Windows 7.
• DVD/CD authoring requires a compatible optical drive.
• BitLocker requires Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 1.2.
• BitLocker To Go requires a USB flash drive.
• Windows XP Mode requires an additional 1 GB of RAM and an additional 15 GB of available hard

disk space.
• Music and sound require audio output.

Before you begi n:
• Please, fill out your system spec's and put them in your signature before asking any questions.

Follow tutorial here: (link)
• Installation and optimization will take anywhere from 10min-3hrs depending on your system.
• Windows will take up ~ 7-15GB after the guide is complete. Ex. After install and page file and

hibernation file shrink/deletion: (link)
• Make sure you have all your personal data you want to keep backed up, all the data on your OS

drive will be deleted before installation.
• The installation section of this guide is not for those of you who are going to dual boot.
• Make sure you have all your drivers for your motherboard and other hardware, especially the

network driver just in case Windows does not have the right one for your PC.
• Any program installed in a previous Windows installation drive will not be usable on a new

installation, you need to reinstall them again even if installed on another drive.

Windows 7 ISO download links:
• Have you lost your disc or is it damaged beyond use and need a legitimate copy of windows 7?
• Are you getting error messages or BSoDs with your installer?
• Do you just want a copy of Windows 7 with SP1 pre-installed?

Click here for download links (Click to hide)
These are new SP1-U ISOs directly from Microsoft; having a direct Digital River download from
Microsoft is the only way you can link Windows 7 downloads on this site. You will still need an
activation key to use these copies after the 30 day grace period is over.

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1- U ISO:
English 32-bit
English 64-bit

Windows 7 Professional SP1 - U ISO:
English 32-bit
English 64-bit

Windows 7 Professional N SP1 - U ISO: (Note: N editions come without media components)
English 32-bit
English 64-bit

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 - U ISO:
English 32-bit
English 64-bit

Multilingual Windows 7 versions here: (link)

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• Turn off Unused Windows 7 Features:
This can help regain some space and free up resources by uninstalling unneeded features you never

1. Click Start.
2. Click the "Control Panel" option.
3. Go to "Programs."
4. Go to "Programs and Features."
5. Click "Turn Windows features on or off" from the left pane.
6. Now uncheck all the features that you don't use in Windows 8.
7. Click the "OK" button.
8. Restart the system for the changes to take effect.

Video Tut:

• Enable write back caching and turnoff windows write-caching buffer flushing on C:\

Intel users read this: What's The Deal With Write -Cache Buffer Flushing? The performance
improvement is not universal (some drives do not seem to like it for whatever reason), but it does
usually apply to both SSDs and HDDs. HDDs are just at higher risk for data loss as they tend to be
slower at writing their cache information to the drive and require more power when in operation,
thus are less likely to finish writing everything to disk when there is a power failure. Many SSDs
have enough power stored in their capacitors for the half second or so it takes to flush the buffer,
most rotating platter drives do not. There is still some element of ri sk on most SSDs, but some
(especially enterprise models) have a supercap specifically meant to power the drive long enough for
a complete flush. Most consumer level drives do not have such a feature. In the end its about the
level of risk you are willing t o accept. Turning off buffer flushing on an HDD is moderately risky. On a
normal SSD it's low risk (much faster random wirtes get data off the cache onto the NAND fast). On
an enterprise SSD it's virtually no risk (supercapacitor gives these drives even more time to write

1. Open the Start Menu, in the search line, type Disk Management and press Enter.
2. Right click C: \ drive.
3. Click "Properties."
4. Go to the "Hardware" tab.
5. Select your drive.
6. Click Properties."
7. Go to the "Policies" tab.
8. The "Enable write ca ching" box should be checked by default, if not tick the check mark.
9. Tick the check mark for "turnoff windows write -caching buffer flushing."
10. Click the "OK" button.
11. Once you do this reopen the policies tab and uncheck both boxes and then apply then open

it again and recheck both boxes. Sometimes there is a glitch where it doesn't work the first
time and you don't know it isn't working.

Video Tut:

• Disable Prefetch and Superfetch: Applies to SSDs only

The purpose of these is to pre - load the programs you l oad from slow hard drive to fast memory
(cache) in case you want to run them. With your SSD, there is no need. Disable them and free up
some memory and resources and stop a lot of writes to the SSD. However, this may hurt
performance in older first gen SSD s and HDDs.

1. Open the Start Menu, type Services.msc, press Enter
2. Scroll down until you see the "SuperFetch" entry
3. Double -click on it, and choose "Disabled" from the list


4. Open the Start Menu, type regedit, press Enter,2911-15.html

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5. Go to
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\ Control\ Session Manager\ Memory
Management\ PrefetchParameters

6. Double-click on "EnablePrefetcher" and enter "0" (default value is "3")
7. Double-click on "EnableSuperfetch" and enter "0" (default value is "3")

Video Tut:

• Speed up Shut down time:

If you have problems with programs from your computer shutting down too quickly, then repeat the
steps and increase the time a bit.

1. Open the Start Menu, in the search line, type regedit and press Enter.
2. In regedit, go to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\ Control

3. In the right pane, right click on WaitToKillServiceTimeout and click on Modify.
4. Type in 1000 (or b/w 1-20 seconds, default time is 12000) and click on OK.
5. Close regedit.

• Speed up the Menu Show Delay Time:

This will show you how to change the amount of time it takes for a menu in Windows 7 to pop, fade,
or slide open when you run the mouse pointer over it. Also the lower the number, the faster the
response time. If you use an entry of 0, there is no menu display delay. However it is not
recommended to use 0 though since the menus may be hard to navigate through at that speed.

1. Press [Win] + R or take the RUN option from the start menu.
2. Now type regedit there and press Enter Key to open up the Registry Editor Window.
3. In regedit go to:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\ Desktop

4. In the right pane, right click on MenuShowDelay and click on Modify.
5. Type in a number between 0 to 4000 (400 is default, I use 1) for how many milliseconds

you want the Menu to wait before it opens.
6. Log off and log on, or restart the computer to apply the changes.

• Change the Mouse Hover Time before Pop - up Displays:

This will show you how to change the delay time, in milliseconds, that the mouse pointer has to stay
hovered on a item before it is selected or opens a pop-up in Windows 7. For example, how long it
takes for a taskbar open window button before to display it's thumbnail preview while hovering the
mouse pointer over it. The lower the number, the faster the response time. If you use an entry of 0,
there is no delay before the taskbar thumbnail preview opens. However it is not recommended to
use 0 though since it may be hard to navigate through the thumbnails at that speed.

1. Press [Win] + R or take the RUN option from the start menu.
2. Now type regedit there and press Enter Key to open up the Registry Editor Window.
3. In regedit go to:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\ Mouse

4. In the right pane, right click on MouseHoverTime and click on Modify.
5. Type in a number between 0 to 4000 (400 is default, I use 3) in milliseconds, that the

mouse pointer has to stay hovered on a item before it is selected or opens a pop-up.
6. Log off and log on, or restart the computer to apply the changes.

• Disable the Unwanted Visual Effects:

1. For this right click on Computer and select Properties from the right click menu.
2. Click on Advanced System Settings from the left pane to open up the System Properties

3. Select the Advanced tab from it. Then Under Performance click Settings . Choose Custom:

Options From it.

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33 of the EFI/gpt labeled " Logical Disk", and potentially overwriting the disk label. The second partition
(MSR) starts at 101MB. Don't get confused because the alignment numbers in a typical Widows7
installation are shown as:

1024KB for the 100MB partition
101MB for the next parti tion - which is the MSR partition.

Don't think that 101MB is not divisible by 4 and that there must be a problem. If you convert 101MBs into
KBs (multiply by 1024), then the number is divisible by 4 and the partition is aligned.

The same goes for the imp ortant primary partition at 232MB. (again multiply by 1024, and divide by 4). A
whole number indicates alignment of the partition blocks, virtual sectors, and the logical disk volume
blocks. This is what you want to acomplish with alignment.

Q: Why 4096 alignment vs. 1024?
Originally Posted by esocid;15530789
I believe the 4096 thing is with the change in sector size of disks from 512 to 4096. So basically 4096 is
the "new" first sector, rather than 512x2 (1024). If this is HDD or SSD spec ific, I am not positive. -4kb -sector -disks/index.html?ca=dgr - lnxw074KB -
Disksdth -LX

Originally Posted by BradleyW;15533065
Ok it's about time we got this sorted.

1. You don't need to run AHCI when using a SSD. By this, I mean you can run HDD's in raid with a SSD on
its own. Whichever drives are not selected as raid wi ll run in AHCI although the bios reports raid mode.

2. 4096 is the correct allocation size for newer storage devices. Why?
A hard drive or SSD is a chunk of free space (Let's talk in digital terms). So this free space needs to be
divided into segments. By setting 1024, 1024 small little chunks can be help within a segment. By setting
4096, you can hold over 3072 more chunks per segment.

3. So yeah....why is this better?
Firstly we need to look at how information is stored and read on the hard drive. Let’s take a file. It's saved
as small chunks that fit into a segment. If you use 1024 allocation size and the file will need 2000 chunks,
the file will become split up. So the first 1024 chunks will be stored in the 1st segment whilst the
remaining is stored i nto the next segment. Because the file is divided, it takes longer for the HDD/SSD
and/or the OS to read/write the file. The file that requires 2000 chunks of a segment can fit into a 4096
segment. The file and information does not become scattered around. Of course, no matter what you do,
chunks will become split up over time as you add and delete things on the computer and gaps in the
structure appear and get filled by new files. The new files just become scattered to fill the gaps between
the empty chunk s that appear from previous files becoming deleted by software or the user.

4. Why to not use an allocation size higher than 4096?
Because if the units that hold tiny segments become too large of an open space, it will take the OS and
the hardware far too long to find and interpret the information. It will also reduce the amount of formatted
free space available to the OS and the user.

Hope this helps!

Originally Posted by BradleyW;15611027
Just want to clear something up.
Might wanna add to OP in my message via FQA section
Ok alignment can be 1024 or 4096. (4096 will provide better speeds in real world environments whilst

Page 27

1024 will show slightly better results via benchmarks).
Allocation Unit size MUST be 4096 no matter what! Even if your alignment is at 1024!
Also see this for performance comparison!
It should also be noted that ATTO uses completely compressible data, so devices that use compression
based storage, like your SSD, appear to achieve very high results. This is not a suitable test for an SSD
because in the real world, data is only at least partially compressible. AS SSD uses completely
incompressible data, which truly stresses the SSD without it being able to compress anything.

For example..

Compressible data: AAACCCFFGBBRR could be compressed to A2C2F1B1R1, where the numbers are used
to decompress the data.
Incompressible data: ABCDEFGHIJKL. Using our example algorithm, there is no way to compress that!

The Credits!Warning: Spoiler! (Click to hide)
Blameless - Thanks for the info on windows write back caching and windows write-caching buffer
BradleyW - Thanks for the info on 4k alignment.
xandypx - Thanks for the guide on configuring a drive as a boot drive using UEFI and GPT!
TwoCables - And a very special thanks to you for all the help! You're awesome!

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