Got Small SSD As A System Drive For Windows 8? Here Are Some Tips To Free Up Some Disk Space For Your SSD!

Samsung SSD 830 Series 128Gb 2,5" SATA

Samsung SSD 830 Series 128Gb 2,5″ SATA (Photo credit: Tolbxela)

If you got a small SSD as the system drive, you know how annoying it’s to see it’s being filled up quickly right?  Nonetheless, there isn’t anything you can do about it to stop Windows from eating up SSD space, especially if you’re using Windows 7 and 8.  Still, there are several things that can keep your SSD system drive sane by doing few things as followed…

Disclaimer:  I’m not going to be responsible for your actions in case your computer caught on fire or data were smashed into the oblivion.  You have been warned, and so only trying these tips out if you’re knowledgable (and able to own up to your mistakes).

  1. Use CCleaner (only download on its official website or reputable websites to avoid fake CCleaner software which could be a malware or virus) — to clean up the cache, temporary files, and other unnecessary cluttered data.  Furthermore, you can also use CCleaner to clear up erroneous registries.  This software alone is able to help you free up a lot of space in your system drive (i.e., C:\)
  2. Use Windows’s built-in Free Up Disk Space utility.  This way if CCleaner missed anything this Windows utility will help clean out the rest.  Nonetheless, I don’t think CCleaner will miss anything unless you had specified specifics data not to be cleaned by CCleaner.  So, this step is rather redundant if you ask me.  To access Windows 8’s built-in Free Up Disk Space utility, you gotta do this:
    1. Accessing the Charm bar on the rightmost side of the monitor as you’re facing it
    2. Click on search icon to access the search box
    3. Type in the search box with Free Up Disk Space
    4. Select Settings link underneath the search box
    5. Click on Free up disk space by deleting unnecessary files link/icon on the left panel
    6. Select C: drive
    7. Follow the self explanatory steps afterward.
  3. You can also save many many Gigabytes of disk space if you turn off hibernation for Windows 7 and 8.  If I’m not wrong, Windows 7 and 8 usually reserve the same amount of hard disk space to RAM size for hiberfil.sys if you had disabled pagefile feature.  Otherwise, Windows 7 and 8 usually assign some disk space to pagefile.sys and a lot of disk space to hiberfil.sys — adding these two files together would equate the RAM size.  So, let say if your system has installed 8 GB of RAM, then it’s agreeable that Windows 7 and 8 have also reserve around 8 GB of disk space to be used for hibernation through the file known as hiberfil.sys (i.e., if pagefile.sys isn’t existed).  The best way to disable hibernation and recover this 8 GB or how many GB worth of disk space that might be, you have to do this:
    1. Accessing the Charm bar on the rightmost side of the monitor as you’re facing it
    2. Click on the search icon to access the search box
    3. Type in the search box with cmd
    4. Right click on the Command Prompt icon/link
    5. Look at the bottom Charm bar and click on Run as administrator icon/link
    6. Type into the command prompt the command:  powercfg -h off
  4. Furthermore, you can also reduce the pagefile size to free up even more disk space (i.e., for SSD which acts as system drive).  It’s not recommending to do this since Windows 7 and 8 can crash if the system runs out of memory (i.e., RAM) and cannot access large enough pagefile.sys file.  Nonetheless, I myself had reduced the pagefile.sys file size to only 1% of the SSD disk space, recovering some disk space in the process.  I figured that my system got amble amount of RAM (16 GB to be exact), therefore I went ahead and reduced the pagefile.sys file size.  I don’t think my system can ever be out of memory unless I crazily run too many RAM hungry programs at one go.  Nonetheless, I did not disable pagefile.sys completely, because to have some paging is better than not having any.  Having some paging might be able to prevent system crash when the system is out of memory.  When a system goes into paging mode, the system will be very slow.  Whatever the case, here is how you reduce your Windows 8’s pagefile size:
    1. Accessing the Charm bar on the rightmost of the monitor as you’re facing it
    2. Click on the search icon/link
    3. Type inside the search box with Advance system settings
    4. Click on View advanced system settings link on the left panel
    5. Select System Protection tab
    6. Highlight C: drive
    7. Click on Configure button
    8. Slide the Max Usage slider in the appropriate manner to reduce the pagefile size
    9. Click OK button to save everything and exit this feature.

With following the tips I just shared, you might be able to recover a lot of disk space from your SSD.  I was able to recover around 40 GB worth of disk space from my SSD (i.e., which acts as system drive).  In the process I was able to shrink my C: drive to allow me to add an additional partition for dual booting Windows 8 and Ubuntu 13.04.  Awesome isn’t it?  Of course, the extra partition on SSD isn’t capable of holding Ubuntu system’s home directory and various other directories (i.e., in long term use), but I got lucky as I also had an extra hard drive to spare.  Nonetheless, you only need 5 GB worth of disk space for installing Ubuntu 13.04.  In my case I have 5.7 GB worth of disk space of doing this, and so I assigned 700 MB for swap drive, the rest was for root directory.  The extra hard drive would be for /home and /var directories for the Ubuntu system.  Why only 5.7 GB worth of disk space to spare on SSD C: drive when I claimed that I recovered around 40 GB worth of disk space?  Well, Windows 8 didn’t allow me to shrink SSD C: drive to the point that I could use all the 40 GB data free disk space, because some of the original data might not be moveable and had sprinkled to certain supposedly data free regions of the SSD, consequently the surrounding data free regions of the SSD were not available for partitioning.  In the end, I could only partition SSD C: drive with an extra 5.7 GB partition.

Tweak Windows 7 Settings To Ensure SSD's Performance And Stability

SSD is somewhat a new technology still!  Not so many people have yet knew how to use SSD the right way.  One of those people probably has to be me!  Anyhow, here what I know so far about what you should know before you go out and buy your first SSD!

  1. Check to see if your computer is supporting which type of SSD!  Some computers may support only SSDs that use SATA 2 controller only, therefore the latest SSDs that utilize SATA 3 controller for faster performance will be a waste on these computers!  Why?  Yes, SATA 3 SDD type is backward compatible with SATA 2 controller, but why buy SATA 3 SSD type when this type of SSD won’t be able to run at its full potential when it has to communicate with SATA 2 controller?  SATA 2 SSD type may max out around 3 Gb/s theoretically in terms of data transfer rate.  The latest and the best so far is SATA 3 SSD type, because SSDs that work with SATA 3 controller theoretically can have up to 6 Gb/s data transfer rate!
  2. Make sure you use the right cable for your SSD, because it’s very important in delivering great performance for your SSD.
  3. Sometimes, Windows 7 may have weird configuration which might not be best for your SSD.  One example is that SSD does not need to be defrag the same way as your HHD (i.e., hard drive with mechanical parts).  Instead, you should enable TRIM for SSD, because TRIM is somewhat how SSD does its defrag (certain SSD types may not support TRIM).
    • Furthermore, SSD does not wear out the same way as HHD, because it got no moving part!  Instead, you should worry about SSD’s life expectancy!  How?  Not allowing Windows to write unnecessary log files onto your expensive SSD, but you should disable such logs.  To disable certain unnecessary log files on Windows 7, do this:
      1. Click on the Start button (orb with a Windows flag)
      2. Right click on Computer
      3. Click on Manage
      4. Click on System Tools
      5. Expand Performance
      6. Expand Data Collector Sets
      7. Left click on Startup Event Trace Sessions
      8. Right click on any log name on the right panel to disable the log.  Important notice:  Do not disable EventLog-Application, EventLog-Security, and EventLog-System — these are important logs you should allow to run!
    • Furthermore, your SSD might be a lot smaller in size (i.e., hard drive space/volume) than normal HHD (at least it’s true right now), then you should think about freeing up some space on your SSD.  Here is one example, disable Windows Indexing to free up some space on your SSD.
    • Furthermore, there are conflicting ideas about if one should disable Windows Write Caching for SSD or otherwise.  I think you should try both to see how it works out for your SSD in terms of stability and performance.  Follow the steps below to either disable or enable Windows Write Caching for your SSD:
      1. Open up Control Panel
      2. Go to Hardware and Sound
      3. Click on Device Manager
      4. Scroll down to disk drives; expand disk drives.
      5. Right click on your SSD disk (assuming you know its volume label)
      6. Click on Properties
      7. Switch to Policies tab
      8. Uncheck or check the box that labels as “Enable write caching on the device!”

Following some tips above may help your SSD performs even better!

Disclaimer:  Please know your risks!  Following the tips in this blog post to improve your SSD performance at your own risks!


Leveraging Intel’s Smart Response Technology To Boost Computer Performance, Requiring SSD

Without sacrificing hard drive space and yet gaining excellent computer performance, but how one goes about to do just that for Windows 7 machines?  It’s all about Intel’s Smart Response Technology (i.e., using Intel Rapid Storage Technology software).  What Intel’s Smart Response Technology does is to allow your SSD and HHD to form RAID zero so Windows 7 machine’s data could be cached, consequently increasing Windows 7 machine’s performance many folds.  You probably want to ask why not using pure SSD, right?  Of course, it would be good to use pure SSD, but pure SSD will cost you a huge chunk of your saving.  Instead of going for pure SSD, you can buy a small size SSD (i.e., around 120 GB or less), and then utilizing Intel’s Smart Response Technology to increase overall performance of Windows 7 machine.

Instead of only hearing about how other had done it, I went out and bought Agility 3 SATA 3 SSD (6 Gbps), installed it inside my Windows 7 machine, and utilizing Intel’s Smart Response Technology (i.e., Intel Rapid Storage software).  No surprise there when I saw my system got super fast!  Shutting down the machine felt instant, and it was the same for turning it back on.  Updating from a fresh installation of Windows 7 usually took me hours, but using this method felt so much faster!  I think I’m in love with SSD and Intel’s Smart Response Technology, at least for now!

You can either clone your Windows 7 machine to move its data onto the SSD, or you can freshly install Windows 7 onto SSD.  Either way, I think you have to disconnect your HHD first, installing Windows 7 or clone it onto SSD second, then reconnect the HHD so Windows 7 won’t be confused about which drive you want to install Windows 7 on.  Don’t forget to change your BIOS’s boot sequence.  I changed the boot sequence to have SSD to boot before HHD.  Utilizing Intel’s Smart Response Technology requires you to make sure if your chipset is supporting this technology or not.  If it’s, you can download the correct Intel Rapid Storage software, and use it to configure your RAID 0.

I’d made a video which demonstrated how one would go about configuring RAID zero using Intel Rapid Storage software.  Check it out right after the break!

Update:  The process of utilizing Intel’s Smart Response Technology in the video above is a little bit off in accuracy.  Nonetheless, I don’t want to delete the video since there are couple good tips in it.  If you want to go the easier way, you can always install Windows 7 onto SSD (or any other operating system), and then only save rarely use files in HHD.  Of course, without SSD cache (i.e., using Intel’s Smart Response Technology), your system won’t be as optimized as it could be.  Still, by using SSD to boot Windows 7 (or any other operating system) and to load computer games and so on can be very fast, indeed.  Faster than carrying out those strenuous computer activities on normal HHD even though such HHD has 7200 rpm.

Want A Super Fast SSD Which Utilizes USB 3.0 Port For The Sake Of Conveniency Without Sacrificing Fast Data Transfer Speed? Super Talent’s USB 3.0 RAIDDrive Got This Capability!

Thinking about buying a solid state drive (SSD) and combining it with an original hard drive (i.e., traditional hard drive with moving parts) to leverage the ability of Intel Smart Response Technology (SRT) so one can see his or her desktop runs way more faster (watch a video on SRT)?  Sure, it’s one of the best ways to go for making a desktop opens up stuffs way way more faster than you’ve ever seen before, but don’t forget you must have a motherboard that supports SSD caching.  How about just going pure SSD?  Many SSDs today require you to hack open up your PC’s case and attach them within the case, kind of inconvenient if you ask me.  However, there is a better way since I just notice that Super Talent releases a super cool USB 3.0 RAIDDrive which churns data a little less or equal to 370 MB/s.

Super Talent’s USB 3.0 RAIDDrive is faster than a traditional internal hard drive.  Since this is USB 3.0 technology kind of drive, you need to have a USB 3.0 port(s) on your computer to be able to use it.  Ain’t this device is one more reason for you to go out and grab a USB 3.0 controller card?  So, in a way, I love to have my hand on Super Talent’s USB 3.0 RAIDDrive and leveraging SRT to speed up my computer altogether without abandoning my traditional hard drive (of course I must make sure my motherboard supports SSD caching).

According to Engadget, Super Talent’s USB 3.0 RAIDDrive comes in sizes of 25, 50, and 100 GB; prices are varies for sizes are varies.  Engadget hints that 50 GB Super Talent USB 3.0 RAIDDrive goes for $110.

The video within this post suggests that Super Talent’s USB 3.0 RAIDDrive utilizes two SSD cards in one, that’s if I’d comprehended what the guy in the video had said — it means this baby transfers data faster than normal SSDs.  Enough with the hype, truthfully, I don’t really know how well this device will behave and how long it will last and how reliable it’s on its promise in term of data transfer speed at the rate of 370 MB/s, little more or less — all because I’ve never ever used this product before.  This is why you must do a lot more of soul searching before spending some hard earned dollars of yours on this device!  Anyway, check out the video right after the break to know more about Super Talent’s USB 3.0 RAIDDrive.


Do You Really Need SSDs, Or The Traditional Hard Drives Will Be Just Fine?

Our devices are getting smaller and smaller everyday and we like that, but we don’t want the same thing happens to our devices’ storage spaces.  The good news is that we don’t have to sacrifice storage space for smaller devices, because SSDs (solid-state drives) are capable to be shrunk in sizes as small as a postage stamp and yet it has the capacity that rival the traditional hard drives.  It seems SSD technology is superior than previous generation hard drive technology, but it’s also more expensive.  In fact, the traditional hard drives are around ten times cheaper, and you can do the math to see why SSDs aren’t so desirable yet!  Besides the points that I already point out, SSDs tend to be faster in seeking small amount of data at times and energy efficient.

We can make an educated guess that in the near future SSDs will make traditional hard drives obsoleted.  Only how SSDs are priced now that the situation allows the traditional hard drives stay desirable for many people.  Some people already have SSDs in their devices, but they just don’t know!  All in all, the point of this article is to help people who do not know the differences between SSD and traditional hard drives to be better informed when they decide to purchase devices that give them choices between the two technologies.

Sometimes, knowing what you need can save you tons of money.  In this case, it is clearly that traditional hard drives can be very desirable still as you can purchase ever more larger storage space with them but with lesser prices than those SSDs.  I say if you have money to burn, then get those devices that utilize SSDs for these are more capable in features.  If SSDs are just too expensive for you, the traditional hard drives will be just as good.  Check out a video from which goes into details about the differences between SSD and the traditional hard drives right after the break.