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SSD AHCI SATA RAIDIf you’re reading this right now on a computer without a solid state drive (SSD) as your boot drive, you should be. The benefits of simply adding a solid state hard drive to your PC as the boot drive, even if it’s old are staggering. Since you’re reading this on my website, I’m going to assume you’re not a newbie and running a SSD. The following tasks are a quick and easy way to increase the SSD performance and life span even further if you’re running Windows 8, 8.1 or 10 (or Server variants).

Set your SATA controller to AHCI mode for Solid State Drives SSD. RAID mode will work just as well because AHCI commands are included in the subset of RAID mode as a JBOD (standalone) disk. I have come to this conclusion after much research since my Asus K501UW laptop has a default mode of RAID in the BIOS. By the way, if you’re in the laptop buying market right now I highly recommend this laptop for its value. You can get it from Amazon for $870 ($800 on Prime Day). I upgraded the hardware and am booting from a Samsung 850 EVO 500GB SSD which gives me almost 1TB of SSD storage, as well as installed a single 16GB DDR4 SO-DIMM chip providing me a total of 24GB. Feels great running 10+ Linux virtual machines on a laptop  less than one inch thick while being able to multitask on the host OS without lag.

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AHCI or RAID mode simply enables the TRIM feature to do its job and to make sure everything works accordingly.

To check if your system is in AHCI mode. Go to your device manager and look for Storage Controller. If AHCI or SATA RAID is present, then you know Windows should have TRIM enabled. In order to truly verify you can run the following command from a command prompt fsutil behavior query disabledeletenotify

If the result is DisableDeleteNotify = 0 then you have TRIM enabled. If it equals 1 then you do not. To manually enable TRIM support you can use this command fsutil behavior set disabledeletenotify 0

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Since SSD disks are already very fast you should disable the Windows Search service which says it “Provides content indexing, property caching, and search results for files, e-mail, and other content.” Mine is disabled and I do not notice any difference while searching for files. Disabling this service also extends the life of the drive as it will not be needlessly indexing your file system. You can leave write caching to its default values on the disk properties, you won’t see any performance benefit.

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