SSD tweaks to help Windows XP performance


EnableprefetcherNot too long ago I grabbed an Acer Aspire One to get a feel for the device performance. I was happy with it under Linux, but found the low-cost Intel Solid State Disk module to be a bottleneck with Windows XP. On the surface, the write speeds really struggled, especially with random writes. I’m fairly certain that I formatted the SSD using NTFS, which many have suggested was part of the issue. Going with FAT or FAT32 might yield better results, but there’s also a number of tweaks available to optimize XP for the SSD.The OCZ Forum shares an in-progress list of optimizations that might help. Many approaches in the list involve ways to limit the amount and frequency of random writes to the drive: you can’t change how fast the drive handles a random write, but you can adjust the system to minimize them. Some tweaks in the list:

  • Disabling the XP pre-fetcher and system indexing
  • Removing unnecessary Windows components
  • Turning off hibernation, system restore and disk caching

Remember that you might be turning off useful functions if you go down this path, but that might be a small price to pay for better performance. Ideally, I’d like to see an official Microsoft knowledge base article on this topic, but for now this list is a good start. Brian Jepson at Hackszine has followed some of the steps here and he’s pretty happy with the results so far.


New SSDs to install... guess I'll bust out the Win7??

“Going with FAT or FAT32”
come on u weren’t really going to do that were u?

“I’d like to see an official Microsoft knowledge base article on this topic”
prediction: ……….. well, I was going to say this will “never” happen, but I will dial back my anti-MS cynicism a teeny notch and say “this will never happen … in a timeframe such that it’s actually helpful.”

By the time SSDs are commonplace enough that Win7, Vista, and even XP (after they re-re-re-re-re-extend the lifecycle to 2028 and patch it 75,000 more times! :P) handle them naturally, it may happen. Or, after SSDs are superceded by some new technology to the point where ppl are just like “why are u running that slow ol’ SSD when we have qbit atomic storage now??” ;)

THEN it might happen. That’s just how MS works… It’s not like they’re here to help /YOU/! ;)

good points & links in ur article tho. my comments r just 4 fun.

Le Tigre

ewf / fbwf as a further help to speed up the ssd

hey – nice tipps. but if you only use the device as a preset machine to work with, i would recommend fbwf / ewf as the best option. like this it is a bit painfull to install something, but simply working with the progs you allready have installed is just great!!!

see the how to in the mp3car or the aspire one user forum… funny, that these enhancements allways are the products of unbearably bad performance ;)


Another way you reduce the use of the SSD is by running portable apps off a drive. Apps like Google Chrome that use a lot of cache are the ones to use this way.


All of these are band aids until Microsoft rolls over and provides a mechanism to tune the I/O Scheduler in XP/Vista for SSD’s. Basically what is missing is the ability to tell XP/Vista to just write.

RIght now XP/Vista gather and sort I/O operations to optimize head movement. With no head SSD’s are actually slowed by what is actually a critical optimization for mechanical hard disks.

On my Acer Aspire One I was able to tweak Linpus to turn off this operation and the change in SSD performance was quite distinct.

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