SSD is slowing down, what should I do?
“My Solid state drive (SanDisk Ultra 2 SSD) boot times are getting progressively longer, to the point now it's pretty much like an HDD. My loading for games are becoming slower and slower. Is the fix for this to reinstall the OS or is there something else I can do?”
If you have used an SSD (solid state drive) in your computer, you might also experience such similar issues as sandisk SSD slow especially when it is almost full. Then you will find it takes a longer time to open or load any apps/program. What's worse, sometimes it causes freezing problems.
Now you might probably be asking: Why this happen? Isn’t SSD supposed to run faster? Is there any feasible solution to solve SSD slowing down problem in Windows computer? The answer is yes.
6 Quick tricks to boost SSD speed and performance in Windows 10/8/7
No matter which solid state drive, like Samsung, SanDisk, Kingston SSD or other famous one, you are using on Windows 7, 8 , 8.1 or 10 system-based computers, the below six tricks can help with SSD running slow problem. (We will take how to deal with this issue in Windows 10 as example, and these methods also apply for Windows 7/8/8.1.)
Trick 1. Ensure your SATA controller runs in AHCI mode
Generally, before installing the operating system, you should enter BIOS and enable AHCI (Advanced Host Controller Interface) mode instead of IDE in the SATA controller’s configuration area. AHCI is much better for optimizing SSD performance while IDE is always the default option during installing an HDD.
On the other hand, it is also possible to change your SATA mode from IDE to AHCI mode even after you have installed the Windows. This will require you to do as follow:
Step 1. Press Win+R at the same time and type msconfig and then press Enter.
Step 2. Under Boot tab, tick Safe boot, save the changes and reboot.
Step 3. Constantly press a specific key (mostly F2, DEL) to boot into BIOS setting, and change SATA mode from IDE to AHCI. Then save the changes and exit.
Step 4. Reboot your computer, and Windows will boot in safe mode this time. Run msconfig again, and untick Safe Boot and restart your computer. Now you are done and you can check whether the SSD is still running slow or not.
Trick 2. Make sure TRIM is running
It is well known that SSD drive has to clean the data which is marked for deletion before you can add new data onto it, and the cleaning process will cost much time. And thus the SSD speed will drop down when it is writing. So TRIM technology is introduced with the purpose of empowering the OS to tell the SSD which data blocks are unnecessary and can be deleted, and then automatically wipe them so as to speed up data writing.
To put it simply, an SSD drive will run rather slow if the Trim is not running. On the contrary, a great speed boost is possible. Now follow the steps below to make sure the TRIM is enabled.
Step 1. Type cmd in Windows search. Once the cmd program appears, right click it and select Run as administrator.
Step 2. Then, in the Command Prompt window, type this command: fsutil behavior query disabledeletenotify.
Step 3. Press Enter, after a short while, Command Prompt will display one of the following two messages:
“NTFS DisableDeleteNotify = 0”: means the TRIM is enabled on your SSD.
“NTFS DisableDeleteNotify = 1”: means the TRIM is disabled on your SSD.
If you get the second message, you can input the command: fsutil behavior set disabledeletenotify 0, and press Enter on your keyboard to enable it.
Trick 3. Avoid Disk Defragmentation
Disk Defragmentation is quite useful for hard drives with moving parts since it can bring all the parts of a file together and reduce the file system fragmentation to improve the data retrieval efficiency. But this should never be run on an SSD because it does not have any moving parts, so whether the files are fragmented is not important. If you run defragmentation on SSD, it will add extra wear and tear by increasing the number of writing and reading, and finally lead to the SSD drive running slow and even decrease its expected lifespan.
To disable the disk defragmentation, do as the instruction below:
Step 1. Open File Explorer. Right-click the SSD you need to optimize and select Properties from the context menu.
Step 2. Select the Tools tab, and then click the Optimize under the Optimize and defragment drive section.
Step 3. Click on the Change settings button. A mini window will pop out, then untick the Run on a schedule and click OK.
After disabling, you can optimize SSD performance on your PC.
Trick 4. Verify Hibernation is disabled
This is a trick I assume some SSD users are likely to ignore, but you should if you really want to get rid of SSD slowing down in Windows 10/8/7. Disabling the Hibernation could free up lots of disk space on your SSD since it always takes up about the same amount of capacity as RAM installed in the computer. Here is how to disable Hibernation:
Step 1. Click the Search box and input cmd, right click the command prompt icon and select Run as administrator.
Step 2. In the command line window, type powercfg -h off and press Enter.
Trick 5. Enable Write Caching for SSD
Write caching can do a great job of boosting SSD speed and performance. So my recommendation is to turn it on. Basically, it is enabled by default, but just in case here is the instruction on how to enable it on your computer.
Step 1. Right-click Computer and hit Properties.
Step 2. Click Device manager on the left, then expand Disk drives.
Step 3. Find and right click your SSD, choose Properties and go to the Policies tab.
Step 4. Make sure Enable write caching on the device is ticked and click on OK.
Trick 6. Make sure the SSD partition is aligned
Partition alignment is a new concept of SSD. It is of great importance for improving the SSD writing and reading data speed. So if the partitions are not aligned, there are chances that your SSD is running slow in performance. How much slower depends on your specific SSD. If you have never heard about this and have no idea on how to align these partitions, luckily, here we will introduce a quick way to help check and realize SSD partitions alignment.
All you need is AOMEI Partition Assistant Pro, which is a very versatile SSD optimazition software, supporting Windows 10, Windows 8.1/8, Windows 7, Windows Vista and XP. It could not only allow you to check whether the partitions on SSD are aligned or not, but also empower you to align them in a few clicks. Below is the detailed guide.
Step 1. Install and launch the AOMEI Partition Assistant Pro, find the SSD you want to optimize and right click one of its partition, select Advanced -> Partition Alignment.
Step 2. In the mini window, you can set partition 4K alignment (4096 Sector). And click OK to continue.
Note: If the program shows "The current partition is already optimized thus there’s no need to align it again", then it means the partition has been aligned. In such case, you can continue to check other partitions of this SSD.
Step 3. Finally, click Apply and Proceed to commit the pending operation.
With those effective methods including a powerful SSD optimaztion software, now you are sure to easily tackle with SSD slowing down issue. Besides, if you don't get the satisfied result, you can even use AOMEI Partition Assistant Pro to securely erase SSD, which is an effective way to reset the SSD performance to the original level. At last but not least, it is highly recommended that you should never fill the solid state drive to full capacity, or store large and infrequently accessed files on the SSD if you don’t want to suffer such SSD problems any more.