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Maximizing an SSD Conversion Experience

For many Windows 7 (and even some Windows 8 ) users switching over to a solid state disk, or SSD, comes after the OS has already been installed to a conventional drive. The adventure begins — but doesn’t end — with cloning the old HD to an SSD. That’s because although Windows 7 or 8 will happily set themselves up for best behavior with an SSD if you install them to an SSD to begin with, the same is not true when you start on a conventional HD and only later move from that drive to a solid state replacement.

This situation is particularly common for notebook or laptop PC owners who may — like me — choose to take whatever comes standard on such PCs that they buy from a vendor or reseller, only to install an SSD once the unit has been delivered, and the software and setup (and drivers) tweaked to where they really need to be. I do this because vendors and resellers tend to mark SSDs up by $50 or more from what you can purchase the same units from online e-tailers such as Newegg or Provantage (two very good online sources for rock-bottom SSD prices, particularly during their regular special promotions), and I suspect I’m not alone, either.

I am writing today to recommend two extremely good resources to help people switch over from an HD to an SSD (or to set up such a switch for their users at work). One is the “SSD Tweaks and Optimizations in Windows 7” tutorial at Windows SevenForums by member lightningltd. The other is a software package from Elpham.soft called SSD Tweaker (available in a more limited free edition and a $13 pro edition). These two items go together quite well, because the vast majority of what the tutorial explains how to do manually, one tweak at a time, in great and glorious detail (fascinating to a Windows geek like myself, perhaps less so to other less technically obsessed readers) the SSD Tweaker tool does automatically through a longish laundry list of settings and configuration checkboxes.

For those who’ve made the switch and haven’t followed up with painstaking optimization, or those who are contemplating or preparing to make the switch, these items are real nonpareils. Be sure to check them out, and use them when you can.

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