Leadership

How do I squeeze the most performance out of my SATA drive in Windows Vista


If you want better performance of your SATA hard drives, simply enable write caching. Be careful! By enabling write caching, you could experience a loss of data or corruption if the machine powers off incorrectly.

Follow these steps to enable write caching. 

  1. Click the Windows Vista Start Orb and type device manager in the Instant Search field.
  2. Expand Disk Drives and right-click on your SATA drive and choose Properties (Figure A.)
  3. Check Enable Advanced Performance from the Policies tab. (Figure B.)

Figure A

Figure B.

5 comments
kabluiii
kabluiii

This is a nice tweak, but I'm wondering whether I should apply it or not. For some unknown reason, my system often crashes when entering sleep or hibernation. If the cached data are written to disk as soon as there's some free disk time, then I should have no problem. However, if the cached data are written to disk only when the cache space is needed for something else, then it might be dangerous for me to activate this tweak.

wratholix
wratholix

firstly i will say i am not 100% on caching. But from what i understand; Active processes with IO r/w's will be put in cache so there is no requirement to physically make disk write/reads and therefore speeding up the process. I would say this is safe to use on your home desktop but a definite no on a server :) Hence the warning.. Depending on the size of cache it allocates, i seriously doubt when editing a photoshop file of 100+mb you will lose this data as it is too big to store in cache. Yet smaller files will definitly be affected. Such as a fresh word document + its invisible backup. I will get find more info regarding this and post a link...

joe
joe

I wouldn't mind knowing the answer, as well.

pgm554
pgm554

>I would say this is safe to use on your home desktop but a definite no on a server However most servers also use either a UPS or a battery backed disk controller in case of a power fail. If somebody has a file server without a UPS .they are just asking for trouble.

wratholix
wratholix

Yes you are right there, but what if the OS crashes. In this case with the regular setup, data will be on the drive.. with this caching it will be gone depending on the cache size. We all know hardrives come already with various sizes of cache build in. So what does this option really do? A system only ramdisk? I expect this to be along the lines of the Readyboost feature.. but ill stop commenting now until i know more

Editor's Picks