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Tip 2 & 3: Configure Your Vista Hard Drive For Advanced Performance

written by: Dianna Monda Dill•edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 2/19/2009

This step-by-step Windows Vista tutorial provides instruction on how to enable Advanced Performance features for your Vista system.

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    Vista, by default, reads from a cache of commonly-accessed files, but it writes directly to the hard drive. You can, however, enable Vista’s Advanced Performance feature, which makes your PC read and write from your hard drive cache, increasing the drive’s performance. In effect, it significantly improves your data retrieval speed and, in turn, speeds up your hard drive’s operations. Read on to learn how to turn on Vista’s Advanced Performance feature to operational speed.

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    TIP: #2 Enable Advanced Write Caching

    1. Log into your system as administrator. Open the Start menu and right click on Computer. Click on Options in the context menu.

    2. Click on Advanced system settings in the left hand pane. This opens the System Properties window

    3. Click on the Hardware tab and then click the Device Manager button.

    Device Manager 

  • slide 3 of 5

    4. Click the [+] sign next to the Disk Drives section. Now double-click on the drive that you want to configure. This opens the Device Properties window.

    5. Click on the Policies tab.

    6. Click on the Optimize for Performance radio button.

    =>> Check the Enable write caching on the disk option.

    =>> Check the Enable advanced performance option only if you have a back up power supply.

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    CAUTION

    Enabling write caching does increase the risk of data corruption or data loss in the event that you experience a power loss, therefore you should use it only on a laptop or on a computer that has a battery back up.

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    TIP: #3 Enable Write Caching for External USB Drives

    By default, write caching is disabled for external hard drives, to prevent a loss of data if the drive is unplugged too quickly. If your external hard drive always remains plugged in, and you are constantly reading and writing data to and from it, then you can significantly speed up your system by enabling write caching for this drive.

    1. Click on Computer in the Start menu, and click on Options in the drop-down menu. Click on Advanced System Settings in the left hand pane.
    2. Click on the Hardware tab in the System Properties window, and then click the Device Manager button.
    3. Click the [+] sign next to the Disk Drives section. Now double-click on the name of your USB drive listed. Click on the Policies tab in the Device Properties window.
    4. Click on the Optimize for Performance radio button. Check the Enable write caching on the disk option.
    5. Click on OK to save your changes. Reboot your computer.