Veteran computer enthusiasts generally have steps they follow when installing Windows on a PC. Following certain steps and procedures insures a successful install that delivers every drop of performance your computer has to give, while maintaining 24/7 reliability. We are going to document the steps we take when we install Windows, the settings we use, and the tools we use to protect our operating systems and data from disaster. You want to be the boss? Well, here you go.
Today, most of the excitement in performance computing comes through exponentially increasing non-volatile storage (Hard Disk Drive) performance. This is simply because a computer is only as fast as its non-volatile storage. Currently, CPUs and DRAM can process data exponentially faster than the fastest non-volatile storage device can deliver it. This is why exponentially increasing the performance of the non-volatile storage your Windows volume resides on has a truly transformational effect on your entire computing experience.
Today's power-user/enthusiast, by definition, will be installing their Windows operating system on a Solid-State Drive, or SSD. Solid state storage is the most important performance component found in a modern PC today; without it, you do not even have a performance system. Power-users will typically utilize a single SSD for their Windows volume. Enthusiasts that want the most performance from their storage will run RAID 0 with multiple SSD devices striped together.
Whether you use a single SSD, or an array of SSDs for your Windows volume, there are certain do's and don'ts associated with solid state storage devices. Technically, there is nothing that a user absolutely has to do any differently when installing an SSD, as opposed to a traditional spinning hard drive, but there are steps you can take, and settings you can implement that will deliver increased performance and reliability.
As a professional storage reviewer, I rely on a test-bed that is setup for ease of use and maximum performance. I image SSDs and SSD arrays back and forth several times a day. There are certain steps and settings I implement which insure my setup performs to its maximum potential. This TweakTown guide is designed to make it easy for anyone to install Windows on a single SSD, or an array of SSDs, like a professional. We are going to cover what we feel are the essentials for anyone from the n00b, to the power-user, to the seasoned enthusiast, in detailed and easy-to-follow sections.
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- Page 1 [Introduction]
- Page 2 [SSD Secure Erase (SE)]
- Page 3 [Partitioning, MBR & GPT, and Windows Installation]
- Page 4 [Creating a Bootable Windows Thumb Drive]
- Page 5 [Imaging]
- Page 6 [Enthusiast BIOS Settings]
- Page 7 [Enthusiast Windows Settings and Drivers]
- Page 8 [Advanced Power Settings]
- Page 9 [Creating Arrays with Intel Option ROM]
- Page 10 [Changing Storage Modes without Reinstalling Windows]
- Page 11 [Clean Installing an Upgrade]
- Page 12 [Final Thoughts]