Improve Hard Drive Performance in Windows 7

You may be able to improve your hard drive’s performance in Windows 7 by using this registry tweak.   Like any registry tweak, you should have all of your files backed up and make a restore point before trying this out.

Computer hard drives are connected to the controller on the motherboard of the computer.  A lot of computers today may have the hard drive configured to use the older IDE interface protocol to communicate with the SATA drive.

If your new hard drive supports NCQ (Native Command Queuing)you may see a performance increase with the drive by following the tweaks below.

An easy solution to switch between IDE and AHCI is to change the following registry key.

Before doing this see if your BIOS has AHCI capabilities

  1. Open Registry Editor and move down to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\msahci.
  2. Right click on the Start DWORD and click on Modify.
  3. Set the value to 0 and click OK.
  4. Reboot your computer and enable the AHCI setting the BIOS.

If you are using a RAID adapter on your computer you may try the following:

  1. Open up Registry Editor and naviage to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\iaStorV or the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\iaStor.
  2. Repeat all of the steps above.

Testing your hard drive speed (blog)


About TCAT Shelbyville IT Department

The Tennessee College of Applied Technology - is one of 46 institutions in the Tennessee Board of Regents System, the seventh largest system of higher education in the nation. This system comprises six universities, fourteen community colleges, and twenty-six Applied Technology Colleges.
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3 Responses to Improve Hard Drive Performance in Windows 7

  1. Pingback: Test Your Hard Drive Speed With Windows 7′s Device Manager « TTC Shelbyville – Technical Blog

  2. lisaweb says:

    Oh thank you for this article. My hard drive seems to always be on go-slow. I think Windows 7 has some serious problems. Continually flushing the DNS cache helps somewhat but I still have problems. Will give this a try (after a backup of course)

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