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Windows 7: Write-Caching - Enable or Disable


18 May 2009   #69
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 
Write-Caching - Enable or Disable

How to Enable or Disable Write-Caching for a Storage Device in Windows 7 and Windows 8


...

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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08 Jan 2012   #70
Jeff1

Windows 7 Professional x64 SP1
 
 
Write Back Cache on Intel SSD RAID Configuration

Hello,

I noticed today when I ran an Intel SSD Toolbox scan on my RAID configuration, a section mentioning that I should enable Intel RST Write Back Cache. I could not find anything on my system about that so I came here and found your post about enabling write back cache. I followed the instructions and see that my SSD RAID setup shows as already checked off. I wasn't able to find the second screenshot you have there (within my own system) as you show for the Samsung drive. I don't know if this write back section is the same as the one Intel is referring to. Is the Intel RST feature something in the BIOS somewhere that I need to enable? because it currently does not see it enabled. Is it something that should be enabled? I went into the BIOS and took a look around but could not find anything. The Intel SSD 'help' section for this was not very helpful. Thanks

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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08 Jan 2012   #71
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello Jeff,

Intel RST would be for your Intel Rapid Storage Technology RAID/AHCI/SATA drivers. If you have not already, you can download and install the latest 11.0.0.1032 WHQL version at the link below. Afterwards, see what options you have for the write back cache.

intel drivers pour Raid/Sata/Ata/Ahci

Write-Caching - Enable or Disable-icon.jpg


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08 Jan 2012   #72
JimLewandowski

 
 

I assume if you DID check the 2nd write cache option, you could feasibly write a 16 mb file to the disk. The disk signals "data received" back to Windows even though said data is ONLY in the disk controller cache. You then shutdown the computer immediately after writing this 16 mb file. I would think windows would, during shutdown, issue the disk command to tell the drive to flush its controller cache AND WAIT for a reply from the disk that it has destaged all data.
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09 Jan 2012   #73
Jeff1

Windows 7 Professional x64 SP1
 
 

It is working now. The original Intel program was on the MOBO driver disc but had not been loaded. Thank you for the link and your assistance.
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09 Jan 2012   #74
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

That's great news Jeff. You're most welcome.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Sep 2012   #75
tectonik

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

hi all ,..

this might be useful to someone. I noticed that with write cache enabled there is a small increment in overall performance on M4SSD 256GB in ASSD benchmark. Also if you watch your FREE ram in resource monitor , ( 8GB here) you will notice that at some point will reach zero FREE ram available. That's when playing a HD movie will make the image to freeze from time to time. Now if you disable write caching, you can avoid this problem. The whole system is more fluid and you will always have some FREE ram (few hundred Megs ). The SSD I run is set to no pagefile, browser cache is in ramdisk (gilisoft) , windows temp files (system variables ) are set to ramdisk also, all other settings to speed up SSD according tutorials are done. Not sure if this applies to all SSD or hardware , but I'm tempted to say yes

all the best
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07 Feb 2014   #76
jonnyhotchkiss

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 
(thumbs-up above!!)

Great tips, thanks for sharing your experience.

RamDisk is new to me - is it hard to configure like you mentioned?

Just to clarify, are you saying turn off (uncheck) write caching completely?

Quote:
I noticed that with write cache enabled there is a small increment in overall performance...
but

Quote:
Now if you disable write caching... The whole system is more fluid ...

About to test/backup native VHD (currently sitting on 200gig partition) before redeployment to new (replacement ocz) SSD ... proceeding with extreme caution
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07 Feb 2014   #77
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello Jonny,

Usually you would only want to disable write caching for removable drive if you don't want to use "Safely Remove Hardware" to prevent disk errors by mistakenly disconnecting the removable drive while it's reading or writing.

I found this below for Ram disks that may also help.

Use A Ram Disk To Reduce Writes On Solid State Drives | Ghacks

Hope this helps,
Shawn
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08 Feb 2014   #78
jonnyhotchkiss

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

I'm sorry, my brain's soft today. I understand the points being made, and thanks for the RamDisk link... but are you recommending to disable write-caching on SSD? (It will not be removed!)

Techtonik's remarks could've been interpreted either way, also I'm curious if anyone has noticed their RAM being entirely consumed, as described...

Thanks
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Feb 2014   #79
Callender

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 
RamDisks and my experiences with them

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jonnyhotchkiss View Post
Great tips, thanks for sharing your experience.

RamDisk is new to me - is it hard to configure like you mentioned?
Hi,

this is just my personal experience of using RAMdisks.

I tried Dataram's RAMdisk and the first attempt to set it up left me with an unbootable system. So it's best to have a recovery option and system image backup in place. The second attempt was successful. After the initial set up a reboot and then a format of the RAMdisk will be required.

For some reason that I never determined - every once in a while the RAMdisk wouldn't load on boot and had to be recreated from scratch. I stopped using Dataram's product and instead used imdisk virtual disk driver to create a RAMdisk using a cmd file and scheduled task. That worked pretty well but I also tested Sofperfect RAMdisk and that's what I'm currently using. No problems so far and I've been using it for one year.

The main problem is that setting it up really requires the user to have some idea of what they actually want to use it for and whether to make it persistent or have it cleared on shutdown. It also requires setting up some folders on the RAMdisk to contain the files that you want written to it.

My personal preference:

I set up a 1GB RAMdisk on a system with 4GB RAM. There's no point in having a bigger RAMdisk unless you've got tons of RAM to spare.

Configured Environment Variables as shown in the link posted by Brink.

Browser Cache is not written to RAMdisk because browser cache is set to zero on my machine.

Pagefile is not swapped to RAMdisk. Tried it and found no real performance benefit - however it is swapped to another drive and is fixed in size. There could be a privacy benefit if your RAMdisk is cleared on shutdown but the pagefile can be cleared on shutdown anyway!

Superfetch is set to disabled. This is where I saw real performance benefits. It's not needed when using a RAMdisk.

Why do I keep using a RAMdisk?

I see benefits such as files open much faster - even large ones. I have installed a few portable programs onto the RAMdisk and see performance gains when using them. Data intensive applications tend to work a lot better.

Any downside? Yes. The machine will take much longer to shut down or reboot. It's a price that I'm willing to pay.
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