How to Use SSD as Boot Drive to Speed up your Mac?

Solid State Drives (SSD) are similar in operation to Hard Drive such as saving your data, booting your system, managing personal files etc. Nowadays, by using your SSD it is even possible to set up your system.

With the use of an SSD operating system will be more responsive and it further helps in loading applications in a faster way. So to use SSD as Boot Drive it is necessary to configure operating system along with system hardware to properly optimize SSD.

Replacing Previous Hardware

In order to replace your HDD with SSD, there is a need of migrating OS from the old drive to new one or install a fresh copy of OS. Further, connect your SSD to an available SATA slot. It is advisable to ensure that SATA slot is in AHCI mode.

Alternatively, connect HDD to your computer with USB drive enclosure which is useful for converting SATA connector to USB format. For booting from an external drive one can select Temporary Boot Options.

Clone Boot Partition

Make use of Defragment and Optimize drive applet. Then, select the partition and click on Analyze and Optimize to defragment the drive. If it is necessary you can shrink partition using Disk Management Utility.

You can use Windows key, type diskmgmt msc and press Enter to open it. After that, you can right click on the partition, choose “Shrink Volume” and then enter the amount of space to shrink in MB. You can enter the number of megabytes to remove from partition so that it fits on SSD. Transfer the files to new SSD using some disk cloning program as they contain an option for migrating files from the old drive.

Installing OS

Installing OS on SSD is similar to installing OS on your HDD. But using SSD as a boot drive there is need to choose and following directory:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINES\SYSTEM\Current ControlSet\services

Then click “msahci” and double click Start and confirm DWORD value is set to 0.

Restart your computer and enter BIOS utility, then choose “Storage” or a similar option. From SSD storage option you have to choose “AHCI” which helps in recognizing the drive by Windows as SSD. Before exiting BIOS option, you have to follow on-screen instructions so that SSD is placed in device boot order.

System configuration and Optimization

Now, after booting into Windows on your SSD, again open Defragment and Optimize your Drives and select SSD from the menu. Further Windows will easily recognize it as an AHCI device, and it won’t defragment it further.

Windows will automatically enable a feature called Trim that will optimize SSD performance. This special instruction is sent by OS to identify how the data is treated by SSD and HDD.

Since HDD requires several minutes to move its mechanical arm which looks for data blocks when the disk spins. SSDs are capable of accessing data instantly by eliminating these seconds or minutes.

So switching to SSD for boot drive thus reduces disk reading time with high performance and data can be randomly accessed from various locations of the flash memory. It provides faster boot times and application processing is in much smarter way