Let's see if I can get this as a sticky in here.

Here are some websites that I recommend for Solid State Drives (SSD) users:

Overclock.net – Sean’s Windows 7 Install & Optimization Guide for SSDs & HDDs

The SSD Review – The SSD Optimization Guide

OCZ Blog – SSD Tips & Tweaks

The SSD Review - The Windows 7 Optimization Guide

Sean’s Guide is quite in depth, but very useful information, including install of the operating system (OS) to a SSD if you already have it on a HDD. Sorry, no drive cloning here!

As for the tips, tricks and tweaks, you don’t have to do them all, or any. They are just tips. But several of them save space usage, and others actually help speed up the OS usage of the SSD. The sites include a step-by-step how-to guide.

I perform these tips right after I install Windows 7, as soon as I get the first desktop screen. I do them before I install ANY of the drivers and programs. (Yes, # 2 pertains to chipset drivers, so I skip that step.)

First, I like the follow tips from The SSD Optimization Guide:

1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9 (but I set Prefetch to boot files only (value=2), 10 (Superfetch only), 12, 13, 15, 16, 17 (already done with Win 7 install to a SSD), and 18.

Most of the tips from the OCZ Blog site are covered in the SSD Review site, so I don’t use them. BTW, I do not touch my pagefile!

Second, I perform the follow tips from the Windows 7 Optimization Guide:

Faster Boot Section: a.2, a.3, b, c
Performance Section: b, d, f
Security Features Section: c

Third, I integrate my personal data. Since I have a HDD with all my Libraries, and I back up my user data, I have them at the ready for a fresh install:

■1. I move these Libraries from the “C:User” folder to the root of the D: drive (My Data & Media drive). The Libraries are: My Documents, Downloads, My Music, My Pictures, My Videos, and any gaming data saved here. So, for example, I drag and drop the C:User\My Documents folder to the D: drive. Sometimes I have to do this twice to get it out of the User folder. You can follow the tips in Seans Guide for moving these files. In his example, he changes the location, where as I drag & drop.

■2. Then I copy my personal data from my back ups to my User folder. These folders/files are Contacts, Favorites, Saved Games, Saved Searches. I do not copy the “AppData” folder, it is hidden anyways, as programs installs will change this information anyways. BTW: I have my Outlook *.pst file in My Documents, so when I install and set up Outlook, I point it to that file. This saves all my emails, calendars, and contacts, but not my signatures, rules and alerts.

Forth, at this point I install all of my drivers. I had already got them all from my motherboard manufactures website, specific to my boards model and OS (i.e. Asus P8Z68-V Pro & Windows 7 64-bit), and/or the vendors site (i.e. AMD Catalyst Control Center for HD Radeon Cards, and Intel Desktop Chipset and Rapid Storage Technology [iRST]).

I install them in the following order:

■1. Chipset Drivers
■2. .NET Update 3.5 (from Microsoft, necessary for next step, where applicable)
■3. Storage drivers (i.e. iRST v10.8.0.1033)
■4. Video Driver
■a. Onboard Graphics
■b. Discrete Graphics
■c. Lucid Virtu software (where applicable)
■d. Monitor driver/identifier program
■5. Audio Driver/software
■6. USB driver/software (i.e. USB 3.0 drivers)
■7. Printer Driver/software
■8. Any add-on features of the board I will use, else I disable them in the BIOS. (i.e. Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Firewire, Add-on SATA controllers)
■9. Any software for special Input devices (i.e. Keyboards, Mouse)
■10. Any motherboard Utilities that I use.
■11. LAN driver. I install this last as once I have internet access, Windows will try to update all the drivers itself, which could have conflicts with my versions. If Windows has an update after I install my drivers, I let Windows update them.
■12. Intel Management Engine (only on some motherboards)

Fifth, I install all the software/programs I use. The order is unimportant, unless you have different programs that might do the same thing, like Nero and Cyber Link disk burning tools. I always install the one I use the most (and like the best) last, so it will be my default program. I install everything to the SSD pointing some programs to access their data file from the HDD, where applicable. Furthermore, if the software I installed has an update feature, I update the software to the latest version.

Sixth, after all my programs are installed, I use the “msconfig” utility to streamline the start up programs. WARNING: Trend lightly. Leave all Microsoft programs alone, and only touch those you know. It amazes me that every program installed thinks it is going to be the most important thing I do, so it loads itself up on start up. This is not the case, and since I have an SSD, load are fast enough that I don’t need them loaded at boot, using my resources.

Seventh, (after activating Windows, and launching the Windows Update program) Windows will notify me that I have lots and lots of updates available. I carefully select what I want/need, and update them. Then I check again, and update again. And so on and so forth until I have no more updates. Right now this is over a hundred updates, which can only be done in stages. It takes something like six-ten Windows Update launches to finally get them all, always checking for (newer) updates.

I am currently trying out a program I found (AutoPatch) to get all of these updates downloaded before my install, and then just run them without needing to update them through Windows Update. My system install only takes about 15 minutes, another 30 for programs software, but all of the Windows updates take hours! I let you know on my next fresh install how it works.

Hope this "guides" helps, and spreads some very useful information to the THG community!