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Published on 07.19.07 by Brent Trahan

Enable Advanced Performance on Your Hard Drive

Learn how to turn on the advanced performance feature in Windows Vista to speed up your hard drive.

By default Windows Vista reads from a cache on your hard drive and writes directly to the hard drive, bypassing the cache. Reading and writing from your hard drive’s cache is much faster than from it’s platters. When you enable advanced performance on your hard drive it reads and writes from your hard drive’s cache making some operations faster.

This guide shows you how to speed up your hard drive by turning advanced performance on which makes Windows Vista use the hard drive’s cache as a buffer to read and write on your hard drive.

Warning: It’s only recommended to enable advanced performance on laptops or computers with redundant power supplies or battery backups. If your computer suddenly looses power you could corrupt or lose data.

Enable Advanced Performance

  1. Right-click Computer in the Start Menu and then select Options.
  2. Click Advanced system settings on the left.
  3. Select the Hardware tab in the System Properties window.
  4. Click the Device Manager button.
  5. Expand Disk Drives.


  6. Right-click a hard drive under Disk Drives and select Properties.
  7. Select the Policies tab in the Device Properties window.
  8. Check Enable advanced performance.


  9. Click OK to save the changes and restart your computer.

Still need help? Ask your computer question now.

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18 Responses to “Enable Advanced Performance on Your Hard Drive”

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  1. Adrian Tsai says:

    re: Enable Advanced Performance on Your Hard Drive

    This article is incorrect. The cache on a hard disk drive is not there to protect data in case of a power loss. It is there to increase performance by providing a very fast, low-latency cache of recently read data. Since the cache is actually faster than reading/writing to the hard drive, bypassing this cache can significantly decrease hard drive performance.

    However, disabling the cache will increase safety. If a power loss occurs, all contents of the cache will be lost. Since data may not have been written to the hard drive before the cache was destroyed, data loss may occur if a power outage occurs.

  2. Brent Trahan says:

    I think you’re thinking of a hybrid drive.

  3. Brent Trahan says:

    @ Adrian

    Sorry about that. It must have been a late night when I wrote that guide. It was all backwards. I fixed it.

    Thanks for pointing it out.

  4. Marc Smith says:

    This will save you a click or two:

    Right click on computer, click on properties, then on the left side click on Device manager.

  5. sogun says:

    is it possible on other vista than on vista ultimate? I have business vista and checkboxes are always set to false, no mather what…

  6. deko says:

    Outstanding. Thanks for this post. I made the change per your instructions and increased write performance 30% (Windows Server 2008)

  7. Sven says:


    after reading this article and your response to Adrian Tsai, I’m a bit confused as to whether it is still necessary to have a battery backup on a desktop machine. Does the data stay in the cache indefinitely or is it transferred to the platters as soon as possible? If a power outage occurs, do I lose the data for the entire day or just in that moment before the power loss?

  8. Brent Trahan says:

    It transfers the data to the platters as soon as it can. You will only lose a very small portion of data but that data could be a very important file that Windows can’t run without.

    You should always have a battery backup on your computer(s) for many reasons.

  9. Sven says:


    Thanks for the quick response.

    A battery backup such as a UPS?

  10. Usman says:

    This setting is most suited for laptop hard drives which are usually slow and such setting can improve performance and the battery is always providing backup power.

  11. Todd Roth says:

    Wonderful tip. How can you do the same thing with a batch file?

    I am looking to automate this function from my USB Flash Drive when using other computers. I will not have “admin. privileges” so the batch should run as “Service”.

    Thank You.


  12. riz says:


  13. I find the article a bit confusing. There’s a heading that says “Enable Advanced Performance”, then the text body says “Check OFF advanced performance”. Shouldn’t the heading in that case be “Disable Advanced Performance”?

    Anyway, the story from he horse’s mouth (MS Technet) is here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/2007.04.windowsconfidential.aspx

    In sort, it says that you should check ON “Enable write caching to the disk” (which does exactly what it sounds like) and disable advanced performance, i.e. check OFF its’ check box, unless you need to emulate a bug that made cache flushing dysfunctional.

  14. Winders says:

    John Reynolds is right. Do not use this feature, which should be called Enable Advanced Corruption. It prevents Windows from telling the drive to flush the write cache after something important has been written. This can lead to the NTFS partition becoming corrupted, meaning you lose lots of data. Not just the last few seconds.

    It is similar to running in async mode or with fsync disabled on UNIX.

    If you need the speed, buy a RAID controller with on-board battery. That is the ONLY way to do this right. UPS or laptop battery? No way. I am blown away that Microsoft even makes this available. The link in John Reynolds post explains why they did it. It doesn’t tell you how serious the implications are.

    The reason this is more serious than you realize is that when a crash happens, data can literally be CORRUPT. The drive does NOT have to write things in the same order Windows did. It can do, for example, 6,5,4,8,3,2,7,9,1. Now imagine your crash happens just after 2 is written. 8, 3, 2 are going to be on the disk, but 7, 9, and 1 didn’t make it. 9 is no big deal, since it happened after the rest. But missing 7 and 1 might mean that having written 8, 3, and 2 means an important NTFS data structure now makes no sense.

    Some people think that because NTFS is journaled, this doesn’t matter. It does; the journal can’t work if transactions aren’t guaranteed to be IN ORDER.

    This is not a theoretical concern. I used a write-testing tool on FreeBSD, during which you yank the plug out of the wall and then compare results, and it found that (without fsync) my SATA drive was caching writes up to 10 seconds old. Granted, most of the loss was in the last 1 to 2 seconds, but the problem is the same: Without guaranteed write order, fatal corruption can occur.

  15. stentor says:

    I think the consensus here is that Brent Trahan needs to write about topics he is prepared to write about.

  16. Daniel says:

    The complete article and the recommendation is simply wrong. Dont do that. You wont get any Performance improvement (ok. for some old school bug using applications yes. otherwise not).

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