How-To Geek

Speed Up SATA Hard Drives in Windows 7 or Vista

Windows Vista has built-in support for Serial ATA(SATA) hard drives, but it doesn’t automatically enable advanced write caching features. You can speed up your computer by enabling this mode in Device Manager.

You can quickly get to Device Manager by just typing device into the start menu search box. (Or from the command line, devmgmt.msc)

Open the Disk drives section of the tree, and right-click on your hard drive, choosing Properties.


Select the Policies tab, and you should see this dialog:


Click the checkbox for Enable advanced performance, and you are done.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 03/6/07

Comments (17)

  1. Johnny

    Does this work with ATA drives? I don’t know a lot about hard drives.

  2. Anonymous
  3. zoxor

    Hi, I can adjust this setting but Vista automatically disables it after pressing OK (If I reopen de settings, I see the box is unchecked…)
    Now what?

  4. The Geek


    From reading that article, it seems like enabling this option can speed things up quite a bit under some circumstances.

  5. julian

    I have the same problem as zoxor…
    Vista will not accept my attempts to
    check the boxes. I click ok and
    when I look later the boxes are unchecked.

  6. ffzeus

    If you are running a RAID array, eventhough Vista sees the array as a disk drive, you cannot set the settings on. This is generally accomplished through the RIAD console of your controller.

  7. Daniel

    I was just curious; what constitutes a ‘loss of power’?

  8. whs

    Just an editorial: In this sentence you may want to add “go to properties” before “select the policies tab”. May be easier for the “uninitiated”.

    “Open the Disk drives section of the tree, and right-click on your hard drive. Select the Policies tab, and you should see this dialog:”

  9. The Geek


    Thanks for the note… I updated the article, and added another screenshot while I was at it. Much better!

  10. Mark Duchene

    Hi I am trying to put a SATA drive with windows vista (corupt) in an external drive and then pull the data off the drive by copying to an XP machine. The drive, when I click on the E drive, asks if I want to format the drive. Is there a way to get at the data?

  11. Chris Keiser

    I am having the same issue as above. Make the changes, it goes away. Maybe I should go into BIOS?

  12. agacult

    I’m having the same problem as julian & zoxor, did someone ever provide a solution? I have a acer laptop with a hitachi hard drive.

  13. 2-D

    turn off the horrid UAC, then try.

  14. nathaniel163

    my question is somewhat different. i have 2 hard drives on my computer and i wanted to know how can i choose which hard drive i want that program to load on. im also running windows vista.when downloading it doesn’t give me a choice like xp did. can anyone give me some help here. thank you

  15. Lakey

    You can choose your driver by clicking my computer on the left panel, when you see your drive you want on the right double click it and finaly you can save it there

  16. Mohammad fazal

    I have no options :S

  17. Niron


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