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Got A Slow SSD? Try FlashFire To Speed Things Up

15 Ott/09

If you are like me you like to test new software and hardware. This can sometimes be a curse as it can mean to buy hardware that has not been overly optimized yet so that the computer system suffers thanks to the user’s “I want to have it now” syndrome. This happened when I wanted to build a computer system with a Solid State Drive (SSD) as the boot drive. Those generation 1 drives did not live up to the promises the manufacturers made. Especially the performance decrease over time was noticeable and frustrating. This is currently changing with new technologies and second generation Solid State Drives but if you are stuck with a generation 1 drive you need to figure something out.

FlashFire is a software program for Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 that can speed up computer systems with SSDs noticeably. The description on the developer’s website is a bit vague. FlashFire seems to make use of computer memory to speed up random writes of a connected SSD. Probably something comparable to a RAM disk.

The good news is that the software works. It works that well that the performance gain is very noticeable after installation of the software and a reboot of the system. There is another aspect that is kinda confusing. Some users state that they have a icon in the system tray upon startup. Some users on the other hand say they do not. This apparently depends on the version of the software program. There are two things that users need to know: Flashfire needs to be started with parameters and settings can only be changed in the Windows Registry.

To start Flashfire a user would use the command flashfire.exe on to turn it on or flashfire x where x is the drive number that the program should speed up. Users who use flashfire.exe on have to make sure that a SSD is the configured drive in the Registry. They need to navigate to

HK_Local_MachineSYSTEMCurrentControlSetServicesffireEnum

and check the drive number of the Solid State Drive there. They then need to navigate to

HK_Local_MachineSYSTEMCurrentControlSetServicesffireParameters

and make sure that drive number is the value of the Disknum key. Flashfire can be turned off easily by issuing the command flashfire.exe off. Several users reported great success with Flashfire on Asus EEEPCs with Solid State Drives. Flashfire can be downloaded from the developer’s website.

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