Here’s how to optimize hard drive usage in Windows 7:
1. Press ‘Windows’ + ‘R’ keys to bring up ‘Run’ utility. Type in ‘regedit’ and hit enter to launch the ‘Registry Editor’.
2. Now navigate to ‘HKEY_LOCAL_ MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\OptimalLayout‘.
3. Now right click inside the right side pane and select ‘New>>DWORD (32-bit) Value’.
4. Now rename the new value to ‘EnableAutoLayout‘.
5. Now, right click the ‘EnableAutoLayout’ and select ‘Modify…’.
6. Now select the Base as ‘Decimal’ and enter the Value data as ‘1‘. Click ‘OK’ when done.
7. If all the steps have been followed correctly, the final value should look like-
Now close the Registry Editor. The above value will cause windows Disk Defragmenter to move the frequently accessed files on the system’s hard drive to much more favorable location such that the direct read time decreases improving the system performance. The Disk Defragmenter gets information about the frequently accessed files from a file called ‘layout.ini’ located in ‘X:\Windows\Prefetch’ folder (where ‘X’ is your system drive letter).
Note: Be very careful while editing the registry via Registry Editor as wrong changes made to the registry may prevent your operating system and/or applications from functioning properly.