1. Reboot the computer and enter the BIOS configuration to enable AHCI support in the BIOS. The process for entering the BIOS configuration varies from system to system but typically involves hitting F2 or Del during the system boot process; the key to press is generally displayed on the initial splash screen.
2. Look in the BIOS configuration for a setting related to the hard drive, or AHCI, and enable it. Some systems let you set it for automatic, and the system will enable or disable AHCI automatically if it detects an operating system that supports it.
3. Save the settings and exit the BIOS configuration (usually by hitting F10). The system will then reboot.
Once Windows 7 boots up, it will automatically install the necessary AHCI drivers and automatically reboot itself once more to complete the process. Now your drive is set for speed.
4. Get around Windows with the Aero interface
Windows 7's Aero interface is more than just eye candy. It includes an array of features to help you work more efficiently.
For starters, a feature called Aero Peek makes navigating through open programs faster -- especially when you have many instances of an application open at the same time, such as multiple browser windows in Internet Explorer. Just hover over the application's icon in the taskbar to see thumbnail images of all the application windows, and click the one you want to bring it to the top. It's much faster than reading through a text list or Alt-tabbing through a series of windows.
Want to see through the clutter of open windows to your desktop? Aero Peek comes in handy here as well: Hover the mouse pointer over the tiny rectangular button at the far right of the taskbar to make all your windows disappear, leaving only their outlines visible -- or click that button to instantly minimize all windows. Even niftier is the Aero Shake function, which minimizes all windows except the one you're currently using: Just click and hold the window's title bar and give the mouse a quick shake back and forth. Repeat the process to make the other windows reappear.
Aero Snap is another very useful feature, particularly if you have a large monitor. If you drag a window to the left or right side of the display, it will "snap" into place, automatically formatting itself to fill that half of the screen. It's great when you're conducting research: Rather than having to constantly tab back and forth between windows, you can snap a browser window to the left side of the screen and a Word document to the right so you can view them side by side. Snap also lets you drag a window to the top of the screen to maximize it for distraction-free work.
5. Organize your files with libraries
Windows has offered relatively logical file organization for some time now by providing Documents, Music, Pictures and Videos folders and adding those types of content to the appropriate folder by default. But sometimes this filing system is inadequate or confusing. For example, you might be working on a project that uses multiple file types, or files and folders that don't fit the default Windows folders.