Hard Drive Settings
Right click on My Computer, select Properties then Device Manager. Expand IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers. Devices listed in this pane will vary depending on your PC.
Double click the initial ATA Channel device and select the Advanced Settings tab.
Assuming you are using modern hardware the Current Mode should be displaying Ultra DMA Mode X, where X is a number. Make sure Enable DMA is ticked if this is not the case. Click OK and repeat the same check on any further ATA Channel devices.
Now expand the Disk Drives section and double click on the initial Hard drive listed, selecting the Policies tab.
For optimal performance this should be set to Optimize for performance, Enable write caching on the disk and Enable advanced performance - this last one only recommended for desktop systems with an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) connected, you may be prone to lose data otherwise.
Click OK and repeat this process as necessary for other Hard Drives listed.