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  1. #1
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    Question SSD's WIN10 & defragging

    First off, I have seen recomendations that SSD's should not be defragged.

    Why?

    I have not seen an explination as to why it is wrong to do it.

    As to how WIN 10 figures in this:

    I have had a lot of problems with my WIN 10 Trainz machine lately and it made me dig through settings and I found somethng that seemed to be a default setting to continously defrag all hard drives and I had three SSD's and one mechanical drive so I immediately turned off that setting.

    I guess I'm stupid but I've had WIN 10 for a while now and I just wanted to get Trainz up and running and I never went through the intro to new features that WIN 10 presents the first time it starts.

    Wild Willy the Wacko

  2. #2
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    Some SSD's have proprietary methods (and companion software) to keep the data organized without needing the services of windows. Basic windows maintenance routines may not be "in the loop" and actually accelerate the wear level of an SSD. You can read from SSD's indefinitely, but writes are finite, and if you rewrite too much caused by a windows maintenance routine that is not in the loop, you wear out the drive faster.

    My mechanical drives are defragged by windows on a schedule, my SSDs are 'optimized' by companion proprietary software that came with the drives.

  3. #3
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    Question Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by geepster775 View Post
    Some SSD's have proprietary methods (and companion software) to keep the data organized without needing the services of windows. Basic windows maintenance routines may not be "in the loop" and actually accelerate the wear level of an SSD. You can read from SSD's indefinitely, but writes are finite, and if you rewrite too much caused by a windows maintenance routine that is not in the loop, you wear out the drive faster.

    My mechanical drives are defragged by windows on a schedule, my SSDs are 'optimized' by companion proprietary software that came with the drives.
    I've read articles about flash drives that talk about assuring X number of writes and that onboard controls spread the writes over the whole drive before re-writing the previous parts of memory.

    But,,,,,, when you say " companion software " for SSD's, is that something I would have to go get and install or would that be imbedded in the drive from the factory?

    Willy

  4. #4
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    The short answer is: SSDs are never defragged.

    First, there's no need. Since there's no moving media or heads to position, there's no reason to "defrag" it. Defragmentation is needed only with rotating media aka Real Hard Disks, where files get scattered around the disk and take a long time to retrieve or be written. Windows 10, at least, refuses to defrag a SSD if it identifies it as such. SSDs access the data as fast if it's scattered all over as it does it it's all in one chunk.

    Second, if you succeed in doing a real defrag, you will drastically reduce the life of your SSD because of the massive number of reads and especially writes that will be done. SSDs are rated for the number of writes they can withstand. Writing to the disk is what wears it out. Once the disk runs out of writeable addresses, it becomes (if you're lucky) read-only.

    However, if you let Wiindows "optimize" your SSD, it will execute a hardware "trim" command that cuts off empty space that's attached to files (there's usually some) and consolidates it all in the index as free space. Windows 10 (if you let it) will do that automatically every week or 3 depending on usage. "Optimizing" a Real Hard Disk performs a defrag.

    When buying a SSD, one of the things you pay for in the higher priced units is (hopefully) a longer life than for the cheaper ones. All SSDs have more space than they're specified for, and as cells wear out their data is automatically migrated to the expansion area and remapped so you don't know the difference. The longer-lived ones have a larger space for remapping. When it runs out of expansion space, all the S.M.A.R.T. warnings light up and the disk may become unreadable.

  5. #5

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    SSD don't have sectors like HDD

  6. #6
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    I'm good friends with one of the guys who invented SSD's and all the above is correct.

    Just leave them alone, no real maintenance needs to be done.

    I've got an OCZ Vertex here as my C; drive and it must be getting on for 10 years old now. They are very reliable if left alone.

  7. #7
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    Hi Folks,

    With Windows - I've found a complete rebuild of the OS every couple of years is pretty helpful to insure a smooth running machine...

    YMMV...

    Regards,
    Scott

  8. #8
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    Other recommended Windows settings for SSD - turn off file indexing, disable the SuperFetch service, and check that the Task Scheduler isn't running Defrag automatically. Indexing benefits spinning hard drives, not needed for SSDs. SuperFetch, also good for HDs, preloading often-used programs from disk to RAM, but not needed for SSDs.
    - FTLDave

    "Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing." - Wernher von Braun


    "A software suggestion is not a valid answer to a configuration/troubleshooting question." - Timelmer

  9. #9
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    File indexing is more for speeding up the search function; while of greatest benefit for spinning rust, it also helps with SSDs. The downside of it is high CPU and disk usage while it's running - can be an issue with low-budget PCs.

    Superfetch is a wash. It doesn't really speed things up much if at all with a SSD, but it's a memory and CPU hog while building its cache. The system maintains a cache anyway; stuff that you've loaded into RAM stays there until the space is needed for something else, so if it's needed again it quicker to access.

    Windows' defrag (Disk Optimization) is still worth running periodically with a SSD, though it's not needed as often as with spinning rust. Disk Optimization for a SSD simply invokes the hardware TRIM command to consolidate free space in the disk drive's index, which does improve speed slightly. If the disk is written to frequently (hello, Windows), that can be useful, but for ordinary home users can usually be done once a month or even longer rather than the default of once a week. If you're really worried about it, you can edit the Task Manager entry.

    Edit: one thing that *is* worthwhile to do with a SSD, unless you have a laptop that needs it frequently, is to disable hibernation. Hibernation essentially saves a snapshot of your RAM to disk then shuts down completely; "sleep" - not hybrid sleep, which is the default and does BOTH sleep and hibernation - simply puts the system in a low-power state that mostly shuts things down but keeps the memory powered and refreshed. The more memory you have, the more the disk is hit during shutdown with writes, so if you don't need it disable it. The SSD will last much longer without many gigabytes being written whenever you shut down or put the computer to sleep, and is fast enough that there's little noticeable difference between cold and warm start.

    Remember that unless a number of settings are tweaked, Windows 8 and10 never actually shut down; "shutdown" logs out the current user, then hibernates the system. That, of course, writes a few GB to the disk, but the next startup is faster because the system doesn't have to perform a cold start - it simply resumes at a login screen or lock screen. The tradeoff is that those few GB are written every time you shut down, and writes are what wear out a SSD. Totally disabling hibernation through an admin account will prevent that. If you want to force a complete shutdown (without writing to the hibernation file) otherwise, hold the shift key down while clicking on Shut Down, and keep holding it until the screen goes black.
    Last edited by mikeebb; 05-15-2019 at 04:20 PM. Reason: hibernation and shutdown

  10. #10
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    I think John Jacobi at PCWorld explained it clearly:

    "From my limited tests, I’m firmly convinced that the tiny difference that even the best SSD defragger makes is not worth reducing the life span of your SSD. Add another voice to the chorus that’s singing “Don’t defrag your SSD.” If you’re truly convinced there are performance problems with your SSD due to file or cell fragmentation, get a utility that will issue a TRIM command. Or copy your data off, do a secure erase (using hdparm or Parted Magic), and copy it back again."
    - FTLDave

    "Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing." - Wernher von Braun


    "A software suggestion is not a valid answer to a configuration/troubleshooting question." - Timelmer

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