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December 23, 2013

Know More about Your SSD & How to Maintain its Peak Performance

A solid-state drive (SSD) is a data storage device using integrated circuit assemblies as memory to store data persistently. SSD technology uses electronic interfaces compatible with traditional block input/output (I/O) hard disk drives, thus permitting simple replacement in common applications.

SSDs have no moving mechanical components. This distinguishes them from traditional electromechanical magnetic disks such as hard disk drives (HDDs) or floppy disks, which contain spinning disks and movable read/write heads.

Compared with electromechanical disks, SSDs are typically more resistant to physical shock, run silently, have lower access time, and less latency. However, while the price of SSDs has continued to decline in 2013, SSDs are still about 7 to 8 times more expensive per unit of storage than HDDs.

SSD can give your computer a speed boost, as long as you adopt the tips below to maintain your SSD at peak status.

1. Do Not Defrag Your SSD
While defragging can speed up a regular HDD, it doesn’t do any good for an SSD, on the contrary. Firstly, SSDs can access any sector on the drive at the same speed, hence fragmentation is not a major speed limiting step. Secondly, SSDs cannot simply overwrite sectors with new data, the sectors first have to be erased, meaning every write operation consists of two steps: erase and write. Thirdly, SSD write performance degrades over time and each sector can only be re-written a limited number of times, so you will want to keep those re-writes at bay. In other words, defragging brings no boost in performance, but instead speeds up the degradation of your SSD.

In Windows, make sure you have disabled scheduled disk defragmentation.

Here is how:
(1. Click Start and type dfrgui into the search bar.
(2. Select your SSD and click on Configure schedule…
(3. Run on a schedule should be unchecked. Be sure to click OK after unchecking it.

Note: PC maintenance software like Wise Care 365 can automatically skip the defragging process when it has identified the SSD. It’s not necessary to worry about this issue.

2. Disable Indexing
Windows runs an indexing service to keep track of the files on your computer and thus improve Windows search. The problem is that indexing constantly updates its database whenever you edit your files. These small write operations contribute to the degradation of your SSD. Windows search on the other hand will run just as fine if indexing is turned off.

To turn off the Windows indexing service, follow these steps:
(1. Go to Start and open Computer.
(2. Right-click your SSD drive and select Properties.
(3. At the bottom of the disk properties window, uncheck Allow files on this drive to have contents indexed in addition to file properties.
(4. Click OK to save your changes.

3. Enable TRIM support
When you delete files in Windows, the operating system saves time by only removing its index to indicate that the respective space occupied by the deleted file is now available. The file, however, is not deleted until that space gets used. Since space needs to be erased before it can be overwritten again on SSDs, the TRIM command is used to flag sectors that can be cleared during idle time. In other words, TRIM makes writing new files more efficient by wiping available space.
TRIM is supported by Windows 7.

To check whether it is enabled, follow these steps:
(1. Go to Start and type cmd.exe in the search box, then press [CTRL] + [SHIFT] + [ENTER] to launch the elevated command prompt.
(2. Type fsutil behavior query disabledeletenotify into the command prompt.
(3. DisableDeleteNotify = 0 means TRIM is enabled, while = 1 indicates it’s disabled.
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