Solid-state hard drive SSD - is a fundamentally different device when compared to HDD. Many of the things that are typical with a regular hard drive should not be done with an SSD. We will talk about these things, about what such drives are afraid of, and we'll talk in this article.
You may also find it useful to add another piece of information - Configuring Windows 10 for SSD , which describes how best to configure the system (and whether to configure it) in order to optimize the speed and duration of the solid state drive. See also: TLC or MLC - which memory is better for SSD, as well as about QLC memory , How to check the speed of SSD , How to check SSD for errors and remaining resource .
Important note: the initial version of this article was written at a time when SSDs were just beginning to appear on the market and were being actively installed on users' computers, and before the release of Windows 10 another 2 years remained. Since then, much has changed: volumes have risen, prices have fallen, and Windows 10 can configure the SSD so that it’s best for a novice user to do nothing with his SSD, but just work. Unless the 2nd and 3rd points remain really relevant.
Do not defragment manually
You should not perform defragmentation on solid state drives, especially with the help of third-party defragmentation programs. SSDs have a limited number of write cycles, and defragmentation performs multiple overwrites when moving pieces of files. At the same time, do not disable disk optimization in Windows 10 - it does not defragment the SSD as it does with a hard drive, but really optimizes its work.
After defragmenting your SSD with some software that you might be used to earlier, you will not notice any changes in speed. But at the same time, spend some disk resources. On a mechanical hard disk, defragmentation is useful because it reduces the number of head movements necessary for reading information: on a highly fragmented HDD, because of the considerable time required for a mechanical search for fragments of information, the computer can “slow down” when accessing the hard disk.
On solid state drives, mechanics are not used. The device simply reads the data, no matter in which memory cells on the SSD they were. In fact, SSDs are even designed in such a way as to maximize the distribution of data across the entire memory, and not accumulate them in one area, which leads to faster wear of the SSD.
Do not use Windows XP, Vista, other old OSs and do not disable TRIM
If you have SSD installed on your computer, you should use a modern operating system. In particular, you do not need to use Windows XP or Windows Vista. Both of these operating systems do not support the TRIM command. Thus, when you delete a file in the old operating system, it cannot send this command to the solid-state drive and, thus, the data remains on it (further depends on the controller, but in the general case this is not very good).
In addition to the fact that this means the potential to read your data, it also leads to a slower computer. When the OS needs to write data to disk, it is forced to erase the information first, and then write, which reduces the speed of write operations. For the same reason, TRIM should not be disabled on Windows 7 and others that support this command. And ideally, you should use Windows 10. Here the material may be useful: How to find out if TRIM is enabled on Windows .
Do not fill out the SSD completely
It is necessary to leave free space on the solid-state drive, otherwise, the write speed to it can drop significantly. This may seem strange, but in fact, it is explained quite simply. When there is enough free space on the SSD, the solid state drive uses free blocks to record new information. Ideally, download the official utility from the manufacturer of the SSD and see how much space it offers to reserve, usually this function is present in these programs (may be called Over Provisioning). On some drives, this reserved space is present by default and can be seen in Windows Disk Management as an unallocated area.
When there is not enough free space on the SSD, there are many partially filled blocks on it. In this case, when writing, first a certain partially filled memory block is read into the cache, it is changed and the block is rewritten back to disk. This happens with each block of information on a solid-state drive that you must use to write a particular file.
In other words, writing to an empty block - this is very fast, writing to a partially filled one - forces you to perform many auxiliary operations, and accordingly it happens slowly. Earlier tests showed that about 75% of the SSD capacity should be used for the perfect balance between performance and the amount of information stored. For modern SSDs with large volumes, this may be redundant.
Limit recording to SSD. Or not worth it.
Perhaps the most controversial moment, and today, in 2019, I can’t be so categorical as during the initial preparation of this material more than 5 years ago. In fact, an SSD is acquired to increase the speed of work and a wide variety of operations, and therefore moving temporary files, a swap file, disabling indexing services, and similar things, although they will really reduce the wear and tear of the SSD, but at the same time they will reduce the benefit from it.
Given the fact that today's solid-state drives are generally relatively tenacious, I probably wouldn’t forcibly turn off system files and functions, transfer service files from SSD to HDD. Except for one situation: if you have the cheapest 60-128 GB disk from an unknown Chinese manufacturer with a very small TBW recording resource (there are more and more of them recently, despite the general increase in the service life for popular brands).
Do not store large files that do not need quick access on SSD
This is a fairly obvious point: your collection of films, photographs, and other media materials and archives usually does not require high speed access. SSD SSDs are smaller and more expensive per gigabyte than regular hard drives. On an SSD, especially if you have a second hard drive, you should store the files of the operating system, programs, games - for which quick access is important and which are constantly used.
Regular document files (by documents I mean video and music and any other media) will play at the same speed from both the HDD and SSD, and therefore there is no particular sense in storing them on a solid-state drive, provided that this is not the only disk on a computer or laptop.
I hope this information helps you extend the life of your SSD and enjoy its speed. Got something to add? - I will be glad to your comment.