• LangaList: “I know to de-fragment my HDD and not to de-fragment my SSD. Do I de-fragment my hybrid drive?”

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    Interesting question – without a simple answer. Follow Fred’s advice on Langa.com.
    [See the full post at: LangaList: “I know to de-fragment my HDD and not to de-fragment my SSD. Do I de-fragment my hybrid drive?”]

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    • #991630

      It’s still basically a hard drive with small ssd type storage. so yes, defrag if you think it’s necessary for hard drives. IMO

    • #993569

      Well yeah, really not simple, except the conclusion.

      According to some paper I read once about some of these drives… probably would’ve been Seagate FireCuda (which most likely is the exact thing HP sells too, as opposed to HPE)… what the drive supposedly does is weighted caching with blocks accessed more frequently in short reads having priority for cache space.

      Oh and apparently these also do lazy writeback and write reordering from flash to spinning disk, as implied in the notes where Seagate says to not use FireCuda in RAID arrays or anything where you have transaction tracking all the way to disk surface.

      Behavior seems to match this, too. Particularly when the disk noise pattern doesn’t match operating system level write pattern at all any more if you have one of these…

      WD’s marketing materials have a similar wording for desktop/laptop SSHDs, thus I expect them to do at least weighted retention and write reordering too.

      What this means in practice is that you don’t want to defragment files that occupy cached blocks, but might want to defragment those that are not currently in cache… and so the cache then helps with exactly the same seeks as defrag would, but in a different and incompatible way.

      So about the only situation where defrag would be at all useful on such a disk would be if you have more than one partition and one of them is a “scratch/temp” work partition which you use heavily only during known specific periods… in which case you might defrag the scratch partition around the end of a low-usage period.

      Now, the *other* model hybrid drives, those that Seagate says are good for RAID arrays… and had price tags higher than same amount of pure server-grade SSD, last time I checked… those might theoretically benefit from a defrag, since apparently they have a different caching pattern and allow synchronous-to-spinning-surface writes. Oh well, don’t know of anyone who’d admit to having bought one.

      Then of course there’s the even older kind of SSHD, the one where you typically have RAM banks for the whole capacity, a spinning drive for power-down retention, and enough battery for the drive to finish writing the entire state on power loss. Large enterprise-grade database index kind of thing… these would theoretically benefit from defrag (shave some seconds off a server cold start, which is the only situation where you ever see a seek delay with these) if you were silly enough to run a normal filesystem on them, but that’s definitely a “much more money than sense” kind of situation.

      Still, conclusion: don’t defrag a laptop/desktop grade hybrid drive, and on a server, check with the expensive consultants who sold your boss the silly things…

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    • #996934

      Windows 10 runs Disk optimization/Defrag on a weekly schedule. Will the OS defrag SSHDs or HDDs with Intel Optane ?



    • #1001224

      It’s like asking if you should defrag your macOS, since it runs on a Fusion Drive (commercial name for Apple SSHD). And the answer is “depends”: if you use linux or any linux-based OS (like macOS, Android, etc.) you don’t need to defrag, but on Windows you need to because of NTFS.

      • #1001559

        I have a Late 2012 MacMini 128GB/1TB Fusion with 5 Parallels VM (XP, Win7, Win8.1, WIN10 1809 and Win10 Insiders 1903 20h1). So far I’ve never had to defrag.

      • #1003042

        Linux, ChromeOS, MacOS/ iOS is built on a filesystem that prevents fragmentation, period
        For instance: lets build a house and start with the roof then put Windows in {snark}

        Win8.1/R2 Hybrid lives on...
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        • #1087711

          Actually not always so, there’s a few server workloads where you do get measurable fragmentation on those too… depending.

          Specifically the Linux part where you have a choice of a number of filesystem types that behave differently in this regard. (For example btrfs can do background autodefrag if you turn that option on.)

          And even if you don’t need to “defrag”, you may need to “rebalance”, “scrub”, or something.

    • #1006517

      I currently have a HDD built in to my Win 7 PRO SP1.  No SSD.  I have had this PC (Dell) for 4.5 years and have never defragged (I understand that it is not necessary because Windows automatically defrags once per week overnight).

      I imagine that this machine will be replaced in the next year or so and that a SSD and HDD (or perhaps SSHD) as the built-in storage will be on the cards.  The OS then will be Win 10 (shudder).

      If I were to add an SSD to my current system, would Windows (7) know not to include it in its weekly defrag (I think it would be smart enough to know this)?  More importantly, does Win 10 still do weekly defrags automatically, and if so, how does it handle SSD and SSHD drives?

      Most of the discussion so far in this thread is about whether or not to defrag. No mention of weekly auto defrags – or am I quite mistaken about Windows doing weekly auto defrags?

      Dell Precision 3630 w/32 GB RAM, 500 GB (C:), 1 TB (D:)
      Window 10 Pro x64
      Internet: FTTC (Fibre to the Kerb)

      • #1007036

        In Win7 the information about the schedule for an HDD is located:

        Start>All Programs>Accessories>System Tools>Disk Defragmenter

        SSDs use a different system called “Trim.”

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        • #1016238

          Thanks, PK.  I have never had occasion to look there before, but is just as well I did now.  It was set to defrag all my HDDs every Wednesday at 01:00.  However, the last defrag was nearly three weeks ago, at 15:30.  This was after I was away from home for two nights, and just after turning the PC back on after arriving back home.  The 01:00 schedule conflicts with one of several backups that run every night, so I have now changed it to 13:00 (when I am at lunch!).  The last defrag analysis found two of my three disks had 0% fragmentation, and the third one only 1%, so no defrag required anyway.

          So the debate here must be about turning off auto defrag (or not), or Win 10 is different, or the discussion was about enterprise systems which may be different from my humble home PC.

          Dell Precision 3630 w/32 GB RAM, 500 GB (C:), 1 TB (D:)
          Window 10 Pro x64
          Internet: FTTC (Fibre to the Kerb)

          • #1043528

            Thanks LH,very good questions. Yes, you are right Windows performs optimization on a weekly basis by default.The Optimize (and Defragment) program identifies the hard drive media as being HHD or SSD and performs the appropriate optimization tasks. A question I also have, is what type of media does the Optimize program detect a SSHD as being and which optimization tasks are run. Perhaps someone who actually uses an SSHD can answer what type of media is detected by Optimize and does the current status column indicate if defragmentation or optimization was run.

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    • #1009774

      Hi All, I am not sold on SSD and such. I know they are fast but I don’t trust them. For me, I would stay with a spinning HHD, but each person needs to decide for themselves of which is best. Many of my friends have SSD and are happy, but I also hear of those that get SLOW after 6 months of use. I have defragged SSD’s but TRIM is supposed to be better. Steve Gibson’s SpinRite is also another tool that seems to improve SSD performance presumably from forcing TRIM.

      This article from Seagate was very eye opening for me. They know SSDs don’t last and they use a “Wear Leveling” technology to make the wear points go to other parts of the drive. This in turn causes fragmentation of files. Hummmmm…..


      “More worryingly, SSDs have issues with data integrity and long-term durability. Like a battery, SSDs gradually lose their ability to hold a charge (retain data) with frequent use (erasures/writes). Wear leveling delays this phenomenon but fragments data and slows performance … and defragging to restore speed adds disk wear.”

      • #1103138

        Hi All, I am not sold on SSD and such. I know they are fast but I don’t trust them. For me, I would stay with a spinning HHD, but each person needs to decide for themselves of which is best.  

        In all the years I’ve been using SSDs I have only seen one fail, and it was in my mom’s 10 year old MacBook Air. Of all the computers and mobile devices that use them, I think they’ve proven themselves. Especially when you consider how much abuse they get from the general public that has no concern for how they work or how to prolong their life.

        The speed and durability have sold me. In fact, I would think that the quality of consumer HDDs will start to decline, similar to how the quality of cassette tapes and floppies declined in the later years as their manufacturers had to cut costs.

    • #1018031

      ‘So the best bet is to follow the manufacturer’s advice.’

      Fancy that.
      Next topic please.

      Edit: HTML removal – Please use the ‘Text’ tab in the post entry box when you copy/paste

    • #1018447

      I am not sold on SSD and such. I know they are fast but I don’t trust them

      SSDs are more robust than you might think. See this real world test of SSDs.

      TRIM does not defragment SSDs, it clears unused RAM cells so that they are ready to be written. If you don’t clear the cells a write must first erase the cell and this makes SSDs slow down after a while.

      Defragmentation of SSDs in Windows is done to keep the FAT “file fragments per file” records below Windows maximum number.  This is handled by Windows and you do not need to do it manually.

      cheers, Paul

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      • #1035096

        Hello PaulT, Thank you for your comments. It does answer questions others may still have. I am old school and would rather stick to spinning drives, similar to the US Army Air sticking to radial engines because of known reliability (and known flaws) of that day.

        We have a friend that pushes NVMe M.2 drives but that is just not needed and pure cutting edge.

        Thank you.

    • #1044031

      YES defragment your SSD and HDD and the hybrid. PERIOD! I defrag my Intel SSD DC S4610 3.84tb all the time and the speed increases after the defrag. The SSD’s of today will not wear out in no short period of time. My ssd calls for 3 data writes per day for 5 years to void the warranty. I will not do 3 data writes per day in my lifetime! let alone 10 years when the industry has something else we will all need for storage. It is a myth not to defrag the ssd from ancient technology. And besides the cost of ssd’s are coming down so fast, that will cause them to burn out faster than defragging. Do some DD on google and see both arguments and make a decision on common sence. If I burn out my ssd I will buy another one which will be better due to advanced tech anyway and cheaper by then. my2¢

      Watch this guy
      SSD Optimization IN DEPTH – PART 1

      Edit to remove HTML

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      • #1053007

        I defrag my Intel SSD DC S4610 3.84tb all the time and the speed increases after the defrag

        What do you use to defrag?
        How do you test the speed?
        What version of Windows?

        cheers, Paul

        • #1065085

          Hello Paul T, I use Piriform Defraggler and only defrag the fragmented under files, defrag cheched. Defraggler also does a quick benchmark before and after where I see the results but it is a little inconsistent. I also use AS SSD Benchmark. And Windows KB4493509 (OS Build 17763.437)

        • #1102211

          What speed improvement is being reported?

          cheers, Paul

    • #1045421

      way back when HDD were spinning at 56oorpm or even 7200 rpm, the manufacturers would guarantee a million hrs use( almost) Curiously, the first warranties were for more years than HDD’s had been an idea let alone in existence. Made me smile when I would hear someone tout their new fangled 100mb monster drives w/ stacker that would never fill up nor wear out!

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    Reply To: LangaList: “I know to de-fragment my HDD and not to de-fragment my SSD. Do I de-fragment my hybrid drive?”

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