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  • Monitoring SSD

    Posted on berniec Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody support PC hardware Monitoring SSD

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      • #2286733 Reply
        berniec
        AskWoody Plus

        I read the thread on crystalinfo and monitoring SSDs, but that was written by folk who understand SSDs much better than I do.  Is there some simple thing a vaguely-clueless SSD owner can do.   Is crystalinfo the right thing to do?  And can it be configured to just give you “the answer” rather than displaying graphs and numbers and such? 

        I don’t know exactly what SSD I have.  The info on it says it is a “KXG502NV512G NVMe Toshiba 512 gb”

      • #2286743 Reply
        Bill_Bright
        AskWoody Plus

        What do you want to monitor?

        Typically, you don’t have to do anything. The operating system does it all for you – without any 3rd party application. The only thing I “monitor” on my SSDs is how much free space I have. And that is done via Windows File Manager in the same way I would monitor the free space on hard drives. And if running low, that simply means I need to buy a bigger drive, clean out the clutter with Windows own Disk Cleanup, or I need to uninstall some programs I installed that I no longer use.

        Beyond that, all you need to do is make sure you case fans are spinning and the case interior is free of heat trapping dust – the exact same things you would need to do if using hard disks.

        Bill (AFE7Ret)
        Freedom isn't free!

      • #2286745 Reply
        berniec
        AskWoody Plus

        Hmm.  I was under the impression that SSDs gradually ate themselves up until they just suddenly died [something about some of the locations get read-and-written too much and they have some kind of  “spare”  space [that you can run out of]  that gets used for those locations].   Will windows actually warn you that your SSD is getting marginal?

      • #2286755 Reply
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        You can run the portable free CrystalDiskInfo to check the SSD’s health (s.m.a.r.t.) and temp.

        Attachments:
      • #2286777 Reply
        Bill_Bright
        AskWoody Plus

        Hmm.  I was under the impression that SSDs gradually ate themselves up until they just suddenly died

        This is true. But you are talking many MANY years of use before you even come close to those limits.

        When the first generation SSDs for home use first came out, the number of writes a SSD could support was still a HUGE number, but some “extreme” users who performed highly disk intensive tasks, day in and day out were hitting those numbers. But that was much in part because SSDs were much smaller then too.

        Fast forward 10+ years and several generations of SSD technologies later and those numbers are astronomical! Plus, other techniques have been implemented to mitigate those issues even further. These include TRIM and wear leveling features, enabled by default in all modern SSDs and supported by all current operating systems.

        Remember, it is only the “writes” that matter and by far, disk access involves “reads” many many times more often than it involves “writes”.

        TRIM and wear leveling address what you were talking about above. Those features will move data from frequently used locations to barely used locations just to prevent the overuse of a specific location. It evens out or “levels” the write count across the entire disk.

        If you have a “static” file – for example a song or video clip, those files never change. They are not constantly being modified or re-written to the disk. So without wear leveling, those storage locations might be used once to store that song while other locations may be used over and over again. Wear leveling will move that song to a more used location so it will henceforth be used less – leveling the usage across the disk.

        And the more free space you have on your SSD, the better those features work.

        And SSD drive makers build in a big chunk of free space on today’s SSDs like yours. This is called over-provisioning and it is designed to ensure there is always some free space left for wear leveling to work.

        Note that big data centers more and more are using SSDs to store their most often accessed data. With the price per GB of SSDs still being higher than hard drives, they could not afford that if SSDs were wearing out quickly.

        Note the following CrystalDiskInfo report on my C drive, installed in this computer that I use 5 – 6 hours every day since new in 2015,

        — Disk List —————————————————————
        (1) Samsung SSD 850 PRO 256GB : 256.0 GB [0/0/0, pd1] – sg
        (2) Samsung SSD 860 EVO 500GB : 500.1 GB [1/0/0, pd1] – sg

        —————————————————————————-
        (1) Samsung SSD 850 PRO 256GB
        —————————————————————————-
        Model : Samsung SSD 850 PRO 256GB
        Firmware : EXM02B6Q
        Serial Number : S251NXAG909395W
        Disk Size : 256.0 GB (8.4/137.4/256.0/256.0)
        Buffer Size : Unknown
        Queue Depth : 32
        # of Sectors : 500118192
        Rotation Rate : —- (SSD)
        Interface : Serial ATA
        Major Version : ACS-2
        Minor Version : ATA8-ACS version 4c
        Transfer Mode : SATA/600 | SATA/600
        Power On Hours : 10692 hours
        Power On Count : 6860 count
        Host Writes : 17817 GB
        Wear Level Count : 147
        Temperature : 27 C (80 F)
        Health Status : Good (100 %)
        Features : S.M.A.R.T., 48bit LBA, NCQ, TRIM, DevSleep
        APM Level : —-
        AAM Level : —-
        Drive Letter : C:

        It still is “Good 100%” after more than 5 years of daily use.

        Unless you write and delete, then write many gigabytes of data to your SSD every day, your SSD is much more likely to last well beyond the useful life of the entire computer. That is, you will retire and replace it before it dies.

        Bill (AFE7Ret)
        Freedom isn't free!

        3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2286919 Reply
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        I read the thread on crystalinfo and monitoring SSDs

        Which thread was that?

        Have you read the “Backup and checking” article?

        Using CrystalDiskInfo is simple. Install and run at startup. It will sit quietly until it spots an issue and then it will notify you via whichever method you choose. You can also open it occasionally to check for yourself.

        cheers, Paul

      • #2286957 Reply
        Bill_Bright
        AskWoody Plus

        There are many good HW monitoring tools out there. I really see no reason to run one in real-time unless its for some mission critical server or the like.

        I note Speccy, from the makers of CCleaner (and is free), provides for SSDs, HWiNFO64, which can provide an overwhelming amount of information, including everything you want to know, and more, about your drives. It also is free.

        Bill (AFE7Ret)
        Freedom isn't free!

      • #2286959 Reply
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        Running it in real time is useful if the device starts to deteriorate without getting to a failure threshold. Gives you more time to replace a failing disk.

        cheers, Paul

        • #2286969 Reply
          satrow
          AskWoody MVP

          Yet a huge number of SMART-enabled HDDs (they’ve been around longer, I’ve not noticed any comments about SSDs either way) have died without ever logging/alerting about an error.

          Conversely, little correlation was found for increased temperature and no correlation for usage level. However, the research showed that a large proportion (56%) of the failed drives failed without recording any count in the “four strong S.M.A.R.T. warnings” identified as scan errors, reallocation count, offline reallocation and probational count.
          Further, 36% of failed drives did so without recording any S.M.A.R.T. error at all, except the temperature, meaning that S.M.A.R.T. data alone was of limited usefulness in anticipating failures.

          Example:

          I haven’t read the following, it’s new to me, scroll down this page to find the heading Why SSD Drives Fail with no SMART Errors

      • #2286973 Reply
        berniec
        AskWoody Plus

        Thanks for the interesting and helpful discussion.  I read the backup article and it mentioned Stablebit Scanner and CrystalDiskInfo  has been mentioned in this thread several times.   Is there a preference for one over the other?  .

      • #2286977 Reply
        Bill_Bright
        AskWoody Plus

        Running it in real time is useful if the device starts to deteriorate without getting to a failure threshold. Gives you more time to replace a failing disk.

        While, “in theory”, that may technically be true, I don’t agree with this logic. First, “IF” the drive starts to deteriorate is a HUGE “IF”. All drives will fail – eventually. And with mechanical parts creating friction in hard drives, they are likely, again, “in theory” to fail before SSDs.

        Second, when SSDs do die prematurely, there typically is no warning at all that any monitoring program could alert you to. That is, they just die, they don’t deteriorate over time in such a manner to allow you to predict when they will die.

        Neither do hard drives for that manner. That is, a hard drive can toss up SMART or CRC or other errors and continue to provide years of service. Or it can toss up an error and die tomorrow.

        Third, as satrow notes, hard drives can and often die without warning too. For example, when their drive motors seize.

        Do you find it necessary to have real-time monitoring on all your hard drives? If not, why not?

        Last, any number of things can “suddenly” take out a computer and/or corrupt the data on a drive. These include fire, flood, theft, lightning, malware, user error and more.

        The moral of the story? Have a good backup plan, and use it – regardless the type of drives you use.

        ***

        I am not saying don’t use a “real-time” disk monitoring program. If it gives one greater peace of mind, and the system has the resources (primarily disk space and RAM) to support it without impacting performance, there’s certainly no harm in using one. And I admit there are some scenarios where it might give sufficient advanced warnings for the user to buy and replace the drive before actual failure occurs.

        What I am just saying is the vast majority of users don’t need one. And I am saying there is nothing to suggest running SSDs instead of hard drives requires increased or additional monitoring than hard drives.

         

         

        Bill (AFE7Ret)
        Freedom isn't free!

      • #2286980 Reply
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        Real time saves users from having to remember to run the software to check. Belts and braces…

        cheers, Paul

      • #2286994 Reply
        Bill_Bright
        AskWoody Plus

        Real time saves users from having to remember to run the software to check. Belts and braces…

        I guess. I just personally never felt the need. If such a program could tell me my drive was going to fail on August 15th, 2020, then great. But it really can’t predict failure with any certainty.

        I do run Speccy and HWiNfo64 every so often, but it is typically to check temps or to get information about other components. And I will check my drives then. But I can’t recall the last time I ran such a program just to check drive status. I will typically just use chkdsk or Windows Error Checking for that.

        But as I said, if it gives you peace of mind, then I sure am not going to tell you to stop using it!

        Cheers to you too! 🙂

        Bill (AFE7Ret)
        Freedom isn't free!

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