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  • Solid State Drives? Optimize? Defragment?

    Home Forums AskWoody support PC hardware Questions – Maintenance and backups Solid State Drives? Optimize? Defragment?

    • This topic has 14 replies, 8 voices, and was last updated 8 months ago.
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      • #2110473 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        My nearly new Dell desktop came with a solid state drive and an old time spinning hard drive. Windows 10 Pro offers me opportunities not to ‘defragment’ my drives but rather to ‘optimize’ my drives. Is it safe to ‘optimize’ a solid state drive? Should I let Windows 10 Pro ‘optimize’ both my drives? Should I, instead, use EaseUS Partition Master to 4k align my solid state drive and then optimize my system? (What on earth is 4k optimize?)

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2110508 Reply
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        You should not do anything to the SSD, let Windows manage it for you.

        SSDs do not need to be defragmented because there is no time cost to having non-sequential files and the internal algorithm the drive uses for write optimization is likely to fragment the files anyway.
        The only defragmentation Windows does is to keep file fragments to less than X (I can’t remember the number) because Windows can’t track more than X fragments.

        When Windows 10 is installed on an SSD it automatically aligns the drive so there is nothing to do afterwards. If you restored the entire disk from backup you may not have aligned the disk, but backup software should have taken that into account.

        cheers, Paul

        3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2110522 Reply
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        Windows OS sets automatically TRIM = On when installed on a SSD drive.

        TRIM is a command with the help of which the operating system can tell the solid state drive (SSD) which data blocks are no longer needed and can be deleted, or are marked as free for rewriting. In other words, TRIM is a command that helps the operating system know precisely where the data that you want to move or delete is stored. That way, the solid state drive can access only the blocks holding the data. Furthermore, whenever a delete command is issued by the user or the operating system, the TRIM command immediately wipes the pages or blocks where the files are stored. This means that the next time the operating system tries to write new data in that area, it does not have to wait first to delete it.

        https://www.digitalcitizen.life/simple-questions-what-trim-ssds-why-it-useful

        TRIM replaces the need for block (4k) alignment, defrag…

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2110538 Reply
          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          This still leaves the ‘optimize” part of the question unanswered. Perhaps a description of what the “optimizing” does might help answer it. Going with my own experience, this might mean ‘deleting no longer useful or undesirable files’, such as temporary Internet files, cookies, etc.

          How complete is the deletion of data in an SSD? Does it leave no traces behind that later someone may be able, with appropriate equipment and software, to reconstruct what was there, or at least enough of it to get some idea of what it was?

          Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

          • #2110540 Reply
            Paul T
            AskWoody MVP

            No traces are left once TRIM has run.

            Data recovery via specialized equipment was only a theoretical possibility in very, very old hard disks. Reference here.

            cheers, Paul

            • #2110565 Reply
              satrow
              AskWoody MVP

              Data recovery via specialized equipment was only a theoretical possibility in very, very old hard disks. Reference here.

              My experience suggests otherwise; NT4 SP4 with mid 90’s IDE/ATA HDD from local government department with department -specific software installed was pulled/fdisk’ed ‘clean’ before releasing from service and sold ~2000 to a department official who then installed W95 and a small amount of 3rd-party software plus MS Office/Works. ~2002, it was gifted to me. I recognised the source of the PC immediately so I ran a quick test.

              I booted it to MBRWork and reset the MBR, pulled the boot floppy and restarted the PC, which then booted into NT. A quick check suggested 0 errors except being unable to log onto the original network so I did a quick run through the installed software, opening templates, etc. Again, no errors. There was ~75% free space on the NT install cf. ~45% on the W95 install, so there was likely to have been significant data overlap/overwriting but no sign of any damaged data when recovered back to the original NT.

              • #2110566 Reply
                Paul T
                AskWoody MVP

                Unerased data areas isn’t the same thing, but your point is valid – always wipe a mechanical any drive if you want to keep your data private.

                cheers, Paul

                • This reply was modified 9 months ago by Paul T.
      • #2110539 Reply
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        I think that Digital Citizen article is wrong in a number of ways. Two examples.

        TRIM is a command that helps the operating system know precisely where the data that you want to move or delete is stored

        TRIM has nothing to do with moving data.

        whenever a delete command is issued by the operating system or the user, the SSD automatically sends a TRIM command to wipe the storage space being erased

        SSD’s do not send TRIM commands, they receive them.

        TRIM replaces the need for block (4k) alignment, defrag

        Nope, doesn’t do that either.

        Here is the lowdown on defragmentation of an SSD from Scott Hanselman.
        And the 4k boundary issue from MiniTool (Partition Wizard).

        cheers, Paul

        6 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2110577 Reply
        Michael Austin
        AskWoody Plus

        Wow. I didn’t know about any of this. Thank you. Although I came up in a time of spinning discs three of our four home/office computers now have SSDs. As resident geek I wanted to know that I can just trust that Windows 10 to do whatever it’s supposed to and keep my data sorted out. Our iMac’s 1 TB Seagate Barracuda spinner just gave up its ghost after only three years and I had it replaced with a Samsung SSD by a shop that knows what it’s doing.

        Finance, social and tech founder. Co-founder of a global, gamified, crowd-sourced ESG advertising platform, and managing director of new crowd sourced games, both in pre-release development. My planet-wide talk show for people craving new stories by which to live is Casual Saints.

      • #2170406 Reply
        GreatAndPowerfulTech
        AskWoody Plus

        To Anon: Windows 10 “optimizing” the SSD will simply Trim it, while it will defrag a hard drive. So, it’s safe.

        GreatAndPowerfulTech

        • #2170430 Reply
          Paul T
          AskWoody MVP

          Not quite true. Optimize does defragment when required.
          It’s still safe to do.

          cheers, Paul

      • #2170555 Reply
        WCHS
        AskWoody Plus

        how about chkdsk? Is it OK to run that on a SSD?
        My other machines had hard drives and I would run chkdsk periodically to be sure there were no bad sectors, lost segments, etc.

        Offline: Win7Pro ∙ SP1 ∙ x64
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        • #2170603 Reply
          satrow
          AskWoody MVP

          Chkdsk /r is pointless on an SSD.

          Chkdsk /f can be useful as it checks the file system, NTFS MFT index v. actual content, correct free space size, etc.

      • #2170582 Reply
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        how about chkdsk? Is it OK to run that on a SSD?
        My other machines had hard drives and I would run chkdsk periodically to be sure there were no bad sectors, lost segments, etc.

        Just don’t touch the SSD. No defrag, no chkdsk, no “optimizing” apps… Just let the SSD be.

        The only maintenance (needed) is checking, from time to time, for a new SSD’s firmware as it doesn’t autoupdate.

        example : Samsung :

        Attachments:
        • #2171074 Reply
          Paul T
          AskWoody MVP

          Assuming the firmware update fixes something that will affect you.

          cheers, Paul

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