• The hard drive is dead; long live solid-state storage

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    SILICON By Brian Livingston The death of hard disk drives may be greatly exaggerated — after all, HDD manufacturers sold more than 250 million units w
    [See the full post at: The hard drive is dead; long live solid-state storage]

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    • #2456849

      When desktops can hold 16+ SSDs at 14TB each for around A$40 per TB without impacting performance of other parts of the system (ie. by chewing up all available PCIe lanes), I’ll switch exclusively to SSDs. Until then, HDDs are not going anywhere for me.

      Right now, the cost per TB for a PCIe3 SSD is about A$175. In 2018 it was A$600 per TB.

      For a PCIe4 drive it’s around A$280 per TB

      I get that the read/write speeds are enormously higher on SSDs, but it’s not about speed. It’s about capacity for all the PCs here. There are 10 PCs and all of them have at least a 10TB HDD. The server has 16 x 14TB drives (Had to use external USB 4 bay enclosures on USB 3.2 ports to support that number of drives).

       

      • #2456875

        I partially disagree with “It’s all about capacity”. My personal use case has been a mix of both. My boot drive should be an SSD; I am not in the business of waiting forever for my computer to start up. My laptops should all be using SSDs because they are simply more durable when I need to travel with them. If I’m actively working on something, like a video project, I want all of those files on an SSD, so working with them is faster.

        If I need to store a lot of files that aren’t going to be accessed too often, I move them onto a hard drive. In that case, speed isn’t too much of an issue, and it becomes more (not all) about capacity. Hard drives are used more for longer term storage, or when I need lots of storage when speed is not too much of a concern.

        Many large server farms use both SSDs and HDDs. SSDs are used for data that’s being accessed a lot recently, like “trending” stuff on social media. HDDs are used for data that’s being accessed a lot less frequently, to cut down on costs. So for the foreseeable future, SSDs and HDDs coexist with each other. And I wouldn’t be surprised if HDDs never actually go away; if their capacities keep getting bigger and their cost keeps getting cheaper, and so long as they can keep a step ahead of SSDs in that department, then they’ll always see a purpose.

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        • #2457018

          I do have a 1 TB SSD in my Mac and an one 4TB HD for backups using the software that comes with the Mac, called “Time Machine.”

          As to HDDs: I have had three computers before the Mac, all running some version of Windows, in average 7.5 years each, and never had a single problem with their HDDs. Whether I’ll have the same result with the SSD in my Mac, time will tell.

          At present, the Mac is five years old and will probably have to be replaced in another two, at age 7+ for a series of reasons that have nothing to do on how it is running at the time: the progressive switch of Apple to RISC Mx CPUs from Intel’s CISC ones (as in this Mac) and the corresponding expected run of software support by application developers and, separately, of the OS by Apple’s long-standing time limit before EOL.

          By the way: “TRIM” is implemented by default in Macs with internal SSDs.

          In my case:

          APPLE SSD SM1024G:

          Capacity: 1 TB (1,000,555,581,440 bytes)
          Model: APPLE SSD SM1024G
          Revision: BXZ13A0Q
          Serial Number: S2ZNNY0J302013
          Native Command Queuing: Yes
          Queue Depth: 32
          Removable Media: No
          Detachable Drive: No
          BSD Name: disk0
          Medium Type: Solid State
          TRIM Support: Yes
          Partition Map Type: GPT (GUID Partition Table)
          S.M.A.R.T. status: Verified

          Ex-Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7); since mid-2017 using also macOS. Presently on Monterey 12.15 & sometimes running also Linux (Mint).

          MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
          Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
          macOS Monterey; browsers: Waterfox "Current", Vivaldi and (now and then) Chrome; security apps. Intego AV

    • #2456876

      I would never recommend using Cloud Storage as backup for important data. The disadvantages include not having access to an Internet Connection when restoration is needed, not being able to rapidly restore large volumes of data, and risks associated with keeping your data on someone else’s server.

      Individuals are not that different from businesses. Businesses keep backup hard drives with archived data on site as well as at remote locations from where they can be retrieved if local backups are destroyed or corrupted. Individuals can do something similar, and should be doing this. The need for reliable long-term local archival data storage will keep HDDs going for years if not decades to come.

      SSD maintenance should include Trim, but this is usually automatically invoked by the drive itself and/or the OS. The one exception is if you run an OS from an external SSD (SATA to USB connection), as I do with Linux. There I had to manually set up and run “fstrim” from one Linux distro. (The process can then be made into a scheduled task.) And set up the UASP translation for Windows and Linux.

      I would argue that SSDs do NOT give warnings in their diagnostics when they are about to fail. There are still many reports of sudden SSD failures of “Good” drives. This can happen at any time, but the likelihood increases dramatically at about the five-year mark, whether the drive is being written to or not. It only needs to be attached to a running device.

      -- rc primak

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    • #2456895

      the likelihood increases dramatically at about the five-year mark

      As it does for HDDs and all other components. It’s one reason we backup.

      cheers, Paul

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2456906

      I have 6 SSD drives in my daily driver.  3 M.2 NVMe 250GB SSD’s and 3 SATA 1TB SSD’s, with 21 partitions scattered across them.  It isn’t necessarily all about capacity for home use, it’s more about filling the needs of the individual.

      I also have ten or eleven unconnected HDD’s of 1TB to 4TB capacity.  These I use for archival storage of complete drive images and selective partition images.  My daily driver contains ~1,899.89GB written and ~1,568.71GB free.  I have ample capacity for my personal needs.

      My DIY NAS has a 120GB mSATA SSD for the OS and 4 4TB HDD’s in a RAID 10 array.  The array has ~3.42TB written and ~3.84TB free.  The OS drive has ~57.3GB written and ~52.5GB free.  I have ample capacity for my NAS, as well.  My NAS has two main functions for me, as a file server (movies and such) and as a transfer point for my offline storage via the drive dock in the top of the case.

      I chose the redundancy of RAID 10 over the capacity of other array types.  For home use, the bottleneck of my NAS is my Gigabit network, not the speed of the array.  It can serve the same movie file to three different devices without pause or flicker.  For offline storage, the bottleneck is the SATA connection speed of the drive dock, but that doesn’t interfere with anything else and is not an issue.

      Using SSD’s in a RAID array for my purposes would be ridiculous and a total waste of the SSD’s speed, since any bottleneck would be in the network, not the array.  Nor do I have any need for a speedier network, because the Gigabit speed serves all my needs quite well.

      Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
      We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

    • #2456909

      Brian, Excellent graphic showing the consolidation of the hard drive industry!  We’ve both lived through all of it, and the names of the one-time manufacturers now come back to haunt me.

      At Comdex in Vegas in the ’90’s, I spoke to a brand-new Seagate employee, a throw-in in the trade of the SCSI business from Magnetic Peripherals Inc (MPI) to Seagate.  MPI was the joint venture of CDC and Honeywell in the disk drive business.  At this late date, I am unable to find reliable information about the year of the sale of MPI to Seagate.

      I am 1000% on your side advocating the use of SSDs whenever possible.  People always talk about the speed of SSDs, but their reliability is unparalleled in the world of storage.

       

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    • #2456914

      My current computers are all HDD; my experience has been HDD degrade slowly giving plenty of time for change to another drive. the next computer drives will be SSD when the HDD fail.

      For backups, I use external HDD; when one fails move on.

      On permanent hiatus {with backup and coffee}
      offline▸ Win10Pro 2004.19041.572 x64 i3-3220 RAM8GB HDD Firefox83.0b3 WindowsDefender
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    • #2456907

      The sensationalist headline contradicts the article.

    • #2456958

      You say “never defragment an SSD”. How about optimizing one? Is deframenting the same as optimizing when it applies to SSDs?

      I ask because my laptop, which has an SSD, came from the manufacturer already set up to optimize monthly. So, I am wondering if I should turn this off?

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      • #2456964

        Yes, Optimizing is a better word for SSD’s and it should include Trim.

        Being 20 something in the 70's was much more fun than being 70 something in the 20's.
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        • #2456987

          Yes, Optimizing is a better word for SSD’s and it should include Trim.

          I am not sure what the “yes” is a “yes” to. So, are you saying “Yes, never optimize an SSD”??

          SSD’s are self-identifying to the OS, and Windows knows to use TRIM on an SSD rather than to defrag it.

          From the explanation of trim here, do I understand that optimizing (and consequently trimming) on an SSD still involves moving data around? And so it’s not a good idea to optimize and trim, because you would be “needlessly us[ing] up some of your SSD’s finite number of write cycles”? Or do I read here that it’s OK to optimize (and consequently trim) because it doesn’t increase the count on # of write cycles?

      • #2456969

        You say “never defragment an SSD”. How about optimizing one? Is deframenting the same as optimizing when it applies to SSDs?

        SSD’s are self-identifying to the OS, and Windows knows to use TRIM on an SSD rather than to defrag it.  Optimizing is using TRIM and active garbage collection.  “What is SSD Trim?”  From the link:

        “Flash memory, which is what SSDs are made of, cannot overwrite existing data the way a hard disk drive can. Instead, solid state drives need to erase the now invalid data. The problem is that a larger unit of the memory, a block, must be erased before a smaller unit, a page, can be written. For example, if there are four pages with data in an otherwise empty block and three pages of data are deleted, the remaining page of data must be written to a new block, then all four pages in the old block can be deleted, freeing them up to be rewritten in the future.

        If the drive were to not go through this process of moving valid information so that invalid information can be deleted, and instead, just keep writing new information to new pages, eventually it would fill up with data, some of it no longer valid. To prevent this, Active Garbage collection goes through the disk and moves each page of valid data to a page in another block so the block with invalid data, which has been identified with Trim, can be cleaned out.”

        Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
        We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

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    • #2457063

      I ask because my laptop, which has an SSD, came from the manufacturer already set up to optimize monthly. So, I am wondering if I should turn this off?

      No, do not turn it off.

      Windows does defrag your SSD, but it’s to keep the number of file fragments below the maximum number, not to increase performance. Hanselman – Does Windows defragment your SSD?

      Leave Windows to manage your SSD and all will be well.

      cheers, Paul

      • #2457204

        Windows does defrag your SSD, but it’s to keep the number of file fragments below the maximum number, not to increase performance. Hanselman – Does Windows defragment your SSD?

        I read the seven-year-old article in the link. From the article:

        “When he says volume snapshots or “volsnap” he means the Volume Shadow Copy system in Windows. This is used and enabled by Windows System Restore when it takes a snapshot of your system and saves it so you can rollback to a previous system state. I used this just yesterday when I install a bad driver. A bit of advanced info here – Defrag will only run on your SSD if volsnap is turned on, and volsnap is turned on by System Restore as one needs the other. You could turn off System Restore if you want, but that turns off a pretty important safety net for Windows.”

        I find some technical issues there. I’ve always disabled System Restore and Volume Shadow Copy (I prefer drive imaging), and yet my SSD’s still get optimized weekly.

        Also, by nature of their architecture, SSD’s are always “fragmented” because of the page/block storage. Pages can be written to but only blocks can be erased. That’s where garbage collection, TRIM and wear leveling come into play.

        Leave Windows to manage your SSD and all will be well.

        Yep.

        Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
        We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

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    • #2457163

      I have a PC with an SSD boot drive that kept crashing (but only when I wasn’t using it) and then would not reboot without some intervention by me. I checked the SSD with a few SSD health tools and they all said it was healthy. After some troubleshooting I determined that the SSD was causing the crashes so I bought a new SSD and last week cloned the old one to it, and now my PC is running just fine. So I guess I’d say to take the health tool results with a grain of salt.

      I have another PC that I’ve maxed out with 6GB of RAM. A few years ago I swapped out my HDD for an SSD to improve performance. I was just thinking that maybe I should re-purpose  a 128GB SSD from a work computer that is being retired and put it in my PC just to house pagefile.sys, thus reducing reads and writes on my main SSD.

      Anyone see a downside to doing that?

      • #2457191

        I was just thinking that maybe I should re-purpose a 128GB SSD from a work computer that is being retired and put it in my PC just to house pagefile.sys, thus reducing reads and writes on my main SSD. Anyone see a downside to doing that?

        In my experience there is no downside.  My pagefile has always been a fixed size on a separate drive in a dedicated partition formatted FAT32.

        Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
        We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

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      • #2457196

        There is no downside to leaving the page file on the SSD if you have space. The SSD will happily survive for years even if you do swap lots.

        cheers, Paul

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        • #2457208

          I’ve had an OCZ Solid III SSD for circa 10 years with the pagefile in use (albeit reduced and set to custom size) using Win7 Pro and 8Gb DDR3 Ram, and used daily, it’s still going strong.
          So I would agree with Paul-T, and just set it, forget it and create backups.
          Don’t worry too much about wear leveling (unless you are writing.re-writing high Gigabytes to Terabytes per day.)

          No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created IT- AE
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    • #2457336

      I’ve always disabled Volume Shadow Copy

      VSS is also used by backup apps to make backups – like System Restore does. If you disable the service (it is normally set to manual) your backup software will have to use an alternative method to make the backup.

      I prefer to leave the VSS service enabled and leave Windows to do its thing.

      cheers, Paul

      • #2457343

        Paul is so very right, and what this “Microsoft doing it’s thing” means exactly still is a mystery. Collecting data…. and what else?.
        This also taught me, a long time ago, that keeping a recent SystemDrive Image at hand saves a lot of time, for when this “windows-thing” cannot repair the OS what so ever.

        * _ the metaverse is poisonous _ *
      • #2457366

        VSS is also used by backup apps to make backups – like System Restore does.

        Image for Windows, the only imaging software suite I have ever used and recommended, can use VSS, but doesn’t have to use VSS.  It can use its own PHYLock™, “an add-on software component for Win NT/2K/XP/2003/x64/Vista/7/8/10 that enables Images for Windows to maintain a consistent backup of an unlocked partition or volume.”  I’ve never used or needed System Restore or VSS, don’t need those services running, and I always make sure to disable both after a Windows upgrade and/or Feature Update.

        I prefer to leave the VSS service enabled and leave Windows to do its thing.

        We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do. We don’t all have to do the same things.  I’ve spent the last 20+ years figuring out whether or not I truly needed Windows to do its own thing (turns out that I don’t), and whether or not some of the things that Windows does are really necessary (turns out they aren’t).

        Unleash Windows has been around and kept updated by me for close to twenty years, and outlines how to step outside Windows box for a more efficient, responsive and reliable way to use the operating system platform upon which I install the software that I want to use.  Email feedback from my web site has shown me that a few hundred other folks use all or parts of those techniques to do the same things.

        Task Scheduler runs Image for Windows behind the scenes without any intervention from me.  Should I manage to pooch my 100GB OS partition (which I do quite often, tinkerin’), Image for Windows (which I have incorporated into the Windows Recovery partition) can restore it in just under three minutes without hiccups.  I don’t need VSS or System Restore.

        The easiest way to optimize CPU utilization is to feed it data as quickly as possible.  Reading data into RAM from three or more drives simultaneously does that.  Reading data into RAM from one single drive does not.

        Of course there are a few hundred million folks who use Windows as-is out of the box without issue or complaint (despite what is hinted at here at AskWoody from time to time), and that’s just fine.  Folks come here when they are having issues.  Members here offer advice based on their own knowledge and experience.

        This also taught me, a long time ago, that keeping a recent SystemDrive Image at hand saves a lot of time, for when this “windows-thing” cannot repair the OS what so ever.

        Windows isn’t always able to “do its thing”.  Use your favorite search engine for “what to do when system restore doesn’t work” and notice the number of hits that turn up.  Image for Windows has never, ever failed to restore a drive image for me, and my oldest drive image is never more than one week old.  I don’t need VSS or System Restore.  YMMV

        Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
        We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

    • #2457633

      I have both an external HDD and an SSD for image backups using the app Terracopy.

      What I have discovered is that e Terracopy app backs up and verifies files correctly to the external HDD but when the same exact files are copied to SSD’s (Samsung and Crucial) in an Inateck enclosure, the verify step fails with various codes stating that the copied file(s) cannot be found or accessed.

      Terracopy support is poor.  Has anyone seen anything similar copying to an SSD in an external enclosure?

      • #2457642

        Has anyone seen anything similar copying to an SSD in an external enclosure?

        Image for Windows doesn’t have that problem.

        Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
        We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

      • #2457649

        Can you verify an image separately from backup?
        Can you mount an image from SSD and restore a file or three?

        cheers, Paul

        • #2458372

          Below is screenshot of failure codes from the Terracopy copy operation.  Attempts to access those files fails.

          Tried again using a standard Explorer copy operation.  That worked w/o problems and I was able to manually verify the files.

          Therefore, I believe I have proven that Terracopy does not work correctly when an enclosure is involved.  Based on this and other tests, I would avoid using Terracopy (at least whne the target was an SSD in a portable enclosure.

          Does anyone have an enclosed SSD to try and copy some files to?

          Terracopy-fail-2022-07-03

          • #2458376

            I have an external SSD. What did you want to test?

            cheers, Paul

            • #2458379

              Copy some multi-GB files to the SSD with verify checked on using Terracopy 3.9.

              If it works, then what enclosure are you using?

            • #2458408

              Using the zip version and running Teracopy.exe.

              Copied 17GB, 282 files, verified OK in 2:08.
              Security attributes not copied.

              W10 21H2.
              I use a generic USB3 to 2.5 SATA adapter connected to a Samsung 850 EVO.

              cheers, Paul

               

    • #2458518

      Using the zip version and running Teracopy.exe.

      Copied 17GB, 282 files, verified OK in 2:08.
      Security attributes not copied.

      W10 21H2.
      I use a generic USB3 to 2.5 SATA adapter connected to a Samsung 850 EVO.

      cheers, Paul

       

      So the SSD wasn’t actually IN a sealed enclosure?

      • #2458577

        It is a USB3 to SATA connector, no housing or separate cable.
        Have you tried a different cable?

        cheers, Paul

        • #2458588

          I am trying to test the enclosure.  As mentioned previously, the copy operation works via Explorer but fails copying to an SSD in the enclosure via Teracopy.

          What passes for Teracopy support hasn’t responded to my open query in over 3 weeks.  The true quality of a product/service is how support acts/reacts when problems crop up.  Based on my negative experience, I would not recommend Teracopy.  I certainly would not pay them anything.

          • #2458620

            It looks likely to be an enclosure issue as it seems fine until you try to push the data rate via TC.

            Do you have another PC you can test it on?

            cheers, Paul

            • #2464706

              I picked up an eSATA cable and was able to successfully do the the Teracopy directly.

              So the problem is the enclosure, which again is Inateck.  I will reach out to them next to see if they can explain why their simple hardware doesn’t work now.  I am certain that it worked in the past because I have been using that enclosure for years and never saw this problem.

              But now that I think on this, the enclosure problems started happening when I installed the latest versions of Teracopy.  Possibly the new versions changed something?

            • #2470383

              Late to the discussion, but not all enclosures are created equal. It’s all in the controllers and their firmware versions.

              I will be discussing my experiences re. the “unmap” or Trim command, but this may have relevance for commands used in bulk copying. So I think this has relevance to Teracopy functions when used with an external SATA to USB SSD enclosure.

              The differences are in the controllers. Most, like yours, are of brands which use cheaper controllers. These do not have the full UASP command set that some of the better controllers have. About a year and a half ago, I had to take a no-name enclosure and replace it with a StarTech enclosure with the correct ASMedia controller and the more up to date firmware for the controller, because the cheaper enclosure did not correctly pass the “unmap” command (UASP command for Trim) to the enclosure’s SSD.  Other UASP commands may be affected as well.  (Hence the relevance to Teracopy performance.)

              Bottom line is, not all enclosures pass the commands needed to perform certain functions on externally connected SSDs. Teracopy may use bulk transfer commands which fall into the same category as Trim. Many controllers do not support these commands over USB, but some controllers do have this support.

              More recent external SSD enclosures should have a better chance of having full UASP command support. But you just never know until you put the enclosure to the test.

              eSATA cables would not have this problem, as they do not connect via USB to the computer.

              All You Need to Know About UASP 
              Posted on 2015-07-20 (Yeah, the article is old, but the info is up to date.)

              https://www.startech.com/en-us/blog/all-you-need-to-know-about-uasp

              (StarTech enclosures use the ASMedia controllers. Two years ago, there were only two other brands of enclosures which consistently used these controllers. Other brands of controllers did not consistently pass all UASP commands, as I discovered. Today, there may be other controllers which are equally capable.)

              Overview of UASP: What Is It and How to Know If You Have It [MiniTool Wiki]

              https://www.minitool.com/lib/uasp.html

              To this day, there are still Reddit threads asking if particular brands of enclosures and controllers have full UASP command support. So this is still a relevant issue today. You still have to do some research.

              -- rc primak

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    • #2458708

      I agree with Paul T.
      A coupla’ years ago I was comparing specs on external enclosures. One thing that I tripped across is that there is a certain command that is not universally supported by externals. That is, the command is not transmitted ‘through the enclosure electronics’ to the enclosed drive. The command is speed-related as I recall. (I just did a quick search for what that command is, but can’t at the moment locate it.)
      Speculation here: your device doesn’t propagate that command; Explorer doesn’t utilize that command; but Teracopy does, in the interest of efficiency and speed. Is there perhaps some Option within Teracopy that allows one to disable “advanced support” or to degrade the top speed?

      • #2470384

        That’s Trim, or in UASP parlance, “unmap”.

        I had to replace an enclosure which would not support Trim. Windows saw the external SSD as a HDD (removable) and tried to defrag it. After switching to an enclosure with a controller with full UASP support, not only Windows, but (with a bit of Command Line persuasion) Linux were able to recognize the SSD and only but correctly do Trim on the enclosed SSD, for all file systems contained therein.

        See my post #2470383 above for details.

        As I posted there, Teracopy may also be using commands which are not passed correctly through all external enclosure controllers.

        The solution is not to cripple Teracopy, but to get a fully capable external SSD enclosure with a fully UASP compliant controller and firmware.

        -- rc primak

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    • #2476175

      Brian,

      Did you not read AskWoody’s – Ben Myers Feb. 7, 2022 article ” Our world is not very S.M.A.R.T. about SSDs ” — ” With solid-state drives (SSDs), the SMART ante is raised because an SSD can fail catastrophically — CLUNK! — without warning and with no possibility of recovering data. ” Number 19.06 ..

      You seemed to agree somewhat on you ‘Advantages for Hard Drives’ on the third point of this section of your own article, ” SSDs have a higher rate of uncorrectable errors than HDDs. A University of Toronto study examined for six years the SSDs used in Google data centers. The SSDs suffered more unrecoverable errors as they aged, independent of how many writes the drives had handled. “While flash drives offer lower field replacement rates than hard disk drives, they have a significantly higher rate of problems that can impact the user, such as uncorrectable errors,” the authors stated in their summary. “Between 20–63% of [solid-state] drives experience at least one uncorrectable error during their first four years in the field.” (USENIX abstractPDF) ”

      I do believe that Ben Myers makes this point very firmly, within his article, regarding the points about sudden loss having a bit more impact versus the speed of the storage.

      In my experience with the average PC user over more than 20 years,  that they do not make an effort to backup and that it seems to be mostly an after thought.  In this situation then,  which would be more important to you – Speed or Sudden loss of Data ?

      Especially most users Just use their PCs and setting up Backups, this would require them to either execute this manually or automate these protections (both types of Backups – Image & file and possibly also Snapshots) and the average user pay’s lip service for this protection in actual fact, IMHO..

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    • #2476217

      Brian,

      I would like to bring up another point, and that of the Growth factor of Windows Operating Systems on their needs for the working space needs of the basic system.

      I helped a friend with his Upgraded Desktop Windows PC,  that has a 64 GB SSD originally with Windows 7 Home and he upgraded it himself to Windows 10 Home.  The size difference has, down the road, impacted the working space on his Desktop’s C:- Drive.  He has a 500 GB Hard Drive that is barely being used.

      I have moved his personal libraries off the SSD and unto his spinning HD, to hardly any long standing affect.  In fact, he has executed a Windows Update (trying to keep current) and now he boots to a Nice Background screen with date and time, but he has no Login and password entries.  (this seems to be a result of very little scratch working space)

      It seems one of my only corrective moves is to Clone his existing C:-Drive to either his existing HD and make it the Booting C:-Drive – or – Clone his SSD to a larger SSD.  I’ve been advised by several Repair shops that Cloning is not a guaranteed procedure because you still could end-up with a corrupt output to the new storage.

      Anyone out there having crossed this situation and has some suggestions ?

      I have tried all WinRE created DVD – selections with No reported problems after their selections and yet I can not get to Log into Windows and get to a normal Desktop.

      This can also be another affect of the use of SSDs with the growth of operating system..  I hope someone can assist..

    • #2476462

      Anyone out there having crossed this situation and has some suggestions ?

      Create a full image copy of current SSD to an external HDD and restore that image to a new larger SSD.

      • #2476787

        Your suggestion = ” Create a full image copy of current SSD to an external HDD and restore that image to a new larger SSD. ”

        1. Just want to confirm, that you are assuming that there is a Bootable Backup program in-order to create an ‘image’ backup of the limited – spaced – installed internal SSD, correct ?
        2. Would you suggest staying with the same Manufacturer of the SSD just with a larger size due to trying to use the same supporting Drive firmware ?

        Just Trying to stay away from the use of existing (like you suggest with creation of New image) Image or File type backups especially not with Windows related programs and that they do not cover the current state of Windows installed programs and created data.

        To expand upon the use of the WinRE’s DVD :

        • I had used “Startup Repair” with no correction.
        • Used the selection to back out latest Windows Update with no correction.
        • Unable to gain access to Safe Mode.
        • Went to Troubleshooting – Command Prompt and executed — “sfc /scannow” where there was no error messages and it returned to the command prompt.  Learned that this permission level was not at Administrator level by the execution of the series of “bootrec” commands and that the option /fixboot came back to say that even in WinRE command-line prompt you are Not a high enough permission.
        • Also executed Chkdsk with the results of no error messages.

        With all of this results, this is why I am understanding the the Filesystem seems to be Ok and that there is just Not enough working or needed Space on C: since my friend ran a Windows Update.

        So I’m not able to gain access to this Window 10 environment, at all.  So we are locked out and only able to access this Windows Filesystem via a Booted environment with DVD or created Thumb drive.

        Wouldn’t it just be possible, prior to creation of an Image Backup – Non Windows program from a boot environment, to just go into WinRE’s command prompt and Delete some files in-order to gain a Normal Login prompt and password entries and then Login as Normal and be in a normal Desktop environment ?  Which files do you Delete though ! ? ?

        Wouldn’t this be a Clean(er) environment in order to create a New Image Backup that would be restored to a new larger SSD ?  Would you suggest certain manufacturer’s for SSDs that you may have had good support and success with ?

        I thank you Alex5723 for your advise and time to respond !

    • #2476471

      you still could end-up with a corrupt output to the new storage

      What sort of corruption that you have not already noticed on the old disk?
      Why do you care as you have an image backup on external HDD and can always restore using the bootable recovery USB. You know this because you tested it when you made the first backup.

      cheers, Paul

    • #2476791

      you still could end-up with a corrupt output to the new storage

      They indicated that they have yet to find a reliable Cloning program.  One of the results is that after cloning one drive to a newer larger drive, that they have experienced is the clone target drive is not properly booting,  as one of the results besides others.

      So these shops are saying as a results of Cloning process since this is one of the more simple procedures to move from a small storage to a larger storage device (MBR, resizing partition, and proper laying out the imaged device and data)..

      I did not take pen and paper notes at the times.  I hope that this answers your inquiry.  The issue I was addressing was not covered in Brian’s article regarding SSDs replacing Spinning Hard Drives, IMO.  The Growth on Space needed for Today’s Operating Systems because they are being asked to include more functions and automation that was addressed by Third-party software (like Malware and this goes back in time a ways)..

    • #2476870

      you are assuming that there is a Bootable Backup program in-order to create an ‘image’

      You do not need to boot from a backup program. Install one of the free ones and you can create a backup from within Windows, while it is running.

      Would you suggest staying with the same Manufacturer of the SSD

      Buy whatever SSD is the right size and within budget. Manufacturer is not an issue as it has a warranty.

      The free backup programs will create an image containing everything installed on your disk.
      See this post for backup programs. VeraCrypt and Backup

      They indicated that they have yet to find a reliable Cloning program

      I’ve cloned lots of machines using the standard 3rd party backup apps and never had a problem.

      cheers, Paul

    • #2477967

      you are assuming that there is a Bootable Backup program in-order to create an ‘image’

      You do not need to boot from a backup program. Install one of the free ones and you can create a backup from within Windows, while it is running.

      Would you suggest staying with the same Manufacturer of the SSD

      Buy whatever SSD is the right size and within budget. Manufacturer is not an issue as it has a warranty.

      The free backup programs will create an image containing everything installed on your disk.
      See this post for backup programs. VeraCrypt and Backup

      They indicated that they have yet to find a reliable Cloning program

      I’ve cloned lots of machines using the standard 3rd party backup apps and never had a problem.

      cheers, Paul

      With the first of your Quotes regarding Creation of an Image Backup within Windows.  If you would have read the last three (3) paragraphs of my Option # 2476787,  you would have learned,  that I am NOT able to gain full access to the windows running environment and I’m truly Locked Out of a proper login.

      I have the Graphic Background showing with the Date and Time showing in the lower left corner of the Screen.  But I can not either pull up or down to a screen  with the cursor to gain the Login Entry for the Name and Password.  Also the power button and the two (2) other items that display in the bottom Right corner are Not there either ..  So the only access to the windows environment is via a Bootable system that then can gain access to C:-drive via this other environment.

      This is the reason for my follow-up posting in this thread.  Not due to all the other procedures that I had tried,  but due to Really being Locked Out of being able to login, at this juncture !

      Also, from researching and learning of all the possible corrections for being Locking out, they have not worked or where not appropriate either due to the assumption that you are either in Safe Mode or some of the other suggestions,  that were given to you to get into the windows environment..   Which is Not happening as explained in my long Option # 2476787 (unless it did not come across to you).   Otherwise,  I could follow your suggestion(s)..

      Would you still suggest obtaining one of the suggested Backup programs and then maybe IF you have another Windows PC, use this system to create a bootable backup environment to be used on the Locked Out PC for the purpose of moving C-drive contents to a larger SSD ? ?

      I thank you for your patients with my explaining my true issue and how I have come around to telling you,  that I am truly Locked OUT… I also appreciate your help in this matter.. — Paul T.

    • #2477977

      Have you tried Ctrl Alt Del at the blank screen?
      That will let you Switch user, logout etc.

      cheers, Paul

    • #2478123

      Have you tried Ctrl Alt Del at the blank screen?
      That will let you Switch user, logout etc.

      cheers, Paul

      A Blank Screen ?

      Upon Boot-up and Windows 10 Starting,  it Only goes to a Screen with your Background displayed, as described.  This is where I have tried to use the Cursor to Pull down or Push up the screen in-order to obtain the Login – Name and Password Entry spaces.  Which appears and quickly goes away.

      If you consider this to be a blank screen,  Yes,  I have tried Ctrl-Alt-Delete several times and it never works.  Also this was one of the suggestion from my research, among others that were mention previously.  They all expect to be past a login screen and into a Desktop type screen.  Even trying to obtain a Safe Mode access,  which is Not offered off this DVD – WinRE Booted up and running environment.  Best I can get to is a Command-Line from this DVD.

      To restate, after booting and Windows 10 started, (refer to above explanation) This is all that there is to use to access this Windows 10 environment.  It is LOCKed – No other way to access other than Booting to another environment (i.e DVD or WinRE or Thumb Drive, Linux, and probably any other Bootable selections)

      Also in my research, I found mentioned as a solution by others,  that they have replaced the Hard Drive and this solved their Lock-up.  This also is part of my reasoning that it is a lack of Free workable amount of Space on the C:-Drive.  All other suggestions requires you to at least obtain a Normal login screen where the Bottom Right Power Button and others of that corner would be showing and then probably the Ctrl-Alt-Del would work, BUT it does Not have this normalcy  ! ….

      So how do you obtain the current state of his Win10 Home PC C:-Drive since my friend has not allowed the Scheduled Backups to happen,  due to not Plugging-in the setup external USB Hard Drives for over a year ! ? ?

      This is why I’m asking how to delete known possible files,  just to obtain the needed space for a possible Normal Login Screen.  Otherwise loss of installed software and inputted data and any correspondence and other items that would be current.  He would loose at least a year or more .. Sorry for stretching out the needed information about this Issue ! ..

      Any further thoughts — Paul T.   Thanks still and ongoing !

      xNavy73Dp

    • #2478205

      You need to boot using a Windows / Linux boot USB and then view the internal disk. You will be able to see if there is free space and delete files if required – assuming the drive is not encrypted.

      cheers, Paul

    • #2478395

      You need to boot using a Windows / Linux boot USB and then view the internal disk. You will be able to see if there is free space and delete files if required – assuming the drive is not encrypted.

      cheers, Paul

      First Off,  I see that you seem to agree with my assessment.  With all that we have covered together,  that this probably is a choice to try,  and Yes, the drive is Not encrypted.

      I know that we have spent some real time on this issue, and I really appreciate your time and offered advise.  I hope that my replies were not confusing and helped you to understand what I was personally seeing and dealing with.

      Now to find either a list of removable files and/or folders and a different utility other than WinRE DVD due to some of its’ limitations at its’ command-line (Admin Rights).  So I greatly appreciate your time and effort on this situation.  I hope that your fall is a pleasant one !

      xNavy73Dp

    • #2478537

      I’m not agreeing with your assessment, just offering advice on troubleshooting.
      Let’s see what your disk looks like before making any decisions.

      cheers, Paul

    • #2480386

      I’m not agreeing with your assessment, just offering advice on troubleshooting.
      Let’s see what your disk looks like before making any decisions.

      cheers, Paul

      I understand ..  And I am taking your advise.. Then Other than the “temp” directory, what other directories can be used to gain space ?  Can you make suggestions ?  I will do some R&D on this subject, also.

      In the meantime, I have received sort of confirmation regarding your suggestion of creation of an Image Backup and then Restore to larger device would seem to work.  The problem that I have been informed of is that of MBR and related issues on the Restore.

      My primary concern at this time is Backing up the current data/state of the Storage drive as protection of loss and a lot of work if this state is lost.

      Again,  I do thank you for your Advise !

      xNavy73Dp

    • #2481208

      Download folders may have files you can delete. (c:\Users\your_user_name\Downloads)
      C:\Windows.old

      An image backup to external disk – in your case via backup program boot USB  – is the only way to save the data before you start trying to fix anything.

      cheers, Paul

    • #2481223

      Difficulty entering a password at the windows login screen is often from a defective keyboard or stuck key.  Try using an external keyboard (or the on screen virtual keyboard), but first shake any crumbs out or enter the bios and look for signs of a stuck key.

    • #2524772

      Here is an update to this issue of Not gaining access to the Login and Password screen.

      Once the downloaded Windows Update was able to complete and then reboot,  the Normal Login Screen was accessible and I was able to login as expected.

      So, in look back over the situation, I would surmise that the Update was taking up precious space on the 64 GB SSD.  Once it had sat for a time and it was restarted,  it found or had released the temp files or whatever and was finally able to clear out the Update to a final resolution.

      The proof was in the fact that the Desktop Booted normally into a non-hindered login.  I would then suggest, from this experience, that if you experience this Lock-out from logging into your Win 10 PC, that you also consider that the result is also indicating that you do not have enough space on the Operating C-Drive.  That you may have waited to long to Upgrade or Move to a larger drive for working space for Win 10 (at least), IMHO..

      I then found that it was necessary to either Restore the previously created Image backup,  that would have been either Scheduled or created as a precaution to making changes to your PC.

      I found that there were still situations with installing a much larger SSD even with restoring the Image and then having the Desktop PC to boot normally using the Vendor’s Cloning Tool (Samsung).  I will cover that in separate Posting if that experience has been already posted or not.

      I hope that this information along with all the others are still helping subscriber’s !  May your 2023 be a good one for you and all of us..

      2 users thanked author for this post.
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