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How to Maximize the Life of Your SSD
Super User — An SSD drive is a worthwhile investment, but like any storage device, it can fail. In fact, failing isn't that uncommon. As with your spinning drives, you should always set up a good backup solution, and you can do plenty to take full advantage of your SSD, but you can also take steps to maximize your SSD's lifespan. Here's how.

The Potential Problem
All SSDs have a limited number of writes before they wear out. As we've pointed out, most modern SSDs will become outdated before they die, but that doesn't mean you can't make a few adjustments to maximize the life of your SSD—if nothing else as a safety precaution. A user called caveman on web site Super User asked: How can I prevent programs from killing my SSD in two weeks? I just got my first SSD. And I have SSDLife monitoring in the background. After I have installed all software, and did some basic testings. SSDLife said "Total Data written, GB" = 52.1 (40GB used space, 70GB free space).

but the SSD wear is equivalent to 256KB being written: a 2.is only for the best case scenario which would allow you to write 1. TRIM is the first line of defense in keeping your SSD alive.. but I can assure you that it doesn't look good! We can maximize the lifetime of our precious SSD by wear leveling and minimizing all those small writes to it. This is also discussed in: What is the lifespan of an SSD drive? . and should last a good 20 years at least not counting performance degradation. That is to say. To change even ONE of these digits.048 MILLION fold difference.. There is. your OS sees 1 bit being written.000. you must rewrite the ENTIRE block. Which means that the formula: (SIZE OF SSD) * (Endurance Cycles) = Total data written to SSD before failure . of course.000 to 1.Answer by caliban And that is what we could call an average case. Make sure that TRIM is enabled TRIM is a "command [that] allows an operating system to inform a solid-state drive (SSD) which blocks of data are no longer considered in use and can be wiped internally.So. But. those are way more likely to occur with all those small writes going on on the SSD. looking at the average to even worst case... .000 times the data of the drive before failure. no sense in trying to enable TRIM if your hard disk does not support it.the gist is that SSDs are more reliable than hard disks. You can do the numbers for the worst case if you want to. using simple and advanced techniques. So question one is: How do I know if my SSD supports TRIM? The easiest way to learn if your SSD supports . he only installed about 40 GB of data but there is already 52." In general.1 GB written? He discovered why this happens in a post which explains: The problem with an SSD is [that] data is written in blocks. A block may be 256KB: 256 * 1000 * 8 binary digits.

When you do run out of memory (e. For Windows 7. Read this three-part article for an even more in-depth information on various space consumers..g. open the Command Prompt (Ed.exe as an administrator for this command). If this results in "DisableDeleteNotify = 0". when you are sure your memory will almost never fill to 8 GB you can really spare out a lot of SSD writes by disabling the page file without any drawback. To do so. In such case. note: I had to Run cmd. Disable or move unnecessary OS features Our operating system has some features that write to the disk when the memory can't hold it for some reason. you might have a computer that only uses 2–3 GB of memory while you have 8 GB of memory. then type fsutil behavior query disabledeletenotify. this to ensure that the memory doesn't get full when you run too many programs. alongside tricks that speed up your computer in case you have a HDD but are no longer necessary on an SSD. right-click your hard drive in Device Manager and select Update Drive Software. isn't using TRIM—you should take a look at the properties of the SSD in the Device Manager. If Windows isn't treating your drive as an SSD—and as such.TRIM is to run an application like CrystalDiskInfo (Windows). you don't want your computer to thrash your SSD because of that. The next step is to check if Windows is using the TRIM feature. You may need to update the drivers of your disk controller in order for the OS to become aware of your SSD. that means that the OS is using TRIM and thus is treated as an SSD. However. Paging Windows' page file is meant to keep space free in the memory by swapping out memory data to the disk. Let's look into the most important features that can cause issues and see if we could disable them. as shown in the screenshot. so you have two solutions: Disabling the page file . It will tell you if your SSD supports TRIM. if you run virtual machines).

Click Settings in the ‘Performance' fieldset. Click OK when you're done. Both of those features make small. Unfortunately It's not possible to move the hibernation file. you might be able to get around with creating a smaller page file on your HDD of only 1–2 GB. 3. Click OK when you're done. Moving the page file from your SSD to a storage hard drive 1. 6. 2. so feel free to do more research to see what could be the best for you or just try it out. Right click ‘My Computer' and click ‘Properties'. If you really don't need this feature. Click Change in the ‘Virtual memory' fieldset.. select ‘No paging file' and click ‘Set'. Hibernation Windows' built-in hibernation feature can be a pain for your SSD. Click on your SSD drive. then go to the Advanced tab. Then. You can disable hibernate by running the command from the Command Prompt: powercfg /hibernate off . excessive writes to your drive. We've answered many questions on disabling the page file. . First disable the page file as described above.as an administrator. click on your preferred HDD drive. because hibernate writes your memory to the hibernation file every time you hibernate. This will disable the hibernation option and remove the hibernation file. SuperFetch and Defrag SSD manufacturers suggest that you turn off both SuperFetch and Defrag features for your drive. 2. select ‘System managed size' (unless you know what you're doing) and click ‘Set'. Go to the ‘Advanced System Settings' tab..1. consider using sleep or shutdown instead. 3. Disable the SuperFetch service. 4. Here's how to disable both: 1. as your SSD doesn't need defragmentation at all and it's excellent speed makes SuperFetch useless. Make sure that you monitor your memory every now and then. 5. which are unnecessary.

Let's see in our next two sections how we can find those and use junction points (see below) when we can't move or disable them. These also result in a lot of excessive writes! However. Cache and Logs There are a lot of temporary files. you might want to consider disabling the Search Indexer. Type ‘Resource Monitor' in the start menu and run it. if you want more detail you'll need Process Monitor. because it speeds searching up a lot for data that's on your hard drive. How to hunt down more applications that frequently write to your disk (cfr. Another option is to trim down your indexed locations so that things that you would never search or already know where they are never get indexed. Process Monitor .2. Make sure that the defragger isn't scheduled. if you'd like to try moving these. so whenever you use Google Earth you are essentially writing images to your SSD. For example Google Earth keeps a cache of the images of the places you visited. If you have both an SSD and regular HDD. Search Indexing Most people find Windows' built-in search indexer necessary. Go to the ‘Disk' tab. 3. If you are using Linux or Mac OS X. Temporary Files. 2. Sort the ‘Disk Activity' by ‘Write'. you should move the Search Indexer cache to your HDD. This will spare out a lot of writes so that whenever a file is being saved in one of your indexed locations the search cache is no longer updated. disable or remove defragment software. the method depends on which browser and what software you use. If you only have an SSD. caches and logs on your computer.) Resource Monitor Let's look at the built-in Resource Monitor in the newer versions of Windows: 1. there are some alternatives you could use. This will allow you to see an accumulation of the writes that are happening on your system.

list. Make sure the new filter reads ‘Operation contains WRITE then Include' then click ‘Add'. what if you rather like to create Junction points from Windows Explorer. try out Junction for Windows and mklink for both Windows and Linux. This allows you to easily store frequently written files on your storage drive when. this comes in really handy to tell it that if it wants to access C:\Windows\Temp that it should actually access E:\Storage\Cache\Temp instead. 5. 4. Process Monitor will be writing to it. they still look very much like they're on your main system drive. what should I put on my SSD? You should place things that really require to load faster on your SSD. Now you will see the writes occurring in real time. nor will other personal documents result in faster . and remove junciton points. Under the menu ‘Tools' there is a ‘File Summary' which allows you to look at the whole set of writes in different tabs. Can't move folders away from the SSD? Use junction points! Junction points tell the system that when it's accessing path X that it should access path Y instead. Optional: Filter by your SSD drive. Then click ‘Apply' and then click ‘OK'. Download Process Monitor and run it. Then. Make sure the new filter reads ‘Path starts with C:\ then Include' then click ‘Add'. then enable ‘Drop Filtered Events' under the ‘Filters' menu and perhaps decrease the ‘History Depth' under the ‘Options' menu. Warning: If you plan to let Process Monitor run in the background. here's a look at two tools that can do exactly that. Click ‘Reset'. Command line lovers. This includes mostly your programs and games. to applications that write the data. For example. You can change this behavior in ‘Backing Files' under the ‘File' menu. 2. Placing a video from your SSD will not give a noticeable speed-up in comparison with your HDD. The documentation clearly explains what parameters to use to create.Let's download Process Monitor from Microsoft Sysinternals and set up a filter on the writes: 1. However. If you haven't disabled your page file. You can click an individual element for indepth information. 3.

that's a bummer.) For more. At work. but the current SSD sizes aren't meant for that purpose so for the moment. see Lifehacker's previous guide to taking full advantage of your solid-state drive. Now why all this trouble? Because I discovered that with usage always hovering near the max physical ram available. IE. productivity processes.performance. which mirrors some of this advice. With the remaining 1GB (I really only get to use about 3. SQL Mgmt Studio. I could hear the hard drive crunching away to "ready-up" my visual studio instances again. DISCUSSION THREADS Featured All Start a new thread envador 18 May 2011 2:55 PM I have the page file disabled on my Win7 machines both at home and at work. Windows Explorer. I have a regular 7200RPM HDD and 4GB of RAM. . (Sure. This bothered me too much. but more on that later) I let Photoshop. Maximizing the lifetime of your SSD | Super User Super User Blog is the official blog of the Stack Exchange site: Super User. Firefox take turns. Whenever I hadn't used an application for a while. Visual Studio (2 instances). Why only on 4GB?" you ask. I also disable the page file here! "Why? For the love of humanity. Here's why: At work I almost always have the following running: Outlook. Chrome. and prices are always dropping. Office Communicator. A lot of images will be loaded in quicker by a program like Adobe Lightroom. there is an interesting side effect: My 300MB-RAM-Sucking Visual Studio instances were always getting their memory committed to the page file. and interesting questions/answers found from the Super User site itself. Just those alone I'm up to 2. but also offers other suggestions for how to get more from your space-limited SSD.5GB of RAM used. but don't worry—drive sizes are always growing. They write about everything computer related including product reviews. That meant that whenever I switched back to those windows. At home. I was calling this RAM hibernation.5 out of 4GB of my physical ram. especially when I was really "in the groove" working in SQL Mgmt studio and then switching back to VS to consume a sproc I just wrote only to have my rhythm interrupted for 10-15 seconds while my VS was awoken from page file hibernation. and a lot of music will be analyzed quicker by a DJ program like Traktor Studio. I run an Intel 160GB G2 SSD on 8GB of RAM and I never worry about RAM there. it seems that the app's RAM was sent to page file.

I have to keep that extra 500MB available in case one of my apps decides it suddenly needs more ram for whatever reason.So. Minding my number of open apps is a small price to pay for that benefit. Also.5GB of my 4GB. Programs start to crash when they try to access more memory.. since your page file is being extensively used. in other words. Not sure how to do this. Have you ever lost any work due to this method? Any estimate on what it cost to replace? envador It's not just so I don't have to hear the hard drives. acidrain69 promoted by envador That's a lot of work and risk to go through just so you don't have to hear the hard drives clicking while an app reloads from disk. I'm . It's so I don't lose my programming rhythm (if there is such a thing) to the 10-or-so seconds waking up from page file hibernation. I never have to hear the hard drive swapping when switching back to an app that's been minimized for half the day. having to keep an eye on my RAM usage at work while having my paging disabled is worth it. envador The reason I went through the trouble of telling this tale is because of all the "theories" surrounding paging use. And many times. acidrain69 promoted by envador "So. Very bad things. They throw out of memory errors. there may be a way to lower Window's aggressive swapping of open apps to disk. the apps stay in memory unless you REALLY DO run out of physical RAM. I just wanted to present a real world example. This brings me back to why I really only get about 3. the question I'm sure you are all dying to know: What happens when you have paging disabled and then you run out of physical RAM? Very random things. both my monitors go completely black and the only thing showing is my Win7 Start button.. the question I'm sure you are all dying to know: What happens when you have paging disabled and then you run out of physical RAM?" Extended answer: the same thing that happens when you run out of Physical and page file ram when paging is enabled. For me. Except you'll have noticed poor performance before that happens.

As far as risk. I've black-screened 2 times this year.good at gauging my ram usage by looking at my taskbar (I don't have taskbar item grouping turned on). Hide 4 replies About Help Forums Jobs Legal Privacy Permissions Advertising Subscribe Send a tip . and both times I knew I was pushing my limit so I had all my work saved.

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