SSD Management

pcsa

Active member
You should never defrag an SSD as they don't fragment, any defrag will just take up rw cycles and reduce the life of the drive. This is on any OS.

So are you saying that you should turn off defrag in Win 8 & 10 as well. I was under the impression that it was clever enough to look after the ssd's and trim.
 

SpyderTracks

We love you Ukraine
Moderator
So are you saying that you should turn off defrag in Win 8 & 10 as well. I was under the impression that it was clever enough to look after the ssd's and trim.

It should automatically disable defragging in modern OS's
 

sidcha

Member
Hi, I was just reading all of this and wanted to get any input from others regarding this now... considering we are in 2018 and the new SSD's are sophisticated ... Do we still need to turn defrag off ? and virtual memory off on the newest SSD drives ? With windows 10 ?

I am confused after reading articles like - https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us...g-my-ssd/c50f8445-490f-4f2a-88fc-f45ede40d605

and - http://www.hanselman.com/blog/TheRealAndCompleteStoryDoesWindowsDefragmentYourSSD.aspx

and lastly - http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/answe...running-defragging-optimisation-schedule.html

I just disabled my defrag scheduler but not sure after reading all of the above ?
 

sidcha

Member
Thanks I read through that and people say do not defrag manually. Which is fine. I don't plan to... but there is an optimise scheduler in Windows 10 (dfrgui) which I have left enabled as monthly for my SSD.
I hope that's ok as per the articles and links above, Windows 10 knows this is an SSD and does not defrag in the literal sense ?
 

ubuysa

The BSOD Doctor
Moderator
I've been doing a fair bit of research into the issue of SSDs and defrag, along the way I've learned a good bit about modern SSD lifespans (in terms of write cycles). I also have a defrag tool that claims some benefit in defragging the NTFS filesystem on SSDs (an HDD defrag also defrags the NTFS filesystem of course).

Here's what I've learned....

1. The NTFS filesystem does become fragmented, including on SSDs. This is because a new NTFS block is needed for each fragmented block in a file, more NTFS blocks that must be searched means more I/Os to that drive. That's true whether the drive is an SSD or an HDD (because NTFS is NTFS regardless of what physical drive type the files are on). Of course the delay is noticeable on an HDD and not noticeable on an SSD - though I'd guess that depends on how many fragments a file is in and how regularly the files is accessed randomly. There is a limit to the number of NTFS data blocks (though it's huge) which means that in theory it is possible to run out.

2. If you have System Restore turned on then the Volume Shadow Copy service is also on (this is what takes the snapshots of the drive). It's my understanding that disk imaging tools also use the Volume Shadow Copy service to take their snapshots. If the Volume Shadow Copy service is active then once a month Windows will defrag your SSD(s) because of NTFS fragmentation. Whether this is a full defrag or just a defrag of the NTFS data blocks I can't establish. (DiskTrix claim that their defragger only defrags the NTFS data blocks on an SSD).

Now....do we care....

3. Most hard drives are expected to last at least 5 years assuming a data write rate of less than about 10 TB per year (which is a lot!). A lifespan of 10 years or even 15 years is not exceptional either.

4. It's been shown experimentally that NAND SSDs are able to achieve over 200TB of writes before failure, that's a lifespan of 20 years at 10TB per year. In the tests done here two of the drives wrote over 2PB of data before failing! I can't find any similar data on NVMe drives however, but even if they can only sustain half the writes of a NAND SSD that's still a 10 year expected lifespan.

Conclusion...

Worrying about writes to modern SSDs is probably as productive as worrying about writes to an HDD. My pagefile is now back on my SSD for example, on the basis that it's memory and I want it on the fastest device I have.

Windows monthly defrag of SSDs to recover NTFS blocks is sensible, even if running out is unlikely.

All SSDs offer data access times that are consistent (probably even constant) across the entire drive so that data file fragmentation is utterly pointless and achieves nothing beneficial.

Therefore; stop worrying about SSD write numbers, don't defrag an SSD manually, but do allow Windows to defrag it monthly (if it needs to).

Some sources...

https://www.hanselman.com/blog/TheRealAndCompleteStoryDoesWindowsDefragmentYourSSD.aspx

https://techreport.com/review/27909/the-ssd-endurance-experiment-theyre-all-dead

https://www.extremetech.com/computing/170748-how-long-do-hard-drives-actually-live-for
 
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fotog

Member
The instructions to stop optimisation on current Win10 versions are slightly different.

Click [Change settings], then [Choose], then uncheck the SSDs and any other drives such as USB thumb drives you don't want optimised.
 

ubuysa

The BSOD Doctor
Moderator
The instructions to stop optimisation on current Win10 versions are slightly different.

Click [Change settings], then [Choose], then uncheck the SSDs and any other drives such as USB thumb drives you don't want optimised.

I am still of the (informed) opinion that it's is no longer necessary to worry about SSD writes, so all advice to mess about to reduce writes is a waste of time and effort and often reduces performance. This what Tech Report had to say about modern SSDs recently...

Over the past 18 months, we’ve watched modern SSDs easily write far more data than most consumers will ever need. Errors didn’t strike the Samsung 840 Series until after 300TB of writes, and it took over 700TB to induce the first failures. The fact that the 840 Pro exceeded 2.4PB is nothing short of amazing, even if that achievement is also kind of academic.

That said you definitely do want Windows optimising your SSDs, because it's during this optimisation that Windows runs the TRIM command for garbage collection. Without that your SSD performance will degrade over time. Disabling optimisation for USB thumb drives is fine, but don't disable it for SSDs.
 
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