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How to Clean SSD Drive after Speed Test/Defrag

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September 20, 2010 8:11:20 PM

I've spent the last two days trying to improve the performance of my Phoenix Pro 120 SSD hard drive. I have switched from
IDE to ACHI like I was suggested by the GSkill forum. I've managed to get my speed up somewhat and have run several
speed test to verify my changes. Information out there says I shouldn't run these speed-test or a disk defrag very often
because the disk gets slower and slower.

My CrystalDiskMark numbers on the last run are not nearly as good as the ones before (without any changes). I may have
run speed test ~ 6 times with 3 different program.

Two questions

1. After running CrystalDiskInfo 3.8 my new SSD (27hrs) is showing to be in "Good 85%" condition,
while my D: WD1002FAEX w/900hrs is showing "Good 100%" is that 15% loss on the new SSD something I should be
concerend about?

2. Is there something I can do to "clean-up" the dirties caused by disk testing?

a c 143 G Storage
September 20, 2010 11:38:10 PM

1) You didn't try and defrag your SSD did you?? It will damage the SSD by doing so.

2) As you have found out, you don't want to run benchmarks very often on a SSD. I've heard at most once a week but not recommended to do so. I review mine about once a month or so.

3) TRIM should take care of cleaning the SSD through it's normal process (assuming you are running Win7) or does G.SKILL have a SSD Toolbox like Intel to do a cleaning with?

4) Have you used AS SSD Benchmark to verify you are using the right controller (msahci) & is aligned correctly?
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a c 415 G Storage
September 21, 2010 12:14:34 AM

Using a utility that sends the ATA "Secure Erase" command to an SSD is supposed to reset it's internal tables so that the all of the flash memory cells are considered to be unused. This should restore write performance to as close to the "as-new" state as you can get.

An example of such a utility can be found here: http://cmrr.ucsd.edu/people/Hughes/SecureErase.shtml
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September 21, 2010 1:01:57 AM

^ what they said... also,

You could download the Intel Toolbox, which has an optimizer which basically just forces a TRIM, but any 2nd gen SSD will have automatic support in Windows 7 if you installed it as ACHI or RAID (but as RAID you need the Intel Rapid Storage Technology 9.6 and the SSD can't itself be in a RAID)

Pretty sure the Pheonix Pro is the Sandforce controller so it will have TRIM so long as it was installed as ACHI. I think there's work arounds for that, but ideally you can just backup your SSD, run a secure erase out of a boot disk to reformat it to "like new" and then reinstall windows and restore the backup.
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September 21, 2010 2:10:40 AM

tecmo34 said:
1) You didn't try and defrag your SSD did you?? It will damage the SSD by doing so.

2) As you have found out, you don't want to run benchmarks very often on a SSD. I've heard at most once a week but not recommended to do so. I review mine about once a month or so.

3) TRIM should take care of cleaning the SSD through it's normal process (assuming you are running Win7) or does G.SKILL have a SSD Toolbox like Intel to do a cleaning with?

4) Have you used AS SSD Benchmark to verify you are using the right controller (msahci) & is aligned correctly?


I did defrag it once just after it was installed it, I was showing 9% fragmentation. (Took only maybe 15 seconds)

I have ran about 8 benchmark test since Friday 9/17/10, trying to get my speed up to par, and I have noticed the write/Mbts are dramatically down from where they were.

As fas as I know Gskill doesn't offer a SSD toolbox like Intel. I am running Windows 7 Pro 64bit.

Yes I have run AS SSD and I am using the proper contoller, in the ACHI mode, with TRIM active.

If TRIM will clean this up I will not defrag or run anymore benchmarks for a while.

If I knew how to "add attachements" like I see in here, I could show you some of my benchmarks as I have them saved in a file.

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Best solution

a c 143 G Storage
September 21, 2010 2:14:00 AM

It probably be a good idea. You scores might not be as bad as you think, so you could be just fine :) 
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September 21, 2010 2:38:01 AM

Thanks for all your help. :) 
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September 21, 2010 2:38:20 AM

Best answer selected by ggrego.
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a c 415 G Storage
September 21, 2010 2:42:26 AM

wolfram23 said:
You could download the Intel Toolbox...
Will the Intel toolbox work with a non-Intel drive? A lot of free utility software made by storage vendors is keyed to work only with their products.
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September 21, 2010 2:51:21 AM

^that I do not know.

But just one thing, do not defrag an SSD. It doesn't help in the slightest. The reason for defrag on an HDD is to help make reads and writes sequential instead of random. SSDs don't care one way or the other since it can access data stored at any location at any time, it doesn't need to spin a disk and move the head to the exact right spot. All defraging is going to do for an SSD it increase it's wear.
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a b G Storage
September 21, 2010 4:23:08 AM

Defragmenting an SSD which does not use TRIM will effectively tell the controller that all blocks have been written to. Now the write speed takes a hit because the SSD controller will delete the already empty blocks before it writes to them again. If you have defragged your ssd even once you should do a secure erase and reload win7. Ensure the bios is set to ACHI before windows is loaded AND, if you partition the drive to, say 100 GB (of the 120ish), it will help ensure the drive continues to function at high speeds even with TRIM working.
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September 21, 2010 3:37:25 PM

Thanks for your help I'm gonna use your suggestions do a secure erase and reload windows 7. Yes I have the bios set
to ACHI. Appreciate all you guys help! :) 
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September 21, 2010 3:43:37 PM

wolfram23 said:
^that I do not know.

But just one thing, do not defrag an SSD. It doesn't help in the slightest. The reason for defrag on an HDD is to help make reads and writes sequential instead of random. SSDs don't care one way or the other since it can access data stored at any location at any time, it doesn't need to spin a disk and move the head to the exact right spot. All defraging is going to do for an SSD it increase it's wear.



Great information I wish Gskill and the other SSD mfgrs would let folks know these kinds of things, by providing even the basic do's and dont's at purchase. I am
disappointed in their lack of communication about their products.
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a c 353 G Storage
September 21, 2010 5:26:13 PM

Just got my Phoenix Pro 120 SSD last night (get to that in a min.

(1) Trim - You can check to see if it is enable and that win 7 will sent it, But not sure that you can verify it was implemented at the SSD level. See next.
(2) I could be wrong, but isn't the Gskill 120 SSD really 2 x 60 gig internally connected using raid0. If this is correct the trim cmd may be ignored at the drive level and the drive relies on its internal "garbage collector" (Which I understand works very well).

OK, for the "in a Min".
As I said received mine last night. I used win 7 to create an Image of the 100mb system and the "C Drive" of my 80 gig Intel G2 SSD to my HDD. Removed Intel SSD, installed Gskill SSD, Booted to Win 7 Install DVD and restored the Image to New SSD. Then using win 7 disk management, expanded the C-drive from 74 Gigs to 11 Gigs. Ran crystalldiskmark. All write speed were very close to published reviews. Random 4k reads were about 20% higher. The only two that were lower (about 10->15%) were the Seq reads and the Random 512K reads.

Need to verify alignment tonight when I get home from work, and finish some “HONEY DEW’s” LOL
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September 21, 2010 5:56:21 PM

AFAIK, the only true way to check for TRIM is to write to the full disk, check the benchs to make sure they're lower, then delete everything without a "clean erase" or other optimizer, give it a few minutes of idle and then run the test and see if the performance picked up.

Interesting info on the Gskill SSD. That would be super shitty, but the thing is, since it's internally controlled maybe it can still pass on the TRIM command? I know for sure that actual RAID 0 SSD volumes can not use TRIM yet.

Nice that you got proper results. I'm finding my 4k writes seem generally about 10mb/s lower than other people but the rest are basically on par. Not sure why, tho it could be general system usage or something. I know that in Performance Monitoring window, it doesn't show 100% SSD usage only at most around 90%. Could be a power thing I guess. But whatever, the speeds are still very fast :D 
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a c 353 G Storage
September 21, 2010 6:43:48 PM

I think most of the "good" newer model SSDs Have a good "garage collector. They need one to be able to sell to Vista and XP users, and if it does not use trim then for win 7. That is my take from a couple of SSD reviews.
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