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Intel X25-M SSD extremely high Disk Queue Length

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January 15, 2011 5:17:22 AM

Try as I might, I can't quite find good information on this topic.

I originally got my Intel X25-M SSDSA2MH080G1 about 14 months ago with a new computer, and it ran flawlessly all along until the last few months.

Now what happens is that it will see extremely high disc queues in Performance Monitor, sometimes spaced hours apart but other times a minute or two apart. It's centered on my C: drive which is the SSD, not any of the traditional hard drives I have in the computer.

High disk queue length seems to be the blue line in the Disk graph, which always corresponds with CPU usage dropping to near zero for the extent of the high queue - maks sense since it's accompanies by a total system lockup for 3-30 seconds each time. it's worst when running a torrent or streaming video but those are hardly the only times it happens. I can just be reading a webpage and get it, or opening a large folder in Windows.

I know the Intel SSD I got was a sightly early one, and didn't support TRIM or whatever later drives have, but at $240 for 80GB I really expected more than ~10-11 months of good, clean running. Am I just out all that money and needing to buy a more ecent SSD?

I'm not sure what other information would be helpful in diagnosing this, but I've even turned off the Windows Indexing/Search services, which has helped somewhat but it's something I *really* did not want to do as the search in Windows 7 is extremely helpful.

CPU is a Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale 3.16GHz.

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

Edit: I should mention that there are many processes that can cause it, but the Firefox profiles on my C: drive seem to especially. Nothing seems to be wrong or have changed in FF though, and it can get like this even when FF is not involved. Response Time on some of these gets to 1,000 or even 6,000 or more.
January 26, 2011 1:21:03 PM

Your hard drive is likely full or severely fragmented. You see a SSD drive with 80GB of space actually has ~100GB of space. The reason is SSDs have poor write functionality. Basically the drive has to write in solid pages (many blocks make up a page).

So if the drive does not have any free pages, it must perform a cleanup operation on every write. It goes something like this:

OS Writes Page -> SSD Saves Page in RAM -> SSD Reads several pages into RAM to cleanup -> Pages are cleaned up and one is freed and written -> original page is written to free'd up space.

Which is why SSDs slow down over time. Eventually your hard drive looks like swiss cheese and the SSD needs to do cleaning before it can write.

The fix to this is a better clean operation (read TRIM) (sometimes released in firmware updates) or manually run a clean operation.

Check Intel Forums for manually running TRIM. There are apps like CCleaner Etc and will delete empty space.
This is a pretty common problem with early drives..

http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1578515


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