N00b SSD question regarding formatting
So I finally took the plunge into the world of SSD and I'm glad I did )first drive = Crucial M4 64GB on a Gigabyte Z68 motherboard), but my question is - if Windows gets screwed up in any way, shape, or form, I'm told that you do not format an SSD, so how do I wipe the drive to do a fresh install of Windows 7 in case that does happen?
You can format it then reinstall Windows, of just reinstall Windows without formatting it in the first place. But wiping is a process of writing over any data a select number of times so that data isn't recoverable anymore by anyone. You can still wipe a SSD but it will hurt it's lifetime for sure. It's not recommended to wipe a SSD.
U can format hundreds of times, but TRIM is the most important for performance.
Don't worry about lifespan. U would have to overwrite your $$D every day half a dozen times and it would last for years. U don't come near that in long time.
It will die of something else, than wear_out
Make sure that u have enabled TRIM. That keeps your SSD in highest performance shape.
To test if TRIM is enabled go to Command Prompt and right click and select run as admin
Past "fsutil behavior query disabledeletenotify" with out quotes in an administrative command window.
If it comes up as 0 then it is enabled.
More on Windows 7 and Optimization for Solid State Drives
Just use windows 7 to create an Image of your C drive (Located in control panel -> backup. You can put the image on internal HDD, external HDD, or 3 ->5 DVDs.
To restore you just need to put your Windows installation disk in and under repair there should be an option to restore from image. This will delete the partitions on the SSD and then recreate the partitions and restore Windows and ALL of your Programs. You can also create a bootable restore DVD under Win7 back-up, if fact it will prompt you to do so. I don't as I find any Win 7 installation disk will work.
As to "wiping the SSD", Normally you do not "wipe it", you use the Secure erease function (EX: For OCZ it is included in their Toolbox.). Use this if the SSD has problems.