Garbage collection?


I just successfully installed a new Crucial M4 SSD into my Dell Precision T3400. Works great. I have read some blogs about "garbage collection" that is required to delete data no longer needed by the drive. Do I need to do something or is that old technology. I am enjoying the speed of the new SSD and I don't want to bog it down later becausee of some detail overlooked.

Thanks for the help!
7 answers Last reply
More about garbage collection
  1. TRIM should maintain drive performance for you.

    TRIM is not supported when you have drives in a RAID array and that's when Garbage Collection should be used to maintain drive performance.

    Garbage Collection runs automatically when you "Log off" from your pc.
    Depending on your usage you probably don't need to do it more than a couple of times a month.

    I have 2 SSDs in RAID so I do it once or twice a week.
  2. If you're using Windows 7 then as Dereck mentioned TRIM will do the work for you. "Garbage Collection" happens internally inside the drive whenever it's not busy - you don't need to "log off" or "shut down" to make it happen.

    If you're not using Windows 7 then long-term performance will be better if you run a utility from your SSD manufacturer every so often (weekly or monthly, perhaps) to mark unused blocks as free so that the SSD can reuse them.
  3. sminlal said:
    "Garbage Collection" happens internally inside the drive whenever it's not busy - you don't need to "log off" or "shut down" to make it happen.

    I have to be logged off or reboot in Safe Mode for Garbage Collection to work with my drives (OCZ Vertex 2) and Windows 7.

    I can open Task Manager (Ctrl-Alt-Del) immediately after booting into Windows and there will be 190 Windows Services listed (half running, half stopped) and I haven’t yet opened or ran a single program.

    GC needs very low level idle in order to activate.
  4. Is the "garbage collection" that you're referring to some kind of program that you have to run against the drive to mark sectors as free?

    The "garbage collection" that I'm talking about is the work that the drive's internal firmware does in order to consolidate the "marked as free" logical sectors into flash memory pages that can be erased so that they're ready to accept writes from the host. That happens inside the drive and is independent of what the rest of the system is doing.
  5. Hi - thanks for the comments.

    I am using XP pro. I know very little about this which is why I am trying to learn if I need to do anything else to keep my SSD running at peak performance.

    Do I use Trim on an XP system? I checked the Crucial website, it didn't offer any utility programs at all.
  6. XP doesn't support TRIM, so the only way to tell the SSD which sectors are free is with some sort of utility. My Intel drive came with "Intel SSD Toolbox" software, but I don't know what's available for the other drives.
  7. I know this is an older thread, but I see people asking questions about old threads. There are some inaccuracies in this thread that I do explain in more detail in another more recent thread here.
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