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Some basic SSD questions.

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May 1, 2012 3:33:51 PM

1) I've heard it said multiple times now that you should never defragment your SSD. Isn't Windows 7 set to automatically defragment your drive every once in a while? I know mine was when I got it, but it was a pre-built system and that might be something they set up before they sold it. But on that note, are there a lot of settings I'll need to change (such as deactivating that auto-defrag) in order to make sure I'm taking proper care of my SSD?

2) With your OS on an SSD, are full reinstallations still beneficial to the speed of the computer? I know a lot of people recommend reinstalling everything every year or so, to keep it at maximum speed and performance. I don't know if this issue is alleviated on an SSD.

3) How much space am I supposed to keep freed up on my SSD, and why? I've heard recommendations anywhere from 20%-50%. How exactly will this benefit me? Seems like a lot of space to sacrifice on an already small drive.

Also, since no drive ends up being as big as advertised on the box, am I aiming to save a percentage of the size advertised on the box or of the actual space available?

More about : basic ssd questions

May 1, 2012 3:50:57 PM

1) Yeah it's set to automatically defrag your computer once a week or so. You should definitely disable the automatic defrag on the SSD, it'll only ruin it. Just go into Disk Defragmenter, click 'Configure Schedule' and uncheck the box.

2) Reinstalling Windows often on the SSD wouldn't help its performance any more. They're already fast enough, and reinstalling the OS (and subsequently all of your data) would just attribute to more writes, wearing it out.

3) As much as you can keep free really. If you go for a 60GB SSD, have Windows and a few programs on there, then store all of your Music, Games, Movies etc on a HDD. I don't know where exactly, but I've read on these forums that the more capacity used, the slower and less efficient the SSD becomes. Same goes for any drive really.

I'd go with the percentage of the actual space available, since that is what matters in the real world. You don't lose too much, I have an Intel 520 60GB and I get a formatted 55.7GB.


Hope that helps you.

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a c 544 G Storage
May 1, 2012 5:08:06 PM

AntaresX said:
1) I've heard it said multiple times now that you should never defragment your SSD. Isn't Windows 7 set to automatically defragment your drive every once in a while? I know mine was when I got it, but it was a pre-built system and that might be something they set up before they sold it. But on that note, are there a lot of settings I'll need to change (such as deactivating that auto-defrag) in order to make sure I'm taking proper care of my SSD?


When you run WEI (Windows Experience Index) Windows 7 will automatically disable defrag on any attached SSDs.
So if you run WEI there's nothing else you need to do.
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Anonymous
a b G Storage
May 1, 2012 5:11:59 PM

Dereck47 said:
When you run WEI (Windows Experience Index) Windows 7 will automatically disable defrag on any attached SSDs.
So if you run WEI there's nothing else you need to do.

WOW an instance where WEI is actually useful . .
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a c 544 G Storage
May 1, 2012 5:13:38 PM

:-)
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Best solution

a b G Storage
May 1, 2012 5:25:27 PM

1) If you do a fresh install win7 will automagically disable defragmenting for an SSD, but you will still want to check and make sure it does. If you image over your old drive you will have to change it manually (not hard to do)

2) Reinstallation for performance disapeared back with Vista. What use to happen is that your system files would get moved over time, and your registry would get messy and corrupted, and the defragmenter on winXP was not exactly the best thing on earth. Win7 has a cleaner and more segregated registry, the system files do not move much (and on an SSD it does not matter in the first place), the defragger on win7 is much better than XP, and there are now some excelent registry cleaners like CCleaner which help bring stuff back up to speed.
All that said: Imaging from a HDD to SSD can have some... interesting side effects. I would still give it a shot first as it is faster than reinstalling everything, but you may have better luck doing a fresh initial install to the new drive. But after that there is no reason to reinstall unless you really screw something up (backups backups backups!).

3) As with HDDs the general rule of thumb is still 20% free space. You can go a bit over that as it is just a general guide line, but you need a little bit of space for the internal garbage collection to run, it also helps you keep from 'hammering' the drive. Also, Windows still freaks out a bit once to get to ~85-90% full and starts moving and compressing stuff against your will if it thinks you are going to hit 100%.
The size on the box is unformatted space, which will be a little smaller once the drive is formatted. It is ~20% of the formatted space that you want to keep free.


As a general example: My wife's PC has a 60GB SSD and a 500GB HDD. The SSD has win7, Office, a few browsers and utilities, and some audio editing and creation software titles. This takes ~30GB of her drive. All documents, music, movies, etc. are on the HDD, and the system works pretty well.
My wife likes to use the desktop a lot to organize things, so I simply put shortcuts to folders on the HDD to the desktop so that when she puts things in them they automatically move over to the HDD and do not eat up space on the SSD. All of the Document 'libraries' are redirected to the HDD as well. To keep the space down I merely use CCleaner every few months to clear out the internet caches when they start getting big, other than that it is no problem.
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May 1, 2012 5:37:19 PM

I have heard lots of people saying to move games, music, programs, etc to a secondary hd,
Im wondering, wouldn't you loose the speed benefit of the ssd, Example would be to have BF3 on my WD640g blk HD and the shortcut on my SSD. I would think the game will not load or run any faster because the program is on the old HD, The SSD will make the request to start BF3, but BF3 will still load at the max speed of the WD hard drive.
I could be WAY off on this thought
What do you think?

Hitch
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Anonymous
a b G Storage
May 1, 2012 5:46:36 PM

huh?
having a shortcut on your SSD isn't going to make an executable file on a hard drive run any faster. a shortcut is simply a command line to run the target file.
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May 1, 2012 10:30:36 PM

XRWKEN said:
I have heard lots of people saying to move games, music, programs, etc to a secondary hd,
Im wondering, wouldn't you loose the speed benefit of the ssd, Example would be to have BF3 on my WD640g blk HD and the shortcut on my SSD. I would think the game will not load or run any faster because the program is on the old HD, The SSD will make the request to start BF3, but BF3 will still load at the max speed of the WD hard drive.
I could be WAY off on this thought
What do you think?

Hitch



Loading times will be related to the speed and latency of the hard drive that the data being executed is on. It's true that having games on a secondary drive mean you lose the speed benefit of it, but when it comes to games (and music and movies), SSDs don't make that huge of a difference. They might open faster, but once open the don't need much bandwidth, and thus don't benefit from the increased bandwidth of an SSD.

You get the highest noticeable difference if you have your OS and programs on the SSD, as they'll load and open faster. That's how I'm set up and games aren't terribly slow, but everything else is very quick.
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May 1, 2012 11:49:41 PM

Best answer selected by AntaresX.
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