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Old 01-03-2009, 10:16 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Should You Defragment A SSD?

Should You Defragment A SSD?

So called SSD hard drives are becoming increasingly popular especially in the netbook sector. Solid State Drives have several distinctive advantages like faster access times, lower power usage and being completely silent while running. The main disadvantage that you might notice especially in netbooks is the write speed of those drives which is usually lower than those of conventional hard drives.
With more and more Solid State Drives hitting the streets it is important to understand the differences. Defragmentation describes the process of physically organizing the contents of a hard drive or partition so that files will be stored close together to reduce load times.
Solid State Drives can access any location on the drive in the same time. This is one of the main advantages over hard drives. This also means that there is no need to defragment a Solid State Drive ever. These drives have actually been designed to write data evenly in all sectors of the drive which the industry is calling wear leveling. Each sector of a Solid State Drive has a limited number of writes before it cannot be overwritten anymore. (this is a theoretical limit which cannot be reached in work environments)
If you did defragment your Solid State Disk you can rest assured that you did not harm it in any way. It is just that this process is not needed and that defragmentation causes lots of write processes which means that the drive will reach its write limits sooner.
No need for defragmentation is therefor another advantage of Solid State Drives.
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Old 01-03-2009, 11:01 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Should You Defragment A SSD?

Great read Osiris.

As solid state drive become increasingly larger, do you feel that defraging will then become a necessity? I realize they have equal write times over the entire drive, but I would thing there is a limit to that, no?
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Old 01-03-2009, 11:31 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Should You Defragment A SSD?

Unlikely as said there is a limit on the number of writes to a single nodule. These limits were to low in the first gen ssd's hence why Windows was only reccomended with the paging file turned off as ram is cheaper then an ssd.

Mechanical hdds need to be defragged as they have magnetic distrotion over time as the data is stored using very powerful magnetic fields.
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Old 01-03-2009, 12:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Should You Defragment A SSD?

"Mechanical hdds need to be defragged as they have magnetic distrotion over time as the data is stored using very powerful magnetic fields."

...what? The magnetic field has nothing to do with defragging, directly anyway. Defragging is simply placing logical files physically near each other, I believe.
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Old 01-03-2009, 12:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Should You Defragment A SSD?

no that bit is true...


and ssd's shouldn't need to be defragged because there isn't any moving bits to read the data so there shouldn't be a need to allocate the data to minimize drive head movement
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Old 01-04-2009, 06:24 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Should You Defragment A SSD?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yamikotai View Post
"Mechanical hdds need to be defragged as they have magnetic distrotion over time as the data is stored using very powerful magnetic fields."

...what? The magnetic field has nothing to do with defragging, directly anyway. Defragging is simply placing logical files physically near each other, I believe.
If that was the case you could defrag it then turn off the paging file and never have to defrag it again.
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Old 01-14-2009, 03:05 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Smile Re: Should You Defragment A SSD?

Quote:
Originally Posted by saltynay View Post
Mechanical hdds need to be defragged as they have magnetic distrotion over time as the data is stored using very powerful magnetic fields.
Incorrect.

Defragging has nothing to do with the magnetization of the grains. Defragging makes logical files/fragments contiguous in order to minimize wasted seeks and consequent delays in file read/write. File fragmentation is specific to the file system and has nothing to do with the hardware since the latter is abstracted from the former. An SSD will suffer file fragmentation just like a magnetic HDD, although the effects of this fragmentation will be different in each case.

Data storage on magnetic drives is done by magnetizing the 'grains' of the magnetic thin film (on the platter) in a specific direction; the boundaries in the transition region determine the bit. Excellent explanation is available here:
Storage Technology / Patterned Magnetic Media

The magnetic 'distortion' will occur only if the magnetic domain size is small enough that ambient thermal energy causes randomization of the magnetic moments (superparamagnetism). Such fine grained films are not used in magnetic storage media precisely for this reason. Instead, patterned magnetic media will be used to overcome the superparamagnetic effect. If you heat up your drive to too high a temperature, then you may lose your data ...but under normal operating conditions, magnetic 'distortion' is not an issue unless there is material degradation/damage.

BTW, SSDs may not suffer from file fragmentation for reads, but random write performance is supposed to be badly hit by free space fragmentation.
http://downloads.diskeeper.com/pdf/HyperFast.pdf

Diskeeper has an add-on called HyperFast that optimizes random write performance by minimizing free space fragmentation. It's part of the Diskeeper 2009 package...I noticed it on my DK2009 Pro install but since I don't have an SSD, I couldn't check what it does.

Also: The Diskeeper Blog: HyperFast is also here! recommends not defragging an SSD as a magnetic HDD, but doing the free space consolidation instead.
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Old 01-14-2009, 04:53 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Should You Defragment A SSD?

Quote:
Originally Posted by saltynay View Post
If that was the case you could defrag it then turn off the paging file and never have to defrag it again.
Not really correct.

Still I thought like everyone else that it was to arrange similar data closer together so that it could be read faster.
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