3 Things You Shouldn’t Do with Solid-State Drives

When compared to the regular mechanical hard drives, Solid State Drives (SSDs) are pretty different and give you a performance boost in regards of boot time and application load time. SSDs work quite differently out of the box by employing NAND-based flash memory rather than using the moving mechanical parts like in the regular hard drives. Like any other electronic devices, SSDs also come with their own weaknesses (other than the heavy price tag) too. If you are using an SSD on your Windows machine, here are the three things that you have to take note of.

Whenever you lose track of a file or folder, you can use theWindows search feature to track those files or folders. To improve the search function in Windows, an indexing service runs in the background to keep track of all the file and folder changes. As this service updates its database regularly, it results in a lot of writes on your SSD and may eventually degrade the performance. Even though this background service is very helpful in faster indexing and searching, the Windows search function runs just fine even when you disable the indexing service. Since it is recommended that you disable this service on your SSD, the steps are listed below.

To disable indexing in Windows, right click on your SSD and select “Properties” from the list of options. Here under the “General” tab, uncheck the check box for “Allow files on this drive to have contents indexed in addition to file properties.” Now click on the “Ok” button to save changes.

ssd-precaution-disable-index

That’s all there is to do to disable Indexing service on your SSD.

Whenever you delete a file on an SSD, the operating system will just remove the index of that file and send a TRIM command to flag the sectors as available so it can be cleaned up when your computer is idle. This greatly improves the performance of SSD, as the OS can write the new data into the SSDs much more efficiently. TRIM is supported in almost all the modern operating systems and it is recommended that you keep this feature enabled and not turn it off.

It is also recommended that you stay away from the old operating systems like Windows XP or Vista whenever you are using SSDs as your main OS drive. These old operating systems doesn’t support TRIM command and are also not optimized for being used in SSDs.

To improve the performance of the SSDs, it is always recommended that you only use about seventy-five percent of the disk space. Actually, what happens in the background is that when you fill up your SSD, it takes double the time to re-write all the partially filled blocks with the new data. If your SSD has a good amount of free space, then it has a lot of empty blocks, and the OS takes less time to write the data into those empty blocks. If possible, always keep your SSD at less than seventy-five percent of its capacity.

While SSD is a faster replacement for the old mechanical hard drive, you still have to maintain it and use the best practices to keep it in top shape which in turn gives you better performance. For the price that you pay for the SSD, I am sure you won’t want to damage it so soon.

Do comment below to share your thoughts and experiences.

25 comments

    • Never do defragmentation or scandisk on them. That is done on old metal disks because the access time depends on how far the read/write head have to move. The more it have to move, the slower is the disk.
      A SSD doesn’t have any mechanical heads or a spinning disk. So all access time is equal no matter where you read from.
      So no need to run them. And as written by others. The number of writing to SSD is limited. You don’t want to make useless writings like with a defragmentation or scandisk.

  1. I have perfect disk installed and have set it for ssd optimize and thats it set and forget

  2. What about Spotlight, the Mac OS indexing and search tool? Obviously Apple has it enabled on their OEM SSDs.

  3. uhhhhhhh because Apple cares more about your experience than the actual longevity of the hardware. e.g. that is why we have apple care and or another reason for your loyalty!

  4. “Don’t Fill Them to Capacity
    To improve the performance of the SSDs, it is always recommended that you only use about seventy-five percent of the disk space”

    Better still is to leave some space unformatted (10 to 20%);

  5. So what’s not clear here is: What’s the lifetime of an SSD compared to, say, a 7200 rpm SATA drive? It sounds as if the lifetime is much shorter, in number of writes. Can you quantify this?

  6. Good article. There are some problems with TRIM, however, especially with older SSDs and off-brands – the default trim command may not even function in those cases. If you’re in Linux (Ubunt, Mint or Debian in particular) there’s a very good rundown on different approaches to take to TRIM and how to choose the best suited for your situation here —
    https://sites.google.com/site/easylinuxtipsproject/ssd
    or for openSUSE —
    https://sites.google.com/site/easylinuxtipsproject/ssd-in-opensuse

  7. Have used Linux Suse followed by Kubuntu since 2001. And even Not alone. Which of these points above refer to Linux distributions? To use 75% or more? Others?

    • The advice is to not use an old Operating System. Windows 8 is newer and faster than your antique Kubuntu, and handles TRIM and defrag on an SSD automagically…

      Make *Your* Tech Easier – you know I’m right.

  8. Move your partition file and hibernate file to a second mechanical drive if you have
    For gamers add a second HD of 2 TB to your system and install the games on that one. specially for online games that are frequently updated

    • Yup, definitely get physical storage for your online games. I got 3TB so now I can do even *more* online

  9. Would this Apply ( 1. Don’t Use Index Feature in Windows ) to an SSHD 1gb Hybrid Drive which i’m running the last couple of Months , i’m also sure i’m ok to defrag this drive , any Tips/Help Appreciated . Regards Philip.

  10. What about Hybrids. I have indexing off and defrag turned off for the SSD. Are thee any special considerations for a Hybrid?

  11. When I click disable indexing, it asks me if I want that to apply changes to drive C:\ subfolders and files or just to drive C. What should I do?

  12. If you have an SSD as your boot drive and keep all your data on an HDD, then there is no problem keeping the SSD nearly full with OS and programs.

    I also use some of my RAM as a RAM Drive, and point my %temp%, %tmp% and web browser cache to that drive. This minimises writes to the SSD.

  13. Just got off the phone with Seagate Tech , found out your Not Supposed to Defrag an SSHD Hybrid Drive Either , and to Turn Off Windows Indexing Also , so i said to him Why don’t you put that on the Drive Info on your Website so People can See , said he’d look into it …

    • Eh? Your OS and files are stored on the HDD part. SSD is used pretty much for cacheing only. HDD part has the same requirement for defrag as any HDD.

      HOwever, Windows 7/8 handle SSD defrag and TRIM automagically so user doesn’t need to do anything.

  14. What we need is some real testing with a PC configured with an SSD with everything turned on and then the same with everything turned off instead of constantly repeating the same old mantras of no defrag and no indexing. I have 20% fragmentation on my SSD and the performance has dropped. If you look at sequential and random performance for SSD there is a huge difference suggesting that contiguous data on an SSD would give better performance instead of maintaining a table with ten thousand entries describing a single file.
    Every technology since the start of time has claimed when introduced that fragementation is not an issue and it always turns out to be later on as capacities grow.

    • Yup. Fragmentation *is* an issue on SSD. There’s no seek time like with an HHD physical read head, but if a file is fragmented then there are going to be multiple reads. Defrag and just a single read can retrieve the entire file.

      However Windows 7/8 will handle this automagically, with no harm to the unicorns whatsoever.

      Linux (ext4) AFAIK uses disk space differently – leaving empty space around files, so file changes *tend* to result in less fragmentation until the disk is nearly full. When a file overgrows its’ allocation then the FS will try to move the entire file somewhere else. Swings, roundabouts.

  15. so….How does a SSD function when it comes to number of writes? It sounds like it functions like a writable CD; which I know is not the case by the way. What is really going on with a write and subsequent delete of a file to a SSD? Why would if fail after so many writes?

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