Internal drives SSD format used for stationary PCs and laptops, already rooted in the market of computer components. They may not completely replace traditional HDD hard drives, but users increasingly prefer to install solid-state drives under the system. The use of modern SSD as a system disk is most appropriate, since the main advantage of the new technology is the read / write speed, which is several times higher than the characteristics of the hard drive operating due to the movement of mechanical elements. The Solid-state drive has a completely different design and principle of operation, due to which the drive is also characterized by noiselessness, low power consumption, resistance to mechanical damage, compactness and lightness. SSD information is read instantly, since the drive is built on the basis of NAND memory, so that when the device functions, there is no time spent on searching sectors for reading, as it is implemented in a classic HDD.
Ways to extend the life of an SSD disk.
In addition to the significant advantages of the new generation of the disc, there are also disadvantages in its use, and they are quite significant. This is the cost, which, based on the price for 1GB, is ten times higher than the HDD price tag, as well as the lifetime of the SSD, which is limited by the number of write / rewrite cycles, which is even more distressing with regard to cash investments. On average, the lifetime of a drive will be 5 years, but the Solid-state drive resource does not depend on specific terms, but on the intensity of operation. For this reason, it is better not to use the disk to permanently overwrite the data, to store a large amount of information, it will also not work, or you will have to spend very good money on the purchase of a device of the necessary volumes. Thus, the most suitable option for using a solid-state drive is to install an operating system and software on it that requires a high level of performance. At the same time to ensure the effectiveness of the SSD will help compliance with certain rules to maximize the life of the device.
General principles of proper operation of SSD
Solid state drives of various models and manufacturers have certain limitations on the number of write / rewrite cycles, therefore, as soon as the set limit is reached, the device will cease to function. To increase the life span of an SSD, it is important to adhere to the fundamentals of proper operation:
- To work correctly and extend the life of an SSD, a certain amount of free space should be left on the disk, at least 15% of the total volume of the drive.
- To expand the capabilities of the computer when working with solid-state drives, it is necessary to activate the Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI) mode.
In addition, it is better not to write unnecessary files on the SSD, you should change the location of the folder for downloads from the Internet. This can be done in the settings of your browser, where in the "Downloads" section you need to specify a different path for downloading objects.
Despite the fact that SSD drives have gained wide popularity, the Windows operating system is still more adapted to the use of HDD, but it also allows you to change some system settings to increase the life of the Solid-state drive. When some parameters change, the performance of a solid-state drive decreases, so you should deliberately perform all the actions with the settings, otherwise, why did you buy an SSD, if, by prolonging its life, we cut its capabilities. Next, we consider in more detail how to extend the life of the SSD, including by disabling features designed for the HDD, and preferably without affecting the performance of the device. For example, transferring system folders to another disk is undesirable, since the benefit of saving resources will be obtained at the expense of performance loss. In this case, the choice is always the user. Disabling the Windows recovery system will not be the best solution, since it will make it impossible to restore the system from the previous state.
AHCI mode and TRIM activation
First you need to make sure that the solid-state drive is operating in AHCI mode, for which you need to go to the "IDE / ATA controllers" section in the Device Manager, here it should be labeled "AHCI". You also need to check whether the support for the TRIM feature, which is present in Windows 7 and higher (is included in earlier versions, is not available). To do this, perform the following actions:
- We open the command prompt as administrator (for example, using the Run console (Win + R), where you will need to register cmd and hold down Ctrl + Shift + Enter, then confirm the intention to use the service).
- At the command prompt, enter the command fsutil behavior query DisableDeleteNotify.
- If the value is 0, it means that TRIM is on, if it is 1, then the function is turned off.
- To activate TRIM support, enter the fsutil behavior query | set DisableDeleteNotify = 0 command.
Defragmentation is a useful procedure for HDD, but not SSD, so it is desirable to disable this service. Such optimization of disk space will only increase the wear of the solid-state drive. To disable the service, do the following:
- Go to the control panel.
- Open the “Administration” section and go to the “Disk Optimization” item.
- In the new window, click "Change settings".
- In the next window, click "Select" and remove the marks of the sections on the SSD.
In the "Ten" off defragmentation is not necessarily due to the work of the service here on a different principle, which is provided by the technology TRIM, evenly distributing the load and access to disk memory blocks.
This tool, integrated into the system, significantly reduces the resource SSD by increasing disk access. You can disable Superfetch in the “Services” interface (Control Panel - Administration), choosing “Disabled” instead of the automatic launch type or using special software.
In the hibernation process, the memory of the system is written to the internal drive, and when the system is restored, the system copies the files back to its memory for returning the device to sleep state. The copied data is deleted from the disk. This procedure adversely affects the device type SSD, the resource of which directly depends on the write / rewrite cycles. The hibernation process can use gigabytes of memory and reach the limit of the amount of available operatives. Really advisable to use it on laptops, because it allows you to quickly get back to work. And here the user will have to choose between comfort and increased life expectancy of SSD. You can disable hibernation in this way:
- Open the command prompt as an administrator.
- Enter the powercfg -h off command in it and press the Enter key.
- These actions will disable hibernation and delete the hiberfil.sys file, which will also free up disk space. If you need to activate the function, you should again refer to the command line and enter the command powercfg -h on.
A little help to increase the life of the SSD can disable search indexing. An integrated system tool speeds up data retrieval on the hard disk. If you have an SSD, the service can be completely disabled, if you have a second HDD, you can transfer the indexer cache to it. A side effect of disabling a service is slowing down search in Windows.
It is undesirable to disable the paging file, especially since it is used by the operating system for resource-intensive software that does not have enough RAM, so removing it will not greatly affect the service life of the drive. The file size is not stable, which means regular recording to disk, and this is once again undesirable for an SSD. In order not to disable it and not to sacrifice performance, you can set a fixed size recommended by the system. Another solution to the problem involves transferring the paging file to the HDD, if one is also available in the computer. To adjust the paging file settings on Windows 10, do the following:
- Go to the Control Panel - "System" (you can also use the Start menu).
- go to the additional parameters of the system.
- in the "Advanced" tab in the "Performance" block click the "Parameters" button.
- in the window that opens, go to the Advanced tab and click Edit.
- Here we remove the checkbox from the option of automatic selection of the file size and mark “Specify size”.
- We specify the initial and maximum size recommended by the system, and save the changes.
How to calculate the life of the SSD drive
The average life of a Solid-state drive is about 5 years, but this is not accurate, because, as we said, it all depends on the number of write / rewrite cycles and the device stops working when the threshold is reached, and not after a certain period of operation. The duration of SSD operation can be influenced by the user, reducing the intensity of the load on the drive. Today, three types of SSD memory are used for data storage - SLC, MLC and TLC, all of them have different data recording density, read / write speed, and the number of rewrite cycles. Long-livers are NAND SLC devices, their resource is the largest - about 10, 000 cycles per cell, respectively, and this is reflected in the price.
Today the common types of memory are MLC and TLC. The resource for MLC rewriting cycles is 3000, besides they are not as nimble as SLC, but much cheaper. The budget option is the TLC memory type, they are slower than the MLC and also live less, the resource is 1000 rewrites per cell. Thus, knowing the type of memory, you can determine the approximate service life of SSDs. Consider how to find out the SSD resource by calculating it using the following formula:
(Number of SSD rewriting cycles x Volume) / Volume of recorded data per day
For example, let's calculate approximately the service life of a solid-state drive like MLC with a capacity of 120 GB. The first two values from the formula are known to us - 3000 rewriting cycles and 120 GB of volume, but the third one cannot be accurately determined, since it is not known how much data we will write every day throughout the entire period of operation, let's take the average daily recording data volume - 15 GB . Thus, applying the formula using the available values, we obtain 24, 000 days or 65.7 years. Of course, this figure is far from reality, even taking into account the most ideal operating conditions and due to the nature of the SSD, the amount of data recorded per day increases by about 10 times, so we reduce the resulting value by so much. The result is 6.5 years of disk life, which is closer to reality. At the same time, this result can not be exact, because wear depends on the intensity of use of SSD.
In order for the user to recognize the remaining SSD resource, there are special utilities, so there is no need to count the cycles on your own, and you won’t be able to achieve accuracy with such calculations. Checking the life of SSD drives programmatically is much easier, you will see all the information on the device (manufacturer, volume, model), as well as how much your drive has worked. The utility will estimate the approximate wear and predict the remaining time of the device during operation at the same pace.
The best utilities for checking SSD drives
Special software for diagnosing solid-state drives allows you to see the SSD resource, as well as scan the device for errors. Today there are many software products for this purpose. Applications include various functions, while they are easy to use and highly efficient, and which one to choose for your tasks is rather a matter of preference. Consider a few good utilities that will help the user who installed the solid-state drive, how to check the resource, and extend the lifetime of the SSD.
One of the best free SSD Life utilities for diagnosing solid-state drives, allowing you to check the balance of the resource, as well as view a number of other information about the device. The software is available in a portable version and requires installation (free and commercial version with advanced features in the form of SMART diagnostics and the function of monitoring the amount of occupied space).
A program for optimizing system processes that increases the lifespan of an SSD drive when running on Windows 10, 8, 7. Since Windows is more adapted to HDD, it needs to be configured for use with solid-state drives. So, thanks to SSD Tweaker, you have the ability to quickly and free of charge adjust the necessary parameters, disable system services that are not useful when using SSDs, etc. There is also a licensed version with advanced tools.
Convenient and functional utility that offers different ways to test performance. With its help, you can find out complete information about the device, monitor the use of partitions and determine the performance of the drive in various modes.
The SSD disk resource checker program will allow the user to be aware of the device’s “health” status and to get an approximate wear due to the collected information on reading / writing data. The software works in the background and practically does not consume resources.
A free utility that allows you to monitor the state of a solid-state drive. CrystalDiskInfo checks the read / write speed, monitors the temperature and wear of the SSD, and also supports SMART technology. The software is available both in the portable version and installed on the device. When choosing the second option, the function of monitoring SSD operation and detecting various errors is available.
Another program for the diagnosis of solid-state drive. DiskCheckup performs the tasks of determining the speed of read / write, as well as checking the operation of the device. If the PC also has an HDD drive, the software will also check it. Found errors, information about the device temperature and other characteristics you will see in the diagnostic results.
Hard Disk Sentinel
The program is designed to work with hard disks, Hard Disk Sentinel monitors the status of drives, errors, temperature and other parameters, notifying the user of critical indicators. The functionality of the software also includes work with SSD, IDE and SATA drives, as well as USB.
Using a special diagnostic software, as well as properly using the SSD, you can significantly increase the lifespan of your drive. So, in good conditions, the device can serve even more hard disk.