How to extend the life of your SSD

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b2ap3_thumbnail_b2ap3_thumbnail_iStock_000016084473XSmall_20130808-123701_1.jpgIf you are reading this article, it means that you have already got SSD or you are thinking of using it but you have read a lot of articles telling that the life of SSD is much shorter than that of ordinary HDD and therefore, a reasonable question comes to your head: Is there a way to extend the life of my SSD? Yes there is a way. Below you will find various recommendations and short descriptions. Following the recommendations will help you to extend the life of your SDD and increase its performance.

ACHI mode in BIOS (it is required to set it before installation of OS, you can change it after the installation to, but it will be much more difficult to accomplish). Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI) – is a mechanism of connecting drives to Serial ATA protocol that allows using advanced features, such as Native Command Queuing and Hot Swapping. We are concerned about NCQ that increases the performance of tasks related to random read, data processing from two or more sources, that will increase the overall disk performance.

TRIM – a command that allows operating system to inform solid-state drive about which data blocks are not used and can be cleared off by it. TRIM command was introduced most probably after SSD has emerged, due to peculiarities of intrinsic implementation of operation in SSD and as a result, standard operations of operating system like deleting files and disk formatting leads to deterioration of operations performance on SSD. To check whether TRIM technology is used make the following query:

fsutil behavior query disabledeletenotify

If the result is 0, it means that TRIM is being used.

Synchronous logon script execution and launching explorer. Since SSD is very good during random read, and this is the access required during Windows boot, we can speed up OS booting.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System

REG_DWORD RunLogonScriptSync = 0

Disabling thumbnail caching. If you don’t use thumbnails often, you most probably won’t need to store them and you might agree to the fact that they will be recreated again and again (if the file manager works in thumbnail mode), in return it will not occupy precious space and write cycles on SSD.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer

REG_DWORD NoThumbnailCache = 1

REG_DWORD DisableThumbsDBOnNetworkFolders = 1

Last accessed date. Each time the file is accessed, its ‘last accessed date’ field is updated. If you have 500 files in the folder, it means that each file has to be updated. This option should be disabled as well.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem

REG_DWORD NtfsDisableLastAccessUpdate = 1

Disk indexing. Of course, on the one hand, indexing allows to considerable decrease file content based search, but on the other hand, indexing requires more space (around 10% of the volume of indexed files) and continuous index update also decreases the service time of your solid-state drive. So, perhaps, you should not use indexation and disable the relevant service.

Disabling Prefetch and Superfetch. This service is useful only on computers with low memory (a gigabyte or less) and slow drive. It can be disabled in services or by commands.

reg add “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory

Management\PrefetchParameters” /v EnableSuperfetch /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f

reg add “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory

Management\PrefetchParameters” /v EnablePrefetcher /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f

sc stop SysMain

sc config SysMain start= disabled

Disabling System Protection. Up to you. I do not use this function and save some space on the drive, but it might be useful for someone.

Page file. It is better to put it on HDD. Of course you can disable it completely (if you have enough RAM) and assess system’s performance.

Moving TEMP folder and user folder to HDD. In this case operations with temporary files and files in user folder will be slower, but they won’t reduce the resource of your SSD.

Disabling ClearPageFileAtShutdown. It is better to disable page file clean up upon starting the computer if you do not pay too much attention to cleaning up the traces after using computer.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\SessionManager\Memory Management

REG_DWORD ClearPageFileAtShutdown = 0

Disabling hibernation. Disabling hibernation will vacate the space on drive which is equal to RAM, and considering that the booting time using SSD is much less, the benefit from using hibernation mode becomes much less. Execute the following command to disable hibernation:

powercfg -h off

Disabling defragmentation at start up. At default settings Windows defragments load files at start up and it requires some time. When using SSD, it is completely useless and even harmful thing.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Dfrg\BootOptimizeFunction

REG_SZ Enable = “N”

Disabling automatic disk defragmentation. SSD defragmentation also has no sense and decreases the number of write cycles of your solid-state drive. So, shut it down:

Control panel – Disk defragmentation – Set schedule – Uncheck partitions located on your SSD and save the changes.

The above are all main recommendations that will help you to extend the life of your SSD and enjoy improved system performance in general.

By the way, you can use SSD Life or SSD Ready programs to check the remaining life time of your SSD. These programs will allow you to more or less anticipate the time for buying new solid-state drive.

Last modified on Thursday, 28 May 2015 13:59
Data Recovery Expert

Viktor S., Ph.D. (Electrical/Computer Engineering), was hired by DataRecoup, the international data recovery corporation, in 2012. Promoted to Engineering Senior Manager in 2010 and then to his current position, as C.I.O. of DataRecoup, in 2014. Responsible for the management of critical, high-priority RAID data recovery cases and the application of his expert, comprehensive knowledge in database data retrieval. He is also responsible for planning and implementing SEO/SEM and other internet-based marketing strategies. Currently, Viktor S., Ph.D., is focusing on the further development and expansion of DataRecoup’s major internet marketing campaign for their already successful proprietary software application “Data Recovery for Windows” (an application which he developed).

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