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EzioAs
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Just installed an SSD. Anything I should be wary of?

Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:24 am

So I just got my first SSD installed. This is to replace my aging primary HDD (about 11 years now IIRC). I got the Crucial MX 500 250GB from Amazon, which is crazy because even plus shipping and everything, it's still cheaper compared to getting one in my country. I got this drive because I've seen good reviews about it from tech reviewers and Crucial (Micron) seems to be the more reputable brand in the industry. Things have been good so far, I never suspected even the web browser (Firefox) would be more responsive. I do have a couple questions I'm hoping you people could help with.

1. I should never defrag SSD right, because of their limited number of writes?
2. Should I be wary of the number of writes? Will it last as long as my original HDD or should I at least expect the usability as long as the warranty only?
3. Any other things I should look out for?

Thanks in advance.
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Re: Just installed an SSD. Anything I should be wary of?

Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:29 am

If you're running Windows 10, it won't let you defrag it, so no worries there.

And you'd have to write MASSIVE amounts of data to the drive before worrying about it wearing out, so again, no worries.
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Re: Just installed an SSD. Anything I should be wary of?

Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:31 am

Be careful of whiplash from the speed. Congrats!
 
EzioAs
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Re: Just installed an SSD. Anything I should be wary of?

Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:35 am

MileageMayVary wrote:
If you're running Windows 10, it won't let you defrag it, so no worries there.

And you'd have to write MASSIVE amounts of data to the drive before worrying about it wearing out, so again, no worries.


So, it's not any time soon(ish) that I should be worried about? Good to know.

Kretschmer wrote:
Be careful of whiplash from the speed. Congrats!


I feel somewhat bad about not getting two of these so that I can install the other one on my work laptop. :D
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Re: Just installed an SSD. Anything I should be wary of?

Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:47 am

EzioAs wrote:

So, it's not any time soon(ish) that I should be worried about? Good to know.


https://techreport.com/review/27909/the ... e-all-dead

Not unless you're writing hundreds of terabytes.
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Re: Just installed an SSD. Anything I should be wary of?

Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:57 am

Kretschmer wrote:
Be careful of whiplash from the speed. Congrats!

Congrats on getting ~11 years out of your old HDD as well. That's pretty good! :lol:
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EzioAs
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Re: Just installed an SSD. Anything I should be wary of?

Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:00 am

just brew it! wrote:
Kretschmer wrote:
Be careful of whiplash from the speed. Congrats!

Congrats on getting ~11 years out of your old HDD as well. That's pretty good! :lol:


It's an old WD Blue 320 GB. Back then, I think manufacturers really make things to last, at least compared to these days. I suspect it won't last much longer though and I do have a plan in getting a 3/4 TB HDD for more storage.
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Re: Just installed an SSD. Anything I should be wary of?

Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:02 am

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Re: Just installed an SSD. Anything I should be wary of?

Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:06 am

Here's a real thing to worry about: While you should always make sure that critical data are backed up no matter what kind of storage device you use, the failure mode of SSDs is often different than hard drives. In many situations, hard drives will give you all kinds of warnings that they are dying before they finally crap out completely, and this gives you a chance to grab data before it's too late.

SSDs OTOH often go from perfectly functional to dead with practically no warning. I've personally encountered that failure mode and you need to be prepared for it. Incidentally, the failures that I'm talking about have absolutely nothing to do with reaching a write limit, and write limits are generally not something to worry about unless you are doing something insane that you shouldn't be doing with a consumer-grade SSD.
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Re: Just installed an SSD. Anything I should be wary of?

Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:13 am

chuckula wrote:
Here's a real thing to worry about: While you should always make sure that critical data are backed up no matter what kind of storage device you use, the failure mode of SSDs is often different than hard drives. In many situations, hard drives will give you all kinds of warnings that they are dying before they finally crap out completely, and this gives you a chance to grab data before it's too late.

SSDs OTOH often go from perfectly functional to dead with practically no warning. I've personally encountered that failure mode and you need to be prepared for it. Incidentally, the failures that I'm talking about have absolutely nothing to do with reaching a write limit, and write limits are generally not something to worry about unless you are doing something insane that you shouldn't be doing with a consumer-grade SSD.


That's kinda worrisome, but thanks for the reminder anyway. Yeah, I've had a harddrive died like that too, and a 3TB one to boot. It was the popular ST3000DM001, the most recent drive within the last decade to have such high failure rate, I think. This was after the Thailand flood, and I remember this drive being kinda cheap but only comes with a 1-year warranty. Long story short, the drive failed after about 16-18 months of use, carrying with it about 2TB+ data. :(
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Re: Just installed an SSD. Anything I should be wary of?

Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:43 am

So SSDs require scratch space to do their write operations. As the drive gets filled, performance degrades. If you want to be sure to avoid this problem, you can manually overprovision your drive. This means, you can format your drive to leave some empty, unformatted space at the end of the drive. This ensures there's always some empty scratch space for the SSD to use.

Go into Windows Disk Management and shrink the partition to leave a few gigabytes of unformatted space at the end. Now, most manufacturers already over-provision their drive by leaving some of the space invisible to the user. E.g., it might be a physically 512 GB drive but leave only 480 GB visible to the user, with the other 32 GB being over-provisioned space. (This is different than the 1000 vs 1024 problem that causes drives to have less space than advertised.) But you can manually over-provision to be sure.

Not specific to SSDs, but always have two backups: your backup, and your backup of the backup. That way, if a backup dies, you still have a backup.

Mechanical hard drives are of course great for cheap backups. I just put mine into external USB enclosures.
 
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Re: Just installed an SSD. Anything I should be wary of?

Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:48 am

mikewinddale wrote:
So SSDs require scratch space to do their write operations.

I always assumed the overprovisioning was so that as specific pieces of flash died, the unallocated one's could then be provisioned to the user as replacements, transparent to the user.
 
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Re: Just installed an SSD. Anything I should be wary of?

Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:53 am

Usacomp2k3 wrote:
mikewinddale wrote:
So SSDs require scratch space to do their write operations.
I always assumed the overprovisioning was so that as specific pieces of flash died, the unallocated one's could then be provisioned to the user as replacements, transparent to the user.

You are correct. No need to manually overprovision given the results of TR's durability testing.
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Re: Just installed an SSD. Anything I should be wary of?

Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:55 am

mikewinddale wrote:
most manufacturers already over-provision their drive by leaving some of the space invisible to the user.

This. I never bother adding additional overprovisioning. If you're getting down to that last <10GB on an SSD, you're probably due for a capacity upgrade anyway.

Backups backups backups. I wouldn't be any more worried about SSDs failing than hdds (except that hdds audibly fail, whereas you're gonna have to check SMART data on an SSD), but you should always have your sensitive data backed up regardless.
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Re: Just installed an SSD. Anything I should be wary of?

Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:58 am

EzioAs wrote:
That's kinda worrisome, but thanks for the reminder anyway. Yeah, I've had a harddrive died like that too, and a 3TB one to boot. It was the popular ST3000DM001, the most recent drive within the last decade to have such high failure rate, I think. This was after the Thailand flood, and I remember this drive being kinda cheap but only comes with a 1-year warranty. Long story short, the drive failed after about 16-18 months of use, carrying with it about 2TB+ data. :(

FWIW: https://www.hbsslaw.com/cases/seagate

Not sure if there's similar legal action pending in your country, but you may want to look into it.
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Re: Just installed an SSD. Anything I should be wary of?

Mon Jul 23, 2018 10:05 am

TR's own SSD endurance experiment basically put those fears about write endurance to rest, you'd have to be writing a crazy amount of data to break an SSD.

That said, I did recently retire an old Intel SSD 530, and a last look at it using Intel's SSD Toolkit gave it a drive health of 100%, and estimated remaining life of 20%, having done 265TB of writes.
 
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Re: Just installed an SSD. Anything I should be wary of?

Mon Jul 23, 2018 10:06 am

mikewinddale wrote:
Mechanical hard drives are of course great for cheap backups. I just put mine into external USB enclosures.

Or use bare drives in a dock, and pack them in ESD bags for storage.

Usacomp2k3 wrote:
I always assumed the overprovisioning was so that as specific pieces of flash died, the unallocated one's could then be provisioned to the user as replacements, transparent to the user.

Both, sort of. There's a certain amount of automatic overprovisioning done by the drive's firmware, to meet the manufacturer's specified reliability target. You can increase the amount of write headroom by simply buying a larger drive than you actually need. Some people claim you should create a separate (unused) partition for the overprovisioned space, but this really shouldn't be necessary as long as TRIM is enabled and you never fill the drive close to its capacity.

But, as Ned says...
Captain Ned wrote:
Usacomp2k3 wrote:
I always assumed the overprovisioning was so that as specific pieces of flash died, the unallocated one's could then be provisioned to the user as replacements, transparent to the user.

You are correct. No need to manually overprovision given the results of TR's durability testing.

...the concerns are probably overblown anyway.
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Re: Just installed an SSD. Anything I should be wary of?

Mon Jul 23, 2018 10:30 am

jihadjoe wrote:
I did recently retire an old Intel SSD 530, and a last look at it using Intel's SSD Toolkit gave it a drive health of 100%, and estimated remaining life of 20%, having done 265TB of writes.

Don't forget to include the capacity of the drive when you make such statements since endurance is based on write/erase cycles. 265TB is much more impressive on a 40GB SSD than a 2TB one for example.
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Re: Just installed an SSD. Anything I should be wary of?

Mon Jul 23, 2018 10:49 am

MileageMayVary wrote:
If you're running Windows 10, it won't let you defrag it, so no worries there.


That's not necessarily true. Make sure AHCI is enabled in the BIOS. If it's working correctly it won't let you defrag, but I've definitely seen Windows 10 on older machines that don't have AHCI or have AHCI disabled will defrag an SSD running in IDE mode.

But if you installed Windows while the SSD was in IDE mode, you'll need to reinstall it after you switch it to AHCI mode.
 
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Re: Just installed an SSD. Anything I should be wary of?

Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:03 am

jihadjoe wrote:
TR's own SSD endurance experiment basically put those fears about write endurance to rest, you'd have to be writing a crazy amount of data to break an SSD.

While TR's SSD endurance experiment was interesting, The one crucial detail they left out was data retention. The reason the SSD manufacturers have endurance ratings isn't necessarily because the drives will stop being able to write data, it's that they need to be rated to retain the data if left unpowered for a reasonable amount of time. I believe the industry standard is 1 year. So while TR was able to write much more data to the drives than their rating, they never tested whether the drives were still able to retain their data for any period of time left unpowered.
 
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Re: Just installed an SSD. Anything I should be wary of?

Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:21 am

DPete27 wrote:
jihadjoe wrote:
I did recently retire an old Intel SSD 530, and a last look at it using Intel's SSD Toolkit gave it a drive health of 100%, and estimated remaining life of 20%, having done 265TB of writes.

Don't forget to include the capacity of the drive when you make such statements since endurance is based on write/erase cycles. 265TB is much more impressive on a 40GB SSD than a 2TB one for example.


Oops. It was a 120GB.
 
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Re: Just installed an SSD. Anything I should be wary of?

Mon Jul 23, 2018 12:45 pm

Takeshi7 wrote:
jihadjoe wrote:
TR's own SSD endurance experiment basically put those fears about write endurance to rest, you'd have to be writing a crazy amount of data to break an SSD.

While TR's SSD endurance experiment was interesting, The one crucial detail they left out was data retention. The reason the SSD manufacturers have endurance ratings isn't necessarily because the drives will stop being able to write data, it's that they need to be rated to retain the data if left unpowered for a reasonable amount of time. I believe the industry standard is 1 year. So while TR was able to write much more data to the drives than their rating, they never tested whether the drives were still able to retain their data for any period of time left unpowered.


That's true of hard drives as well however. That's basically the "Bitrot problem", and why ZFS and other modern filesystems exist. You have to regularly scrub the data and fix bitrot, even with hard drives.
 
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Re: Just installed an SSD. Anything I should be wary of?

Mon Jul 23, 2018 1:01 pm

strangerguy wrote:
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This is a joke but it rings so true for me.
 
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Re: Just installed an SSD. Anything I should be wary of?

Mon Jul 23, 2018 1:01 pm

chuckula wrote:
Here's a real thing to worry about: While you should always make sure that critical data are backed up no matter what kind of storage device you use, the failure mode of SSDs is often different than hard drives. In many situations, hard drives will give you all kinds of warnings that they are dying before they finally crap out completely, and this gives you a chance to grab data before it's too late.

SSDs OTOH often go from perfectly functional to dead with practically no warning. I've personally encountered that failure mode and you need to be prepared for it. Incidentally, the failures that I'm talking about have absolutely nothing to do with reaching a write limit, and write limits are generally not something to worry about unless you are doing something insane that you shouldn't be doing with a consumer-grade SSD.



Agreed. Every SSD (3) that has failed on me has failed HARD, even sent one off to a recovery place (Kroll) with no data recoverable. That being said I have a thousand SSDs and the failure rate of 3 is magnitudes lower than hard drive failures. My helpdesk dept 10 years ago was replacing "bad hard drives" weekly. Random drives too, one intel (sandforce), one samsung, and one sandisk (sandforce).

I actually had someone who was limping on win7 (fine) and hard drive (not fine) when we did a call center software upgrade on his PC and it was unbearably slow. Chkdsk had bad sectors and such, said he was keeping quiet because he didn't want the win10 upgrade. Kept telling all his coworkers "IT caught me, now forcing me to upgrade" when I was trying to explain that all his un-backed-up data was at a huge risk and this would make his computer 10x faster.

BACK UP YOUR DATA, PLEASE.
 
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Re: Just installed an SSD. Anything I should be wary of?

Mon Jul 23, 2018 2:26 pm

dragontamer5788 wrote:
Takeshi7 wrote:
jihadjoe wrote:
TR's own SSD endurance experiment basically put those fears about write endurance to rest, you'd have to be writing a crazy amount of data to break an SSD.

While TR's SSD endurance experiment was interesting, The one crucial detail they left out was data retention. The reason the SSD manufacturers have endurance ratings isn't necessarily because the drives will stop being able to write data, it's that they need to be rated to retain the data if left unpowered for a reasonable amount of time. I believe the industry standard is 1 year. So while TR was able to write much more data to the drives than their rating, they never tested whether the drives were still able to retain their data for any period of time left unpowered.


That's true of hard drives as well however. That's basically the "Bitrot problem", and why ZFS and other modern filesystems exist. You have to regularly scrub the data and fix bitrot, even with hard drives.

Hard to counter bitrot on a drive that is in cold storage.
 
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Re: Just installed an SSD. Anything I should be wary of?

Mon Jul 23, 2018 2:39 pm

Honestly a little hard to believe you held out until 2018. I understand not everyone has access to these components, or (necessarily) the funds to acquire them, but SSDs have been the norm for a long while now.
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Re: Just installed an SSD. Anything I should be wary of?

Mon Jul 23, 2018 2:40 pm

Usacomp2k3 wrote:
Hard to counter bitrot on a drive that is in cold storage.

Any media in cold storage (magnetic, flash, optical) should be checked periodically to make sure it isn't deteriorating if you really care about the data. Tape and high quality optical media are probably the most "shelf stable" in general.
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Re: Just installed an SSD. Anything I should be wary of?

Mon Jul 23, 2018 2:46 pm

Usacomp2k3 wrote:
dragontamer5788 wrote:
Takeshi7 wrote:
While TR's SSD endurance experiment was interesting, The one crucial detail they left out was data retention. The reason the SSD manufacturers have endurance ratings isn't necessarily because the drives will stop being able to write data, it's that they need to be rated to retain the data if left unpowered for a reasonable amount of time. I believe the industry standard is 1 year. So while TR was able to write much more data to the drives than their rating, they never tested whether the drives were still able to retain their data for any period of time left unpowered.


That's true of hard drives as well however. That's basically the "Bitrot problem", and why ZFS and other modern filesystems exist. You have to regularly scrub the data and fix bitrot, even with hard drives.

Hard to counter bitrot on a drive that is in cold storage.


And once a year, you should take hard drives out of cold storage and scan them for bitrot. With exception of maybe archival-quality tape drives, which are designed for this sort of cold storage... I've seen recommendations to scrub hard drives every week btw. I personally try to scrub every few months on my NAS (ZFS Scrub make that job very easy)
 
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Re: Just installed an SSD. Anything I should be wary of?

Mon Jul 23, 2018 3:15 pm

DancinJack wrote:
Honestly a little hard to believe you held out until 2018. I understand not everyone has access to these components, or (necessarily) the funds to acquire them, but SSDs have been the norm for a long while now.

First SSD for me was the Intel 320 80GB and that was back in 2011 sure it cost $190 but it was worth it.
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Re: Just installed an SSD. Anything I should be wary of?

Mon Jul 23, 2018 4:02 pm

biffzinker wrote:
DancinJack wrote:
Honestly a little hard to believe you held out until 2018. I understand not everyone has access to these components, or (necessarily) the funds to acquire them, but SSDs have been the norm for a long while now.

First SSD for me was the Intel 320 80GB and that was back in 2011 sure it cost $190 but it was worth it.

My laptop had an SSD going back quite a few years, but my home desktop was still booting from mechanical storage until (IIRC) late 2015 or early 2016.
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