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Windows 7: SSD's and Defragmentation

23 Feb 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
SSD's and Defragmentation

Hi All:

By now the savvy readers of this forum all know that defragmenting a Solid State Drive (SSD) is not only futile but can actually shorten the life of the drive through excessive writes.

Now there's another reason that it doesn't make sense.

"Solid state drives use a technology called wear leveling to extend the lifetime of the device. Storage sectors on Flash drives have limited write-cycles which means that they cannot be written to anymore eventually. Wear leveling is used to avoid heavy use of specific sectors. With Solid State Drives it’s not possible to save data to a specific sector of the drive. The wear leveling mechanism makes sure that the data is evenly distributed on the drive."
Quote Source: Solid State Drives And Encryption, A No-Go?

The article is actually talking about Encryption but the last line of the above paragraph jumped out at me.

Defragmenters work by positioning files on the hard drives to make them contiguous thereby speeding up access times and reducing head thrashing. This requires them to have direct access to the drives.

SSD's, however, are written to by the wear-leveling mechanism; this suggests to me that defragmention programs no longer have their normal direct access.

So, even though the pretty graphic display shows all your files nicely lining up, the true state of the drive is hidden from view (and direct access) by the wear-leveling mechanism. Bottom line? A total waste of time.

Any thoughts?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Feb 2011   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit


I know of 2 Defragmenters that are OK to use.
PerfectDisk (using Consolodate)
Diskeeper (Using the HyperFast plugin sold seperatly)

I can not comment on Diskeeper, but I do use Perfect Disk.

I consolodate my main SSD about once a Month. It does seem to help some, in the sense by consolodating the free space, the writes stay up to par.

As far as performance, well, my Intel drive (main one) runs just as well as day one.

My old Vertex Drive on the other hand, starts wearing down and need some maintenance from time to time. (Mind you, this is a regualr Vertex, NOT the Vertex2)
Not sure what the deal is there. So I run it on occasion on the Intel, and the the Vertex alone. Its just used for a couple Games anyway.

Now whether or nor this provides any real benefit, I cant be sure.
It does feel as though it keeps my drive perming as it should.

I do not think Consolodate actually defragments anything does it? It simply moves everything closer together eliminating free space.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Feb 2011   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I rarely run a defrag on my spinning hard, that pretty much means I probably won't ever run one on an SSD. I've never been able to really quantify performance gains with a defrag. In theory, on paper, it makes tons of sense. In real world usage with a stop watch, I just don't see a change.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

23 Feb 2011   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium x64


I'm not sure that anything is being moved on the SSD by any defragmenter regardless of the settings because of the aforementioned wear-leveling mechanism that appears to do the actual writing to the drive.

At least, that's my take on the article's description of how data is written to the SSD.
Am I thinking wrongly? Am I missing something?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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