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Windows 7: Kindly school me on new SSD best practices

11 Nov 2018   #1
mulic3

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 
Kindly school me on new SSD best practices

So I've finally purchased my first SSD. It's a crucial bx500. I was ready to just partition and use it like a normal hard drive until I read some people claim one would need to align partitions? I read about it for the past 30 minutes but read too many countering suggestions.
If I partiotioned the 240gb SSD for 2 partitions (while installing Windows 7), do I need to download extra softwares the align the partitions? Some claim not doing so might hurt its life expectancy. Also, do I need to install the manufacturer software which claim to speed up performabe by x10. I don't really care for it, I just want the SSD to be reliable and to last.
Any other things I should know / worry about?

Thank you!


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11 Nov 2018   #2
samuria

win 8 32 bit
 
 

The main thing is to allow a fair amount of free space as that causes problems if there isn't enough as you can't defrag the drive. The makers software is worth having as it can trim and advise on settings a lot of drives have a 3+ years warrenty so not to worry
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11 Nov 2018   #3
mulic3

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by samuria View Post
The main thing is to allow a fair amount of free space as that causes problems if there isn't enough as you can't defrag the drive. The makers software is worth having as it can trim and advise on settings a lot of drives have a 3+ years warrenty so not to worry
Thanks for your reply.
So no need to "align partitions"? Are the claims that not doing so will hurt its life expectancy wrong? I don't mind using just one partition, I'm just used to storing my important files on d: so I can reinstall Windows easily and quickly.
As I mentioned before, i partitioned it on the windows 7 installation. C drive is 110 and d is 113gb.
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11 Nov 2018   #4
F22 Simpilot

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Aligning the SSD as far as I know will help with speed. You can accomplish that with EASUS Partition Master. It's free. You can check if it's aligned with As SSD.

You will also want to make sure TRIM is set. Read this: Check and Enable or Disable SSD TRIM Support in Windows 7 / Windows 8.1 -MWH

Prior to installing the operating system, AHCI should have been engaged in BIOS. As SSD will tell you if it is or not. If it isn't and you already installed the OS, then enabling AHCI after the fact will render the computer not to boot. You'd have to switch back to IDE mode. There is a way of sorts to enable AHCI with the OS already installed, but it may have issues doing so.

The Crucial software for the drive should allow you to over-provision the SSD. I think it's at least 20%. Do so.

Never defrag a SSD. They aren't mechanical and it's not needed due to the way flash-based storage works. I would also turn off auto defrag for the SSD. You can find that option by right clicking the hard drive, choosing properties, Tools tab, and selecting Deragmentation.

How to Align SSD After Clone - EaseUS

Download AS SSD Benchmark - MajorGeeks

Periodicity check the drive with Crystal Disk Info. It may or may not show a percentage of health as a basic indicator. But in my experience, I've had SSDs just fail out of the blue. Although, those were all Sandforce-based SSDs. I don't even think they use the Sandforce chip anymore. It's very old and came out when SSDs first hit the market.

CrystalDiskInfo – Crystal Dew World


Back then they said you wanted to minimize the amount of writes to a SSD. Whether that stands true today I'm not sure given how far SSDs have come and their endurance, etc. But what you should do, and if this is if you have a second mechanical HDD in the computer, is move things like your downloads, Music, Pictures, etc to the second disk. Especially downloads. You can do it in two ways. One is I think by use of a symlink. But what I do is just create a folder on my second HDD called Downloads, and then in my browser set that path for my new downloads folder. You just have to remember your downloads will go to the second HDD. This will help keep the writes at a minimum on the SSD.

My laptop is only capable of one HDD, and it's an SSD. So of course I can't send my downloads to another drive. So in that case you have no choice in the matter.

I'd also keep a periodic clone of your computer to an external USB HDD of adequate size in case of catastrophe like a major malware infection or of the SSD goes to pot, etc. I use the free version of AOMEI Backupper. In AOMEI select the source which would be C drive, and the destination which would be your external USB hard drive. Chose the align option. You don't need sector by sector.

That's about it.
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11 Nov 2018   #5
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP 64
 
 

It is probably already aligned.
Mini tool has a function to align. Install and run it. Right click on the partition- align Best Free Partition Manager for Windows | MiniTool Partition Free

- TRIM
Type this cmd
fsutil behavior query DisableDeleteNotify

It will give you one of two results, either a 0 or a 1. A zero indicates that TRIM is enabled correctly, a one means that it is not. If you have a TRIM-compatible SSD, but find that Windows 7 hasn't enabled the command, you can easily do so by running this command:

fsutil behavior set DisableDeleteNotify 0
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11 Nov 2018   #6
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by F22 Simpilot View Post
...Back then they said you wanted to minimize the amount of writes to a SSD. Whether that stands true today I'm not sure given how far SSDs have come and their endurance, etc. But what you should do, and if this is if you have a second mechanical HDD in the computer, is move things like your downloads, Music, Pictures, etc to the second disk. Especially downloads. You can do it in two ways. One is I think by use of a symlink. But what I do is just create a folder on my second HDD called Downloads, and then in my browser set that path for my new downloads folder. You just have to remember your downloads will go to the second HDD. This will help keep the writes at a minimum on the SSD.

My laptop is only capable of one HDD, and it's an SSD. So of course I can't send my downloads to another drive. So in that case you have no choice in the matter...
Write life is not the issue now that it was when SSDs first came out. About the only thing you need to do to reduce unnecessary writes is to disable Hibernation unless you actully need it, such as for a UPS to "save" your data in an outage (I had Hibernation enabled on my first SSD and, when it died for other reasons almost five years in, I still had enough write life left for another decade).

The advice to move data folders from an SSD to a separate HDD is more to better utilize limited space on a smaller SSD than to reduce writes to it. Due to the higher costs of SSDs, a popular option is to use a smaller SSD for a boot drive with only the OS and programs on it and to store data on a separate, larger, less expensive HDD for data only. This also makes a better quality SSD more affordable.

Another reason for separating data files from System (OS and data) files is to better utillize the best methods for backups. The System is best backed up by using imaging (not cloning: cloning is best used for migrating the contents of a drive to another drive). Images can be used to similar System Restore only far more reliably. Also, unlike clones, multiple images can be stored on a drive. I recommend Macrium Reflect Free for imaging (and cloning, for situations when cloning is warranted).

Unlike the System, data is best backed up using a folder/file syncing program, such as FreeFileSync. Syncing will dramatically speed up backups of data and reduce the amount of space needed for backups.

Of course, if you have room for only one drive in a computer, it will be necessary to keep both System and data files on the SSD. As long as there is sufficient room on the drive (there should be at least 20-25% free space at all times), doing so will not reduce write life. The advantage to separating the System files and data files still applies to backups.

My notebook computer has a 2TB SSD in it with four partitions: System Reserved, C:/ (OS and programs), E:/ (data only; obviously, the largest partition), and the factory recovery partition. For backups, I image all but the data partitions together in one image. I use folder/file syncing to backup the data partition.

About one really needs to check on an SSD is, once it has been formatted, is if TRIM is enabled and if the SSD clusters (not partitions) are properly aligned. AS SSD Benchmark, a freebie, will tell you if the clusters are properly aligned or not. If you get two "Good" in the upper right corner, you are fine (99 44/100% of the time, you will be fine). Someone already has mentioned how to check to see if TRIM is enabled.

The only other things one really needs to do to ensure best SSD life and performance is to not defragment unless total fragmentation exceeds 25% (not likely to ever happen) and to make sure one maintains at least 20-25% free space.
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11 Nov 2018   #7
LMiller7

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
 
 

If you do a clean install and allow Windows to create the needed partitions they will be properly aligned. Alignment is usually only a problem when restoring an image from a non SSD drive. In that case alignment is usually wrong because alignment isn't an issue with conventional drives.
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12 Nov 2018   #8
mulic3

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 

Thank you all!
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4 Weeks Ago   #9
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP 64
 
 

Very good explanation about SSD's
SSD Life Expectancy - YouTube
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4 Weeks Ago   #10
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Megahertz07 View Post
Very good explanation about SSD's
SSD Life Expectancy - YouTube
Besides either the worst comb-over ever or a fascination with Moe Howard (OK, I'm being facetious), this guy doesn't get it quite right on overprovisioning (it's not the same as leaving free space). He doesn't even mention write amplification as the reason for needing free space and how it is the cause of reduced speed and write life. Also, the figures I see for the amount of free space on SSDs are 20-25% free space for best speed and write life, not 10% (10% is for HDDs but for similar but not the exactly the same).

Other than that, he pretty much nails it.
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 Kindly school me on new SSD best practices




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