How to increase the lifespan of SSD?

SSDs or Solid State Drives offer high performance and that’s now a proven fact. But when their cost is taken into account, their adoption becomes prohibitive. Although, in past couple of years, the price of an SSD has come down, still it may take some more time to reach the level of HDDs.

So, when SSD has become a luxury asset, why don’t we try our best to prolong their lifespan?

What wears down in SSD-An SSD is a flash memory storage and has no moving parts unlike HDDs. So, in an SSD nothing breaks like a traditional mechanical hard drive. The only thing which hurts an SSD is write cycles. Technically speaking, Flash storage handles data in a specific way. When data is written to a block, the entire block must be erased before it can be written to again. Thus, the life of an SSD is measured in these program erase (P/E) Cycles. Modern, consumer grade, Multi Level Cell (MLC) NAND memory can generally endure about 3,000 to 5,000 P/E cycles before the storage’s integrity starts to determinate. The higher end, Single Level Cell (SLC) flash memory chip can withstand up to 100,000 P/E cycles.

No more defragmentation- SSDs have no moving parts and because of the nature of flash memory and controllers, fragmentation as you understand does not exist with SSDs. In fact, defragging makes numerous small, unnecessary, device-killing writes to the SSD—reason enough to eliminate it from your routine.

By disabling search indexing- With search indexer, users can have the privilege to search for files. But this activity generates small writes, which is a strict ‘No’. Disable it by searching for “services.msc” in the Start Menu Search Box. Find and right click Windows Search to open the properties. Stop the service and set the “Startup Type” drop down menu to disabled.

What to put on a SSD? Another key to SSD longevity is to use it for the right kind of data. SSD is great for applications, operating systems, and games, to crush load times and boot up applications at lightning speeds. There’d be nothing wrong with using SSD for data such as music, pictures, movies, and documents, but you don’t need the speed—and you probably wouldn’t want to waste write cycles on constant uploads and edits.

Enable Trim- Factually speaking, the TRIM feature has more to do with drive performance than SSD lifespan. Solid state drives write data to empty sectors. If a sector is partially filled, or filled with the remnants of a file that has already been deleted, the drive cannot write to the sector until its contents have been removed. TRIM is designed to erase cells containing data that is no longer in use. In some cases, it also consolidates the data from partially used sectors in an effort to free them up, thereby improving performance.

Drive full issue- Incidentally, SSD performance decreases dramatically as a drive fills up. Because of this, some organizations have adopted a policy of limiting SSD storage between 75% and 80% of the SSD drives’ actual capacity. But this policy increases the cost per GB of storage.


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