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Do you have to DEFRAG a SSD?

Posted on 2009-05-09
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I have a SSD notebook and have read both sides stating that the SSD HD's are self suficient and others that state its still windows and you should defrag.  So which is it? To DEFRAG or not the DEFRAG an SSD...that is the question.
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Question by:vfinit
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sherenian earned 250 total points
ID: 24346536
You do NOT need to defragment an SSD.  The Flash RAM in a SSD has a number of read cycles before the end of its life so defragging a drive too much will shorten its useful life span.  

Also, defragging was a means to speed up read speeds when we had a spinning drive with a reading needle, with SSD, there is no spinning everything is at an address which can be found and read.  Defrag will not increase the speed it take to get that done.
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by:amazingashton
ID: 24346705
The answer is no.
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by:Alan Henderson
ID: 24346866
The previous posts are correct, although there are some tech people who disagree. What you need is a reference from specialists in the field.
See here for informed opinion:
http://www.sysmannews.com/(S(4gct55i42l4ftg55k31uwgmg))/SearchResult/32501

The person who disagrees is from Diskeeper and a lot of people don't think too much of Diskeeper's views on anything.

:)

On the above link, Hal Woods, a technologist in Hewlett-Packards Storage Platforms Group Chief Technologist Office who should know says:

"SSDs deploy techniques called 'wear leveling' that will optimize the way data is stored into the flash memory to help improve performance and spread the data more evenly across the underlying flash memory to prevent (or at least delay) the wear-out.

Because SSDs do not have the motors, heads and bearings of an HDD or the related access delays associated with moving the heads and waiting for the data to come under the head to access datathe problem that the defragging is supposed to solveis not present. In all likelihood, defragging an SSD will not help the SSD to perform better or last longer and it could be the case that the defrag process, if run often enough, will do enough writes to the SSD to somewhat shorten the life of the SSD.

Because there are a number of vendors, each with their own wear-leveling approaches, a given SSD may get slightly worse or slightly better performance or endurance from defragging.

My interpretation of the various opinions is  don't defrag unless you have reason to believe that the drive is so seriously defragmented that it's affecting performance.

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by:wizzardofoz
ID: 24347246
Can there even be a real defrag for an SSD? The wear leveling distributes the data with a proprietary algorithm unique to each manufacturer in order to prevent disproportionate writing to any logical unit. Any defrag will have to be optimized for every wear leveling algorithm or bypass it and take resposibility for their own.

One interesting thing though is that the diskkeeper guy did not dispute that current defrag is not needed, he was talking about software that they are developing for the future. I have not seen any indication that this software has been released or incorporated into their existing products. If even diskkeeper is not saying that current defraggers help SSD's I think we can confidently say that you should not defrag them.
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by:coredatarecovery
ID: 24350051
Solid State disks virtualize the drive underneath a layer of firmware to evenly distribute the read/writes amongst the least used/reused data cells. This means that the NTFS Table does not physically point to the actual cell holding the data, just to a table that holds where the data actually is.

This allows the drive to maximize the data life of the cells on the SSD.

The short answer is no, there's no reason to defrag the disk.

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