Do NOT Defrag your Solid State Drives
As with all new technology it takes time to let go of old ideas.
Screen savers used to serve a purpose. To keep a C:/ prompt from being tattooed onto your screen.
They were good for your gear.
Using a screensaver now is more for fun or privacy. It is not really needed but does no harm.
Defragmenting some drives is also becoming outdated. Unlike a screensaver, doing harm.
Defragmenting will shorten the life of your Solid State, SD or USB Drive.
Your solid state drive does not have any moving parts.
There is no platter spinning nor head reading. Seek time is a non issue. When you “look” at your SSHD with a defrag program it shows you a virtual disk. The virtual disk used to represent a physical drive and scattered data.
In the case of a solid state drive every cluster is touching every other cluster. There is no head looking for data on a spinning hard drive. The data at the “end” is next to the data at the beginning. Every byte is accessible in the same amount of time no matter where it is mapped or placed.
…..So who cares? You do! Your solid state drive in your EEE PC, MacBook Air, iphone and your USB drive all have one thing in common. LIMITED WRITE CYCLES.
Write cycles are when your 0’s are flipped to 1’s or your 1’s are flipped to zeros. Unlike reading data off of the drive (non destructive) writing to a Flash drive SSHD or an SD card is destructive and takes it one step closer to being worn out.
If you are old enough to remember paper and a pencil. :) If you write your name on the paper you can read it over and over with no wear at all. If you erase it and rewrite it the paper begins to wear. After a few too many times erasing and writing, it wears out.
When you defrag your SSHD you are using up your write cycles and doing nothing to increase your speed or performance.
My best advice is to never open defrag on your Solid State HD XP or Vista machine. Leave your USB thumb drive alone too. If Microsoft bothers to keep XP and Vista up to date I would expect a patch or update to be released to recognize solid state drives and bypass the defrag option all together. (I am not holding my breath on the XP patch. It is not included in Service Pack 3.
Google the phrase “wear leveling solid state drives” for more info. Tiny flash drives don’t have too much room to spread the wear.
If you are running The Windows OS on a Solid State Drive or Card remove your swap file ASAP.
Paging files rewrite constantly. You will be wearing out your drive just by having your Windows machine turned on.
I covered this on an earlier post.