Formatting/deleting files and defragging SSD’s?

Configure and optimize you computer for Audio.
dickiefunk
KVRAF
2531 posts since 22 Mar, 2006 from cornwall

Post Sat Mar 02, 2019 10:25 am

Hi,

I’ve been hearing that formatting, deleting files and defragging SSD’s can damage them!?
Is this correct?
How much damage can this cause?

I would really like to format one of my SSD’s as I would like to install a completely new set of samples and VST’s. What would you suggest I do?

User avatar
Deep Purple
KVRian
1125 posts since 9 Jan, 2015 from NY, NY

Re: Formatting/deleting files and defragging SSD’s?

Post Sat Mar 02, 2019 11:55 am

SSD expected lifetimes are rated by how many times they are written to, but you're not going to see them fail just because you format and write data to them at similar rates and volumes as hard drives. If you format it every day for the next 10 years, you might see a problem, but otherwise you should stop worrying about it.
Sweet child in time...

User avatar
Pictus
KVRist
185 posts since 21 Aug, 2017 from Brasil

Re: Formatting/deleting files and defragging SSD’s?

Post Sat Mar 02, 2019 11:59 am


User avatar
Deep Purple
KVRian
1125 posts since 9 Jan, 2015 from NY, NY

Re: Formatting/deleting files and defragging SSD’s?

Post Sat Mar 02, 2019 12:01 pm

Don't bother with the defrag though - there's no benefit from defragging an SSD.
Sweet child in time...

User avatar
jancivil
KVRAF
17934 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Re: Formatting/deleting files and defragging SSD’s?

Post Sat Mar 02, 2019 12:08 pm

You can f**k an SSD up defragging, don't.

NB: I was told this first by a representative of a firm that sells defragging software.

User avatar
Hooj
KVRist
412 posts since 23 Aug, 2012 from Way Out West

Re: Formatting/deleting files and defragging SSD’s?

Post Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:44 am

defragmenting a SSD will reduce its lifespan, Period!

stratum
KVRAF
2287 posts since 29 May, 2012

Re: Formatting/deleting files and defragging SSD’s?

Post Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:48 am

I have never seen a solid state drive fail.
~stratum~

jdnz
KVRian
749 posts since 3 Oct, 2011 from Christchurch, New Zealand

Re: Formatting/deleting files and defragging SSD’s?

Post Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:14 am

stratum wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:48 am
I have never seen a solid state drive fail.
really? We’ve had plenty fail at my work - one was definitely tortured to death (scratch disk on a workstation running computational chemistry s/w 24/7 - basically continuous writes, killed the drive in about 1 year). The others have just been random failures (sudden too - either drive becomes read only, or worse still vanishes). Indeed first job on the books for today is dealing with a 2014 mbp whose drive died on friday (vanished from disk utility even - dead dead)

overall failure rate is generally lower than the hdd failure rate was though - mainly cos a lot of the ssds are in laptops, and back when laptops had hdds we had them die regularly due to shock damage

stratum
KVRAF
2287 posts since 29 May, 2012

Re: Formatting/deleting files and defragging SSD’s?

Post Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:21 am

I have occasionally lost data but so far they never "failed" in the sense that they were damaged, but my 24/7 write tests never last a year:) There are disks that are better suited to such tasks. They are usually marketed for surveillance applications and you can easily notice them by that word in their name.
~stratum~

jdnz
KVRian
749 posts since 3 Oct, 2011 from Christchurch, New Zealand

Re: Formatting/deleting files and defragging SSD’s?

Post Sun Mar 17, 2019 1:59 pm

stratum wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:21 am
I have occasionally lost data but so far they never "failed" in the sense that they were damaged, but my 24/7 write tests never last a year:) There are disks that are better suited to such tasks. They are usually marketed for surveillance applications and you can easily notice them by that word in their name.
actually the ssd was the right choice for this job as the s/w we were running was massively i/o bound - switching from a spinning rust scratch drive to ssd yielded about a 4 fold thruput increase.

I knew we were going to kill the ssd, and in fact was surprised it lasted as long as it did (and since it was just a scratch disk it dying was no big deal)

Kaine
KVRAF
1870 posts since 4 Nov, 2004 from Manchester

Re: Formatting/deleting files and defragging SSD’s?

Post Tue Mar 19, 2019 6:33 am

All drives can be killed, it's just a matter of by what workload. If you're doing intense loads like Jdnz outlines above, well then that's when you go Enterprise drives as they have overpervisioning to help ensure the drives live longer by reserving some hidden drive space.

In fact this is a worthy read: https://www.seagate.com/gb/en/tech-insi ... master-ti/

Thing is we're talking about intense workloads like database or mail server handling, this isn't really going to be of much concern to the average user where the a drive should easily have enough cycles to get to the end of the warranty period and then some.

We used to "zero fill" when formatting before TRIM became standard, but I think that's no longer important in more recent years... and never defrag an SSD. They self houseclean, all you'll do is shorten the life span by doing so.

jdnz
KVRian
749 posts since 3 Oct, 2011 from Christchurch, New Zealand

Re: Formatting/deleting files and defragging SSD’s?

Post Tue Mar 19, 2019 12:07 pm

Kaine wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 6:33 am
never defrag an SSD. They self houseclean, all you'll do is shorten the life span by doing so.
more importantly, defragging a ssd serves no purpose and achieves nothing - on a physical hard drive getting files arranged so all blocks of the file are contiguous saves seeks and rotational latency, on a ssd there IS no seek time or rotational latency, and more the point whilst to outside world it may appear as a linear array of disk blocks (same as a HDD) internally there's all sorts of fun mapping going on (to achieve wear levelling) so what you 'think' is contiguous isn't.

and we didn't like the PHd student enough to buy him an enterprise level ssd (0.5tb of consumer ssd was cheap and as big as he needed) :D Those 30tb samsungs do look like a nice option to expand our main arrays though - but we're waiting for prices to get a whole lot saner!

stratum
KVRAF
2287 posts since 29 May, 2012

Re: Formatting/deleting files and defragging SSD’s?

Post Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:20 pm

jdnz wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 12:07 pm
and we didn't like the PHd student enough to buy him an enterprise level ssd (0.5tb of consumer ssd was cheap and as big as he needed) :D
He or she might be looking at this sentence now, thinking several months long time was wasted because.... :)
~stratum~

cron
KVRAF
3156 posts since 27 Dec, 2002 from North East England

Re: Formatting/deleting files and defragging SSD’s?

Post Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:49 pm

No modern OS will let you defrag an SSD. Windows 10's defrag tool only lets you issue the TRIM command to SSDs, while you can defrag your HDDs as normal.

It's best not to get hung up about SSD lifespan just because you've got a ballpark figure of when it'll wear out. Formatting/defragging/etc a mechanical HDD also brings it one step closer to death. The only difference is that your HDD's lifespan isn't as predictable and it'll fail whenever it likes. Use and abuse your SSD as much as you like, keep your backups up to date, and relax.

metamorphosis
KVRAF
3802 posts since 8 Jan, 2005 from Hamilton, New Zealand

Re: Formatting/deleting files and defragging SSD’s?

Post Thu Mar 21, 2019 12:28 am

Every modern OS worth it's salt does a small amount of defragging to an SSD. This is important and should happen. There are multiple technical reasons why this should happen. Unfortunately there are some dumber OS's (*cough*osx*cough*) where no manual tool is available.

Generally speaking you shouldn't defrag an SSD, and let the OS do it's job. However there are some scenarios - for example, on very full drives - where fragmentation can reach significant levels and can hit the filesystem limits.

Mostly, don't worry about it.

Return to “Computer Setup and System Configuration”