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Storage SSD preparation

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by DragunovHUN, 9 Nov 2015.

  1. DragunovHUN

    DragunovHUN Modder

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    I finally picked up an SSD for my main battlestation and I know there are some best practices for settings in Windows to make the drive as happy as possible, such as relocating the page file, disabling indexing and never defragging. If there's anything meaningful that I forgot or never knew, would you lads mind giving me a reminder?

    ta
     
  2. Otis1337

    Otis1337 aka - Ripp3r

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    with windows 8 and 10 you dont need to do anything, it knows its an SSD and will config it appropriately.
     
  3. DragunovHUN

    DragunovHUN Modder

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    Cheers, is there a write-up somewhere that would tell me all the differences when Windows gets installed on an SSD?
     
  4. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    Don't forget your rain dance. SSDs don't like going in dry......

    (OK I'm completely kidding.. Installing an SSD into a Windows 8/10 machine should be seamless and you shouldn't need to do anything else).
     
  5. goldstar0011

    goldstar0011 Multimodder

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    Although, make sure you hard drive mode in BIOS is AHCI before installing windows
     
  6. PocketDemon

    PocketDemon What's a Dremel?

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    Reallocating the pagefile was an idea back in 2009-10, back when everyone was paranoid about the lifespan of nand as it was relatively new tech.

    it's *really* not something to worry about - & will make the machine noticeably slower by disabling it.


    Along with ahci (or raid) in the bios & never full formatting, the only 2 things that i explicitly do solely for SSD use are -

    1. increase the HDD power off time to at least an hour if i'm going to be writing reasonable amount to the thing - as most of the popular SSDs are now a little lackadaisical when it comes to GC.

    2. &, where there's a reasonably heavy random-ish write usage (vs, say, having another SSD solely for games), is to increase the OP (by under partitioning) - & i still work to at least 28% of the total (not the user area) nand.

    (although this will also have a positive effect on lifespan, the main improvement will be with maintaining speeds when actually doing bunches of writes -> erases -> writes; d.t. data being written in pages, but only erasable in blocks)


    Whilst i then disable hibernation & system recovery, this is about not actually wanting either of them running as they don't suit my purposes; rather than being paranoid about writes to the SSD - so i'm not stating that you should or shouldn't do so.


    SuperFetch & PreFetch are a choice thing.

    Whilst obviously SSDs are quicker than HDDs, with the former, if Windows has preloaded data from programs you're most likely to use at that time of day into memory, it will be quicker still.

    So, making something simply up, if every time you boot up, you then loaded, say, Outlook, Firefox, Photoshop - &, just after midnight, loaded Solitaire to get the new daily games - then it'll obviously be quicker if the necessary data's already in memory.

    Prefetch, whilst partially about booting, also retains data from programs you've just closed - so if you needed to reopen them fairly soon afterwards, again the data's loaded from memory rather than the SSD.

    Now, as both only write relatively small files, there's no real reason that i can see to disable them - but it's up to you.


    &, with indexing then although there is a minimal variance with a SSD with indexing on or off, it does speed searches up slightly.

    The main reason for turning this off would be if you had a low end processor.
     
  7. bawjaws

    bawjaws Multimodder

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    PocketDemon, what's a good rule of thumb for overprovisioning these days (for normal Windows and gaming usage, not any more niche usage scenario)?
     
  8. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

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    I've never heard of that one, is that just because of the extra writes or for other reasons?
    If it's other reasons would you have a link explaining the reasoning behind it, would be interested in the reasoning.
     
  9. PocketDemon

    PocketDemon What's a Dremel?

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    Excepting an odd use where it's higher, personally i always stick to ~28% of the total nand - ie if it's sold as nominally being 480/500/512GB SSD then formatting to ~72% of 512GB; so ~370GB...

    ...however i bought capacity with that in mind.


    Then (obviously ignoring the games only example below), whilst some extra OP can mitigate the effects of accidentally overfilling the partitioned space...

    ...overall, it will be more detrimental to overfill than not having extra OP - so it's also a balancing act.


    So, taking it to one extreme, if you had a 2nd SSD solely for games, there is no point whatsoever in having any extra OP on that drive at all, as, beyond installing the games & the odd update & save game, you're not writing any real quantity of data...

    ...whilst, on the other, if you were hammering the thing with vast amounts of random writes & deletes then you'd want far more otherwise you'd drive the thing into the ground.

    [NB as a complete aside, i have driven Samsung SSDs into the ground with sequential writes in a non-trim environment.]​


    Now, Samsung, as an example, have talked about going to ~10% for a reasonably mixed use - albeit that this is additional OP, not total OP...

    So, a 512GB Pro formats to ~476GB - & taking 10% off would take it down to ~428GB... ...whilst a 500GB Evo formats to ~465GB - so down to ~418GB.

    Whilst the max of 20% in Magician, for a heavier usage, is pretty close to the 28% that i've used (& recommended) for over 5 years - since 20% off ~476GB is 380GB & 20% off 465GB is 372GB.


    it is, however, entirely optional - & clearly for some people the economics of having any extra OP would make a SSD unviable...

    ...whilst, for example, setting up a machine for my folks with a 250GB 850 Evo (the 120GB is slower & they're not megabucks), there was no point in not adding bunches of extra OP as they're never going to be using the majority of the space...

    ...or, again, i've got a 250GB 840 Evo in my HP Microserver - & as, beyond 2012 R2, there's only the antivirus/firewall, the DrivePool s/w & Classic Shell installed, there's no reason not to have loads of OP for the sake of it.

    As simply as possible, the blank states for HDDs & a SSDs are different - the former being 0, whilst the latter is 1, 11 or 111, depending on whether it's SLC, MLC or SLC nand.

    Now, a full format writes 0s to whatever drive it is - so, with a SSD, this makes cells, equivalent to the partitioned & full formatted area dirty...

    ...both adding an extra usage cycle to that quantity of nand & meaning that the SSD will have to clean it again as an idle process.


    With a quick format however, this triggers the trim command for every cell in the partitioned area - so, with a trim enabled OS, it then gets semi-instantly reset to 1, 11, 111 (as appropriate) if needed.

    [NB these are not necessarily done on a cell by cell basis, as SSDs swap in pre-erased blocks from the OP area...

    ...& if a cell is already in the 1, 11, 111 state, doing either a quick format or SEing will not alter the state of the cell - so there will be no cycles used for those cells.]​


    The functional difference between SEing & quick formatting obviously is that, with the former, all of the nand is reset, whereas with quick formatting only nand up to the size of partitioned area is - however, the SSD will then clean any remaining ones automatically.

    So, as SEing is often a pain in the arse, it's much more convenient to quick format - & there will be no difference to your experience as an end user.
     
    Last edited: 9 Nov 2015
  10. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

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    So is the TLDR reason basically extra writes & time?
    Makes logical sense if I've understood correctly.
     
  11. sniperdude

    sniperdude Minimodder

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    only thing I would do is enable AHCI and remove any other hard drives for the install
    if you have boot files on another drive windows install will use them instead of putting new ones on the SSD


    when this happens if the hard drive fails or is removed windows will no longer boot
    and you have to mess about creating boot files on the SSD to get windows to start.

    Much easier to just remove them for the install.
     
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  12. bawjaws

    bawjaws Multimodder

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    Thanks for the comprehensive answer, PocketDemon. I think I've allocated about 20% (before formatting) of my 256GB 830 for OP. Mind you, I've had the drive for 3.5 years and only written about 4TB so I reckon that level of OP will be plenty :)
     
  13. PocketDemon

    PocketDemon What's a Dremel?

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    & makes the drive noticeably slower until GC gets around to doing its thing.


    it was hardly pages to read though, as i'd not bothered with any of the high technical bits - & you'd asked for an explanation.

    An *extremely* good point, i'd completely forgotten to mention that.

    No probs.

    4TB seems very low for 3.5 years of usage though - as, even with a very basic usage (internet & Outlook & whatnot), i've gotten through almost 8TB in ~6 months in the one in the machine i'm typing on.
     
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  14. bawjaws

    bawjaws Multimodder

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    My mistake, it's actually 4.55TB :D (per Samsung Magician)

    SMART data is showing just under 9,000 hours powered on, so that's about 8 hours a day since it was installed. Sounds about right.
     
  15. PocketDemon

    PocketDemon What's a Dremel?

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    i wasn't saying that you were making things up - just commenting that it seemed really low to me.
     
  16. bawjaws

    bawjaws Multimodder

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    No worries, I understood where you were coming from. The "sounds about right" part of my post referred to the power on time, not the data written.
     
  17. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

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    Sorry I didn't mean what i said to come across as not being grateful, i was just making sure i understood your explanation correctly, apologies and thanks.
     
  18. DragunovHUN

    DragunovHUN Modder

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    Yep learned that the hard way shuffling around my mechanical drives over the years. Massive headache if you're not prepared for it.

    Thanks guys.
     
  19. PocketDemon

    PocketDemon What's a Dremel?

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    No probs...

    it had just surprised me that you'd commented that it was too long for you to bother reading - which is what TLDR means naturally...

    Clearly a miscommunication though - & i guess you were actually meaning something like 'so the take home points are...' or something.
     
  20. ModSquid

    ModSquid Multimodder

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    Was reading this thread with interest the other day and looked up Superfetch - found this:

    http://www.groovypost.com/howto/disable-superfetch-windows/

    which says:

    "But SuperFetch was made with slow HDD’s (hard disk drives) in mind. With modern 7200+ RPM drives, SuperFetch load time improvement becomes negligible, and this is even more true with SSDs (solid state drives) where the service actually becomes detrimental to both the system performance and health of the drive.
    Long story short, if you have Windows installed on a SSD you don’t want SuperFetch. If you’re running on a fast HDD, you probably won’t notice much of a difference when disabling it."

    What are your thoughts on this?
     

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