Defragment SSD: is it necessary?

Deepak Gupta
Deepak Gupta February 18, 2022
Updated 2022/02/18 at 11:43 AM

Defragment SSD: is it necessary?

Solid-state devices – SSDs – are excellent, fast and reliable. But when it comes to taking care of it, it’s not the same game as your old hard drive.

SSD is one of the most commonly used digital storage devices in modern computers. Since they run faster, deliver more performance, and produce almost no sound, it’s easy to see why the solid state drives are slowly taking over their HDD counterparts in many applications.

While the solid state drives operate very similarly to hard drives, at least from a user perspective, support for solid state drives is very different. One of the most common questions we hear is “Do you need defragment SSD ? »

The answer is no! »

But why is this and what can you do to solid state drives are working correctly?

What is an SSD?

SSD is a common digital storage device in smartphones, computers, and other devices with large storage needs. As its name suggests, the solid state drives have no moving parts; Use memory instead NAND-Flash.

solid-state drive - NAND FlashInside a solid state drive there are millions of mini-switches called floating-gate transistors. These transistors can sense electronic flow within them, allowing them to maintain the same “on” or “off” state at all times, even when they have no power source. All the data you store on the SSD is partitioned using a special microprocessor and assigned to different groups of transistors called cells. Unfortunately, these cells have a limited lifespan and will fail if subjected to too many recording cycles.

Hard drives and defragmentation

Contrary to solid state drives, hard drives use magnets to store your data. This is achieved by dividing the rotating metal plate into small sections called “domains”, each domain having its own magnetic field which can be read by the head of the mechanical swing arm. Magnetic fields pointing in different directions can maintain an “on” or “off” state.

Defragmentation can improve hard drive performance by rearranging stored data so that related information is organized into a continuous structure. This allows the storage device to read data with minimal movement of its mechanical parts.

The native file system and software used by macOS largely solve the problem of fragmentation and save you from optimizing your device on modern machines.

Should SSD be defragmented?

There is no practical reason to defragment SSD. In fact, there are two good reasons to avoid a full defragmentation of your SSD.

No increase in productivity

The hard drive has to find data using a mechanical arm and turntable, but can still move between files with an impressive seek time of 15ms. Unfortunately, these begin to accumulate when files become fragmented, so defragmenting is a good way to maintain hard drive speed.

Hard drives have the inherent advantages of hard drives; You can move between files and fragments without mechanical movement. They achieve a seek time of around 0.1ms, which makes the defragmentation effect invisible.

Reduce the life of your SSD

As stated above, SSDs have limited overwrite capability. The device defragmentation process involves writing files back to a new location on the device, which effectively shortens the life of your SSD without bringing any benefit.

SSD Optimization with TRIM

Invalid data can quickly accumulate on the SSD. A solid-state device cannot erase an entire block of data if some of the data in the block is still valid, which leaves invalid data and forces the device to go through the process of moving and erasing data when the disk space is required.

Worse still, hard drives cannot write data over existing data and must erase existing data before creating new records. This issue can make it take longer to write new data and gradually degrade SSD write performance over time.

TRIM is a command that can be sent to the SSD, forcing it to go through a block scrubbing process to remove invalid data. It can improve the performance of your SSD by doing this work when not in use rather than while saving data.

This feature is enabled with standard SSDs in Windows 10 and 11, but you can disable it. However, it should be noted that using TRIM may make it impossible to recover files that you have deleted from your computer.

Avoid SSD defragmentation

Fortunately, Windows does not try to defragment SSD unless you tell him. This makes it easy and enjoyable to avoid this process on your device even if you have a hard drive in your computer.

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