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Ready for solid-state drive, but long-term reliability has me worried

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / March 1, 2013 6:14 AM PST

Ready for solid-state drive, but long-term reliability has me worried

Now that solid-state drives are coming down in price, I am thinking of
swapping the hard drive I have in my laptop for a 256 GB solid-state
drive. However, I have read in the past that these drives use flash
technology and this technology is only good for a large but finite
number of write requests before it starts to fail. Since some files,
such as swap space, are used pretty heavily, is long-term reliability
going to be an issue? Based on this concern, are there any instances
when an SSD isn't recommended? Also, are there any performance specs
that we should consider while choosing a solid-state drive? Thanks for
any suggestions.

--Submitted by: Phil B.
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How does it fail?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 1, 2013 6:27 AM PST

The current crop deals with failures by locking out those areas until something else gives out.

But I think we want to cover the topic of backup here. That is, no matter what the technology is, we can't dispense without a backup. Some folk forget that and you are right, data recovery on SSD is rare.

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Discussing any New Storage Technology is Moot without Backup
by High Desert Charlie / March 1, 2013 11:29 AM PST
In reply to: How does it fail?

Great Point Bob!!!

There are new advances in SSD technology every week. The pricing is continuing to come down and the cost per GB is going down with it. This is putting pressure on the manufacturers to continue pumping out bigger, faster, more reliable SSDs. I'm a big advocate for SSD tech, and recommend it for many of my customers when they can afford it.

You're right when you answer this question with the issue of BACKUP. So without hijacking your post, I just wanted to mention one of the things I recommend for my customers when they're replacing a hard drive or buying a new computer. Basically I recommend they purchase a standard SATA hard drive with a new computer, load it up with everything they could imaging they'd need on it, make sure they have all of the updates for Windows and other software, and then clone everything to a new SSD. Working in this way, the customer always has a backup of the completely updated system in the case of a catastrophic SSD failure. They need only pop in the backup and they're back in business.

On that same standard SATA hard drive, I also recommend the customer create a second partition for all of their data, which can be backed up on a regular basis through Windows.

I wouldn't worry too much about the new SSDs coming out now. As long as you're backed up, the speed you gain through using an SSD more than justifies any concerns about MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) which I believe is in the millions of hours for SSDs.

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Just wondering...
by JCitizen / March 10, 2013 1:41 AM PST

I've read here and at sister sites to CNET, that when you get an SSD, you should always install the operating system to the drive "manually" and not by image copy, or "cloning". So you are saying they are wrong? Just wondering!

It is a good thing many new laptops are now available with two drive slots on board, because you can have the best of both worlds - if you like laptops, that is - you can now install the OS on the SSD, and store the files on the other hard drive. This almost negates the need for backup, because you will only lose the OS and not your important files. Of course, applications can become an issue too.

Maybe a hybrid drive could be the answer? Especially for those that only have one drive slot per device. I've always wondered if a hybrid drive could be recovered for data if the flash component part of the drive fails. Have you heard anything, or had experience with that?

Just wondering? Confused

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Partial Answer
by webserf / March 10, 2013 5:58 AM PDT
In reply to: Just wondering...

When you install an SSD into an existing system, there are bios settings (for example AHCI), that need to be changed to take advantage of the SSD capabilities. Note, there are a few good "how-to" web pages that detail the settings needed, both in a new setup and in an existing set up. Also NOTE: AHCI must be set for SSD to be fully utilized, and this is NOT done automatically in an existing set up.

Also, of course there are settings in Windows that also need to be changed, for example the page file, and how the OS "Indexes" its files. There is no real need to index or have a page/swap file, because access is already as fast or faster than the equivalent spinning drive.

For me personally, I'd install a new SSD and reinstall the OS. Newer motherboards will adjust accordingly, as well when the OS is installed, will make the appropriate AHCI settings, trim and so forth.

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Page/swap file
by rgknott / March 11, 2013 5:28 AM PDT
In reply to: Partial Answer

The message states when using SSD a page/swap file is not needed. This is nonsense. The swap file is used for the OS virtual storage, sometimes called virtual memory. The swap file is heavily accessed when the system becomes short on real memory, sometimes called physical memory. When this occurs, less accessed portions of real memory, called page-frames are swapped out of real memory to virtual memory on the disk. This operation is called a page-out. These portions of memory are maintained in the swap file until needed again, in which case something called a page-fault occurs and the page-frames are paged-in and restored from the swap file to real memory. The page-out/page-in operations are called paging, which is perfectly normal unless it becomes excessive. Incidentally, when the geek at BestBuy or someplace suggests that adding memory to your computer will make it faster, it won't, unless your computer is paging excessively, in need of more real memory. Use the Task Manager and Resource Monitor that comes with Windows to see how much free physical memory you already have available before wasting money on additional, if unneeded, memory.


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by Hforman / March 11, 2013 3:32 PM PDT
In reply to: Page/swap file

A Pagefile has nothing to do specifically with speed. It has more to do with what happens when your program needs 3 GB of RAM and you only have 2 GB available at the time with the rest filled up with other programs and for the virtual addressing you mentioned. If one of you want to be brave out there, turn off your paging file and reboot and see how your PC runs (or doesn't run). Even if you have an SSD. The suggestion that an SSD negates the need for a pagefile is ridiculous as that would still limit your memory to what is available at the time and has not a thing to do with how fast your disk is. By the way, to turn your Pagefile back on, you will probably need to boot into SAFE MODE and have plenty of patience. It's more of a memory thing and not related to disk speed as a need for one.

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My Mistake!
by webserf / March 12, 2013 1:04 AM PDT
In reply to: Correct

There's nothing I can say but, yes, it's no longer a concern, as to "wearing out" an SSD if the page file is on the same drive (or any other SSD in the system)...
bUT, to suggest that Windows won't run (and perform well) with the page file set to Zero is also absurd.
With typical use, (how 99% of people use their computers) most people would not notice a difference.

Nevertheless, I apologize for the incorrect advice as relates to setting the page file to zero!

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Move the page/swap files to another drive
by rgknott / March 16, 2013 1:04 PM PDT
In reply to: My Mistake!

I should've mentioned, if you have two or more physical drives installed in your computer, you might want to move the page/swap/hiber files to a partition residing on a different drive. This will alleviate your concern about wearing out the SSD with paging activity. It should also help balance the workload and improve performance on systems without any SSD. Particularly if the different drive you specify is also on a different channel. This will save valuable storage space on your SSD as well, since these files can be quite large. Look at your drive's hardware properties, and the SATA port layout for your motherboard. The BIOS settings you can access during boot will also be most helpful and show you the drive and channel information. You may find that you would have to plug one of your drives into a different SATA port on the motherboard to get them to be on separate bus channels, but it is all easy to do.


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SSDs aren't for everybody

Although everybody loves faster, sometimes an SSD isn't the answer to your problem.
If you have a desktop, the best way to utilize an SSD is to install Windows on it and then have a second platter-basd drive where you can point your programs to install to. I've found this to be a problem because some installers don't give you an installation path option, and some of the ones that do only install part of the program on your platter drive and the rest on your SSD. This might not be a problem for a few programs but if you're like me and you're stuck with a 32GB SSD then space needs to be economized
Windows also installs its users folder on the C drive as a default. There is a way to move your user folder to another drive but it requires tweaking the registry and should not be done if you don't think you're confident to do it.
SSDs would not be meant for somebody who does a lot of file editing. Video editing is a big contender where you're saving lots of data and multiple copies of it. large database users shouldn't put their databases on an SSD, use a striped RAID rig or something.
Bottom line is to just keep in mind that SSDs can be read from an unlimited amount of times. It's just the writes you have to watch out for.
Personally I don't think SSDs should ever be used in an environment where there isn't a platter based drive that can take a lot of the nitpicky work like temporary internet files.

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by GEO2003 / March 1, 2013 10:43 AM PST

I hope that you don't think me wrong for correcting you, but you stated that moving your personal or User folders requires thinkering with the REGISTRY.

That is not correct, if you have an additional internal drive or have created a separate partition, the way to move the user / personal folders to that other internal drive or partition is as follows:

Open Windows Explorer,
Expand your C drive by clicking on the arrow sign next to it, or double clicking it.

Find the main directory named - Users

Expand that directory and find your name.

Expand your name - Under will be a list of all the folders you can move.

Right click on top of any of the folders you want to move and on the menu that opens click - Properties.

Each folder will contain a Tab named - Location. ------ WARNING DO NOT MOVE THE DESKTOP FOLDER.

Change the Letter from C to what ever letter your assigned to your other partition or drive - the rest of the path is fine.

For example:

Documents - The path is C:\Users\yourname\Documents.

Lets assume that your partition or secondary drive letter is - F

The path will now read - F:\Users\yourname\Documents.

Windows will give you 2 promps, asking if you want to move the folder and 2, informing you that it will be best to avoid duplications to also move all the contents of the folder.

You have to click - Yes to both.

Please understand that the folders although possible, should not be pointed to external drives because if for some reason the drive is not ON, or connected, Windows will NOT be able to find the folders after re-directing them, causing possible error messages.

The WARNING ABOVE about the Desktop Folder - It's necessary for Windows to have that folder on the C partition or you will get error messages.

However, keep in mind that the Desktop Folder only has - Shortcuts to programs, which are easily recreated, so there is really no need to move this folder as its needed by Windows Desktop as soon as the computer boots to the Desktop.

This works for Windows XP as well, except that in Windows XP, the main user / personal folders are under a main directory called - Documents and Settings ( am a bit rusty on Win XP, but is easy to find ) so the folder name am giving above may not be exact.


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Excellent Tutorial on Relocating User Files
by High Desert Charlie / March 3, 2013 8:17 AM PST
In reply to: @ZEKEUYASHA

Great Job George!!!

Many users shy away from re-directing where data is stored away from the Root/Boot drive simply because they don't have the simple instructions you've provided here.

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@Desert Charlie
by GEO2003 / March 8, 2013 10:21 AM PST

Sorry for replying late.

I just wanted to say thank you, and just like you - we all have to pitch in to help others.


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To GEO2003
by LairdDrambeg / March 4, 2013 8:01 PM PST
In reply to: @ZEKEUYASHA

Just a note that, unless I've been missing something for the past 9 years or so, unlike the later Windows versions, Windows XP allows the relocation of only the 'My Documents' special Desktop folder. In particular, I can see no way to relocate the 'Application Data' folder.

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by GEO2003 / March 5, 2013 11:21 AM PST
In reply to: To GEO2003

I don't think that you have been missing something for the past 9 years. = LOL

Tell the truth I am rusty on Win XP.

But my point of showing how to move the PERSONAL USER FOLDERS, is so that people can create a partition or use a secondary INTERNAL drive to save all their personal information.

In the event that users get a Viral infection or some type of corruption on the C partition, it's 99 percent sure that after the error is fixed if possible, they still have access to their personal files.
As most of the time, viral infections or othewise affect mostly the C partition where the OS resides.

What you refer here to is " Application Data " if you refering to the folders which are created by applicatiions when they are installed, keep in mind that most of them automatically presumed to be install on the C Drive.

Hence the Application Data folders contain files for the application such as DLL's, and other that the applications uses. Hence unless you do a complete backup of the C drive, you CAN'T move the Application Data Folders because, the main program expects those folders to be on the C drive.

As an example, installing MS Word, creates a folder under C:\Programs and another under C:\ProgramData under Win Vista and 7.

The second only contains, Dll's and other files Word needs, however, where you save your personal documents still a choice for anyone to make, the default would be - Documents.

Even it has already been re-directed.

I don't know if I am missing something when you state Application Data Folders.

But another example would be Outlook, or Windows Live Mail clients on the pc, you CAN re-direct the contents to another partition or internal drive.

Once you move them from the C drive and you open Outlook or Windows Live Mail, it will give you an error message as it can't find them directly on the C drive.

You close the applications and when you open them again, you will get the errors.

Outlook, prompts you, and give you a small windows explorer so that you can point to the right folder and path. Windows Live mail, you have to go into settings / Maintenance / and point the program to the new destination.

In the case of Outlook or Windows Live Mail, that data is all your email and calendar settings, so in this case we can apply the name Application Data even though it can be moved. Not every program is the same.

Application Data - Used by the application only.
Application Data - Information you save to folders within the application and is it allow by the application to be moved.


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This is true...
by JCitizen / March 10, 2013 7:32 AM PDT
In reply to: @LairdDrambeg

I have been doing this for years on XP; and even on the home versions you can do it - you just have to go into safemode to redirect the My Documents and Outlook files to another drive. It works great, and makes disaster recovery a piece of cake! Happy

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use junction command
by spadeskingtx / March 8, 2013 4:15 PM PST
In reply to: To GEO2003

you can use the junction command to effectively relocate any directory on one drive to any directory on a different drive. For example you want to keep your music on a different drive.

Say the normal path might be c:\users\whomever\music
and you want to actually store your music on a drive assigned letter M.
Simply follow these steps...
go to drive m with m:
cd \
mkdir music
Then run the following command
junction c:\users\whomever\music M:\music

Now copy your music to m:\music
Whenever an application including windows itself looks at c:\users\whomever\music it will look at M:\music and it will be transparent that the data physically resides somewhere else.
dir c:\users\whomever\music\*.* returns the same as dir M:\music\*.*

Here is the hepl usage verbiage.

P:\>junction /?

Junction v1.05 - Windows junction creator and reparse point viewer
Copyright (C) 2000-2007 Mark Russinovich
Systems Internals -

The first usage is for displaying reparse point information, and the
second usage is for creating or deleting a NTFS junction point:

usage: junction [-s] [-q] <file or directory>
-q Don't print error messages (quiet)

-s Recurse subdirectories

usage: junction [-d] <junction directory> [<junction target>]
-d Delete the specified junction
example: junction d:\link c:\winnt

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Desktop folder moved
by bobmclellan2 / March 9, 2013 5:07 AM PST
In reply to: @ZEKEUYASHA

Sorry, your information is not correct, on two accounts. First of all many people keep data on their desktops, whether it is good to do so or not. Since the desktop is included in the User folder now and so should be backed up with everything else in the folder it should be no problem. I myself have about 50 gig. on my desktop.
Secondly, I have been building computers for a while now with an SSD OS drive and a data SATA drive and I do include the 'desktop' folder on the SATA drive using the method you outline. I have never had a problem. I have it that way on my computer as well.

Just thought you might like to know .

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@bobmclellan2 - Desktop Folder
by GEO2003 / March 12, 2013 11:23 AM PDT
In reply to: Desktop folder moved

Thank you, since beta testing vista and Win 7, It was reported to MS.

Even after Windows Vista and 7 went into Release to Manufacturer, this problem still existed, believe me I tried it. I don't think I was doing something wrong as moving it, was just as simple as the other folders.

But I did read an article a few years ago, that MS was working on making sure that the Desktop Folder should be allow to be move as well - As it was creating error messages in not finding it

Since then I never tried it - Thank you very much for the UPDATE and letting me know that it works.

I for one, hardly use any of the shortcuts to programs or documents store on the Desktop Folder, so for me is not a problem restoring them. I use a separate partition for all personal data, hence pointing to something that would create a shortcut on the desktop folder is not a problem.

But others may want to make sure that what they have on the Desktop Folder gets copy/moved easily right back which is ok too, and now with your confirmation, I myself will be re-directing the Desktop Folder as well.


Again Thank You.

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SSDs Aren't Just for the OS Anymore
by High Desert Charlie / March 3, 2013 8:33 AM PST

I respectfully disagree with your assertion that SSDs should only be used to load an Operating System. The idea that SSDs aren't appropriate for some people because of an arbitrary 32GB limitation on SSD size is ludicrous. While some new laptops are coming out with dual drives (an SSD for the OS and a platter SATA for other data), one need only to spend a little time to set up their machine to store the data in the appropriate area. The real gains realized by an SSD is the speed with which it retrieves data.

Loading all of your software programs on a standard platter drive eliminates the purpose of fast access. I realize that some of the new systems are limited by the tiny SSDs they've provided (i.e. 32GB), but you can still put quite a bit of software on 32GB. Basically, it will hold Windows 7 with all of the updates, Microsoft Office Enterprise, AntiVirus software, Adobe Reader & Flash, Java, and still have room to spare. The key here is to maximize the amount of RAM you're using in your system to minimize the page file size required on the SSD, and to make sure that all of your User data is saved to the standard SATA hard drive (as suggested by GEO2003) and everything is backed up on an external drive.

Personally, I wouldn't use a system that was restricted to 32GB. I believe they're using an MSATA card for this purpose that can be upgraded to a higher capacity. If you're using it in conjunction with a second, larger drive, consider an SSD for the second drive.

It's not my intention to be overly critical here ZEDEUYASHA, but only to provide some clarity to members who are just entering this new technology of SSDs.

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No 32GB limitation on SSD size
by mach37 / March 8, 2013 5:08 PM PST

I don't think too many readers here would think that 32GB is the largest SSD available.

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32 Gbs is an old NT limitation...
by JCitizen / March 10, 2013 7:41 AM PDT

I think that is why it is still a mind set for some techs. Windows NT x32 bit used to be limited to 32 Gbs of addressable hard drive space. I don't think that was true anymore for XP past SP3, but I could be wrong. I swear, I never had a problem with my 250 Gb internal IDE storage drive, on XP Home w\SP3, anyway.

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by libertyunderlaw / March 10, 2013 1:54 PM PDT

I wish I'd read your comments a year and a half ago. In February of 2012, I bought myself an ASUS EB121 Tablet PC. It is an iPad look alike that runs Win7, has 4 gb of ram and has a 64gb SSD. It is my secondary computer (I have a desktop I use most often with a single SATA disk drive). I do A LOT of document editing (mostly story writing, PowerPoints, and Spreadsheets) so this is very relevant to me. When I bought the computer, the sales person assured me that SSDs are almost crash proof; practically no moving parts.

Just to be clear, the salesperson did not talk me into buying the computer. I had done my homework and chose it in advance.

So you're saying that SSDs fail after X number of rewrites and therefore should not be used be people who do a lot of document writing? As I said, I'm that kind of computer user.

For my most important files, I use dropbox for file synchronization anyway. Therefore, my files are automatically backed up. However, that means that any file I put into dropbox automatically gets put onto my tablet's SSD. That means that my tablet's SSD is being rewritten on for every critical and less than critical file.

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by JCitizen / March 10, 2013 4:35 PM PDT
In reply to: Oh?

I think you find on other posts here, that the manufacturers of SSD devices, have already come up with driver algorithms that reduce the probability that the drive will fail anytime soon. If you look at Amazon user reviews for SSDs, I see no panic at the useful life of these drives. I would be more concerned with RAM and page file writes, but it looks like your tablet has the right amount at 4Gbs to reduce this factor; besides the fact that an ARM processor does business way different than the usual Windows or Apple PC architecture, for that matter. Cool

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Dan's Data and Coding Horror

A few pages you should probably look at.

An older column by Daniel Rutter of Dan's Data points out that at today's capacities, it's just about impossible to write to a drive fast enough to burn out any given sector Basically, with a modern SSD's wear-leveling algorithms you can't really write to one spot enough times to burn it out that way. Even when the disk is nearly full, the software on the drive will copy a section that doesn't change into a more-worn area, and then that only-written-once area starts getting used.

A more recent look at them

Which refers to Jeff Atwood's Coding Horror blog, where he relates that from what he's heard SSDs are less reliable then platters, but their speed is so good that he uses them anyway, and keeps good backups

I've taken the hybrid approach. I would find 256 GB too cramped. So, when I needed to reinstall Windows recently, I took the opportunity to replace my three-yr-old drive. I got a 256 GB SSD to act as my boot drive, and to hold temp files and other often-changing data. And I have a 1 TB drive where I keep bulky stuff that doesn't really get read and written all that often, so drive speed isn't much of an issue. I put Downloads, Documents, Music and Pictures on the platter drive. Everything else I let go onto the system SSD.

Drake Christensen

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A good summation on SSD and application in use with a 2nd HD
by Macron / March 8, 2013 10:51 PM PST

SSD vary in failure frequency and although the spec on read/write life has increased their still is a limit and the limit is even lower on the new Samsung 840 over the 830 due to the NAND technology they use. A regular HD will typically give plenty of warning of failure or problems. Whereas an SSD can stop cold turkey and they is very little that can be done. Data is all gone. Anyone using one should or rather must have a drive the backup to and image the boot drive to often. Failure to do so will get you. Its a matter of when not if. There is little redundancy in an SSD most don't play with SMART technology that HD have. Sandforce controllers which are widely used all be it with different firmware are amonst the most troublesome. Marvel controller are consistantly more reliable but don't have some of the high performance numbers but its results are consistant.

Reliability is my first criteria for storage and some backup such via eSATA is fast and reliable to external drives in the Terabytes is simple to keep photo's music and images of the boot SSD on in the event of faiure a new drive can be rebuilt fairly quickly. At least in comparision to a clean install and updates from MS and app installs which all easily will take a full day if not more. The image solution is a few hours typically depending largely on the interface used. With USB 3.0 being new and machines with troublesome drivers I would not put too much faith in that interface when it comes to recovering and image or validating that corruption had not occurred.

This is of course my opinion and have been in the industry for decades.

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SSD vs. HHD vs. Hybrids

I am sure you will get great answers here.

So my way of helping is by giving you a few articles comparing the technologies on the following links.
I know they are from the same source, but when I came accross them, I found them informative.

Am sure even Cnet has some specific reviews as well.

I hope that is helpful to you and anyone else reading it.


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Not a Big Risk Anymore

Hello Phil

Solid-state drives (SSD's) are rapidly becoming the main drive in PC's as a factory install or DiY upgrade (not just a boot drive for the OS). They are lighter, noiseless, don't generate a lot of heat, consume less energy (extending battery life), are incredibly fast, and seemly indestructible versus their spinning HD cousins.

Granted most factory-installed SSD's top out at 256GB (ultrabooks and MacBook Airs) with a few at 512GB. Aftermarket prices range from $0.82 to $1.36 per GB. That translates into $104 for a 128GB SSD to $696 for a 512GB SSD (depending upon the manufacturer). A Crucial M4 series 512GB SSD (highly rated) can be had for about $400. As you can see a little careful shopping can net you a pretty good deal on some state-of-the-art technology.

Laptops are outselling towers as most people want mobility. However that mobility comes at a price. A factory-installed SSD in the past could increase the price of an $800 - $1,000 laptop by about $400 (regardless of Gb capacity). Because of cost most buyers skipped the SSD option. Now with improved technology and manufacturing techniques the SSD has become more mainstream and affordable.

One way to make that one-year old or older laptop seem like new is to install a SSD. As a matter of full disclosure in the beginning SSDs had a reputation for not handling data storage efficiently. Put simply they weren't able to properly recapture/reallocate space wherein something had been deleted. TRIM and Garbage Collection technologies (plus any other manufacturer proprietary schemes introduced into the SSD controller) have greatly minimized those concerns.

Learn more about TRIM and Garbage Collection here:

By comparison the old-fashioned (well may be not old-fashioned) spinning HD is prone to developing "Bad Sectors" which makes that portion of the drive unreadable/unwriteable. On the bright side SSD's today have similar MTBF (Mean Time Between Failure) ratings as spinning HD's.

I think it's safe to say that the majority approve the use of SSD's in lieu of the conventional HD when deployed in the right environment and application. Consumer spinning HD's will be around for a longtime. They are still superior when it comes to capacity and less finicky regarding erasure and data recovery. However their use in laptops is decreasing as manufacturers continue their design trend of less is more, longer battery life and SSD's having less vulnerability to shock by everyday use.

The sweet spot for the SSD laptop will most likely be 256GB as large capacity pocket size external and cloud storage markets continue to grow. Some manufacturers offer 512GB laptops such as Sony and now Apple with the MBP 15" Retina display. Apple will even configure a MBP 15" with a 750GB SSD. WOW!

I question the wisdom of a 750GB SSD and larger given the delicate balance of speed vs. reliability vs. capacity. All of which have to be in sync without sacrificing the former two for the latter. But who am I to question the wisdom of Apple????

There are Pros and Cons regarding SSD's:

Pros - Faster, Less Weight, Generate less heat, Consume less energy, Less likely to suffer damage if dropped (when installed in a laptop)

Cons - Limited life span versus spinning HD's in terms of read/write cycles, SSD Secure File/Data Deletion, Data Recovery from a Failed SSD

The Pros don't require any discussion as they speak for themselves and are easily verified by the user. The Cons on the other hand while not false are not entirely true and therefore deserve discussion.

Limited life span versus spinning HD's in terms of read/write cycles refers to SSD Endurance. TRIM and Garbage Collection technologies built into the SSD controller are designed to compensate and extend the life of the SSD under repeated write/re-write scenarios. Expert opinions suggest that consumers (below the enterprise level) should not be concerned. Click the link:

SSD Secure File/Data Deletion would appear to be more applicable to business applications vesus the consumer. At present the best consumer solution is Data Encryption. There is talk of standardizing a Data Erasure Scheme for SSD's. It has yet to be agreed upon because manufacturers want to keep their processes proprietary. Click the link:

Data Recovery from a Failed SSD can be difficult but not impossible. Researchers quote... "SSD failures are in fact unrecoverable. The advice is to look at data recovery information on your SSD vendor's site and disregard data recovery sites in operation for less than 5 years." Click the link:

The key is not to let the Cons discourage you. There are several things one can do to avoid or at least minimize the unfortunates that MAY come with owning an SSD:

Deploy an SSD mainly for the OS and Applications Folders for fast boots/shutdowns and program launch/close
• Perform a "clean" install whenever possible versus cloning to an SSD
• Check the manufacturers website for firmware updates on a regular basis
• Know if a firmware update is Destructive which erases all data during the update process. Typically deployed as the second update for a new controller design - not the norm
• Store your important files and those that require constant editing on a secondary drive
• Turn off Windows Indexing/Search to eliminate constant write/re-writes. Services not needed given the speed of SSD's versus a conventional HD.
• Never Defrag a SSD either by automatic or manual setting
• Turn off Windows and Security software logging
• Don't buy an off-brand SSD (if the price is too good to be probably is)
• Know your system and buy the correct SSD either SATA I, II, or III
• Choose the right size - 2.5 " for laptops - 3.5" for towers or 2.5" for towers using a 3.5" adapter
• Always BACK-UP your data on a regular basis
• If a DiY upgrade - Don't erase your old HD until you are satisfied with the SSD install...90 days at least

Phil...take a read of as many posts as you can. Then do your own research and decide for yourself if an SSD is the right upgrade for you. In case you're wondering, I upgraded my early 2011 MBP 17-inch with a 750GB spinning HD to an OCZ Vertex 4 SATA III- 512Gb 2.5-inch SSD and I'm loving it!

I hope this information aids you in making an informed decision. Good luck! Cool

Together Everyone Achieves More

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Excellent Post
by jawclicker / March 1, 2013 7:47 PM PST
In reply to: Not a Big Risk Anymore

Great information.

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by ajtrek / March 3, 2013 2:16 AM PST
In reply to: Excellent Post

Glad you found the post useful!

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Terrific Post
by Hforman / March 2, 2013 2:14 PM PST
In reply to: Not a Big Risk Anymore

I'm glad to see you mentioned both areas od SSDs that made me nervous. There were issues with many of the early SSDs with regard to garbage collection. At work, one manager had an SSD installed in his system. It was an old 65 GB SSD. I kept getting errors reported on a central log (for Symantec A/V and one for WSUS and patching) that the drive was full. The manager told me I was nuts. When I did get to look at the system, it ran so slow it was almost useless. Worse than an old floppy drive. I refreshed the firmware in the drive and the thing now screams and all the errors are gone. I know they have applications that keep track of your read/write cycles on an SSD.

SSDs are coming down in price and, even if they don't have the lifespan of an HDD in terms of read/write cycles, nobody should EVER put their faith in a computer component, especially a drive, is going to last for any length of time. Thats why we have RAID systems and BACKUP systems. Especially in the enterprise. AFter all, one nasty piece of malware can lose all of your data for you even without dealing with heating/cooling and electrical issues (clean out those dust bunnies!)

Good job and excellent references.

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