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SSD General Information Compilation

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
SSD's do NOT require the confusing and intense setup that a lot of people seem to suggest. The current day SSD's are much more reliable then the first generation and do not need to be treated like a box full of glass cups. Literally all that is necessary is to change in the BIOS IDE -> AHCI and you are good to go. This thread is meant for information of today's SSD's and more importantly KEEPING IT SIMPLE.

For more "advanced" information on SSD's or current issues and fixes please scroll to the Random Info part of the thread.


The purpose of this thread is to hopefully educate people who are on the fence with getting an SSD or maybe have a question on how to fix something. This thread will be updated with the most updated information and will have regular updates and additions!

Well how much faster is an SSD? and is it worth it?

The main performance gain in an SSD is load times with various programs and your operating system. Now lets take a look at some benchmarks done with SSD's and Mechanical Hard Drives.

The hard drives below are running in AHCI Mode and Sata 3 (6Gb/s):
Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5"

CDMWD.jpg
Crucial RealSSD C300 CTFDDAC064MAG-1G1 2.5" 64GB SATA III

CDMSSD.jpg

The main thing we are looking at in terms of speed is Seq Read speeds. As you can see the SSD blows the mechanical hard drive away with the read speeds. Now the mechanical does have slightly faster write speeds but that doesn't matter on an SSD if you are using it as an OS drive. Using an SSD as an Operating System drive will substantially increase your systems speed while in Windows and using programs in general.

I want an SSD but I heard they aren't reliable!
hard-drive-fire.jpg

The above statement I seem to hear from people I know or on forums and is basically a gross over exaggeration of an SSD's reliability.

This is an excellent thread on reliability tests for various SSDs: http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?271063-SSD-Write-Endurance-25nm-Vs-34nm

To summarize the thread linked above basically there where various SSD's tested with bits of data constantly being written to them over and over again. A lot of the tests he has conducted shows that SSD's begin to fail at 200 Terabytes of writes. With the assumed average usage (or writing) of 8-10Gb's on a hard drive a day, lets do some simple math:

1Tb = 1,000Gb
1,000GB x 200Tb = 200,000Gb
200,000Gb / 10Gb (daily usage) = 20,000 Days
20,000 Days / 365 Days = ~54 Years for complete failure

Now the above math shows that basically your SSD has a POTENTIAL life span of awhile. This doesn't mean it will run pristine for 50 years, you will definitely see performance degradations MUCH sooner than later. But I would not worry about your SSD dieing anytime soon. Also keeping in mind there are ways to minimize SSD writes and you will most likely replace yours in 3-5 years if you are an enthusiast anyway!

Firmware Updates!

It is recommended to update your firmware whenever there is an update. I have updated my firmware on my C300 while I had data on it and it did not get erased and it still worked fine. Although I would recommend updating your firmware before you install anything, just because it feels nice to a nicely updated firmware and a freshly formatted SSD so you know everything is working good.

For Links to Firmware updates please read the second post in Sean's Windows 7 SSD Install Guide, he has a fantastic list!

So how do I set this thing up?

There are so many threads on setting up SSD's and the right and wrong way to do things. I will basically supply what I feel the best and most helpful links for you to take a look at. Honestly there isn't really a whole lot you need to do, or over complicate an SSD setup.

Sean's Windows 7 SSD Install Guide
This is the newest and most up-to-date guide you will find out there at the moment. This guide has all the steps you should do and some extra's if your feeling frisky. Props to Sean for making a great easy to read guide!

The great C:\Users debate!

Since I purchased my first SSD I have been a huge advocate of the "How to: Setup SSD boot drive with secondary Hard disc optimization" Sticky thread in the SSD forums and I believed it helped. Well the more I read and hear from people that SSD's are truly not as fragile as believed it seems that this thread is a bit useless or not as important as before. To help strengthen this point I am going to quote TwoCables here with his take on the thread:
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoCables View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by infected rat
"Agreed, everything which writes to the drive will benefit from being on the SSD. Moving things like your browser cache or Users/Appdata folder off to a HDD is madness, people who follow this guide are straight up throwing performance away."

You buy a nice shiny new SSD then cripple your install because some stickied thread has "optimization" in the title. This guide was most valid back with the first and second generations of SSDs where a 40GB drive was the norm. The extreme panic to restrict the number of writes to your drive is entirely overstated. Just use and enjoy your drive.

Those of you who followed this guide, every time you boot up and hear your HDD crunching away or open a program like Firefox and hear it accessing your hard drive ask yourself "is this the benefit I got my SSD for?".
This.

With all due respect to my beloved OCN brother KShirza1, I do not like this thread at all. It has been a thorn in my side ever since it was created! I mean, ever since it was created, I've handled at least a few dozen threads and private messages from people complaining about major problems that were caused by following this guide (problems that rendered their system completely unusable). It has reached a point where I usually know whether or not they followed this guide without even asking them (that is, if they don't tell me right away that they followed this guide). So how did I solve each of their problems? It was the same for every single person: by having them format and start over without following this guide at all. In other words, the solution was formatting, starting over, and keeping it simple!

Just as Infected Rat said, the only reason why some people are drawn to this thread is because the title has the words "SSD" and "optimization" in it. Not only that, but now the OP of this thread has "OCN Thread of the month - June 2011" at the top! Sigh.

This "guide" over-complicates everything to the extreme, and therefore it is overwhelming. That is just one of the reasons why these people I helped end up with nothing but problems after following it!

Seriously, setting up a system that has just one solid state drive and just one hard disk drive is extremely simple:

Make sure AHCI mode is enabled
Leave the hard drive disconnected during the installation of Windows (to avoid having the boot sector placed onto the hard drive)
Install Windows onto the solid state drive
When finished, shut down
Connect the hard drive
Turn your system back on and enjoy it as you see fit

With today's solid state drives and even the Indilinx Barefoot drives like the original Vertex, we are free to just do the above 6 steps and leave it be. It is just as Infected Rat said:

"This guide was most valid back with the first and second generations of SSDs where a 40GB drive was the norm. The extreme panic to restrict the number of writes to your drive is entirely overstated. Just use and enjoy your drive."

Therefore, the name of the game is to keep it simple, just like we used to back in the days before solid state drives existed. If you keep it simple, then both you and your system will be happy. Although, if you absolutely must do some tweaking for your own peace of mind, then do it to free up space!

For example:

Move the default location of any folder inside of "C:\Users\You" without touching the Registry:

Right-click the folder (e.g. My Documents)
Choose Properties
Switch to the "Location" tab
The rest should become self-explanatory.

Another, of course, is disabling System Restore. You can also disable Hibernation and maybe even the Paging File.

Now let me contradict my "keep it simple" sermon for just one moment: I do recommend one thing that can seem complicated but is actually pretty easy, and that is making sure the SSD is properly aligned to 1024 K. I can provide instructions upon request because I do not recommend looking at my instructions in the "Win 7 SSD's Setup and Secrets" thread because I didn't write them very well back then.

However, there is really nothing that absolutely must be done! Today's solid state drives are not as fragile as all of these guides make them out to be! They were designed to be used, so just use them! If all of these tweaks were necessary, then don't you think the manufacturers would be making absolutely sure that we do them by including some kind of highlighted documentation in the boxes?

Again, if all of these tweaks were necessary, then don't you think the manufacturers would be making absolutely sure that we do them by including some kind of highlighted documentation in the boxes?

Yes, I repeated myself on purpose because I feel that it is worth repeating that question.

To quote our brother Tw33k:

There are no "tweaks" to speed up an SSD. They're already fast! What more do you want??

Seriously: just keep it simple. There are no absolutely-necessary tweaks! Yes, some are quite desirable, but none of them are necessary. Yes, it's good to enable AHCI mode if you have it, yes it is good to make sure your SSD is aligned to 1024 K, and yes it is good to make sure that the Windows Defragger is not scheduled to defrag your SSD, but that's about it. The rest are even more optional than that. Some tweaks will seem necessary to some people due to space restrictions, but that's where it ends.

So now I suppose you might want to ask: "but TwoCables, what about actually disabling the Windows Defragger?" Ok, that's a valid question: yes, I guess it's easier to simply disable it. Or, at least make sure it's not sometimes trying to "defrag" your SSD. Besides, if you have 1 solid state drive and 1 hard drive, then you can get some very good free third-party defragging software like Auslogics Disk Defrag.

Then I guess another question is "but TwoCables, what about TRIM?". It seems to me like this is not really an issue anymore unless you connect your drive to one of those damn Marvell-controlled SATA ports, or if you decide to have your SSDs in a RAID setup.

Another question I think someone might want to ask me is "what about Secure Erase?". My answer to that is "only if you're formatting and starting over after using your SSD quite heavily".

I know that I appear to be contradicting myself because I seem to be heavily involved in the "Win 7 SSD's Setup and Secrets" thread as well as in magic-man's thread entitled "Tutorials: Real world Windows 7 SSD tweaks and optimization", but also take notice of how I have been posting less and less in those threads. The reason is because I have since learned that if we have a relatively modern solid state drive (like an original Vertex or newer), then we don't need to do much tweaking at all unless it is for the sake of freeing up space.

Now, I still do some of the recommended tweaks because I think they're kinda fun to do even though I know they're a waste of my time. It also kinda gives me something to do after I am all done formatting and starting over.

Anyway, let me just summarize this whole thing by saying it one last time: keep it simple! For the most part, just treat your SSD like you've treated your HDDs all these years and you will be just fine.

How do I benchmark my SSD?

Benchmarking your SSD is a good way to gauge if it is working properly and just how fast it actually. In the above screenshot I am using AS SSD Benchmark to test my SSD. Although a lot of people do prefer to use CrystalDiskMark as well for benchmarking results.

**Warning** It is common knowledge that benchmarking your SSD too much can cause performance degradation, just as a forewarning I wouldn't recommend doing it every single day, only when something is changed and you are curious if it helped your performance. **Warning**

**Update** There is a newer benchmark program on the scene I just noticed called Anvil Storage Utilities Benchmark, it is made just for SSD's, check it out! **Update**


AS SSD Benchmark

Overclock.net AS SSD Benchmark Thread

CrystalDiskMark
Overclock.net CrystalDiskMark Thread

Anvil Storage Utilities Benchmark
Overclock.net Anvil Storage Utilities Benchmark Thread

There really isn't any special way to test, just select the drive you want to test and begin!

What is the difference between TRIM and Garbage Collection?

This quote was taken from Wikipedia and explains how TRIM and GC works with the modern day SSD drives. Here is a link for more in depth Write Amplification information.
Quote:
All SSDs have garbage collection. That is a function of NAND flash memory used in SSDs. Some drives may be more efficient at GC than others. Some do not recover as well as others after they have been used for a period of time. Some drives perform GC in the background when the drive is otherwise not busy with user data (idle), but there are some drawbacks to that background operation (you can see the wikipedia article for more details). In general background GC is not good for the endurance of the drive because it moves data that the OS (and user) may delete and render unnecessary to GC in the first place. The best solution is to do it on the fly as fast as possible.

TRIM is a command sent by the OS to the drive identifying the actual logical block addresses (LBAs) that are no longer needed. To understand TRIM you must understand how the OS and SSD tracks the data. When you put an item in the OS trash you are not actually deleting the items. They are just marked ready for deletion. If the user says to empty the trash, the OS notes this and now says those LBAs are free to accept new data. This is true for all storage devices, not just SSDs. Many people do not realize that the storage device does not actually delete the data at that point. The act of erasing a file is simply the OS marking its internal lookup tables for that file as free to store new information. An HDD still has the data on the drive at that location until the OS writes something new into that spot. For an SSD it is the same; the SSD still has the data in the flash at that location until the OS writes something new into that spot. Of course the NAND flash memory requires the replacement data to be written into a new location and the old data is marked as "invalid" now. Then during garbage collection that invalid data is NOT moved with other valid data in that block to a new block.

The performance of an SSD is at its peak when it is brand new out of the box because there is nothing to GC. Unfortunately this occurs only at the beginning of the drive's life or after you secure erase the drive and start over. Performance is also affected by the size of the over provisioning (OP) (details also in the wikipedia article above). During GC if the drive does not have to move around as much data it can operate faster. The TRIM command enables the OS to tell the SSD what LBAs are no longer valid data. Without the TRIM command this only happens when the OS tries to write something new into that same spot or it tries to replace the current data. If the SSD knew in advance that some of the LBAs holding data were invalid the drive would not move that data during GC. The effect gets you closer to the performance of a drive with larger OP. Without the TRIM command the drive will perform like it is at full capacity at all times and only has the amount of OP set at the factory (plus any space left unused during the partition process when first setting up the drive).

Intel Rapid Storage Technology LPM Fix

First off, if you have a motherboard that requires the use of Intel Rapid Storage Technology drivers then this should help you.

The main issue I was having was I would get a 2-3 minute lock up every time I turned my computer or restarted it and this error would be in Event Viewer:
Quote:
The device, \Device\Ide\iaStor0, did not respond within the timeout period.
This is a common problem with people who own SSD's or if your HD's are in a raid. If you are experiencing the same issue with lock ups or the above error then try this fix:

Click below to show the quote for the LPM fix!
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Quote:
Hello to all, @first sorry for my English, I am German! Wer den Text lieber in Deutsch lesen möchte, kann auch hier die Problemlösung nachlesen.

I want to tell all the people in this community who also have freeze-ups with the great C300 Crucial SSD and Windows 7, for me i have found a solution that works!

Two month of waiting for an new Rapid Storage from Intel or a new Firmware from Crucial, i found the solution by myself. At first i want to say, please forgive me Crucial, it is a shame for Crucial, that it comes no solution from the SSD Maker himself in the other big thread called "C300 Disk Freeze-ups in Windows 7”"since six month! It is a shame!

So, my problem was, since I use the P67 Chipset, the hole System hangs from time to time very long when I use the Rapid Storage from Intel, the entry in the Event Viewer is: Event ID:9 - The device, \Device\Ide\iaStor0, did not respond within the timeout period.

The solution is easy! The problem is, that the C300 SSD cannot handle the LPM-Feature from the Rapid Storage from Intel. Crucial, please check the firmware from the C300 about LPM and test it in your labs! Since Version 10 of the Rapid Storage LPM is enabled by default, when you make a clean new installation from the RST and that was the problem on my system. I deactivate LPM on all ports by modify the Registry and the problem was solved directly, the freeze-ups are gone – so easy is it! Also the speed from the SSD goes dramatically up!

The needed Reg-File to disable LPM on all Intel Ports it is easy to create. Create a new Text-File, copy and paste the following text and then name it for example “LPM.reg”. When you have save the file double click on the file, restart your System and that’s it. On the next boot up LPM is disabled. You can also disable only one or two ports and so on. Then you must delete the line from that port, who you don’t want to disable LPM.


Copy start at the next line:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\servic es\iaStor\Parameters\Port0]

"LPM"=dword:00000000
"LPMDSTATE"=dword:00000000
"DIPM"=dword:00000000


[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\servic es\iaStor\Parameters\Port1]

"LPM"=dword:00000000
"LPMDSTATE"=dword:00000000
"DIPM"=dword:00000000


[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\servic es\iaStor\Parameters\Port2]

"LPM"=dword:00000000
"LPMDSTATE"=dword:00000000
"DIPM"=dword:00000000


[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\servic es\iaStor\Parameters\Port3]

"LPM"=dword:00000000
"LPMDSTATE"=dword:00000000
"DIPM"=dword:00000000


[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\servic es\iaStor\Parameters\Port4]

"LPM"=dword:00000000
"LPMDSTATE"=dword:00000000
"DIPM"=dword:00000000


[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\servic es\iaStor\Parameters\Port5]

"LPM"=dword:00000000
"LPMDSTATE"=dword:00000000
"DIPM"=dword:00000000
Copy end up over this line:


Also you can do it by hand, thanks to Ady:

If there are no "Ports" under the iaStorV/iaStor Parameters, you will need to Manually Creating the Registry Location and Keys:

1. Go to Start-> Run..

2. Type in RegEdit and hit the Enter Key..

3. Go to the following Key location to insert or configure the registry keys for LPM:

Code:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Servic es\iaStor\Parameters\

4a. Right click "Parameters" select "New" then name it "Port0".

4b. Left click "Port0" to open and in the pane with Name/Type/Data, Right click select "New" then "DWORD" and name the new value "LPM".

4c. Repeat 4a/4b "LPMDSTATE" and "DIPM".

5. When you want to ad the other Ports also to registry, then repeat the steps from 4a to 4c and name it Port1, Port2, Port3, Port4 and Port5.

So, give it a try, i hope it works also at your side, not only just for me! I am disable LPM from now directly on any new installation!

Kind Regards
Zoorki


At the end - here are the text what Intel says about LMP in the Rapid Storage since Version 10:

Link Power Management with Intel® Rapid Storage Technology

Intel® Rapid Storage Technology implements the Link power management (LPM) feature described by the Serial ATA specification to overcome the power demand of a high-speed serial interface, SATA and providing the capability of SATA at the minimum power cost. LPM, when used in conjunction with a SATA hard drive that supports this feature, enables lower power consumption. LPM was initially enabled by default on mobile platforms starting with ICH6M with Intel® Matrix Storage Manager. Starting with ICH9R this feature has also been supported on desktop platforms with Intel® Matrix Storage Manager 7.5 release but not enabled by default. Beginning with the Intel® Rapid Storage Technology 10.0 release, LPM support is enabled by default on both mobile and desktop platforms. OEM’s who wish to modify the default settings for LPM on their platforms can follow the instructions in the following section(s).

Instructions to disable/enable LPM

After system is setup with OS and Intel® Rapid Storage Technology installed, follow the below instructions to modify the default LPM support.

NOTE: Beginning with the Intel® Rapid Storage Technology 10.0 release, the registry keys are no longer populated in the Windows registry by default. The RST driver does not require the registry keys to be present to support the default settings.

1. Go to Start->Run
2. Type in RegEdit and hit the Enter Key.
3. Go to the below mentioned location to insert or configure the registry keys for LPM
NOTE: OEM’s need to configure the LPM settings by port. Ports are numbered starting with zero (please refer the desired platform EDS for the number of ports supported on that platform)

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Servic es\iaStor\Parame
ters\Port0\
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Servic es\iaStor\Parame
ters\Port1\

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Servic es\iaStor\Parame
ters\Port5\

4. Now add the following registry keys under the registry location mentioned in step3, if they are not available (These registry keys are not available by default, they can be added by using utomated scripts, .reg files, executable utilities, etc). If you find the below registry keys already available, you can modify the values for desired support. Values are modified on a port by port basis so modify all ports that you wish the changes to be supported on. **

“LPM”=dword: 00000001 {dword: 00000000->Disable; dword: 00000001->Enable} [default = Enabled]
“LPMSTATE”=dword: 00000000 {dword: 00000000->Partial; dword: 00000001->Slumber} [default = Disabled] (Note: the driver ignores this key when the LPM key’svalue is not set to 1. So when LPM value is 0, this value is N/A.)
“LPMDSTATE”=dword: 00000001 {dword: 00000000->Partial; dword: 00000001->Slumber} [default = Enabled]
“DIPM”=dword: 00000001 {dword: 00000000->Disable; dword: 00000001->Enable} [default = Enabled]

**Warning: If you edit the registry incorrectly, you can cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Intel does not guarantee that problems that are caused by editing the Registry incorrectly can be resolved.**
(Original Source)

Basically with the newest IRST drivers it auto has on the LPM, which causes the lock ups, and if you follow the first part where you create a registry file, it will create the registry values and disable the LPM. After having to deal with this issue

SandForce 2000 Family Issues
October 18, 2011
Looks like things are a still hazy a bit for SandForce! frown.gif
Quote:
SandForce Releases Latest FW Update for SF-2000 Family to SSD Manufacturers

MILPITAS, CA – October 18, 2011 – SandForce® has been working tirelessly with the SandForce Driven SSD manufacturers, various industry product reviewers, and many end users, to duplicate the conditions necessary that result in Windows Blue Screen (BSOD) errors. Reliably reproducing this issue has been unusually difficult for all involved, and SandForce sincerely appreciates the help and support from the industry and end users as we work with the upmost priority to get this resolved. Through this collective testing and evaluation we were able to identify a few situations that, under the right circumstances, could cause this or a similar type issue. The latest firmware revision being released over the next week by the many SandForce Driven SSD manufacturers has gone through the combined testing at SandForce and the SSD manufacturers’ labs. SandForce has made changes to this latest firmware that improve the interoperability of the SSD with the host system and appear to eliminate the errors we have been able to reproduce. Users who believe they have experienced this issue are advised to contact their SandForce Driven SSD manufacturer to review their update process to install this latest firmware. We will continue to work very closely with our SSD manufacturers to review end user feedback from this firmware upgrade over the coming weeks before we will claim full victory on this issue.
Service and Support

SandForce designs and sells innovative and award-winning SSD Processors to some of the world’s premier SSD OEMs and system manufacturers. They in turn sell complete SSD solutions to their customers for use in a wide range of enterprise storage systems and client desktop and laptop systems. If a user of a SandForce Driven SSD needs assistance with the installation, support, or service of their SSD, they should contact the SSD OEM or system manufacturer.
Firmware Updates

As with most electronic devices, SandForce Driven SSDs use a combination of hardware and firmware to control the SSD processor inside. The firmware portion of the device can be upgraded as may be necessary to fix any possible discovered issues after it is manufactured. The firmware used on SandForce Driven SSDs is uniquely manufactured for each SSD OEM and system manufacturer, and for that reason any firmware updates created by SandForce are provided through them, not SandForce.

August 8, 2011
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Quote:
SandForce Continues Full Production of SF-2000 Family

MILPITAS, CA – August 8, 2011 – SandForce® continues full production of the latest SF-2000 family of SSD Processors free of silicon issues. SandForce and the various SandForce Driven™ SSD manufacturers are in real-time contact with each other and are actively monitoring reports from users. SandForce is currently working tirelessly to resolve the recent reports of BSOD with some users’ systems as quickly as possible. This issue appears to be specific to certain configurations which have been difficult to reproduce. We have released a firmware field update for users to test in their specific environments, but a few users are still experiencing the problem. Since the problem appears to be focused on 6Gb/s speeds, we are not ruling out possible problems with cabling, chipsets, drivers, signal integrity and other elements outside of the SSD that SandForce has encountered in the past. Anyone who experiences this issue should report the specific system configuration and circumstances of the failure to their SandForce Driven SSD manufacturer for further analysis.
Service and Support

SandForce designs and sells innovative and award-winning SSD Processors to some of the world’s premier SSD OEMs and system manufacturers. They in turn sell complete SSD solutions to their customers for use in a wide range of enterprise storage systems and client desktop and laptop systems. If a user of a SandForce Driven SSD needs assistance with the installation, support, or service of their SSD, they should contact the SSD OEM or system manufacturer.
Firmware Updates

As with most electronic devices, SandForce Driven SSDs use a combination of hardware and firmware to control the SSD processor inside. The firmware portion of the device can be upgraded as may be necessary to fix any possible discovered issues after it is manufactured. The firmware used on SandForce Driven SSDs is uniquely manufactured for each SSD OEM and system manufacturer, and for that reason any firmware updates created by SandForce are provided through them, not SandForce.

These quotes can be found here on the official SandForce website. Basically if you have an SSD with the SF-2000 Series controller and are experiencing random stuttering, make sure you check the manufacturer of your SSD for firmware updates that may fix the issue.

Secure Erasing

Over time you may notice your SSD's performance degrade or might not feel as snappy as it was from right out of the box. Over time when data is deleted off of your SSD it will not fully erase and leave "garbage data" behind and will make future writes slower, generally lowering performance.

Now if your SSD is enabled in AHCI mode and supports TRIM, then TRIM will over time securing wipe sectors that had data on them but was deleted. TRIM works overtime and usually only when the system is idle. If you have had your SSD for awhile and want it brand new out of the box then doing a full Secure Erase on your SSD all at once would be the best option.

Secure Erasing an SSD will effectively make each sector on the SSD a blank and empty spot just like it was out of the box. If you believe it is time for you to Secure Erase your SSD there are multiple ways you can go about it. My preferred way about Secure Erasing is the Parted Magic program. With Parted Magic you will basically need a blank CD/DVD

Download Link for Parted Magic
Corsairs Parted Magic Guide (will work on any SSD)

Freeze Lock

If you do decide to use Parted Magic to Secure Erase and are having issues with your SSD being "Freeze Locked" or not showing up then try this:

1. Enable AHCI mode in the UEFI/BIOS and enable Hot Swap on all everything.
2. Unplug EVERYTHING (including the SSD) on your Sata ports but your CD/DVD drive.
3. Load up Parted Magic and when in the main GUI plug your SSD into a normal Sata 2 port.

Basically "Freeze Locking" your SSD will not let it be allowed to be Secure Erased. If the UEFI/BIOS recognizes the SSD as plugged in at boot up then it will lock it. If you plug in the SSD after the computer is on then it will not be locked and it should be able to be Secure Erased normally.

Helpful Links

SSD Reviews Thread <- A very large and good list of SSD reviews
Crucial SSD Club
Sean's Windows 7 SSD Install Guide

I will do my best to keep this updated and add/change things. I'm hoping this thread will help more than be annoying. Please let me know any corrections or additions you would like me to add! gunner2.gif
Edited by Crabby654 - 11/1/11 at 8:19am
post #2 of 26
Good info smile.gif Repped.
post #3 of 26
Be careful.. I installed on IDE, then used it and it tweaked it to AHCI for me then I went to BIOS then put it in AHCI and now I can't even boot windows..

I lied I changed the boot priority to fix it.
Edited by sdfx - 8/27/11 at 10:37pm
post #4 of 26
If you're making a useful info thread, it should include a section on the problems with the Sandforce 2281 controller.
post #5 of 26
Thread Starter 
Updated with SF-2000 issue, thank you mcg75 for making me aware of the SF-2000 controller issues smile.gif
post #6 of 26
Thread Starter 
updated with a bit of secure erase information
post #7 of 26
Thread Starter 
bumpage to help people! smile.gif
post #8 of 26
Thread Starter 
bump for a few general edits/fixes and hopefully to help anyone!
post #9 of 26
Thread Starter 
bump for Trim and GC, and Benchmarking additions.
post #10 of 26
Should I add a write up to how I got windows installation to display the drive when it was detected in BIOS?
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