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Formatting a SSD? Made a mistake... - Page 3

post #21 of 44
quick format is just fine b/c it makes everything as deleted, it doesn't actually go in and do much.
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post #22 of 44
I think Corsair might be referring to zero-filling the drive or something.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paradigm Shifter View Post
Yup.


Nope, SSD fine. Quick format overwrites the MFT, which points to where files are located, etc. Full format does this, and checks the drive for bad sectors as well, which for a never-before-used HDD is quite important. See Microsoft KB.

That being said, the last time I did a full format of a HDD during first use was my first 1TB drive. Never again on a drive that size.
This.

There is absolutely zero practical difference between the Quick Format and the longer format. Both are "full" formats.

The reason why the Vista and 7 installers don't have the longer format is because of 2 reasons:
  • Microsoft did this to simplify the installation process for people who aren't as good with computers as we are
  • Modern drives are less likely to need the error-scan that is performed in the longer format because they're made better (generally speaking)

You'll replace your Corsair Force with a better SSD long before you would notice any performance degradation.
    
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post #23 of 44
Corr, none of you lot understand nand do you.

Basically, a quick format deletes the registers that the files are there. It doesn't activate trim, and it doesn't clear the nand cells. Neither does a full format.
The only difference between the two is that with a quick format, only the cells that have been written to already will need to be cleared. With a full format, (writing 0's across the drive) all the cells will need to be cleared.

You should never format an SSD in the normal way, unless you are formatting it from within a windows 7 install and the SSD is attached as a secondary drive. This will allow the TRIM command to be sent.

@ OP, you need to go find a program called Sanitary Erase. It will correctly empty all the nand cells on the drive and return it to full performance.

TRIM will not be able to fix previously full nand cells if you simply install windows without a sanitary erase because windows will not know that the cells had something in there to begin with.
Edited by weidass - 11/5/10 at 2:30pm
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post #24 of 44
So does Sanitary Erase work on all SSDs?? I just full formatted my Brand spankin new SSD 2 hours ago. Had a problem with the new firmware update right after I install windows(BSOD). Now I am going to start over, do I need to use Sanitary Erase, and can I use it on my G.Skill Phoenix Pro 128GB(Sandforce)?? Thanks for any advice.
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post #25 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paradigm Shifter View Post
Did you do a 'quick format' or a full format? Former means nothing to worry about... latter means you've knocked a few write-cycles off the life of the SSD. But it's still likely nothing to worry about.
Yep, although I don't think even a full format 0s every sector does it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diplo View Post
Thanks man, so quick format is "okay" and didn't hurt the ssd?

ye defrag is disable, same with superfetch and prefetch.
In any case full formats are kinda pointless, quick format is preferred.

Quote:
Originally Posted by weidass View Post
Corr, none of you lot understand nand do you.

Basically, a quick format deletes the registers that the files are there. It doesn't activate trim, and it doesn't clear the nand cells. Neither does a full format.
The only difference between the two is that with a quick format, only the cells that have been written to already will need to be cleared. With a full format, (writing 0's across the drive) all the cells will need to be cleared.

You should never format an SSD in the normal way, unless you are formatting it from within a windows 7 install and the SSD is attached as a secondary drive. This will allow the TRIM command to be sent.

@ OP, you need to go find a program called Sanitary Erase. It will correctly empty all the nand cells on the drive and return it to full performance.

TRIM will not be able to fix previously full nand cells if you simply install windows without a sanitary erase because windows will not know that the cells had something in there to begin with.
Well a quick or full format are both supposed to issue TRIM commands to cover the whole drive.
However, for Sandforce drives, TRIM is not the same as a secure erase...
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post #26 of 44
The only difference between the Full Format and the Quick Format is that the Full Format performs a thorough scan that checks for errors and corrects them if possible. So the term "Full Format" is not even accurate. It should be something like "Format and Scan".

Both types of formats do the same thing: they delete the Master File Table and then create a new one in the specified format (which is why it's called "formatting"; you are merely specifying the format of the drive). So if you take an external hard drive and change its format from FAT32 to NTFS, then it deletes the FAT32 MFT and then creates a new MFT in the NTFS format. The data itself does not get touched. This is why data recovery is possible after formatting any drive.

Formatting a drive is like removing the Table of Contents from a book and replacing it with a blank Table of Contents. Of course, the difference with a book is that a person can still read it from beginning to end. But an operating system can't do that because it absolutely depends on that Table of Contents to be able to read/access/find what is on the drive. It's very similar to the Indexing system built into Windows because that Index helps Windows find files faster when we ask Windows to search for them because all it has to do is check the Index which is just as fast as searching for text in a plain text document.

So when you delete a file, you're not deleting the actual data. Instead, you are removing the reference to that file from the Master File Table. In a very basic sense, the Master File Table is more or less just a list of all the files and contains information about where each file is located. Of course, it's more complex than that, but it's better to simplify it for the sake of understanding.

Therefore, when we format a drive, absolutely none of the data is touched. Instead, that Master File Table is replaced with a fresh one which makes the drive appear to be completely empty.

In other words, the only time it is correct to use the term "format" is when you are only referring to the format of the drive. The phrase "formatting a drive" can never be used when referring to deleting/erasing all of the actual data on the drive. So this is where zero-filling the drive comes in, or even just filling the drive with random data (a secure erase). Of course, software that does this can also format a drive, but again: "formatting a drive" has nothing to do with deleting/erasing any of the actual data.

So again, this is why data recovery is possible after formatting a drive or after deleting a file. I can select all of my irreplaceable files and permanently delete them without sweating it because I can still go have them recovered by either having somebody else do it, or by finding out how to do it myself. This is because all I would be doing is deleting the references to those files from the Master File Table. That is why file deletions happen instantly: it's just like deleting a few words from a text document that gets immediately followed by an automatic save.

But now this whole process of using some "secure erase" program to fill the entire drive full of random data, or using some program that fills the entire drive with nothing but zeros seems like a waste of time to me unless you're selling the drive to some random person on eBay. I mean after all, if you're trying to avoid unnecessary writing to the drive, then it doesn't make sense to use something like Secure Erase or some zero-filling program when all you're doing is formatting and starting over. After all, if TRIM is working properly, then what is there to worry about?

So just keep it simple: if all you're doing is formatting and starting over, then there's no need to over-complicate it. After all, if all you do is format and start over without also using something like Secure Erase, then the drive will receive far less writes because you will not have written random data to every single cell on the entire drive.
Edited by TwoCables - 11/9/10 at 9:42am
    
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post #27 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoCables View Post
But now this whole process of using some "secure erase" program to fill the entire drive full of random data, or using some program that fills the entire drive with nothing but zeros seems like a waste of time to me unless you're selling the drive to some random person on eBay. I mean after all, if you're trying to avoid unnecessary writing to the drive, then it doesn't make sense to use something like Secure Erase or some zero-filling program when all you're doing is formatting and starting over. After all, if TRIM is working properly, then what is there to worry about?

So just keep it simple: if all you're doing is formatting and starting over, then there's no need to over-complicate it. After all, if all you do is format and start over without also using something like Secure Erase, then the drive will receive far less writes because you will not have written random data to every single cell on the entire drive.
I'm sorry, with regard to SSD's and NAND flash, this is simply incorrect.
Read through pages 10 and 11 of the SSD Anthology in my sig, http://www.anandtech.com/show/2738/10 and http://www.anandtech.com/show/2738/11

An up to date secure erase (for SSDs) does not write random data or 0's to all space on the drive. It physically empties the NAND giving neither a 1 or a 0. It's just empty. Older secure erase programs, designed for HDD do write random and 0's, which is obvious from the fact that they took 15+ minutes to run.
However, up to date programs like sanitary erase run in less than 5 seconds, because they simply empty the flash cells.

As I said before, when you install a TRIM supporting OS (win7) it assumes that all the NAND cells are empty. If the cells contained 1's or 0's, the cells would have to be emptied. As you said, a format simply deletes the references to the files stored in the cells, so as far as windows is concerned, the cells are empty even though they are not. This will cause a slowdown when the drive eventually tries to write to those cells. Yes, eventually the problem will correct itself. But that could take days to months, or worst case, never if the drive was full before the format.

If you don't do a secure erase (sanitary erase for OCZ) when you are reinstalling your OS on an SSD, you are robbing yourself of performance.
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post #28 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by weidass View Post
I'm sorry, with regard to SSD's and NAND flash, this is simply incorrect.
Read through pages 10 and 11 of the SSD Anthology in my sig, http://www.anandtech.com/show/2738/10 and http://www.anandtech.com/show/2738/11

An up to date secure erase (for SSDs) does not write random data or 0's to all space on the drive. It physically empties the NAND giving neither a 1 or a 0. It's just empty. Older secure erase programs, designed for HDD do write random and 0's, which is obvious from the fact that they took 15+ minutes to run.
However, up to date programs like sanitary erase run in less than 5 seconds, because they simply empty the flash cells.

As I said before, when you install a TRIM supporting OS (win7) it assumes that all the NAND cells are empty. If the cells contained 1's or 0's, the cells would have to be emptied. As you said, a format simply deletes the references to the files stored in the cells, so as far as windows is concerned, the cells are empty even though they are not. This will cause a slowdown when the drive eventually tries to write to those cells. Yes, eventually the problem will correct itself. But that could take days to months, or worst case, never if the drive was full before the format.

If you don't do a secure erase (sanitary erase for OCZ) when you are reinstalling your OS on an SSD, you are robbing yourself of performance.
If Sanitary Erase is intended for OCZ drives, then what's available for the rest?
    
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post #29 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by weidass View Post
I'm sorry, with regard to SSD's and NAND flash, this is simply incorrect.
Read through pages 10 and 11 of the SSD Anthology in my sig, http://www.anandtech.com/show/2738/10 and http://www.anandtech.com/show/2738/11

An up to date secure erase (for SSDs) does not write random data or 0's to all space on the drive. It physically empties the NAND giving neither a 1 or a 0. It's just empty. Older secure erase programs, designed for HDD do write random and 0's, which is obvious from the fact that they took 15+ minutes to run.
However, up to date programs like sanitary erase run in less than 5 seconds, because they simply empty the flash cells.

As I said before, when you install a TRIM supporting OS (win7) it assumes that all the NAND cells are empty. If the cells contained 1's or 0's, the cells would have to be emptied. As you said, a format simply deletes the references to the files stored in the cells, so as far as windows is concerned, the cells are empty even though they are not. This will cause a slowdown when the drive eventually tries to write to those cells. Yes, eventually the problem will correct itself. But that could take days to months, or worst case, never if the drive was full before the format.

If you don't do a secure erase (sanitary erase for OCZ) when you are reinstalling your OS on an SSD, you are robbing yourself of performance.
Although according to microsoft Format also issues a TRIM for the entire drive, so if you're using a "conventional" SSD like Intel or C300 etc they will be very close to the same as "secure erased... since only the MFT and areas outside the formatted area will be unTRIMmed.
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post #30 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDreadedGMan View Post
Although according to microsoft Format also issues a TRIM for the entire drive, so if you're using a "conventional" SSD like Intel or C300 etc they will be very close to the same as "secure erased... since only the MFT and areas outside the formatted area will be unTRIMmed.
I decided to pull down my SSD Raid0 Array so as to Trim it up. So I deleted the files and ran HDTune bench! And the Array gave back the same speeds as it did when it had the flies still on there!
So I formatted the drives separately! And the speeds were right back up again

So yeah, as you say. The Windows7 format does Trim the drive

This is the Array just after the files were deleted! (no Trim)


And this is it after pulling apart and formatting the drives separately
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80GB Intel & 128GB 830  2 x WD640 Caviar Black LG DVD-RW Noctua NH-D14  
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Windows 7 HP 64bit Acer 5906x1080 3D Logitech G15 Corsair TX850W 
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Antec Dark Fleet DF-85 Logitec G700 Razer Goliathus Sharkoon X-Tatic 5.1 Headset 
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Intel® Core™ i5-3210M Laptop  HD 4000 Corsair Vengeance 8GB  
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Samsung 840 250GB DVD Multi Windows 8 15.5 inch display (1366 x 768) 
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I Like Smileys :)
(16 items)
 
Sony Vaio 1512
(9 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7-2600K 4.6GHz Asus P8P67 Pro Bios 3207 GTX480 SLI 760/1520/1900 Ripjaws-X 16GB 1600MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
80GB Intel & 128GB 830  2 x WD640 Caviar Black LG DVD-RW Noctua NH-D14  
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 HP 64bit Acer 5906x1080 3D Logitech G15 Corsair TX850W 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Antec Dark Fleet DF-85 Logitec G700 Razer Goliathus Sharkoon X-Tatic 5.1 Headset 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel® Core™ i5-3210M Laptop  HD 4000 Corsair Vengeance 8GB  
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Samsung 840 250GB DVD Multi Windows 8 15.5 inch display (1366 x 768) 
Keyboard
LED Back lit 
  hide details  
Reply
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