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How to Make the Most of Your SSD

Solid state drives (SSDs) continue to grow in popularity over the traditional hard disk drive (HDD). One of the many benefits of a SSD is that the read times are much quicker, meaning that you can boot up your computer and load applications speedily. Although they are much more expensive than a HDD, they are slowly dropping in price. A lot of users like to use one as a secondary drive since it is too cost prohibitive to buy a large SSD.

This article will explore on how to get the best out of your SSD.

Use multiple drives

As mentioned previously, SSDs are expensive. If you have a lot of data then it’s going to set you back a lot of money to buy a drive large enough to fit all your data. This is why it is advisable to buy two drives – one smaller SSD and one larger HDD. This way you can store all your system files and applications on the SSD, meaning you’ll benefit from fast load up times without using up all the space quickly. You can then use the HDD for your personal data, like photos, documents and videos.

Use a modern operating system

The operating system you’re using does make a different to your SSD. You should ideally be using Windows 7 or above. These modern operating systems have additional features such as the TRIM command. Without the TRIM command the system won’t be able to properly remove your data from the drive sectors when you delete it. Only when that section is rewritten will the data be properly be erased and this slows down the drive’s write performance.

If you’ve upgraded operating systems then it is advisable to do a clean install as it will fix your partition alignment and improve performance. If you are using something like Windows XP then you can make these changes manually, but newer versions of Windows will make these changes automatically.

Don’t defragment the disk

Put simply, there’s no need to defragment a SSD. A HDD is a mechanical device and each time you access data the drive head has to move across the platter in order to find it. If the data is spread out across the drive then the head will have to move around a lot to piece everything together. On the other hand, a SSD has no mechanical parts and can read data quickly wherever it is on the drive. In actuality, they are designed to spread data out in order to reduce wear.

To turn off defragmentation, right click your ‘Computer’ icon, select ‘Manage’, then under ‘Services and Applications’ choose ‘Services’. Then, right click on ‘Disk Defragmenter’ and then ‘Properties’. Finally, change the ‘Startup type’ to ‘Disabled’ and save your changes. If you’re using Windows 7 then this will have already been done automatically on a SSD.

Don’t overfill

It is recommended to leave some free space on your drive so that the performance doesn’t slow down. When there is a lot of free space it means there are a lot of empty blocks that the data can be written to. However, when space is low, partially filled blocks have to be read, modified and then rewritten, which can slow down the drive.

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