Why You Shouldn’t Defragment a Solid State Hard Drive

Defragmenting a traditional hard disk drive is considered standard maintenance due to the way the spinning platters and read/write heads move when searching for data. This is because the process essentially ‘reorganises’ all file information, allowing it to be stored in an unbroken sequence of blocks on the drive and this means the heads are able to read the data faster.

With a solid state drive however, it is recommended that you should not defragment the drive as it can cause unnecessary wear and tear which will reduce its life span. Nevertheless, because of the efficient way in which SSD technology functions, defragmentation to improve performance is not actually required.

SSDs are able to read blocks of data that are spread out over the drive just as fast as they can read those blocks that are adjacent to one another. Furthermore, they keep track of the order the files are written using a technique called 'wear-levelling. This purposely writes data to the drive in such a way that its cells wear out evenly; which means that the drive does not degrade prematurely.

Therefore, there is no reason to defragment a solid state hard drive to try and enhance its performance or its life span. The technology that solid state drives utilise means they are perfectly capable of looking after themselves!

Comments

2 comments

  1. What a completely nutty way to see things 😮 You cannot create wear and tear effects on electronic memory like this article indicates. An electronic device using binary data isn’t like a component being pushed to work faster, or in an environment of stress – memory in a solid state drive uses a tiny amount of electric and is under so little stress it’s barely conceivable.

    While the idea is indeed true that there will be little or no performance increase, it should be remembered just why computers are not ‘instant’ in all they do – reading , checking and writing data does take time, a fraction of time yes, but then multiply that fraction by thousands and millions and you get delays. Otherwise a solid state drive on a computer with a 266MHz CPU would be the cheapest way to make a super-fast computer for modern day use.

    But the main thing is, no it doesn’t wear out an SSD at all, that’s like thinking that witches really did prove to excist if they drowned lol.

  2. What’s worse is that defrag runs as a scheduled task in previous versions of Windows. After upgrading to an SSD it’s always a good idea to double check the Task Scheduler to make sure that the “SSD killer” defrag doesn’t run 😐

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