Thread: Keep Your SSD Healthy (And Other Tips) [Windows & Mac]

     
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  1. #1
    VIP Member Exos's Avatar
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    Keep Your SSD Healthy (And Other Tips) [Windows & Mac]

    There are a number of tweaks you need to consider for an SSD, also you need to remember it isn't a "storage" device as such, it's primarily used for booting OS, increasing speed. Need to consider that you may have to store all you pictures and things you want to keep on an external device.

    Verify TRIM is enabled on your SSD (although most now have this)

    A) Click start and type in cmd and hit the enter key
    B) Type in fsutil behavior query disabledeletenotify
    - DisableDeleteNotify = 1 (Windows TRIM commands are disabled)
    - DisableDeleteNotify = 0 (Windows TRIM commands are enabled)

    Disable automatic defragmenting

    A) Click the Windows start button and type Disk Defrag and hit Enter.
    B) Click the Configure Schedule Button.
    C) Uncheck the box for Run On a Schedule then click Ok and Close.
    D) Never Defrag a Solid State Drive

    Disable System Restore (If OS is on SSD)

    A) Hit Start and right-click on Computer and select Properties
    B) On the left side of the window, click System Protection.
    C) Highlight the Drive located on your SSD and click Configure.
    D) Click the radio button to Turn Off System Restore, click Ok, and Close

    Reduce Page File Size or Remove it Altogether (need sufficient RAM)

    A) Hit Start and right-click on Computer and select Properties
    B) On the left side of the window, click Advanced System Settings.
    C) Under the Advanced tab, in the Performance section click Settings…
    D) Click the Advanced tab, and under Virtual Memory, Click Change
    E) Uncheck Automatically manage paging file size for all drives.
    F) Highlight your SSD and underneath it, click the Custom Size radio button.
    G) Under Initial size and Maximum size, type in 1024 and then click Set and click OK. You must reboot for this to take effect

    Move your temp files to a Mechanical hard drive. (If Users Folder is being used on the SSD)

    A) Hit Start and right-click on Computer and select Properties
    B) On the left side of the window, click Advanced System Settings.
    C) Under the Advanced tab, in the on the bottom click Environmental Variables…
    D) Click on the variable TEMP then click Edit…
    E) Under the Variable Value: box, enter in the new path you would like for your temp files, ex. D:\Temp Files\TEMP
    F) Click on the variable TMP then click Edit…
    G) Under the Variable Value: box, enter in the new path you would like for your temp files, ex. D:\Temp Files\TMP
    H) Click Ok and you must reboot for this to take effect.

    Disable Hibernation

    A) Type cmd in the windows start menu search box, then right click on cmd.exe and choose Run as administrator.
    B) In the command prompt type in powercfg –h off and hit enter. You must reboot for this to take effect.

    Moving or Disabling Memory Dumps

    A) Hit Start and right-click on Computer and select Properties.
    B) On the left side of the window, click Advanced System Settings.
    C) Under the Advanced tab, in the on the Startup and Recovery box, click Settings…
    D) Under the System failure section, you will see Write debugging information and a dropdown box. To disable memory dumbs click the dropdown box and select (none)
    E) If you would like to keep memory dumps change the path in the Dump file: box for example; D:\Temp Files\Memory Dumps\MEMORY.DMP

    Disable Superfetch (SSDs are Fast enough to disable Superfetch to free up RAM)

    A) In the Windows start menu search box, type regedit and hit enter.
    B) Navigate to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Contro l\Session Manager\Memory Management\PrefetchParameters and you will see a Binary Value called EnablePrefetcher
    C) Double click on EnablePrefetcher and change the value from 3 to 0.
    D) You must reboot for this to take effect.

    Disable Recycling Bin on your SSD

    A) Right click on your Recycling Bin and click Properties.
    B) Under Settings for selected location you will see a radio button called Don’t move files to the Recycling Bin. Remove files immediately
    when deleted. Click this radio button and click OK.

    Enable Write Caching on your SSD

    A) Open up your Computer. In Computer, right click on the drive that is your SSD and click Properties.
    B) Click on the Hardware tab at the top.
    C) Double click on the Disk Drive that is your SSD. Now in the new window click the Policies tab.
    D) Under the Write-caching policy box, make sure Enable write caching on this device and Turn off Windows write-cache buffer flushing on the device are both checked. Now click OK and exit.

    Disable Indexing on your SSD

    A) Open up your Computer. In Computer, right click on the Drive that is your SSD and click Properties.
    B) Click on the General tab at the top.
    C) At the bottom you will see a box called Allow files on this drive to have contents indexed in addition to file properties, uncheck this box and hit Apply.
    D) Make sure the radio button for Apply changes to the drive C:\, subfolders and files is selected and click OK.
    E) You will be prompted with a window that says Error Applying Attributes, click Ignore All and it will disable indexing on all files on your SSD, this will take some time.
    F) Click OK to close the window.

    Disable Reliability Monitor (If OS in on SSD)

    A) Type cmd in the windows start menu search box, then right click on cmd.exe and choose Run as administrator.
    B) In the command prompt type in:
    schtasks.exe /change /disable /tn \Microsoft\Windows\RAC\RacTask and hit enter.
    C) If you want to enable reliability monitor run the command:
    schtasks.exe /change /enable /tn \Microsoft\Windows\RAC\RacTask and hit enter.
    D) If a SUCCESS message comes up after the command is entered then it worked.
    Last edited by little_pob; 4th September 2013 at 20:59. Reason: Added prefix

  2. #2
    VIP Member Exos's Avatar
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    Keep You're SSD Healthy (And Other Tips) [MAC/OSX]

    Don’t run benchmarks on your new SSD

    Some people, right after they buy a new SSD, want to enjoy the speed and are eager to find out how much faster exactly their new SSD is than the old HDD. So they get this cool idea of running some extensive benchmarks to see the amazing performance numbers. Benchmarks usually write a lot of data to the disk (to test the write speed), wearing it out. So it is the best way how you can ruin your SSD even before you start using it. Don’t do it.

    Use Trim Enabler

    TRIM support is essential for keeping the SSD healthy. Unfortunately, MacOS supports TRIM only for Apple-supplied SSD’s. If you bought a 3rd party one, you have to tweak the system to be able to turn on the TRIM support. Trim Enabler is a simple utility that does this for you. You can read more here or go to the TrimEnabler web site directly.

    Turn off local Time Machine snapshots [laptops only]

    If you are using the SSD in a laptop, and you turned the Time Machine backups on, you should know that OS X Lion does local snapshots at times when your Time Machine disk is not available. This is quite common – you are typically connecting your external TM disk only once in a while or you are using Time Capsule at home but take your laptop to the office every day for 8+ hours. You can confirm if the local TM backups are on by opening Time Machine Preferences

    There is no GUI switch to turn these local backups off, but it can easily be done on the command line. Just start Terminal.app and execute the following command:

    sudo tmutil disablelocal

    Once you do this, the TM Preferences panel will immediately reflect it – the text will change from “Time Machine keeps local snapshots as space permits, and:” to “Time Machine keeps:”. To turn it back on, you can simply run the following in the Terminal:

    sudo tmutil enablelocal

    Also note, this feature gets turned on automatically whenever you turn off and on the Time Machine – so don’t forget to turn the local backups back off again whenever you do that.

    Turn off hibernation [laptops only]

    Another feature of Mac OS turned on by default on laptops is, that it saves all the memory to disk when entering sleep mode. This is to ensure your laptop does not lose your work if it runs out of battery while “sleeping”. The more RAM you have, the more gigabytes it writes to the disk every time you close the lid/put it to sleep. I typically do this at least twice a day – when leaving the office and when going to sleep in the evening. If you are in a similar situation and you have 8GB of RAM, that means your MacBook writes 16 to 24 GB of hibernation data to your SSD every day. Here is how you can turn this off – it will not only make your SSD’s life longer, but also significantly speed up the time it takes for your laptop to enter the sleep mode:

    sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 0

    Please also note the following article quote:

    We do not recommend modifying hibernation settings. Any changes you make are not supported. If you choose to do so anyway, we recommend using one of these three settings. For your sake and mine, please don’t use anything other 0, 3, or 25.

    hibernatemode = 0 (binary 0000) by default on supported desktops. The system will not back memory up to persistent storage. The system must wake from the contents of memory; the system will lose context on power loss. This is, historically, plain old sleep.

    hibernatemode = 3 (binary 0011) by default on supported portables. The system will store a copy of memory to persistent storage (the disk), and will power memory during sleep. The system will wake from memory, unless a power loss forces it to restore from disk image.

    hibernatemode = 25 (binary 0001 1001) is only settable via pmset. The system will store a copy of memory to persistent storage (the disk), and will remove power to memory. The system will restore from disk image. If you want “hibernation” – slower sleeps, slower wakes, and better battery life, you should use this setting.
    Once you turn off hibernation, you can also remove the sleep image file that will free up several GB of disk space (depending on how much RAM you have):

    sudo rm /var/vm/sleepimage

    Set noatime flag

    MacOS (like other unix-based systems) by default records last access time for every file. I.e. every time you read a file, a write is made on the filesystem to record this action. There is no point in doing it and no side effects if you disable that by mounting the root filesystem with noatime flag set. To do that create a file named for example “com.nullvision.noatime.plist” (you can pick any other name you wish) in the directory /Library/LaunchDaemons with the following content:

    Code:
    Only members with over 5 posts can view this information.
    And execute the following command in Terminal:

    sudo chown root:wheel /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.nullvision.noatime.plist

    Restart the machine.

    You can verify that it worked by executing the following in Terminal:

    mount | grep " / "

    You should get the following output (i.e. see noatime in the list in parentheses):

    /dev/disk0s2 on / (hfs, local, journaled, noatime)

    Move user home directories to HDD [SSD+HDD only]

    This tweak is only useful if you have both SSD as well as HDD in your Mac. Move all the content of /Users folder to the HDD and create a symbolic link from the SSD to it (so that you don't have to change the home folder location in the user settings, as I read some applications don’t like it and may not work correctly). To do that execute the following commands in Terminal:

    sudo ditto /Users /Volumes/your_hdd_name/Users
    sudo mv /Users /Users.bak
    sudo ln -s /Volumes/your_hdd_name/Users /Users

    To be safe, you should also go to System Preferences, click on Users & Groups, click the lock icon to unlock advanced editing (password prompt will appear). Once unlocked, you should be able to right-click on each user account and choose Advanced Options from the pop-up menu. Once in the Advanced Options dialog, change the Home directory of the user from “/Users/user-name” to the new location (e.g. “/Volumes/HDD/Users/user-name”).

    Now, check if your home folders are showing up correctly in Finder. If so, restart your computer.

    Finally, delete the back-up of your Users folder on the SSD by typing the following into the Terminal:

    sudo rm -rf /Users.bak

    Turn off sudden motion sensor [no HDD]

    If SSD is the only drive in your Mac, there is no point in using the Sudden Motion Sensor. You can switch it off by executing the following in the Terminal:

    sudo pmset -a sms 0

    Turn off hard drive sleep [no HDD]

    Some websites mention SSD may freeze when the hard drive sleep feature is on, so it is recommended to turn it off. However, you probably don’t want to do this if you also have a HDD in your Mac. To switch the hard drive sleep off, go to System Preferences->Energy Saver and uncheck “Put the hard disk(s) to sleep when possible”.
    Last edited by Exos; 16th January 2013 at 20:54.

  3. #3

    Re: Keep You're SSD Healthy (And Other Tips) [MAC/OSX]

    Thanks for the info on this, I got an ocz 250gb ssd about 2 months ago and from what I see I've done a few things wrong already. Can I ask why defrag is bad for an ssd? And would installing some program's on the drive along with the os be ok also?

    thanks in advance.

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    DW F1 Champ 2010, 14 rawsy's Avatar
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    Keep You're SSD Healthy (And Other Tips) [Windows & Mac]

    Defrag is pointless on an ssd because defragging is just arranging data so it can be accessed more efficiently on a mechanical drive. An ssd can get data from any part of its self just as quick. So defragging is just doing a lot of unnecessary reading and writing .

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    Re: Keep You're SSD Healthy (And Other Tips) [Windows & Mac]

    Quote Originally Posted by rawsy View Post
    Defrag is pointless on an ssd because defragging is just arranging data so it can be accessed more efficiently on a mechanical drive. An ssd can get data from any part of its self just as quick. So defragging is just doing a lot of unnecessary reading and writing .
    It also reduces the life of the SSD.

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    Re: Keep You're SSD Healthy (And Other Tips) [Windows & Mac]

    You will find in win 7 and more in 8 that the OS knows it is on a sad drive and will make the necessary changes., without user intervention.

    Sent from my GT-I9100

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    Re: Keep You're SSD Healthy (And Other Tips) [Windows & Mac]

    Is it really needed? Just got a SSD and I defrag it quite often lol, and then run ccleaner but notice thats slower than on my old mechanical drive.

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    Re: Keep You're SSD Healthy (And Other Tips) [Windows & Mac]

    Quote Originally Posted by dekaman View Post
    Is it really needed? Just got a SSD and I defrag it quite often lol, and then run ccleaner but notice thats slower than on my old mechanical drive.
    You should never defrag an SSD!

    Not only is it not necessary, it actually shortens the life span of the drive.

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    Re: Keep You're SSD Healthy (And Other Tips) [Windows & Mac]

    Be very careful I have just done as described above and cannot now access any of my office files I keep on my USB 3 stick they are all there but wont open it says they are corrupt or on a server that is not responding? I have put the stick in another laptop and thank god they are OK, it must be something I have changed on this one so I am about to revert back to how it was.

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    Re: Keep You're SSD Healthy (And Other Tips) [Windows & Mac]


    Quote Originally Posted by Shindig View Post
    You will find in win 7 and more in 8 that the OS knows it is on a sad drive and will make the necessary changes., without user intervention.

    Sent from my GT-I9100
    Indeed. And if you buy a samsung drive it comes with a utility which optimises system settings for a SSD.

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