Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Windows 8.1 Maintenance on a SSD

  1. #1


    Posts : 5
    Windows 8.1 Pro

    Windows 8.1 Maintenance on a SSD


    Hello I got an SSD and installed Windows 8.1 Pro. After automatic maintenance ran I opened the windows defragmentation utility and it seemed to have defragmented my SSD. From my understanding an SSD doesn't need defragmentation and can lower the life span as well. My question did the maintenance task defragment my SSD? Should I just turn off automatic defragmentation or turn off automatic maintenance? Trim is supposed to handle an SSD's maintenance if I disable defragmentation or maintenance will trim still do it's job?

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  2. #2



    Trying to Sith things out
    Bamberg Germany
    Posts : 2,288
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit


    Your SSD is not being "defragged" it's being "optimized" (another word for trimmed), so yes leave it on. Windows will trim automatically once every 28 days or so. If I have done any major updating or uninstalling/deleting I force a trim then.
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  3. #3


    Posts : 5
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Thanks for that information that worried me a little when Windows Optimization showed that my SSD had been optimized. May I ask how do you force a trim?
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  4. #4



    Trying to Sith things out
    Bamberg Germany
    Posts : 2,288
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit


    Click image for larger version
    and welcome to Eight Forums
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  5. #5


    Posts : 5
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Thanks same as usual
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  6. #6



    Trying to Sith things out
    Bamberg Germany
    Posts : 2,288
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit


    You're welcome I'm glad to set your worries to rest. At the start of 8.1 there were a lot of bloggers that put out some misconceptions about the optimize utility. Here is a tutorial from Brink that goes a little more in depth: Optimize Drives - Defrag HDD and TRIM SSD in Windows 8
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  7. #7


    Posts : 446
    Win 8 64-bit


    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff S View Post
    ...At the start of 8.1 there were a lot of bloggers that put out some misconceptions about the optimize utility
    Microsoft themselves themselves were to blame for that by not answering questions many of us were asking regarding Windows defragmenting SSD's. All we got from Microsoft was either incorrect information (I.E. denial) or no response at all.

    Back in 2012 when Windows 8 RTM'd, I noticed Windows defragging a SSD. Despite everyone saying that Windows (Optimise Drives) doesn't defrag SSD's and that it only performs TRIM on them, I knew this was incorrect as I watched Windows perform a full 6-pass defrag of my SSD during 'Automatic Maintenance' with my own eyes. This was despite Windows recognising it as a Solid State Drive. I still have the screenshot (see below).

    It took Microsoft (or at least a Microsoft employee, not Microsoft themselves) until December 2014 to acknowledge that Windows does indeed sometimes defrag SSD's, and that it is deliberate. You can read the blog post at the following link, where Scott Hanselman (a Microsoft Employee) confirms that Windows does in fact sometimes defrag SSD's:

    The real and complete story - Does Windows defragment your SSD? - Scott Hanselman

    Personally I'd like to see more official documentation direct from Microsoft themselves though. A blog post on a non-Microsoft website doesn't really instill much confidence...

    Click image for larger version
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  8. #8



    Trying to Sith things out
    Bamberg Germany
    Posts : 2,288
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit


    I'm sorry but even if windows tried to defrag an SSD, it wouldn't put any thing in a contiguous line because the SSD controller "Lies" to the OS to make it think it's a HDD. From one of the comments:
    I'd wager that SSD controllers are vastly different, one from another, in how they read/write the NAND than HDD controllers, which support the current generations of platter and head technology.

    That controller, implementing multiple channels (as many as 32 in even prosumer drives) to the multiple die under various rubrics (RAISE in SandForce speak), moves the data around as needed for wear leveling. Some controllers level more aggressively than others, but the basic structure remains the same: there is no, on purpose, contiguous (i.e., sequential) storage in an SSD. The bits are strewn over available dies by the controller in the way it finds most efficient.

    The extent to which sequential reads appear faster than random reads is due to SSD resident caching (sometimes DRAM, sometimes NAND) and read-ahead, not defragging.

    My guess, and it's only that since I don't write Windows code, is that the defrag process only gets as far as the FTL in the SSD controller. As such, the NAND die never see the process.
    Which on can find this information on serious tech sites and manufacturer sites, not blog posts.
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  9. #9


    Posts : 5
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Yeah i was just looking at that i watched my optimize and it said trimming just like Cliff explained.
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  10. #10



    Trying to Sith things out
    Bamberg Germany
    Posts : 2,288
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit


    Some optimization programs claim they’ll consolidate free space by moving data around on your solid-state drive with an intelligent algorithm. In a world where this was possible, the results of this would vary from drive to drive. Some firmwares may wait too long before using their own free space consolidation process. Benchmarks run of solid-state free space consolidation utilities against different firmwares would likely show inconsistent results, as the difference will depend on how good a job each drive’s firmware was doing. In general, a drive’s firmware would probably do a decent enough job that you wouldn’t need to run an optimization program that does this for you. Such programs will also result in additional writes — if a drive waits too long, it may do so to minimize the amount of writes to the drive. it’s a trade-off between free space consolidation and write avoidance.

    However, there’s another catch here: The drive controller itself handles the mapping of physical cells on the SSD to logical sectors presented to the operating system. Only the SSD controller really knows where the cells are located. It’s possible that the drive might present logical sectors to the operating system that may be next to each other for the operating system’s purposes, but far away from each other on the actual physical SSD. For this reason, using any sort of software program to consolidate free space is likely a bad idea — the program doesn’t really know what’s going on behind the SSD controller.

    This will all vary from drive to drive and firmware to firmware. Some firmwares may present sectors to the operating system in a way that maps to how they appear on the other drive, while aggressive optimizations on other drives may result in very large distances between sectors on the main drive. There may be some drives with controllers that present the sectors how they appear on the drive and with bad free space consolidation algorithms — such third-party tools may work well on such drives, but don’t count on it.
    Source
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Windows 8.1 Maintenance on a SSD
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