SSD minimize writes

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nucleon
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SSD minimize writes

Post#1 » 15 Aug 2010, 10:51

SSDs - possibly best performing upgrade ever. Makes all other machines I use dinosaurs. But I've been paranoid about write exhaustion. As I leave my machine on all the time, I was worried I could use up all the write cycles on my SSD. So I've been monitoring writes using Win7 resource monitoring and shifted the most write intensive directories to a ram drive.

Again, make sure you know what you're doing before doing any of this. I'm not responsible if you stuff up your machine. I also created a secondary user login, to make some of these changes to my primary login.

Here's my summary of stuff done to minimize writes in my win7 install:
1) Get ram disk, set to save on shutdown, load on startup, save every 4hrs
2) set browser temp directories to ramdisk
3) set environmental variables %TMP% and %TEMP% to ramdisk
4) disable lastalive0.dat logging
5) symbolic redirect firefox profile directories to ramdisk
6) symbolic redirect user registry to ram disk
7) disable superfetch/prefetch in win7

More info on each point:
1)
This is the one I use:
http://memory.dataram.com/products-and- ... re/ramdisk
It's really cool. The save on shutdown, load on startup makes it completely automatic. I've set mine to 4GB as I have lots of RAM. One possibly could survive on much lower. Your mileage may vary. It does add some bootup/shutdown time to save/load the ram disk.

2)
Google on how to do this for your browser

3)
Again google it depending on your OS

4)
Only applicable on Vista and Win7. Basically writes to these files are to let the OS know when the last time the PC died.

More info here:
http://forum.notebookreview.com/windows ... ost3433842

5) & 6)
Strictly for the hardcore. Firefox seems to write about 1MB/sec (for me anyhow) to a profile location. Through my google-fu basically it's due to firefox writing all the opened URLs such that if firefox dies, it can reload all the ones you had open prior to application dieing.

The OS seems to write 2kBytes/sec to the user registry almost constantly. No idea why.

On how to redirect/symbolic link under windows:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NTFS_symbolic_link

I've redirected the following:
C:\Users\login-name\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\b17icel5.default
-> R:\Users\login-name\firefox-roaming-profile\b17icel5.default

C:\Users\login-name\AppData\Local\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\b17icel5.default
-> R:\Users\login-name\firefox-local-profile\b17icel5.default

C:\Users\login-name\NTUSER.DAT
-> r:\Users\login-name\reg\NTUSER.DAT

C:\Users\login-name\ntuser.dat.LOG1
-> r:\Users\login-name\reg\ntuser.dat.LOG1

'r:' being my ramdisk drive. 'login-name' being your windows login userid.

7)
Prefetch is to aid load times for HDDs. You don't need it for SSDs. I found windows kept writing to a c:\windows\prefetch directory almost continuously.
See second post (first answer) in this thread:
http://social.technet.microsoft.com/For ... e10430ed84


-- Craig
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Fellhahn
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Re: SSD minimize writes

Post#2 » 16 Aug 2010, 18:46

Dude, awesome few tips there, thanks for this, did not know about firefox's write frequency :S

How good is sim-linking :D
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nucleon
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Re: SSD minimize writes

Post#3 » 16 Aug 2010, 20:00

Fellhahn wrote:Dude, awesome few tips there, thanks for this, did not know about firefox's write frequency :S

How good is sim-linking :D


Cheers. Checkout windows7 "resource monitor" to see how much your firefox is writing to disk. Its probably different to the rate I have. (I have crap-load of links opened).

Yes, I'm addicted to sym-links.

C'mon, just one more symlink.

Another cool thing - you can Sym link to an external NAS. So you can dump any old stuff to the NAS even if the application doesn't like storing stuff non-local.

-- Craig
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Re: SSD minimize writes

Post#4 » 17 Aug 2010, 18:28

I tried sym-linking my windows 7 music and video library locations to a network drive on my media server, but was met with mottled success.

this, however, did the trick just fine:

http://zornsoftware.talsit.info/?p=3
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Secro
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Re: SSD minimize writes

Post#5 » 17 Aug 2010, 18:44

Hi guys! Natually i've done a bit of reading about SSD's since I've recently put one into use.

Apparently without changing any write settings with your HDD and just use it as normal with no windows tweaks etc, it's still going to last 30+ years

What is your opinion on this?
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Selphie
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Re: SSD minimize writes

Post#6 » 18 Aug 2010, 01:09

i'm going to be the first to own a CSD (crystal structure drive [r][tm]). take that!
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nucleon
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Re: SSD minimize writes

Post#7 » 18 Aug 2010, 22:28

Selphie wrote:i'm going to be the first to own a CSD (crystal structure drive [r][tm]). take that!


Cool. When you own one, I'm aok, to take it off you. :)

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nucleon
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Re: SSD minimize writes

Post#8 » 18 Aug 2010, 22:49

Secro wrote:Hi guys! Natually i've done a bit of reading about SSD's since I've recently put one into use.

Apparently without changing any write settings with your HDD and just use it as normal with no windows tweaks etc, it's still going to last 30+ years

What is your opinion on this?


Find me someone who's been using one for the last 30+ years who had the same usage patterns :)

Sure they can do simulations. But we won't have a large "real world" test base of survivability until at least 2-3years from now.

I'm paranoid. I've burnt out usb flash cards from over use. I've heard stories people burning their SSD due to running write benchmarks 'all-day'.

If you aren't raiding the SSDs, there's a variable you can look at at to give you an idea how's it's going. Check out smartmontools. It can read the SATA S.M.A.R.T. data on the drive.

One of my SSDs:

Code: Select all

  9 Power_On_Hours          0x0000   ---   ---   ---    Old_age   Offline      -       3515
199 Write_Sectors_Tot_Ct    0x0000   ---   ---   ---    Old_age   Offline      -       2483024425
209 Remaining_Lifetime_Perc 0x0000   ---   ---   ---    Old_age   Offline      -       99


This one looks like it has plenty of time left. I'll look at it in a month to see how it's going. This is one I don't use all that often. My primary SSDs are in RAID - and the SMART data isn't readable.

-- Craig
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nucleon
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Re: SSD minimize writes

Post#9 » 03 Jan 2011, 11:21

So revisiting this...

Since the last gather of stats, all the drive does is my virtual memory store (pagefile), and my ramdisk (which gets saved every 4hrs). By no means an extensive use of the disk.

Code: Select all

  9 Power_On_Hours          0x0000   ---   ---   ---    Old_age   Offline      -       6694
199 Write_Sectors_Tot_Ct    0x0000   ---   ---   ---    Old_age   Offline      -       11269866255
209 Remaining_Lifetime_Perc 0x0000   ---   ---   ---    Old_age   Offline      -       97


So taking these figures, I get an ETA to judgment day of 3/6/2021.

So looks like plenty of life in it just yet. Not exactly 30years, 10years is way longer than I'll probably use it for.


-- Craig
Last edited by nucleon on 04 Jan 2011, 21:55, edited 1 time in total.
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Fitz
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Re: SSD minimize writes

Post#10 » 04 Jan 2011, 11:34

Do you mean 2021? Cause the date you said is in about 6 months time :P

nucleon wrote:So revisiting this...

Since the last gather of stats, all the drive does is my virtual memory store (pagefile), and my ramdisk (which gets saved every 4hrs). By no means an extensive use of the disk.

Code: Select all

  9 Power_On_Hours          0x0000   ---   ---   ---    Old_age   Offline      -       6694
199 Write_Sectors_Tot_Ct    0x0000   ---   ---   ---    Old_age   Offline      -       11269866255
209 Remaining_Lifetime_Perc 0x0000   ---   ---   ---    Old_age   Offline      -       97


So taking these figures, I get an ETA to judgment day of 3/6/2011.

So looks like plenty of life in it just yet. Not exactly 30years, 10years is way longer than I'll probably use it for.


-- Craig

nucleon
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Re: SSD minimize writes

Post#11 » 04 Jan 2011, 21:56

oops. :oops:

Fixed.

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nitrofenix
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Re: SSD minimize writes

Post#12 » 29 May 2011, 12:40

Craig, check out Sysinternals procmon -- I was able to find out that AVG was writing almost continuously to logs in it's ProgramData folder (no idea why).

The only way I could redirect this to a RAMDrive was to uninstall the program, set up a symlink in the place of the old folder, then reinstall.

RE: #6 on your list -- you'll need to set up another (temporary) admin account to allow you to symlink the user registry on your main account.

This was a handy article to have on-hand too.

Edit: Also, CCC was writing incessantly as well, so I shifted some files under AppData\Local\ATI to the RAMDrive too.
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Re: SSD minimize writes

Post#13 » 01 Jun 2011, 15:46

nitrofenix wrote:Edit: Also, CCC was writing incessantly as well, so I shifted some files under AppData\Local\ATI to the RAMDrive too.


Sunnuva bitch! missed that one. Thanks for the heads up :) Arrgh I hate CCC, lucky the cards are good.

Im never going back to just HDD's. NEVER!
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Re: SSD minimize writes

Post#14 » 01 Jun 2011, 23:24

Kashak wrote:Im never going back to just HDD's. NEVER!

I hear that -- I've been spoiled by quick logins, faster loading and snappy file operations.

I'd been thinking about upgrading my CPU/Mobo/RAM at the same time as my GPUs/HDDs, but honestly, after upgrading to SSDs and rehashing my GPUs, things run so quickly/smoothly that the Q6600 seems to cope with everything regardless (even at stock speeds, gasp).
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Re: SSD minimize writes

Post#15 » 02 Jun 2011, 01:23

Reading this has scared me. I leave my PC on all the time, have my desktop HDD as well as 2 x external HDDs running 24/7.

You telling me they are gonna burn out? That's like 2.5TB data I'd lose :(
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