SSD management

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by pb1, May 14, 2022 at 5:32 AM.

  1. pb1

    pb1 Registered Member

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    Hi

    I wonder a bit about aligning and partitioning of SSDs.

    Why is aligning good to do?
    It is said it makes the SSD faster, how much?
    Is it really a good thing to do under ALL circumstances or does it not matter under some?

    Partitioning. I just read that one should leave 10% of the SSD unallocated (as Samsung Magician), in the end, for speed and longer life.

    Is the above true?
    How much faster, and longer living does it create?
    Is it really important, if so, how important?

    And last, any other specific thing to think about when using a SSD besides the above and change some setting for it with, for e.g, Tweak SSD or SSD Fresh?
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2022 at 8:07 AM
  2. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    Aligning is important so that operations within the SSD, especially WRITE, erase and read are done at NAND Cell boundaries rather than across boundaries. If a block is defined as across NAND Cells rather than at cell boundaries, operations will require multiple operations to accomplish rather than just what's needed. This makes those operations longer to perform.

    The SSD will use unallocated FREE space as well as a pool of its own (non-allocatable) FREE space to manage its ERASE/WRITE operations... this is how it reduces what they call "write amplification" and evenly spreads out all of its WRITE operations across all of its NAND cells. This will allow NAND cells to produce all the WRITES they can handle, which are limited by technology, in their lifetime.

    The "above" are all true:)... I don't think anyone can give you absolute numbers about longer living and speed. BUT... if the device is allowed to over Amplify its WRITE operations, FREE space will eventually die and become READ ONLY and prior to that time, WRITE operations will slow down immensely.

    The best advice to follow with SSDs is to make sure partitions are located on 2048 "sector" (512-byte) boundaries (1024mB) and that TRIM is fully active in your operating System. The OS TRIM function is what SSDs use to assist their internal "garbage collection" function in maintaining the most efficient NAND Cell processing as far as WRITE AMPLIFICATION is concerned.
     
  3. pb1

    pb1 Registered Member

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    Ok. The aligning part i understand and i also found info on the net that made the importance clear to me.

    Regarding "workspace" for a SSD, i still have questions whether it is enough with having an abundancy of space on every allocated partition in use, especially on C:, or if it is necessary to have some (10%) unallocated space for it. After some reading i am leaning towards unallocated space.

    The last i do not follow at all, except the trim, that i know about. How do i check if i have it that way and, how do i accomplish it for a SSD that does not have that mentioned arrangement?
     
  4. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    Both the unallocated, but available, space as well as the "off-line" spare space that you cannot see are used by the SSD for the mgmt of all partitions that may be on that physical disk, not just specific partitions.

    Under modern OS control, the partition boundaries created when the build is done are always placed at the 1mB (2048 sector) boundaries, primarily because HDDs don't really care where those boundaries are anymore so its easier for the OS to use the one boundary setting. Almost all modern imaging tools allow for the placement of imaged partitions at those same 1mB boundaries, even if they were wrong for SSDs when they were created (imaged from an older hard disk). If you have an existing SSD whose partitions are at the wrong boundary positions, the best way to correct them is to use one of those "modern" imaging applications (Macrium Reflect FREE) to image then restore those same partitions at the proper boundary.

    The easiest way to check the boundary is to use any FREE partitioning tool that can show you partition properties and divide those boundary sector block positions by 2048... if the division is even, you're good to go.
     
  5. pb1

    pb1 Registered Member

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    For me for e.g, the disc is 512GB but i can only use 476, the missing part is invisible, do not even show up in MiniTool partition Wizard. My thought was that it is the unallocated workspace for the SSD. But is seems rather small so i am not sure i even have that space since 10% is the minimum requirement according to recommendations. So i am just wondering if i should create that space or, is it taken care of on this brand new pc with NVME Micron SSD. It ought to be but, less then 10%, hmm.

    So this sector arrangement is tied to the alignment and therefore gets handled when aligning.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2022 at 3:07 PM
  6. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    That missing part you mention above is not invisible, it's needed for disk formatting (NTFS/FAT32/exFAT, etc. not unallocated space). The invisible space is beyond the 512gB. The "invisible" space as well as any unallocated space (not FREE space) on that disk anywhere is used by the SSD controller for its internal Cell management. The space inside an SSD has no concept of partitions, it's just a pile of storage that's managed to provide the System that's using it whatever it needs... it's the System that's actually managing the structure of that storage.

    Each manufacturer's "invisible" space is different but generally is about 8-10% of the disk beyond it's advertised size (in your case... 512gB). Some manufacturers give access to its user via their maintenance application for control of that space... most don't.
     
  7. pb1

    pb1 Registered Member

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    My interpritation of what you say now and the info on the net, is that it is old info, as most are, about how to handle, manually, ones SSD, now they are constructed differently so it works automatically.

    That means that i do not have to create any unallocated space!?
     
  8. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    No. you should be fine letting the device use its own (extra 8-10%) invisible space. If your main apps tend to WRITE tons and tons of DATA on that device, eventually you may need some more, but these days, algorithmic garbage collection used by the device controllers works very well.
     
  9. pb1

    pb1 Registered Member

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    Ok, thank you very much!

    You have changed your signature, it is not about watching the toes anymore.
     
  10. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    This is quite different from SSD over-provisioning.
    Storage disk manufacturers report disk size in Gigabytes. Windows and most imaging/partitioning apps report disk size in Gibibytes. GB and GiB. Unfortunately, Windows uses the term GB when it is actually GiB.

    One Gigabyte is 10^9 bytes
    One Gibibyte is 2^30 bytes

    512 GB is exactly the same storage size as 476 GiB. You haven't lost anything. If you buy a 512 GB HD (or SSD), Windows will report it as 476 GiB. All Windows units are reported in binary units. So you have KiB, MiB, GiB, TiB, etc.

    To convert from GB to GiB, divide GB by 1.024^3
    512/1.024^3 is 476.837...
     
  11. pb1

    pb1 Registered Member

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    Aha, interesting, good to know.

    Storage wise i am good, there is more than i need.
     
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