A Guide to Proper SSD Management

crucialbx100ssdSolid-state drives are truly amazing. If you are still using a mechanical hard drive on your computer, the biggest real speed boost you will see comes from upgrading to a Solid State Drive (SSD). A solid-state drive will speed up everything that requires disk access - from boot times and application launches to in-game load screens.

If you do decide to buy and install one here are just a few tips and tricks on how to put that new SSD speed boost to best possible use.

Carefully Plan What Goes Where

A Solid State Drive (SSD) is a faster but smaller drive, while a mechanical hard drive is usually much larger but a far slower drive. Being the faster of the two, your SSD should definitely hold your Windows Operating System, installed programs and any games you are currently playing.

If you have a mechanical hard drive already installed in your computer it should store your large media files, productivity files and any files you access very infrequently. Traditional hard drives are an ideal location for your entire MP3 library, perhaps some of the content in your Documents folder* and all those video files you've gathered over the years and that you rarely watch.

Keep Some Drive Space Free

Solid State Drives slow down as you fill them up because the drive will have a lot of partially filled blocks, which are slower to write to than empty blocks. It's tempting to fill up an SSD to the brim, but you should leave some free space on your SSD. Plan on using a maximum of 75 percent of the drive's capacity for the best possible performance.

A tool like the free CCleaner can help tremendously, scanning your hard drive for unnecessary temporary files and deleting them for you. Meanwhile, WinDirStat is an ideal tool for figuring out where your storage space is going.

DON'T Defrag Your SSD!

You should not defragment a Solid State Drive. Shuffling all those bits around on an SSD will not improve performance like it will on a mechanical hard disk, but it will generate many extra writes that will reduce the overall lifespan of the drive.

Modern defragmentation tools and operating systems should refuse to defragment a solid-state drive. However, old defragmentation programs may not know the difference and may happily defragment an SSD. Don't let them!

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