1 2 Previous Next 24 Replies Latest reply: Sep 30, 2011 12:52 PM by goatonfire
Mac Medic (be@MacOSG.com) Level 6 Level 6 (17,290 points)

One disadvantage of an SSD hard drive, is the number of times you can 'write' data to blocks on the drive, before the drive is wore our. On a mechanical drive, you can reformat it by writing 'zeros' to it and virtually making the drive 'like new' again. You can't do this with an SSD drive. In fact, I was told by OCZ support that writing zeros to an SSD drive can actually damage the drive, and was advised to never do that. With that in mind, I have a tip you can use to prolong the 'write' life of your SSD drive. 

 

It's usual for the OS X filesystem to record the ‘last access’ time of every file. This means that every time a file is read, a write is made on the filesystem to record this action. This isn't necessary and can wear a SSD drive out prematurely from thousands of these unnecessary writes to the drive. Download this file and follow my instructions in the ReadMe to turn this action off. Note: this will not affect the "Date Modified" recorded action.    

 

 

 

 

 

 

17" 2.2GHz i7 Quad-Core MacBook Pro  8G RAM  750G HD + OCZ Vertex 3 SSD Boot HD 
  • 1. Re: ATTENTION SSD OWNERS: How to prolong drive life.
    ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,305 points)

    Good advice there Dave,

     

    Not to hijack the thread, I would like to let people know that because of SSD limited writes, securely erasing confidential and private information isn't being accomplished despite what occurs in software for the reasons Dave is outlining above.

     

    I point you to this article:

     

    http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/11/02/17/1911217/Confidential-Data-Not-Safe-O n-Solid-State-Disks

  • 2. Re: ATTENTION SSD OWNERS: How to prolong drive life.
    Mac Medic (be@MacOSG.com) Level 6 Level 6 (17,290 points)

    Here is a good article on securely erasing a SSD drive, but you need to use Windows software.

     

    Best advice concerning security on a HD, is never put any information on it that you wouldn't want anyone to see.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    17" 2.2GHz i7 Quad-Core MacBook Pro  8G RAM  750G HD + OCZ Vertex 3 SSD Boot HD 
  • 3. Re: ATTENTION SSD OWNERS: How to prolong drive life.
    ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,305 points)

    Mac Medic (be@MacOSG.com) wrote:

     

    Best advice concerning security on a HD, is never put any information on it that you wouldn't want anyone to see.

     

    Darn, I so liked goatsexx too.

  • 4. Re: ATTENTION SSD OWNERS: How to prolong drive life.
    SP Forsythe Level 5 Level 5 (5,230 points)

    What I find fascinating about this thread is the lack of dissension.

     

    Whenever I have made a post, on any forum, that brings up the potential for SSD longevity being finite, due to the nature of write cycle degradation, the desent of SSD "fanboys" usually overwhelms the discussion wherein the original point is rendered as seemingly ludicrous.

     

    Tell me, what do you see as a practical limitation of the use of an SSD without any precautions such as outlined here. I mean, SSD fanboys will often contend that there is no worry about SSD degradation due to write cycles, since "the drive will still likely outlive the owner", and "probably fail for other reasons first".

     

    I own a MBA 11 with an Apple SSD. Would mine benefit from the OP's suggestion, or is it otherwise protected by some other means that Apple has built in? I ask this, since this thread is in the MBP forum, and am interested to know whether it applies to MBA's as well.

     

     

    p.s. So it it not misunderstood... I tend to favor the point of view of the OP. I think that there is enough evidence to support the contention that SSD life is not practically infinite, and we should explore means to preserve the finite number of writes available.

  • 5. Re: ATTENTION SSD OWNERS: How to prolong drive life.
    Mac Medic (be@MacOSG.com) Level 6 Level 6 (17,290 points)

    The biggest factors that determine a SSD's lifecycle, is the type/brand of Flash memory used and the type of controller the drive uses. TRIM can also play into the picture, but in the case of the OCZ Vertex 3 drive I put in my MBP, I was told by OCZ support that TRIM does not need to be enabled on a Mac, because their drives have "garbage collection" technology built in them (via their SandForce controller), which basically does the same thing as TRIM.

    SP Forsythe wrote:

     

    I own a MBA 11 with an Apple SSD. Would mine benefit from the OP's suggestion, or is it otherwise protected by some other means that Apple has built in? I ask this, since this thread is in the MBP forum, and am interested to know whether it applies to MBA's as well.

    I would recommend turning off recorded access time on all SSDs. Do you know if TRIM is enabled on your Air? If not, I have some software that will enable it running on a Mac with Snow Leopard. Lion will ship with TRIM enabled for all SSD drives.  

     

     

     

     

    17" 2.2GHz i7 Quad-Core MacBook Pro  8G RAM  750G HD + OCZ Vertex 3 SSD Boot HD 
  • 6. Re: ATTENTION SSD OWNERS: How to prolong drive life.
    SP Forsythe Level 5 Level 5 (5,230 points)

    Since Lion will be out in a few months at most, what's the harm in waiting until it(TRIM) arrives to enable it?

     

    I mean, once TRIM is enabled, I won't have any reason to have regretted waiting, will I?

  • 7. Re: ATTENTION SSD OWNERS: How to prolong drive life.
    Mac Medic (be@MacOSG.com) Level 6 Level 6 (17,290 points)

    No, you can wait; that's fine.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    17" 2.2GHz i7 Quad-Core MacBook Pro  8G RAM  750G HD + OCZ Vertex 3 SSD Boot HD 
  • 8. Re: ATTENTION SSD OWNERS: How to prolong drive life.
    27mando Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    It seems that the main drawback here would be that in performing Spotlight searches, if you're looking through massive numbers of files, you have no way of telling which was "Last Opened" -- is that correct? Put another way -- that's the information that is potentially useful that's being written on the file as "last access," and that is what you would no longer be getting if you install Mac Medic's plist file...is that correct?

  • 9. Re: ATTENTION SSD OWNERS: How to prolong drive life.
    Poikkeus Level 4 Level 4 (2,780 points)

    I don't (yet) have an SSD drive on my MBP, but this discussion has motivated me to search elsewhere for my SSD fix. In particular, the OWC Mercury SSDs don't seem to suffer the same challenges as Apple SSDs. They're not cheap - but they're fast and easy to use.

  • 10. Re: ATTENTION SSD OWNERS: How to prolong drive life.
    Mac Medic (be@MacOSG.com) Level 6 Level 6 (17,290 points)

    @27mando - When people do a Spotlight search, most just need to know where the file is and won't need to know the last time the file was accessed--especially if they are the only one using the computer. It would be different if you were monitoring someone else using the computer. Also, as I stated, "last date modified" is not affected.

     

    @Poikkeus - You want to get a SSD that has a SandForce 22xx controller.  

     

     

     

     

     

     

    17" 2.2GHz i7 Quad-Core MacBook Pro  8G RAM  750G HD + OCZ Vertex 3 SSD Boot HD 
    Got problems with your Apple iDevice-like iPhone, iPad or iPod touch? Try Troubleshooting 101
  • 11. Re: ATTENTION SSD OWNERS: How to prolong drive life.
    27mando Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Makes sense. I use it because I'm woefully unorganized, so I'll do a search for someone's name and the only way I have to find the document out of the hundreds that come up is to check and see which I opened most recently. But it might be worth it for me to work on organizing my digital life a little more if it means getting better performance/longer life from my drive...

  • 12. Re: ATTENTION SSD OWNERS: How to prolong drive life.
    Mac Medic (be@MacOSG.com) Level 6 Level 6 (17,290 points)

    When you open a document, do you modify it? If not and you are just reading it, before you close it, all you need to do is make a change--like add a character--and hit save. That way you can still use the date modified feature during search.   

     

     

     

     

     

     

    17" 2.2GHz i7 Quad-Core MacBook Pro  8G RAM  750G HD + OCZ Vertex 3 SSD Boot HD 
    Got problems with your Apple iDevice-like iPhone, iPad or iPod touch? Try Troubleshooting 101
  • 13. Re: ATTENTION SSD OWNERS: How to prolong drive life.
    ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,305 points)

    17" 2.2GHz i7 Quad-Core MacBook Pro  8G RAM  750G HD + OCZ Vertex 3 SSD Boot HD 

     

     

    Seems your speed demon computer is missing something there Dave...

     

    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other%20World%20Computing/1333DDR3S16P/

     

     

    or are you waiting for the 32GB pkg like me 

  • 14. Re: ATTENTION SSD OWNERS: How to prolong drive life.
    Mac Medic (be@MacOSG.com) Level 6 Level 6 (17,290 points)

    The cost of that is crazy. It's as bad as the cost of a 512G SSD. This 8G is working great for me. I don't see me ever needing more than that--at least for the next few years.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    17" 2.2GHz i7 Quad-Core MacBook Pro  8G RAM  750G HD + OCZ Vertex 3 SSD Boot HD 
    Got problems with your Apple iDevice-like iPhone, iPad or iPod touch? Try Troubleshooting 101
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