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Windows Bug may be Killing your SSD, Patch Incoming

A bug in Windows 10 is causing it to defrag SSDs, which can cause it to “wear down” the SSD.

PC Gamer has reported on a bug which the May version of Windows 10 can cause the operating system to defragment SSDs, which is something that should only be done on hard drives.

As the hard drive spins it writes bits and bytes of data all over the disk, over time the files take much longer to load due to how far apart they may be physically on the disk.

For comparison; imagine if your controller was in one room of your house, your headset in your car, and your console in the basement. Every time you wanted to game, you would have bring everything to your living room. The purpose of defragging hard drives is to make that process faster.

SSDs (Solid State Drives) do not use a physical disk. Rather they use flash memory, which has no mechanical parts or spinning disks. So when you run the defragger, it simply writes and deletes data on the flash memory. This “wears it out,” since SSDs have a limited number of times you can write to and delete data.

The process is very taxing on the drive, and at most is recommended to be done once per month. However, this bug is allegedly causing it to happen with every boot. Windows 10 by design will defrag an SSD, if volume snapshots are enabled for use with system restore.

While some have argued that defragging SSDs can give performance benefits, most have argued against it since the infancy of SSDs, claiming absolutely no performance gain. TRIM is a specialized optimization command which does something similar, without being as harsh and designed specifically for SSDs.

Windows has a fix for it currently in the Windows Insider Preview build v19042.487 (20H2), and should be pushing this and other fixes for non-Insiders later this week. It will be bundled it into the Windows 10 version 2004 sometime next week.

Niche Gamers Take: If you want to know how to temporarily suspend its disk optimizations follow the instructions below.

Open the Optimize Drives tool in the windows search menu, click change settings (any other SSDs in your system should be unaffected as they do not contain volume snapshots.)

On the change settings screen if the “Run on a schedule” box is checked uncheck it to disable for all drives, or on the drives option click choose and unselect the C: drive. This however should be re-enabled after your next scheduled update.

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Image: Microsoft

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Allen Watts

About

A long time PC gamer, He enjoys FPS, RTS and RPG games. He also has a love of PC hardware.