SSD - is it ok to use in XP laptop

Discussion in 'Dell' started by ps56k, Dec 10, 2013.

  1. ps56k

    Ron Hardin Guest

    I think it corresponded to the SSD wearing out from writes, as SSDs are reported to do.

    The spot may read correctly or it may not, but the SSD as a whole is otherwise sane.
    Ron Hardin, Dec 16, 2013
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  2. Per Ron Hardin:
    After reading this thread, it's beginning to dawn on me that maybe the
    Windows paging file should be moved from the SSD card to a conventional
    hard drive.

    Correct so far? Downsides?

    Also, is there anything to be gained by having Windows use several
    paging files? I've got 3 2-TB discs used for media plus a 1-TB disc
    used for backup...
    (PeteCresswell), Dec 16, 2013
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  3. Per (PeteCresswell):
    And how about putting another 8 gigs of memory in the PC and, either
    just calling it a day and disabling pagefile.sys altogether or
    installing some sort of ramdrive utility and assigning pagefile.sys to
    the ramdrive?
    (PeteCresswell), Dec 16, 2013
  4. ps56k

    Paul Guest

    I've done all sorts of these tests here,
    and my general advice is to leave pagefile alone.

    It's not that you can't have a ton of fun
    playing with it. It's what happens when
    you break something, that matters. How do you
    "back out", when you bust paging ? Which registry
    setting do you modify ? How do you modify the registry
    when Windows won't run ?


    Try watching the Peak on Task Manager, after
    a day of PC usage. What was your Peak usage ?
    Did you use all of the available RAM on the PC ?
    That's how you estimate whether you need more RAM.

    If you want to try a "stressor", try the 64 bit
    version of CHKDSK on a modern OS. They designed it
    to "waste all available memory". If I need a means
    to generate some page-outs, that's a way to do some
    testing. If you snag a copy of the 32 bit
    version of CHKDSK, and run it on the 64 bit version
    of Windows, then it won't use all the RAM
    (addressing limit). That's my work-around for
    the stupid behavior of CHKDSK.

    You can use Task Manager. You can also use "resmon"
    on the later Windows, as it can tell you about
    page file usage while the system is running.

    The Performance plugin has counters it keeps, which
    can track stuff you're interested in. For example,
    it records Page Writes/sec, and mine just sits there
    at zero right now. It also records percentage of
    pagefile currently in usage. Mine reads 2.3% or roughly
    47MB. Is that 47MB write to the SSD going to hurt it ?

    The option to "clear pagefile at shutdown", is probably
    going to do more damage than that. As that would
    rewrite my entire pagefile.


    I've done the following test case.

    1) WinXP x32 with 4GB memory license.
    2) PC with 8GB of RAM installed (i.e. "4GB wasted")
    3) DATARAM RAMDisk free, with ability to use PAE
    memory space, and capable of using the 4GB
    of "inaccessible memory". A driver in Ring0 is not
    subject to the memory license.
    4) Put pagefile on RAMDisk.
    5) Result ? Buttery smooth transition, when
    Windows programs are using 5GB of memory,
    and you move from program to program to get
    the paging going. It works very nicely.

    Downside ? It takes several minutes to shut down
    the PC (hibernation mode). It was unbearably
    slow, so I took it apart. I reboot more than the
    average user. It was driving me nuts.

    Also, there are tiny glitches that show this
    method is not completely stable. I tested
    for a total of maybe three or four days, and
    two "events" happened that convinced me
    it's not ready for prime time.


    If you wanted to do this seriously,
    you'd purchase a Gigabyte RAMDrive (no
    longer made) and use one of those for
    your pagefile. That's a SATA device.

    The modern equivalent of that, is the
    ACARD stuff.

    These are the models still in production. RAM Disk &ino=28

    The ACARD uses CF for backup storage. page 9.
    If you wear it out, you could insert another.
    Using the CF, also ensures the disk is "formatted"
    when your OS goes to page to it at T=0 :) The
    DATARAM software RAMDisk, also restores from backup,
    so it can be started in a "formatted" state.

    A whole lot of work for nothing, but it's there if you
    want it.


    Wanna test it ? Be my guest. Just make sure you
    know how to back out later, depending on what
    you're doing. I suffered a small amount of
    hair loss one day, because of stuff like this :)
    You've been warned.

    Paul, Dec 16, 2013
  5. The disadvantage of paging to the SSD is that it might hasten the
    eventual decrepitude of that drive.

    The disadvantage of paging to a RAM drive is that you're using the
    memory that you're paging *from* to hold the page file that you're
    paging *to*.

    It's worse than a Ponzi scheme :)
    Gene E. Bloch, Dec 16, 2013
  6. ps56k

    mike Guest

    This is based on research I did a year ago when I decided not to invest
    in a SSD. I'm sure the nitpickers can come up with a zillion
    But, for most of us, a SSD is a bad decision.

    If your primary concern is how fast your system boots, by all means,
    the SSD is for you. If battery life is a primary concern, the SSD
    may be for you, but the percentages vary with what else is going on.
    If you like to throw machine around while it's running, SSD is a good idea.
    Otherwise, save your money.

    If you need a swap file, you have too little ram.
    Swap is where stuff goes when it won't fit in ram.
    You're trading very fast RAM access for extremely slow disk access.
    SSD is faster, but not very, compared to ram.
    Swap was very important when RAM was expensive.
    Today, not so much.
    I ran XP with 2GB of ram and no swap for years. Only time I ever
    got an out of memory error was when I tried to run two virtualbox
    sessions at once. Had to turn swap back on for that.
    If you have a second mechanical drive, put swap there. Won't matter
    how slow it is if it's rarely used. I put swap on D: for a different
    reason. I don't have to keep telling the backup program to ignore it
    when I backup C:.

    SSD is written in whole blocks. If you change one byte, the whole
    block gets read, changed and rewritten back, probably to a different
    location depending on the wear leveling algorithm.

    I read one article that claimed that in active use, stock windows
    could kill a SSD in a matter of days, based on write counts.

    Those blocks need to be aligned with the methods used by the OS.
    Modern operating systems have the nasty habit of updating the access time
    when you access a file. There's another block write.
    Then there are caches, wear leveling, all manner of optimizations designed
    to deal with rotating media.
    If the OS was written with full knowledge of all the characteristics
    of that exact SSD drive, it would be simple.
    But all that magic is secret and constantly changing.

    Google will find you many strategies for prolonging the life of a
    SSD. Suggest you decide which one you trust and implement it.
    Maybe the drive vendor's one would be a good choice.

    Google will also find you many stories about how SSD's start out fast
    and progressively slow down with use. Don't remember the term,
    but you run a utility regularly to speed it back up.

    I would not just plug in a SSD.
    At the very least, turn off the last access update. It's called -noatime
    in linux. Don't remember the term for windows.

    Too much hype for too little performance/price ratio for me.
    mike, Dec 16, 2013
  7. Not if the RAM drive is in a part of the RAM that the normal OS doesn't
    have access to, surely? (I. e. that above 4G, in this case?)
    J. P. Gilliver (John), Dec 16, 2013
  8. In message <l8nqok$449$>, mike <>
    I remember seeing such a claim about USB memory sticks when used as
    extra RAM, about the time netbooks - and similar - first appeared.
    Except I think it said hours, not days.
    I tend to agree. But I saw three (expensive) laptops in my local
    Sainsburys on Saturday, so they _are_ entering the mainstream.
    J. P. Gilliver (John), Dec 16, 2013
  9. ps56k

    Ken Blake Guest

    Yes, assuming that you are running 64-bit Windows, and therefore using
    all the RAM. Paging to a RAM drive is always a bad thing to do.

    And he should also note that with 8GB+ of RAM, depending on what apps
    he runs, there's an excellent chance that he would almost never use
    the page file at all.
    Ken Blake, Dec 16, 2013
  10. Surely :)

    You are correct; I assumed 64-bit and lots of RAM even though Pete
    didn't say that. Even if he did, it's definitely worth pointing out
    what you said.

    There was a thread a while back about that issue, where someone
    knowledgeable (hence, not me!) pointed out that RAM disk programs that
    can address that high memory definitely do exist.
    Gene E. Bloch, Dec 17, 2013
  11. ps56k

    BillW50 Guest

    I remember seeing such a claim about USB memory sticks when used as
    extra RAM, about the time netbooks - and similar - first appeared.
    Except I think it said hours, not days.
    I tend to agree. But I saw three (expensive) laptops in my local
    Sainsburys on Saturday, so they _are_ entering the mainstream.[/QUOTE]

    Oh man! I have three Asus netbooks from 2008 that sports SSD and they
    are still working just fine. Heck even this Dell Tablet (I have two of
    them) runs from a SSD. I was so worried about writes wearing them out in
    the beginning. But I haven't seen one of them wear out yet.

    I was so careful at first, as I buffered all writes to RAM. And I only
    allowed about 400MB of writes per day to an Asus XP machine. Then I
    figured out that it would take like 4000 years to wear it out at that
    rate. Then I thought, who cares if it is still working 3999 years later?

    Now I use them like regular hard drives and the writes that I do to them
    should last like 70 years before they wear out. Again, who cares? By
    then, you could use a 3D printer and print you a new one in no time. But
    this machine will probably be useless in 70 years from now anyway. ;-)
    BillW50, Dec 29, 2013
  12. ps56k

    BillW50 Guest

    Oh man! I use both SSDs and classic mechanical hard drives. And I have
    been using SSDs really heavy since 2008. Thus IMHO, the fear of wearing
    them out is so overrated. For most people, I don't think you will wear
    the average one out in about 70 years plus. If you get 30 years out of
    your average mechanical hard drive, you are doing great. But I don't
    think most would care after 10 years anyway since new drives will always
    be so much larger and faster and cheaper anyway.
    BillW50, Dec 29, 2013
  13. There is still the matter that failure, when it comes, is more likely to
    be sudden and total for an SSD than for a rotating drive. (S&T failure
    does of course occur for the latter, but isn't the normal mode of
    J. P. Gilliver (John), Dec 30, 2013
  14. ps56k

    BillW50 Guest

    Once again, have you ever seen a failed SSD before? I have and that
    wasn't in my experience either. As I purchased an used Asus 702 netbook
    that the seller claimed it suddenly couldn't see the SSD one day.
    Instead of sending it back for warrantee repair, he decided to just sell it.

    When I got it, I got a repair RMA number and I was going to send it in
    for warrantee repair. Although I decided to repair it myself instead.
    And while playing with it I got busy on another machine. And when I got
    back to it, the SSD was suddenly working just fine. Then I discovered
    that if you have power applied for at least 90 minutes first, then the
    SSD would operate normally. This is hardly a total failure.

    Of course I purchased another SSD and dropped it in there. And much
    later I discovered that the failed SSD was from a known lot that had a
    manufacturing defect. And besides that one defective SSD, I've never
    found another SSD with a problem. Wish I could say the same for a number
    of complete failed hard drives I've ran into. :-(
    BillW50, Dec 30, 2013
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