| By Fred Langa |
It’s a little-known fact that all solid-state disks — all of them — suffer inevitable performance declines over time.
It’s also little known that Windows 7 and Server 2008 are currently the world’s only operating systems to fully implement the new trim command that helps forestall this speed decline.
The Achilles’ heel of all solid-state drives
Reader Peter Jackson is frustrated by the diminishing performance of his solid-state disk drive (SSD):
- “I have a 64GB solid-state hard drive, but no way to restore it to factory-new condition. It has to do with getting the ‘pages’ to read as empty and not just overwritten. It’s important to all SSD users, as the performance degradation is something [all SSDs] eventually suffer from.
“The few solutions I’ve found are very complex; so far, I haven’t been able to get any of them to work. My SSD seek times degrading from .1 [millisecond] to .4 or .5 may sound silly, but it’s not.”
To correct this problem, most current SSDs support a new command called trim. This SSD-specific command does just what you want — it automatically clears out old, overwritten data.
The trim command specification is being made a computing standard by the International Committee for Information Technology Standards, so all OSes will eventually support trim. But for now, only Windows 7 and Server 2008 fully support the trim command. While Linux 2.6.28 is SSD-aware, its partial implementation of trim falls short of Windows’ full support.