6 Benefits of Solid State Hard Drives

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We’ve previously written about how important it is to backup your SSD’s regularly. Today we will cover the benefits of Solid State Hard Drives over regular hard drives.

1. Faster Boot Times: SSD’s are up to 100x faster than regular hard drives. This means faster boot times. I had an aging laptop running Windows 7 that took over 3 minutes to finish booting. I put an SSD into that same laptop and now it boots in 15 seconds!

2. More Responsiveness: Programs load significantly faster. You click on the icon and almost instantly the program is loaded and ready for your input.

3. Less Power Usage – SSD’s don’t have any moving parts so they use less power. This means a lower energy bill over time and a longer battery life if you have a notebook computer.

4. Lower Temperatures: SSD’s run cooler because they don’t have platters spinning all the time. This means the other components in your computer are exposed to less heat overall which will help your computer last longer.

5. Practically Indestructible: SSD’s are far more durable. Because there are no moving parts, Solid State Hard Drives aren’t affected by bumps or drops like a regular hard drive.

6. Silent Operation: Once again, due to not having any moving parts, SSD’s are almost completely silent. This makes them perfect for media streaming boxes or home theatre computers.

For more information on Solid State Hard Drives, come see us at our store!


About the author

Jody Gristwood is a web designer at Ducktoes. More of his work can be found at his blog that covers technology news that affects Canadians.

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SSDs (Solid State Drives) Require Aggressive Backups

Ducktoes Techs are In Love with SSDs
Ducktoes techs love SSDs.  SSDs increase the performance of a machine significantly.  They make it fast.   Ducktoes techs recommend SSDs to anyone who will listen and use them in their own computers and laptops.  They are ardent fans and enthusiast promoters.

A conventional hard drive witn an x on it and a solid state drive with a heart.

Not so Fast Guys and Gals

I am also a fan of fast.  Yet one thing that worries me is that solid state drives don’t allow easy data recovery.   Everyday, that is, every single day of the year, we do data recovery at our computer repair shop. Yes, everyday we are recovering data from some failed or failing conventional drive which a client has not backed up.  Many days we have several recoveries happening at once.  We try to save the client’s photos and business documents.  As I read increasing evidence that SSDs don’t do data recovery easily or well,  I decided I must write this post.

Faster than a Speeding Bullet
Solid State Drives have no moving parts like the spinning platters or the read/write arms and heads of traditional hard drives so switching to one can really speed up a computer.  They are faster than a speeding bullet, literally, since a bullet is a moving part. They are all electronic and very fast in comparison.

The Trim Command
To keep the speed, however, over the life of the drive, SSDs need the TRIM command which facilitates a more efficient overwrite capability. Solid State Drives data storage is organized into pages and blocks. Several pages form a block. A page can not be deleted on its own; only blocks can be deleted. Without the TRIM command, the overwrite process has to find enough pages scheduled for deletion to form a block. After it finds the pages and puts them together, it deletes them and then overwrites them. This process significantly degrades the SSD’s performance as the SSD ages and gets full of data.


What Trim Does
Trim takes over the organization of the pages and blocks.  It deletes the pages ahead of time so the overwrite process can put pages into blocks much faster.

The Problem with Trim
Even without the Trim, the SSD makes data recovery difficult, but with the Trim’s aggressive deletion of data, the data recovery becomes even more unlikely and, when and if it happens at all, expensive.

The Best Solution
The best solution for the aggressive deletion is an aggressive backup.  We all need to be aggressive with backing up all drives, but with an ssd it is even more important.  We need to make backing up a higher priority and do it everyday automatically.

If you would like help backing up your SSD or for us to set up the process for you please call or come into our shop.

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High Speed SSDs

If you’d like your computer to be really fast and already have added ram and optimized, you should consider switching to an SSD.  SSDs are solid state drives. They are faster than conventional drives because they don’t have moving parts.  A regular drive has several platters that spin at high speed and your computer’s speed can’t go faster than the rotation of the drives.  A solid state drive, on the other hand, has only circuitry not limited by the speed of the spin.  You’ll be amazed at the difference. You won’t want to go back to a conventional hard drive.

A conventional hard drive and a solid state (Photo by IntelP

A conventional hard drive and a solid state (Photo by Intel)

SSD drives are typically smaller and more expensive than conventional drives.  If you go for a solid state don’t get the smallest.   The larger they are the better their performance.

If you want top speed you could get SSD drives in a Raid 0.  You need to have enough room for two drives in your computer.  I’m not recommending this but it does it give you top performance.   I don’t recommend it because if one of the drives on a Raid 0 fails, you lose all your data.  Your risk of data loss is thus double the risk of loss with a single drive.  The performance is optimal, however. Just make sure you back up your desktop or laptop computer daily and make system images regularly.  That way if something does go wrong, you can replace the bad drive and be up in running in no time.

laptop with fast ssd

A Solid State Drive will make your computer extremely fast.

You need to buy mounting brackets or caddy if you are putting the SSDs into a desktop computer.  Also make sure your bios configuration is set to AHCI instead of IDE.  An IDE setting in the bios, severely cramps the performance of an SSD.

The above photo of the two drives is from Intel.  If you’d like more info on Intel Solid State Drives, click here.

If you’d like to switch to an SSD for your desktop or laptop computer bring it in to Ducktoes.


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Hard Drives Underwater in Thailand

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If you haven’t heard, Ms. Ducktoes will have to break the news to you.  Sit down and get out your hankies.  It’s a sad story. In Thailand there’s a flood and, sinking like metallic stones in the floodwaters, are oodles of hard drives.   Thailand, it turns out, produces many of the world’s hard drives.

The bad news is for us, for computer repair shops and their clients that is, that as the muddy waters submerge thousands upon thousands of hard drives and their manufacturers, hard drive prices are soaring to dizzying heights. And, as troublesome as these flimsy rectangular cases of spinning metal platters are to us, and as often as they go bad and lose all our data, documents, music, and precious photos because we have failed to back them up, we are dependent on them. We have hard drive habits.  You many not realize it, but we are all hard drive junkies.  They have our life on them, and we go through withdrawal when we lose them. (The first step is admitting you have a problem, my little duckies.) And hard drives are notoriously bad, awful really, for going bad and needing to be replaced.

And as onerous as it is for Ms. Ducktoes to drive east on 16th Avenue NE in rush hour or a snowstorm, trying not to answer her cellphone all the while, to the parts store, now when she arrives, they will only sell her TWO AT A TIME. Even if she goes back to the car and puts on a wig and trench coat and returns to the counter, they refuse to sell her more.

“Weren’t you just in here?” the guy says. “Aren’t you Ducktoes?”

“No, I’ve never been in here in my life,” I say.  “By the way, I need to pick up a couple of hard drives.”

“I just sold you two.”

“That must have been my identical twin sister.”

“It’s been nice seeing you.  Twice.”  He thinks he’s so funny.

It’s enough to make a grown woman cry.  Crying doesn’t work either on the parts store staff, by the way.

So now when your flimsy hard drive goes bad, my fine feathered friends, you’ll have to pay through the beak, so to speak, or should I say bill?  Aren’t you glad you have your hankies out?  I told you it was a sad story.

And as I say a thousand times a day, mostly to myself  as I careen down 16th Avenue NE, only answering my cellphone at red lights, don’t fail to backup your stuff.

Here is my computer repair Calgary shop.

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