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.
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.