Firmware and Power Settings for Your SSD Drive

I think we all agree that, for now at least, SSD drives are the future of personal computing storage. If the primary drive of your PC is not running on an SSD, make plans to upgrade your system. The cost per Gigabyte are coming down and the performance increase and power saving for portable computing is significant. New SSD Drives appearing on the market are getting faster, more reliable and last even longer. In the past, we have discussed various topics dealing with Solid State Drives (SSDs) including:SSD

If not properly configured, your SSD drive will not deliver the performance you are paying for and the life of your SSD can be degraded.

Nothing is perfect,and SSD’s are no exception. SSDs can absorb a limited number of “writes” since a very small amount of “wear and tear” occurs with each bit of data written to an SSD. Studies have shown that modern drives will last for a very long time and will absorb a petabyte of writes before they fail (One petabyte is equal to 1000000000000000B = 1015 bytes or 1000 terabytes). The reality is that they will probably outlast your computer and perhaps several computers, if you choose to move your SSD drive to your next system when you upgrade.

With this in mind you should set up your PC to;

Avoid hibernation and hybrid-sleep

For most this is not a problem as late model systems disable hibernate and hybrid-sleep by default. To verify it is off on your system, simply navigate to the Power Options in the Control Panel.

  • Click on Change when the computer sleeps:Hot PC Tips - Power Plan Options
  • Click on Change advanced Power Settings:2014 10 18 14h30 40   Disable Hibernate On Your SSD For Warranty Purposes
  • In the Advanced Settings, select sleep and verify that any setting dealing with Hibernation is turned off!Hot PC Tips - Adavnced Sleep

Next, verify your drive is operating as it should;

Check and if Necessary Upgrade the Firmware

SSD Drive manufacturers periodically release firmware updates to their SSDs. Upgrading the firmware is quick and easy, and worth your time. If you don’t remember the manufacturer of your SSD, the Disk Drive listing in the Device Manager should provide the clues you need. You may also need the model number which probably be listed there as well.  Here are links to a few of the most common SSD Drive Manufacturers support pages:

  • Samsung Magician: The Magician software offers a large number of options. Samsung includes profiles, which allow users to optimize their drives for different kinds of use.
  • Intel SSD Toolbox: Intel’s Toolbox can perform a few manual optimizations, as well as upgrade the drive’s firmware.
  • SanDisk: SanDisk, offers a a SSD Dashboard, product information and general information on the all SanDisk drives.
  • OCZ Toolbox: OCZ’s Toolbox offers basic firmware updates, manual TRIM and a method for securely erasing the drive.

Before you upgrade the firmware on your SSD, you should have a backup of any critical data on your PC. While I have never know an instance where data loss occurred during an upgrade, it is always possible.

Upgrading is relatively easy.  In a future article we will cover cloning your existing hard drive to avoid having to do a new install.

If you don’t have one GET an SSD DRIVE for your PC soon!