SSD Install Question.

Questions about hardware, drivers and peripherals.
In the Original Post please also include the output of inxi -Fzx
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TN.Frank
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SSD Install Question.

Postby TN.Frank » 24 Mar 2014 15:02

I'm finally going to move to SSDs for a couple of my laptops to help speed the ol' guys up a bit. They're going to be small ones, only 32GB so I won't have a ton of space but then again, I store all of my stuff on an external HDD so that's not a problem.
What I wonder about is do I need to do any tweaks or anything to install SolydX onto the SSD or will it be the same as doing an install on an HDD?
I've done some reading up on the subject and there's a lot of information to digest so I wonder if someone could give me a the short answer to my question.
Do I need to set aside 10% of drive space as Unallocated? Do I need to tweak fstab so it'll not write so much to the SSD and if so what do I tweak? Any other tips or tricks for getting longer life out of an SSD with a Debian Linux install? Thanks.
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ilu
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Re: SSD Install Question.

Postby ilu » 24 Mar 2014 16:43

If the SSD is the only storage medium you have on your comp there is not very much you can do to reduce wear. Depending on how much memory you have you could think about storing log files only temporary by moving some stuff (probably /tmp and /var/log) into RAM. There are howto's for this on the net.

I don't know exactly how to do that because I had another HD installed and moved /tmp /var /swap and /home there to reduce wear on the SSD. I did it this way: http://forums.solydxk.nl/viewtopic.php? ... bb5#p17178.

Maybe this helps?

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Re: SSD Install Question.

Postby EE Portal » 24 Mar 2014 17:08

Hi TN.Frank,

I have thoughts on SSD for you to consider.

Last year I Googled all over the place looking into the SSD scene because I wanted to get one for Windows. (This is before I discovered SolydX.)

SSD operate quite differently than HDD and need to be treated differently if maximum lifespan and reliability are to be achieved.

One of the major differences is that the smallest unit of information that the SSD can read/write is much bigger than HDD and unlike HDD, the SSD can't go to a spot and merely change the 1's to 0's or the 0's to 1's as the HDD can. Apparently, the SSD has to erase a given area before it can write to the area and the smallest block it erases is 256KB and the smallest it writes is a 4 KB page.

The memory cells degrade slightly with every write cycle and the SSD controller tries to even out the degradation by creating new writes across the entire volume as required rather than starting at one end and working toward the other as the HDD does..

Consequently, the SSD controller needs space to do it's job of juggling everything around and the general recommendation I have read is to give it a minimum of 25% of the drive space. I bought a 128GB drive just for Windows because I wanted to give the drive the best chance I could afford. That put the space usage around %50 of the drive. I installed as much of each application data-changing folder space as I could on a HDD so as to minimize the extra and un-necessary writes to the SSD.

I removed Windows from the drive and installed SolydX. Now, I am learning to move /HOME and other folders to a HDD partition for the same reasons.

I looked into all the info I could find on using fstrim with my SSD and discovered opinions as far ranging from don't bother to use fstrim at the end of each session. I dug further in to the matter (including why we need a journaling file system to help/make fstrim work) and now I have reason to continue using fstrim as the last thing before shutdown. I'll post my fstrim adventure and my SSD selection adventure (Sandforce controllers seem to be risky....mine died 3 weeks ago....).

EDIT----- I just replaced my dead drive with a Samsung 128GB 840 PRO and installed Solydx on it. SolydX may be the only software I put on the drive - I seek maximum life and reliability. Also, you asked about unallocated space. Samsung setup software creates unallocated space for its SSD controllers but some brands do not, they have other ways of taking care of business.


Keep Paddling.....

David


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TN.Frank
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Re: SSD Install Question.

Postby TN.Frank » 24 Mar 2014 20:57

I just set up the 32GB SSD in my wife's Netbook(Acer Aspire ZG5, replaced the slow, crappy 8GB SSD with a KingSpec 32GB one) with these mods in fstab:
ext4 discard,noatime,nodiratime,errors=remount-ro 0 1
All that there was were the bold is now was "rw" whatever that meant. Anyway, took out the "rw" and put in what you see now and it seems to run just fine so I didn't brick anything, LOL.
I'll have to check with one of my disk programs(gparted, Gnome Disk Utility, ect.) to see what the actually partitions look like after install. If there's no Unallocated space to buffer the drive from getting too full then I'll cut off 3GB and partition it to be Unallocated, that should take care of it. Of course like I said, it'll just have the Op System and a few extras installed so it'll probably not even get close to half of the drive size.
Anyway, thanks for the replies. If you think of anything else just post up.
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EE Portal
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Re: SSD Install Question.

Postby EE Portal » 24 Mar 2014 22:23

Looks as though you are gaining momentum.

I am new to Linux in general and SolydX in particular and have several curiosities.

I am wondering why you choose 'discard' over fstrim. Everything I read recommended not using discard for two reasons.
The most common complaint is that discard sends the delete info to the SSD immediately and the SSD starts doing it's cleanup response which some folks have said slows down things significantly on the larger deletes.

Another complaint is that when the SSD is responding to discard on-the-fly in real-time it uses more writes than it would responding to fstrim now and then.
Actually there is a third consideration involving how much confidence we have in our ability to not make mistakes while deleting files. Discard deletes on the spot with no chance of recovery when we discover we just screwed up.
Fstrim is some thing like the recycle bin in Windows. We still have a chance to undo a wrong delete until we empty the recycle bin or use fstrim.

Also curious about the Kingspec setup material. What does it say about unallocated space?
My Sandforce-based Transcend SSD didn't use unallocated space and used whatever currently unused space is available for it needs. The new Samsung drive setup software suggests setting aside 10% and whatever amount I choose is unallocated.
So, I suggest whatever Kingspec says probably ought to be your guide.

David


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TN.Frank
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Re: SSD Install Question.

Postby TN.Frank » 25 Mar 2014 00:05

I used "discard" because this web site said that's what should be done.
http://namhuy.net/1563/how-to-tweak-and ... -mint.html
if you think fstrim would work better I can always change it. Also I was told that I needed to leave the "rw" in so I put that back in as well. I've only been using Linux for a little over a year. Before that I used OS-X on my iMac and didn't really do much with it except use the computer. I've learned so much since I've come over to Linux about computers and the Linux Op System that's it's just crazy. I'm really lovin' it. I feel like I'm actually doing something with my computer for a change.
Anyway, I just wanted to get this all sorted out before my SSD's for two of my three laptops got here so I'd be ahead of the game when I installed them.
Broompilot wrote: Also curious about the Kingspec setup material. What does it say about unallocated space?
My Sandforce-based Transcend SSD didn't use unallocated space and used whatever currently unused space is available for it needs. The new Samsung drive setup software suggests setting aside 10% and whatever amount I choose is unallocated.
So, I suggest whatever Kingspec says probably ought to be your guide.
David
Don't know what the KingSpec data sheet says about it, never read it. Just installed the SSD in the Netbook and loaded up the Op System. It's only now that I'm getting SSD's for my laptops that I'm doing research on it and making changes to the fstab in the Netbook.
There was a web site were I read about setting aside 10% as Unallocated so you don't fill the SSD and really slow it down. Might not even matter anymore and I'll have to see of the Kingston SSD info says anything about it.
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TN.Frank
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Re: SSD Install Question.

Postby TN.Frank » 25 Mar 2014 02:58

Well, messing with fstab ended up borking my wife's Netbook. Guess I'll reinstall the op system and leave it alone. So a few extra writes to the SSD will only let it last 5 years instead of 10, probably won't have the Netbook in 5 years anyway,LOL

Lesson learned, sometimes ya' just have to leave well enough alone.
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EE Portal
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Re: SSD Install Question.

Postby EE Portal » 25 Mar 2014 03:59

Thanks for that link! Lots of new things to explore. I added the content to my database.

As to the webpage's notion to use discard - I have difficulty with folks and materials that tell me to do something and they don't even give me a clue as to why their way is better than the other ways available. (I am technically-and-detail-oriented. I used to help build miniature linear accelerators for irradiating patients in hospitals and clinics, so I am accustomed to knowing what I am doing and why.....)


HOWEVER.............. Given that the other DO-ITS in the article are all about tweaking for increased performance and lifespan, I can have an understanding why he included discard.
I installed SolydX on my new SSD and updated everything and stopped. I wont use it until I learn how to move the frequently-changing-data folders to one of my hard disks. I installed a partition on a HDD to move things to and installed SolydX on yet another HDD so I can learn how to successfully move system folders and practice my two-finger terminalling so I can get the initial surge of NOOBIE BORKING out of my DNA. When I am more confident, I'll open the SolydX SSD door, switch on the lights, open the first-aid kit, pull out the large packet of freeze-dried scotch-on-the-rocks, pour it into a glass of water and get busy..............
I figure what the heck, I'll try all of the author's suggestions, including discard and I'll find out for myself.

Edit...... Yikes, I just got notification of your bork post. Sheesh. I recommend doing a secure erase to get the SSD back to minty-fresh factory condition before you do the fresh install.

Keep Paddling.

David


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TN.Frank
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Re: SSD Install Question.

Postby TN.Frank » 25 Mar 2014 04:16

Just got done doing a clean install of SolydX on the ol' Netbook. Seems to be running fine now as I'm on it right now. To tell you the truth, I've gotten so use to doing installs because of my Distor Hopping for a couple three months that it's all old hat to me. I can almost install a Distro in my sleep, LOL.
I'm not going to worrry about SSD life, if I get 5 years out of it it'll be worth it. I guess they're saying if you tweak everything you can go 10 years but really, I don't see us having this Netbook in 10 years, heck, probalby not even 5 so I'm just going to use it 'as installed' and be done with it. Probably do the same thing on my NC6400 and NC4400 laptops. Really, $30 bucks isn't worth going through the hassle of borking a system because of fstab errors, LOL.
Oh well, I'll see ya' on the forums. 8-)
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EE Portal
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Re: SSD Install Question.

Postby EE Portal » 25 Mar 2014 04:51

"Really, $30 bucks isn't worth going through the hassle of borking a system because of fstab errors, LOL."

$30 ? Where did you buy them ?

I'd like to explore the source...........


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TN.Frank
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Re: SSD Install Question.

Postby TN.Frank » 25 Mar 2014 13:02

Broompilot wrote:"Really, $30 bucks isn't worth going through the hassle of borking a system because of fstab errors, LOL."

$30 ? Where did you buy them ?

I'd like to explore the source...........
There's a place on EBay that has Kingston 32GB SSD's for $30+just under $3 shipping. That's around $1 a GB which is pretty dang good IMHO. I'm just going to install them, install my op system and if they burn up in 4 or 5 years who cares, by then SSD's will probably be 25 cents a GB so I'll just cross that bridge when I get to it and replace them. Who knows they may last forever too, you never know.
http://stores.ebay.com/Discount-Hard-Dr ... 34.c0.m322
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EE Portal
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Re: SSD Install Question.

Postby EE Portal » 25 Mar 2014 23:09

Thank you for the link!
I'll check it out.


Best wishes for Lappy!

David


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TN.Frank
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Re: SSD Install Question.

Postby TN.Frank » 26 Mar 2014 19:34

Just a "heads up", I got the Kingston SSD's today and I had to do a Firmware upgrade right out of the gate. It's easy enough, you download the Firmware upgrade from Kingston's web site, open it and burn the .iso to a CD(won't work from a USB) then it'll boot to it and do the upgrade. You'll lose all of your data so it's best to do this before you install your op system. I had to take the SSD that was going in my NC4400 and put it into my NC6400 because the NC4400 doesn't have an optical drive but it works just the same for doing the upgrade then you can move the drive and install your op system.
Boot time is really fast now, think I'm going to love this SSD stuff. ;)
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