Windows 10: Why is Windows defragging my SSD?

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  1. Posts : 37
    Windows 10 Home 64-bit 1709
    Thread Starter
       21 Apr 2017 #21

    Evade: Avoid giving a direct answer to (a question).

    I have gone over dozens of threads at Microsoft Community and TechNet and not one poster has received an answer to a question similar to this one from Microsoft. Many simply stated that Windows does not defrag SSDs period, which included Scott Hanselman until he changed his tune a couple of years ago. This was the official line from Microsoft. The vast majority never received any answers from Microsoft employees who simply ignored the questions.

    He (Hanselman) stated in his blog that SSDs get "intelligently" defragmented but gives no explanation of that. In the comments he stated "Certainly it doesn't Defrag them the same way" but gives no explanation of that. Again later in the comments he stated "I didn't mean to imply an SSD-special defrag." So why did he imply that in the first place?

    If Microsoft wasn't evading the question they would have gone much further and posted an article explaining this to the vast amount of people who asked and are still asking this very question. They have never bothered and likely never will.

    The reason I'd like someone here to answer this question is that with the amount of knowledge and experience that many of the posters here have with Windows who would know better?
    Last edited by bumboola; 21 Apr 2017 at 01:51.
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  2. Posts : 25,247
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 17040
       21 Apr 2017 #22

    Hello @bumboola,

    Usually, Windows 10 will TRIM a SSD if TRIM support is enabled.

    TRIM support is enabled by default in Windows 10, but you might verify using the method in the tutorial below to rule that out as a possible reason why defrag instead of TRIM is being used on the SSD.

    Enable or Disable TRIM Support for Solid State Drives in Windows 10 - Windows 10 Hardware Drivers Tutorials

    If you like as a test, try the PowerShell command in step 4 of Option Three below to see if shows the SSD as being Trimmed in PowerShell.

    Optimize and Defrag Drives in Windows 10 - Windows 10 Performance Maintenance Tutorials
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  3. Posts : 37
    Windows 10 Home 64-bit 1709
    Thread Starter
       21 Apr 2017 #23

    Hi Shawn, yes trim is enabled and I checked it previously with the command prompt to make sure. The defragmentation is 100% being performed (System Restore is enabled) and it shows up in the Event Viewer as "The storage optimizer successfully completed defragmentation on Windows (C: ) and "The storage optimizer successfully completed defragmentation on WINRE_DRV." These events are preceded with a "The storage optimizer successfully completed retrim on Windows (C: ) event. All three are listed as Event ID 258 and Task Category is listed as none.

    What I am looking for is an explanation of what and how it is performing the defragmentation. If it only used the standard defrag tool in Windows how would it have any idea what to do with a SSD? I initially thought it was only dealing with the System Restore/Volsnap files but it is defragging the recovery portion of the drive as well which I don't believe contain any Volsnap files. It appears to be a full defragmentation judging by the time it took (several minutes) and that the Indicator light for the drive was solid green, so I knew what exactly was happening. It's never solid green for anything else including updates, even the Creators Update.

    My only beef with the Hanselman blog (I'm sure he's a very intelligent guy) is what I posted above, that he stated that the SSD will get intelligently defragmented, gives no explanation of what that means and then kept walking it back in response to people asking him what exactly that meant. Microsoft has never (to my knowledge) explained this at all and should have put out a KB or some official documentation on what is going on here. Ever since Windows 8 came out they just kept saying that Windows does not perform defragmentation on SSD drives when a lot of people complained that it was indeed doing just that. This was the official line and the Hanselman blog was the sole place that later stated anything differently. Before that his line was that Windows doesn't defrag SSDs period. Obviously he talked to someone in storage that was a lot more intelligent (or less evasive) than the first one that told him that it doesn't.

    The least they could do is put out something official that fully explains the process and I'm sure most users of Windows with SSD drives would like to know and appreciate that as well.
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  4.    22 Apr 2017 #24

    I'm not sure any optimization/defragmenting is needed with any disks/partitions with a letter even with HDDs.
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  5.    22 Apr 2017 #25

    As I understood it correctly, it does not defrag the SSD, but optimizing it:

    There are some important optimizations, but Windows performs them all automatically. If you used an SSD with Windows XP or Vista, you needed to manually enable TRIM, which ensures your SSD can clean up deleted files and stay speedy. However, ever since Windows 7, Windows has automatically enabled TRIM for any drive it detects as solid-state.
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  6.    22 Apr 2017 #26

    prikker said: View Post
    As I understood it correctly, it does not defrag the SSD, but optimizing it:

    There are some important optimizations, but Windows performs them all automatically. If you used an SSD with Windows XP or Vista, you needed to manually enable TRIM, which ensures your SSD can clean up deleted files and stay speedy. However, ever since Windows 7, Windows has automatically enabled TRIM for any drive it detects as solid-state.
    There's also Garbage Collection that makes cells with deleted data (data never actually get deleted from SSDs until than) available for normal writing. Leaving SSD on overnight or some longer time every now and than (doesn't even have to be booted to OS) is enough although it does happen in very short time.
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  7.    22 Apr 2017 #27

    That Scott H blog is disengenous. In order to get the issues he was talking about, you have to do an astronomical amount of file writing - far beyond the average or even way above average user. In the real world IT NEVER HAPPENS.

    Simple terms: You do not need to defrag an SSD only trim it - end of story.
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  8.    22 Apr 2017 #28

    You're more likely to upgrade your computer in that time.
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  9.    22 Apr 2017 #29

    swarfega said: View Post
    You're more likely to upgrade your computer in that time.
    Right, one of my SSDs is on third and other one on it's second computer.
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  10.    22 Apr 2017 #30

    CountMike said: View Post
    Right, one of my SSDs is on third and other one on it's second computer.
    Do they have "dashboard" programs that tell what percentage of life is left on them?

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