Windows 10: Why is Windows defragging my SSD?

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  1. Posts : 37
    Windows 10 Home 64-bit 1709
       23 Mar 2017 #1

    Why is Windows defragging my SSD?


    I started my PC last night and got a phone call so I left it unattended for about 10 minutes. When I got off the phone I noticed that my hard drive indicator light was solidly on. I have never seen that ever, even during/after Windows Updates. I left it alone until it finished whatever it was doing which took at least 5 minutes, I then tried to find out what was going on. I noticed that the optimize/trim command was run but that only takes a few seconds so I know that wasn't just that, also I noticed that available drive space had decreased by a few GB which I always used to notice when running defrag on a HDD and after a week or so of regular use it would go back to what it was before. I then opened the event viewer and found out that Windows had defragged my SSD. WTF? I thought this was turned off with SSDs? Event ID # 258, "the storage optimizer successfully completed defragmentation on Window C:" and also the same message with WinRE_DRV.

    I did some searching on this and some say that Windows never/ and that you should never defrag a SSD and others say it does, possibly in a different way that it defrags a HDD. Can someone explain to me what exactly it was doing for at least 5 minutes? This is a new PC (3 months) with a clean install of 1607 and have installed very little software, it definitely did not need a defrag and the optimize drives windows always shows OK, has never showed that it needed optimization. It does run the trim command automatically though, every week or so.

    Thanks for any help in trying to understand what it was doing.
    Last edited by bumboola; 31 Mar 2017 at 19:51.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  2. Posts : 2,151
    Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64 Win10Prox64
       23 Mar 2017 #2
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  3. Posts : 37
    Windows 10 Home 64-bit 1709
    Thread Starter
       23 Mar 2017 #3

    Thanks, I read that earlier and he states that "your SSD will get intelligently defragmented once a month" but doesn't really go into detail on what exactly that means. I'm new to Windows 10 and new to SSDs so I'm just trying to educate myself on this.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  4. Posts : 282
    Windows 10 Home 64 bit (with Creators OS)
       24 Mar 2017 #4

    bumboola said: View Post
    Thanks, I read that earlier and he states that "your SSD will get intelligently defragmented once a month" but doesn't really go into detail on what exactly that means. I'm new to Windows 10 and new to SSDs so I'm just trying to educate myself on this.
    Me too. Here is my info under "Optimize Drives":
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Capture bkjgjerjhrht.JPG 
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ID:	126485

    It implies that my SSD needs optimisation, both generally and concerning the Reserved Partition. This implies that something needs to be done, and by me. What should I do please?

    EDIT: I have just noticed this, on the same window:
    Click image for larger version. 

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Views:	182 
Size:	16.4 KB 
ID:	126488
    "Frequency: Weekly" is incompatible with "Needs optimisation (30 days since last run." and "Needs optimisation (217 days since last run)".

    Confusing. What should I do please?

    PS: My SSD has 147 GB free of 223 GB, so it has lots of free space.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    24 Mar 2017 #5

    The defrag tool really needs a name change because its now starting to confuse people who are moving to SSDs.

    As far as I know the built in defrag tool makes the distinction between hard drives and solid state drives. If it detects an SSD it will send the TRIM command instead of defragging it. You should notice the button text change from defrag to optimize when you click on your various drives.

    At least I hope that's the case because I use the defrag tool once a week on my 3 SSDs to "optimize" them.
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  6. Posts : 1,393
    Windows 10 Pro (32-bit) 16299.15
       24 Mar 2017 #6

    swarfega said: View Post
    The defrag tool really needs a name change because its now starting to confuse people who are moving to SSDs.

    As far as I know the built in defrag tool makes the distinction between hard drives and solid state drives. If it detects an SSD it will send the TRIM command instead of defragging it. You should notice the button text change from defrag to optimize when you click on your various drives.

    At least I hope that's the case because I use the defrag tool once a week on my 3 SSDs to "optimize" them.
    The article linked in post #2 is well worth a read.
    This says that Windows 10 does indeed distinguish SSDs from spinny drives, but in some circumstances it will do actual defragmentation of an SSD, and it's deliberate behaviour.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    24 Mar 2017 #7

    Thanks David I usually disable the scheduler and run it manually once in a while.
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  8. Posts : 318
    Windows 10 Pro x64
       24 Mar 2017 #8

    DavidY said: View Post
    The article linked in post #2 is well worth a read.
    This says that Windows 10 does indeed distinguish SSDs from spinny drives, but in some circumstances it will do actual defragmentation of an SSD, and it's deliberate behaviour.
    I know at least with earlier SSDs defragmentation was a really bad idea because it would signifigantly reduce the life of an SSD by hitting it with a lot of write cycles. I would assume that is still at least partly true, even though SSDs now are much more substantial in terms of write cycles. If this remains true, isnt this "intelligent defrag" that Windows does still a really bad thing for SSDs?
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  9. Posts : 37
    Windows 10 Home 64-bit 1709
    Thread Starter
       24 Mar 2017 #9

    I've read a lot of articles and threads on this and they all reference this one guy's blog post who works/worked at Microsoft and he's not in the storage division or really knows anything about storage, also this was posted over two years ago. Not one other person, article or employee at Microsoft has ever stated something similar (to my knowledge) and have always stated that Windows doesn't defragment SSDs, full stop. I now have first hand knowledge that it does. This is the one guy I've seen that actually has a clue: Why Windows 10, 8.1 and 8 defragment your SSD and how you can avoid this Вадим Стеркин . Notice the tweet near the bottom that states " I just talked to that team. Bad message but no actual defragging happens." Yup, the same guy that everybody is referencing to explain that defrag does happen on SSDs that ended up changing his tune. It's my belief that Windows defrags SSDs just like HDDs and this "intelligent defragging" he posted is just pure BS.

    I'm not overly worried about this, seriously, but I would love to hear from somebody who can clearly explain what exactly is happening here. We're not going to find anybody from Microsoft that can/will do this, that's for sure.
    Last edited by bumboola; 31 Mar 2017 at 19:44.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    26 Mar 2017 #10

    Hi,

    DavidY said: View Post
    The article linked in post #2 is well worth a read.
    This says that Windows 10 does indeed distinguish SSDs from spinny drives, but in some circumstances it will do actual defragmentation of an SSD, and it's deliberate behaviour.
    If you mean defragging as in a typical spinner than no, that just can't be true.
    Windows 10 has no clue on how to figure out where the actual files are stored on an SSD for it can't possibly talk straight to all types of controllers.
    Even if it could, there still would be no point in defragging an SSD drive since the latency is so low. Regardless of fragmented files or no fragmented files.

    If you'd want to avoid excessive writes on an ssd then you'd need third party software that intercepts and caches these.
    This does exist and is quiet beneficial. Especially for data center servers.

    Cheers,
      My ComputersSystem Spec


 
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