Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I would like to perform a format on my SSD. I've read several files on shortening the SSD's lifespan, but never read anything about formatting.

I was wondering whether formats on a SSD shorten its lifespan?

share|improve this question
Related: Secure format of an SSD – slhck Aug 2 '11 at 10:33
up vote 5 down vote accepted

In general, formatting a solid-state drive will not impact its lifetime, unless you perform a full format - and even then, it depends how often. Most formatting utilities allow you to do a quick or full format. The quick format just overwrites the partition and file tables, but does not actually physically delete anything off of the disk.

In contrast, a full format will go through each sector on a disk and "reset" it. This can degrade the lifetime of the SSD. That being said, MLC solid state drives have a write limit of around 10,000 before the sectors begin to fail.

So long as you don't do it often, (fully) formatting the drive a few times won't seriously impact on the drive lifespan.

share|improve this answer

Formatting = writing.

Modern SSDs have a command for clearing all data, ATA Secure Erase. Take a look in the software provided by your SSD manufacturer.

share|improve this answer
Oh okay, thanks! :) – tom Aug 2 '11 at 10:18

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .