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My current system has a slow hard drive, through a PATA interface. SATA interface is not an option. I am planning to replace the HDD with an mSATA SSD through a PATA adapter, though this will not allow TRIM to be used in this machine, because PATA cannot support these commands.

I am not trying to get full SATA transfer rates, only to eliminate the delay of a slow mechanical drive.

My question, is that since TRIM will be disabled in this machine, can I periodically remove the SSD and move it to another machine with a SATA controller, to run cleanup operations to free up unused data blocks from there? Does anyone foresee any problems with this arrangement?

SOLVED: It appears PATA drives suporting TRIM do exist, and ATA-7 PATA controllers may be able to use TRIM to manage SSDs, with a suitable bridge.. Credit to Groo for suggesting this.

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AFIAK TRIM happens when a file is deleted. Not a process that runs later. –  Brad Patton Mar 3 '13 at 20:41
    
My theory is that due to to lack of TRIM when files are erased, the drive can't be fully aware of blocks being freed up. I would then run fstrim (some discussion) from the other system, but would those blocks (that the SSD should now be aware of) be writable on the first system? –  washbow Mar 3 '13 at 21:00
    
Note that TRIM is an ATA command, not specifically SATA, so you might want to check simply if your adapter forwards these commands or suppresses them. –  Groo Mar 5 '13 at 21:41
    
I believe it's an ATA7 command, so the ATA4 PATA bus can't support it. EDIT - got my specs mixed up, the PATA bus may be ATA 7. I will look into it. –  washbow Mar 5 '13 at 22:23

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