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I bought a new SSD yesterday and wanted to do a fresh install of Windows. I was fighting with it all night long and ended up reinstalling Windows 7 five times or so and now I'm not sure if I should be worried about damages for doing this too much or it would slow down for some reason.

If curious, the different reasons for so many reinstalls include wrong Windows 7 version, some major driver errors etc.

  • You can reinstall Windows 10,000 times before damaging an SSD. – qasdfdsaq Dec 1 '15 at 12:51
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Because SSDs have no moving (mechanical) components, SSDs have much longer lifetimes than spinning disk hard drives so you have nothing to worry about. Not all SSDs have the same lifetime however. Although most consumer SSDs use NAND-based flash memory technology, SSDs come in different grades and different memory technologies.

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  • Okay thanks, so just to be clear I shouldn't be worried about slower speed after formatting and reinstalling a lot? – StevoHN Dec 1 '15 at 10:09
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    If you have installed the SSD's driver from the disk that was packaged with the SSD, you have nothing to worry about. – karel Dec 1 '15 at 10:11
  • Now I might worry a bit. There was no installation disk with the SSD if that's what you mean, however the drivers were automatically installed when the SSD was plugged to the system. – StevoHN Dec 1 '15 at 10:15
  • If the SSD didn't come with a driver, that means it's a plug and play device and you can safely use the Windows built-in driver. – karel Dec 1 '15 at 10:21
  • Okay thanks a lot. Not sure why you got a downvote, I appreciate your info. – StevoHN Dec 1 '15 at 10:31
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Modern SSDs address the issue of wear using a feature called 'Trim'. This is a garbage clean up / management feature built into the SSD's controller.

Any patched Windows 7 includes Trim support, and here's a Windows 7 vintage article that goes into detail about making sure Trim is turned on:

http://lifehacker.com/5640971/check-if-trim-is-enabled-for-your-solid-state-drive-in-windows-7

Enabling Trim will make sure your PC treats your SSD right! :)

The lifespan of SSDs are quoted these days in total TBW (TeraBytes Written) and for new units the rating runs for 50TBW to 300+ TBW. So an OS install of 10GB 5 times over is only 0.05TBW... a small fraction of your SSDs life force.

I would expect a slight speed decrease after several years of normal use (including an OS install every few months if you want)

Most new SSD come with a 3 or 5 year warranty, with Samsung's 850 Pro units getting a 10 year warranty and a commensurately high total TBW rating.

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Installing windows is just the same as writing other data to your ssd. So copying 2-3 DVDs to your ssd should affect the same wear.

Here you can read something about the endurance of the Samsung 840 Evo, which is a newer mid range ssd for home users.

It was writing over 10TB, that's about 1000 reinstallations.

The only problem about your reinstalling is: Did you format the drive properly, or do you now have 5 different installations on your disk?

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  • Pretty sure I formatted as I should. I only have one partition with Windows 7 installed and the 100MB partition reserved for the system. – StevoHN Dec 1 '15 at 10:30
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You don't have to worry about that. As David Vernon mentioned, you can write many terabytes of data to the disk. An SSD has its own disk management. If you save a document and then delete or overwrite it, it isn't overwritten. The disk management makes sure all memory cells are used equally.

This has one downside. As you may know, deleting something (or putting a file in the trash can) doesn't delete the data. It sets a file attribute so the system knows the file is deleted. On a normal spinning harddisk, you can overwrite the file bit by bit. On a SSD, the file management system of the SSD kicks in. The operating system doesn't know about this. It tries to overwrite the data, but instead overwrites some other space. The result is that the data is still there. Overwriting all empty space might then seem the only solution to tackle this.

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