I am using a SSD drive just as a main Operation system and software drive. I have a regular spinning disk for data files.

I have read that files are not REALLY deleted from a SSD drive when you "delete" them. So here is my situation and hopefully I can get some good advice.

Let's say I have Windows 7 Pro x64bit installed on my 80gb Intel SSD. I then have Adobe Photoshop CS4 installed along with 50 other programs installed onto this SSD. I then decide I am done with Adobe Phjotoshop CS4 and want to remove it. I then decide I want to install another version of Adobe Photoshop and a few other software titles.

Would I just do the usual, add/remove software from the windows control panel. Or if the software being removed has an "Uninstall" program to run, then run it and uninstall the software?

I realize that all this WILL remove the software from Windows 7 but I am wanting to know if there is additional steps that should be taken since it is a solid state drive (SSD)?

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    files aren't REALLY deleted when you "delete" them from a hard drive, either. ask Wikipedia about data remanence. – quack quixote May 2 '10 at 5:10

The short answer is no, you don't have to do anything special.

When you delete a file, you're basically telling the filesystem that the storage area reserved for the file on disk is now free for reuse. This is true for both an SSD, and a regular disk. The file data isn't really completely gone until something else uses some of that freed up space and overwrites it.

On a regular drive, there is essentially no limit to the number of times you can reuse a block of storage. Storage blocks on current SSDs will physically fail after a number of writes that is small enough to matter. SSDs avoid failing by doing something called wear leveling. This means the drive will try to actively distribute use over all blocks as evenly as possible.

So, while a file isn't really gone until the storage blocks get rewritten, the blocks tend to get reused/rewritten more rapidly on a regular disk than on an SSD. If you're concerned about data security, writing over a file then deleting it gives you some assurance on a regular drive (although there are more complications than you might imagine). This is much less the case with an SSD. Writing over the file will most likely mark the old blocks as free and write to new ones.

  • On an SSD the data is more likely to remain (even if you "wipe" the file before deleting), but harder to find, because of the way ware-levelling spreads blocks around the physical media. Secure wipe procedures that work on spinning disks will not on an SSD - to be relatively sure you've overwritten the data you need to write over both the file and all current (according to the filesystem) free space, which would be somewhat more time consuming. – David Spillett May 2 '10 at 18:23
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    Incidentally, these days, on an SSD with TRIM support (e.g. essentially all of them now) and a file system + driver with the same (e.g. NTFS on Window, ext4 on Linux), the data is more likely to disappear, or at least be inaccessible to the host, immediately as the driver will typically immediately TRIM sectors after deleting a file to return them to the block pool. – Jason C May 27 '14 at 23:28

Just perform the operation as you normally would; the process isn't any different on an SSD. If the app has an uninstall program, you can use that, or use "Add\Remove Software" from Windows.

Items aren't "really" deleted from filesystems in general, irrespective of the drive type, because an OS will simply remove the file pointer in most cases. You can read more at the article suggested by quack quixote.

  • +1, for anyone who doesn't need high security, deleting is done the same no matter what kind of drive you have (magnetic or SSD). – David Z May 2 '10 at 7:03

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