I just got my first SSD - Intel 320 Series 120GB yesterday. And I have SSDLife monitoring in the background. I have TRIM enabled.

After I have installed all software, and did some basic testings. SSDLife said "Total Data written, GB" = 52.1 (40GB used space, 70GB free space).

In order to extend the lifespan of SSD, I moved Temp folders, Google Earth cache, Picasa db files to HDD. But I left the pagefile on SSD, because I have only 4GB RAM, I need SSD to speed up IO to the pagefile.

In this post, the poster mentioned using Process Monitor to monitor writes to SSD. So I tried the latest version of Process Monitor myself.

I accidentally found, after I started Process Monitor, in SSDLife the "Data written, GB" value was increasing at the rate of about 10MB/s. Once I closed Process Monitor, everything back to normal.

That means, if I keep Process Monitor running in the background for 24 hours (I know I don't have the need to do that, but that could happen if I forgot to close it.), it will decrease the lifespan of my SSD by 850GB.

According to the "Write Endurance Specifications" of Intel's document:

Intel 320 Series 120GB - 100% random 4k writes = 15TB

  1. Is that mean if I keep Process Monitor (or similar programs) running in the background, it could kill my SSD in just 2 weeks? How about if I accidentally have 2 or 3 of them running in the background? My SSD could die in just one week or even a few days?

  2. How do I know if a program has aforementioned behavior without manually testing it? Any software could monitor in the background and give warning when it discovered this kind of behavior?



Just found the Pro version of SSDLife has a feature SmartCheck:

check SSD health status on schedule (each 4 hours) on program startup and exit if no changes in health, shows message only if health changes

I think this should somehow detect aforementioned behavior and give warnings.

  • Surely for speed Temp folders are exactly the things you want on SSD - similar to the reasoning for the pagefile – mmmmmm Apr 2 '11 at 14:27
  • @Mark: Actually, no... I have disabled the page file and have my Temp folders on my other drive and I don't notice any difference for my daily tasks. – Tamara Wijsman Apr 2 '11 at 18:54
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    We've made a blog post about maximizing the lifetime of your SSD. – Tamara Wijsman May 10 '11 at 14:47

By default Process Monitor writes its captures to the page file, and these are huge. First thing to do would be to move the backing file to the HD. In Process Monitor press Ctrl + B to open the backing file dialogue and change it from the page file to a file on the hard drive.

Process Monitor is one of the most write intensive programs I have ever come across. Worrying about programs like that isn't really worth it because you very seldom, if ever, come across a program like that. Even if you come across another program with writes like that, it is not something you leave running in the background. You only use Process Monitor when you have a specific need for it.

As for the 15TB rating for the Intel drive. 100% 4k random writes to 100% of the drive is about the worst case scenario for an SSD. It is also something you never see on a desktop. That is a enterprise rating. Desktop usage you can probably do upwards of 100TB of writes.

As for finding applications with crazy amount of writes, Process Monitor is a good choice. Just set a filter up to only show writes by a program and you can see what kind of writes it does. I isn't worth doing this with every program, since most do not produce a lot of writes. Only with programs that really do write a lot of data to the drive is it worth investigating.

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    @caveman Intel also has their Inte SSD Toolbox which you can use to check up on the general health and wear of the SSD. – Mr Alpha Apr 2 '11 at 13:22
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    Is this really a good answer, or even an answer? A web browser does a lot of writes doesn't it? Windows also has a pagefile.. The answer provides no general way or specific ways for a few programs, to deal with the problem. Some people use a hard drive and an SSD. And where possible tell the program to send writes to the hard drive. But I have heard, that for bigger SSD drives, this may not be such an issue.. which is something I see "Mr Alpha" kind of wrote! – barlop Apr 2 '11 at 15:51
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    It's worth saying what specifically it is about Enterprise usage, examples, make the writes more of an issue. You've said not many programs do many writes. But obviously some do. Do you know of any database programs that do more writes than a web browser? can you give examples of these programs that do intensive writes, that you say "very seldon , if ever , come across a program like that". Then you suggest they're common in enterprise. Can you give examples – barlop Apr 2 '11 at 15:53
  • @MrAlpha, Re "because you very seldom, if ever, come across a program like that", what about databases? Adobe Photoshop? – Pacerier Sep 4 '16 at 4:21
  • @Pacerier With the right load a database can be a problem. If you take a consumer SSD and stick it in a server for some high traffic site where the database is doing writes 24/7, then you can wear it out in a year. That's when you invest in those high endurance enterprise SSDs. But anything you do with a database on a desktop will likely not reach anywhere near those loads. Photoshop is not a problem. – Mr Alpha Sep 4 '16 at 7:57

If you want to monitor the hard disk usage but find that Process Explorer is making too many writes, consider using the built-in Resource Monitor instead. From the task manager's performance tab, click on Resource Monitor. Under the disk tab, you can sort by Writes and see total I/O for each disk in graphs. It's not quite as detailed, but doesn't require a third party program and should be a lot easier on your drive.

resource monitor

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