Having an SSD for the only drive in my laptop I'm wondering which of shutdown / hibernate / sleep causes the least wear to it? Is there any serious test that would measure that?

Suppose that the laptop is in daily use with mostly common business apps running (Chrome, FireFox, Word, Excel, OneNote, etc.), sometimes a vmware machine. The OS is Windows 7 Enterprise.

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    You're worrying too much. :) – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Apr 25 '11 at 18:38
  • Agreed with @techie007, you shouldn't really worry about this at all. That being said I think shutting down and restarting results in the most hard disk operations. – slhck Apr 25 '11 at 19:28
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    @slhck: Hibernate saves memory and thus writes a lot more to the disk than when you would shutdown and boot which are mostly reads. SSD wears significantly more from writes than it does from reads. – Tamara Wijsman Apr 25 '11 at 20:49
  • @Tom Yes, that's of course true! But how come my Macbook (for example) goes to sleep within seconds - although it would theoretically have to save Gigabytes of RAM content to the drive? – slhck Apr 25 '11 at 21:44
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    @slhck: That's because hibernate isn't sleep. :) – Tamara Wijsman Apr 25 '11 at 23:22

Note: The power is cut for each operation and thus irrelevant, even for sleep the SSD won't receive power.

From best to worst:

  • Sleep, this barely reads or writes.

  • Reboot, this would write a bit while shutting down and read a lot when booting.

    However, writes wear the SSD significantly more than reads do as the cells will burn out over time...

  • Hibernate, this does a lot of writes (at least your whole used memory) and then read it all back in. You can download an automatic fix to quickly disable hibernation on Widnows...

  • Sounds reasonable. – Ondrej Tucny Apr 25 '11 at 22:37
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    I was going to suggest moving the hibernate file (hiberfil.sys) to a different drive that isn't an SSD; but everything I've been able to find on Google says you simply can't. :( – Kyralessa Apr 27 '11 at 5:16

You can find out by using SSDLife (it has a free version):

  1. Open SSDLife, record "Data written, GB" value (value1);
  2. Do a Shutdown/Hibernate/Sleep;
  3. Open SSDLife, record "Data written, GB" value (value2);
  4. value2 - value1;

enter image description here

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    I don't know how the app works in respect to SSD's features (e.g. some usage counters probably), so how trustworthy the numbers can be in respect to the specifics of a shutdown / hibernation / sleep in terms of application run-time? – Ondrej Tucny Apr 25 '11 at 22:37
  • @Ondrej Tucny: Sorry mate, I'm not sure if I understand you correctly (English is not my native language). If you are worrying about the correctness of the statistics provided by SSDLife, take a look at this page. If you are using Intel SSD, you can also use Intel SSD Toolbox to check the "Host Reads" and "Host Wirtes" values. – user68795 Apr 25 '11 at 23:17
  • Awesome tool! May even be blog worthy ;) – James Mertz Apr 29 '11 at 3:55

Since Vista, sleep is usually hybrid sleep, which means it goes to sleep first and then hibernates "later" in case the power goes out. So both will write. With shutdown, it won't write (much) on shutdown, but will read on startup; but reading does not cause much "wear".

But I wouldn't worry about it. With an SSD, there are no moving parts. With a laptop, you want to be able to "pick up and go", and the reverse "open up and go" back to work. Just use sleep. Let your machines work for you, not the other way around.

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