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Is my computer compatible with an SSD?

The majority of SSDs have SATA connectors, a commonly used connection between the computer and its associated drives. Since SSDs support faster connection speeds, a faster SATA connection (SATA 3GB/s or SATA 6GB/s) is recommended to reach full operating speed though is not necessary.

SSDs are commonly smaller than HDDs. Most SSDs measure only 2.5" whereas a traditional desktop drive bay measures 3.5". This means that an SSD will fit easily into a desktop, but a mounting adapter may be needed. (Mounting adapters usually come with new SSDs.) Most notebooks come with a 2.5" bay which fits most SSDs.

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Is my operating system compatible with an SSD?

Any operating systems can be installed on an SSD drive. There should be no compatibility issues. Windows, Mac, Linux, Unix and DOS can all be installed on an SSD drive.

Some features (like TRIM) are only supported on more recent operating systems, such as Windows 7 and Mac OS 10.6 and higher. However, older operating systems can be modified to use TRIM with third-party tools or software updates.

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What is TRIM Support?

The TRIM command is a feature commonly found on newer operating systems. It sends information to an SSD to find and delete memory blocks that are no longer in use. TRIM’s purpose is to maintain an SSD's speed throughout its lifespan. While newer OS support the TRIM feature, third-party tools and software updates will allow older OS to use it as well.

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What is mSATA?

mSATA is a relatively new controller format for ultra-small SSDs. Not every laptop can use a mSATA-formatted SSD. Be sure to check with your computer manufacturer for any compatibility and support issues before purchasing a mSATA-formatted SSD.

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What are enterprise and industrial SSDs and how are they different?

All solid state drives are not created equal and can be classified into three different categories: consumer grade, commercial grade and industrial grade. Consumer grade SSDs are designed to meet the needs of individual users without harsh environmental concerns. Commercial grade SSDs are intended for users at the enterprise level who have very high demand on reliability, but do not have demanding environmental conditions. Industrial grade SSDs are ideal for harsh environments or remote locations where reliability is critical.

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Why am I not achieving the performance I expected on my SSD?

Hardware, software, and other configurations can vary the performance of your SSD. Follow these simple steps to ensure that your SSD is configured correctly:

  1. Check the SATA speed your motherboard supports (SATA-I, SATA-II or SATA-III), as this will limit the potential speed of your SSD.
  2. Ensure your system is set to run in AHCI mode and the latest AHCI drivers are installed.
  3. For desktops, try using a different SATA port and SATA cable.
  4. Ensure the latest firmware is installed on your SSD. You can find the firmware updates from your SSD manufacturer’s website.
  5. Ensure partition on the drive is aligned correctly. If you cloned your drive, we suggest you follow the necessary steps to properly clone a hard drive, or re-install your OS.
  6. Disable SuperFetch, Drive Indexing, and Defragmentation.
  7. Update system BIOS, chipset drivers, and SATA controller drivers.

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Why did my SSD “disappear” from my system?

A sudden power loss can cause a system to not recognize an SSD. In most cases, your SSD can be returned to normal operating condition by completing a power cycle, a process that will take approximately one hour.

We recommend performing this procedure on a desktop computer. It allows SATA power connection, which improves the odds of a power cycle completing successfully. A USB enclosure with an external power source will also work. Apple and Windows desktop may follow the same steps.

  1. Once you have the drive connected and sitting idle, power on the computer and wait 20 minutes. We recommend that you don't use the computer during this process.
  2. Power the computer down and disconnect the drive for 30 seconds.
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 one more time.
  4. Reconnect the drive normally, and boot the computer to your operating system.
  5. If the latest firmware has not been updated to your drive, do so.

For laptops, you must connect the drive and navigate to the systems BIOS menu. (Refer to your computer manufacturer’s documentation on how to access the BIOS). Allowing the drive to sit in the BIOS will improve the odds that the power cycle will be successful. We don’t recommend using a USB enclosure powered via USB. In addition, Apple laptop users must boot the computer to the open firmware.

  1. Laptop users will need to be in the BIOS menu, or open firmware as stated above. The computer will need to stay powered for 20 minutes. We recommend you don’t use the laptop during this process.
  2. Power the computer down and disconnect the drive for 30 seconds.
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 one more time.
  4. Reconnect the drive normally, and boot the computer to your operating system.
  5. If the latest firmware has not been updated to your drive, do so.

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Are SSDs worth their cost?

Solid state drives can cost between 5 to 10 times more than an HDD in terms of $/GB. However, they outperform hard disk drives so easily that most users who have experienced computing with an SSD are unwilling to turn back. SSDs are faster, quieter, cooler, more durable and reliable. The cost savings in the long run with greater productivity and lower energy usage makes SSDs well worth the money.

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What is Wear Leveling?

Wear leveling is a technique to compensate for cell cycle wear by distributing data evenly over the cells in the SSD. By avoiding “Hot Spots” (i.e. many repeated writes on the same few cells) on the SSD media, no cells will be worn out prematurely in the life cycle of the device.

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What is M.2?

Click Here to find out more about the M.2 specification and how it works with Internal SSDs.

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