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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 26th September, 2013, 06:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrevorS View Post
On the subject of page files, I read in the Mint User Manual they recommend a page-file size of 1.5 times the amount of memory. So it appears not to have gone away.
It hasn't gone away, and almost certainly never will. Having virtual memory available can be a Good Thing.

Depending on usage, the recommendation of 1.5 times physical can be a bit.....optimistic. I run systems that pound the hard drives very heavily, and are therefore not allowed to have ANY paging file, because the minute the paging file starts getting hit, the system performance drops through the floor.

For a user system, however, their recommendation is probably ok.

Note that the last time I played with Windows, it wasn't even POSSIBLE to run Windows without at least SOME paging file. I don't know if that is still true or not.
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 26th September, 2013, 11:22 PM
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With WinXP it's possible to run without a page file, but my recent first exposure to Win7 suggests it requires a minimum amount that's under 100MB. I don't recall the actual number, but it's pretty small.
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 27th September, 2013, 04:52 PM
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I seem to recall Win XP being quite vociferous in it's objections to not having a page file, and I know for a fact that Windows 2000 would do bad things under certain conditions if there wasn't a paging file (anonymous pipes use the paging file as a backing store)
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 28th September, 2013, 01:33 AM
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All I can say is when installing a new XP system, after completing the CD based part of it (OS plus service packs) and board drivers, I normally set the swap page to zero and reboot to allow me to defrag the system partition prior to finalizing the swap page allocations. Don't believe I've ever had a complaint from XP. No experience with 2000.
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old 28th September, 2013, 04:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrevorS View Post
Well, it would appear this is the explanation, but it depends on having the disc partition be no more than say 80% full.

HTG Explains: Why Linux Doesn’t Need Defragmenting
An interesting note to me is the remark concerning defragmenting SSD. Specifically, SSD defrag is unnecessary (because of direct addressing), but more significantly, SSD defrag cuts SSD life! If Linux builds-in defrag, then perhaps life becomes an ascendant issue? Would really like to run across some serious data concerning MTBF between SSD and mechanical hard drives. What I've read so far suggests SSD life is less !

True? Or not?

PS. At least I now realize I should never defrag an SSD drive. At best, next to no benefit.
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Last edited by TrevorS; 28th September, 2013 at 04:35 AM.
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 28th September, 2013, 06:28 AM
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 6th October, 2013, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrevorS View Post
An interesting note to me is the remark concerning defragmenting SSD. Specifically, SSD defrag is unnecessary (because of direct addressing), but more significantly, SSD defrag cuts SSD life! If Linux builds-in defrag, then perhaps life becomes an ascendant issue? Would really like to run across some serious data concerning MTBF between SSD and mechanical hard drives. What I've read so far suggests SSD life is less !

True? Or not?

PS. At least I now realize I should never defrag an SSD drive. At best, next to no benefit.
SSDs have a limited number of write cycles. With the latest generation of SSDs, the number of writes per cell is down in the 2,000-3,000 range. This number has been steadily DROPPING as cell sizes have gotten smaller, NOT rising! This has to do with the physics of how FLASH memory works, and is not likely to improve (indeed, it's likely to continue getting worse).

This sounds worse than it really is, because the technology of 'wear leveling', which protects the SSD against excessive writes to a single cell, has improved dramatically since the first generation of SSD devices.

Basically, sophisticated algorithms ensure that writes are evenly distributed across ALL of the cells on the drive, by 'remapping' logical drive addresses to physical cell addresses. So when you write data to sector 4 on the drive twice in succession, the first write might to to physical cell 1, why the second write might go to physical cell 6,000,000. The SSD's controller logic keeps track of this mapping. The net result is that despite the fact that the single-cell write life has dropped with process shrinks, the overall reliability of the device has gone up, because of the shear increase in the number of cells that you can write to.

HOWEVER, this all goes out the window if you do a defrag run, because that involves potentially MILLIONS of writes per defrag; you can literally age your drive by MONTHS with each run. Two or three runs can actually kill the drive if there's a lot of data that has to be moved around.

I have no knowledge of how Linux's 'defragmentation' algorithms affect this, but I would be greatly surprised if CURRENT algorithms don't take all of this into account.
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 6th October, 2013, 10:02 PM
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Thanks, great info, much appreciated ! I've done one defrag on my new core system SSD -- just as I normally do following a fresh install. Now I know not to defrag again for any reason any SSD. Not only is there no advantage, but it's indeed damaging.

Wonder how widely understood this is among consumers? Wouldn't be surprised if the answer is not at all. Perhaps the reason for many reports of early SSD failure! Market penetration is probably not all that high though -- more of a specialty item for enthusiasts (who likely still wouldn't know).

A major reason I've had for partitioning hard drives has been limiting defrag time. Take that away and I can more readily see using very large partitions. I guess that's why manufacturers appear to recommend against partitioning their SSDs. My SanDisk SSDs don't even include a partitioning tool (and none is downloadable). When asked about partitioning, they say Windows will partition whatever is necessary (Win7 automatically reserves a 100MB partition at the start of the system drive, WinXP doesn't).
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Last edited by TrevorS; 6th October, 2013 at 10:17 PM.
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 7th October, 2013, 05:21 PM
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Doesn't have a huge effect on Linux machines....but what about windows boxes...? I'm surprised we haven't seen tons of complains about premature death by defraging..?
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  #30 (permalink)  
Old 8th October, 2013, 05:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizmo View Post
I know for a fact that Windows 2000 would do bad things under certain conditions if there wasn't a paging file (anonymous pipes use the paging file as a backing store)
There are some pretty substantial changes to memory management in Win 8 including memory deduping. I don't know if there's still a requirement for a paging file - that could cause issues for tablets.
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  #31 (permalink)  
Old 8th October, 2013, 05:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrevorS View Post
Thanks, great info, much appreciated ! I've done one defrag on my new core system SSD -- just as I normally do following a fresh install. Now I know not to defrag again for any reason any SSD. Not only is there no advantage, but it's indeed damaging.
I managed to kill a compact flash card by running OpenBSD from it. It lasted 6 months before the log files toasted it.

On my Ubuntu linux box, I'm sitting at about 1% fragmentation with the disk 70% full.
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  #32 (permalink)  
Old 8th October, 2013, 08:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel ~ View Post
Doesn't have a huge effect on Linux machines....but what about windows boxes...? I'm surprised we haven't seen tons of complains about premature death by defraging..?
I see plenty of early SSD failure complaints on NewEgg, but people probably don't usually relate failures to defrag (most probably aren't aware of the problem -- just as I wasn't). It would just be put down to defective product.

I also see plenty of early failure of flash card memory on Amazon, and I suspect quality has a lot to do with that. Frankly, since they probably all use the same type of chip, I would expect SSD quality to also vary. That's why I steered towards SanDisk for my SSDs -- long history of flash card reliability, though not cheap.
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Last edited by TrevorS; 8th October, 2013 at 09:00 PM.
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