Question Crucial MX500 500GB sata ssd Remaining Life decreasing fast despite few bytes being written

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Jan 6, 2021
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I analysed in ProcMon what processes have lots of ssd writes, for me they are Firefox, Discord and wmiprvse.exe. I don't think i can change their way of writing logs or caches and tbh i don't want to do that.

I also have 12GB pagefile due to my low 8GB RAM amount (i can't add it reasonably cause my free RAM slots got toasted and they don't recognise RAM sticks). Moving it to HDD would lead to significant reduce in performance, and hdds aren't exactly reliable too, i think even more unreliable.

So i guess i stuck with what its now. I launched selftesting again, now with 900 seconds of tests and 25 seconds of pause between them. I'll see what WAF will be with these parameters
here is the last update
datef7f8wafdelta f7delta f8delta wafnotes
7.01​
394 578 354​
2 943 521 015​
8.459915​
started selftesting
8.01​
395 887 798​
2 949 986 622​
8.451572​
1 309 444​
6 465 607​
5.937674​
9.01​
398 680 065​
2 957 139 291​
8.417324​
2 792 267​
7 152 669​
3.561599​
10.01​
400 055 198​
2 962 740 964​
8.40583​
1 375 133​
5 601 673​
5.07355​
10.01​
400 839 906​
2 966 725 089​
8.401272​
784 708​
3 984 125​
6.077207​
last measure before changing test period to 660 seconds
11.01​
401 773 067​
2 971 735 280​
8.396552​
933 161​
5 010 191​
6.369053​
day after changed test period to 660 seconds
12.01​
403 701 933​
2 981 646 172​
8.385761​
1 928 866​
9 910 892​
6.138196​
last measure before secure erase, life percentage dropped to 71%
13.01​
413 753 845​
2 991 460 117​
8.230048​
10 051 912​
9 813 945​
1.976326​
day after performed secure erase via ATA sanitize command in Parted Magic, no self tests running
14.01​
415 567 163​
3 005 180 615​
8.231516​
1 813 318​
13 720 498​
8.566515​
15.01​
416 538 351​
3 017 053 153​
8.243158​
971 188​
11 872 538​
13.22476​
16.01​
418 055 289​
3 027 454 391​
8.241756​
1 516 938​
10 401 238​
7.856732​
17.01​
419 329 203​
3 040 918 218​
8.251864​
1 273 914​
13 463 827​
11.56887​
18.01​
420 776 559​
3 054 904 989​
8.26016​
1 447 356​
13 986 771​
10.66367​
19.01​
421 350 800​
3 060 572 692​
8.263716​
574 241​
5 667 703​
10.8699​
last measure before resuming selftesting, selftestfseconds=900
 
Last edited:
Jan 15, 2021
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I corrected the table, now it's the way you asked me. I also corrected the WAF values, they were really wrong, I was careless when it came to calculations, I believe they are now with the correct values.

These values are always copying at 7:30 am, for example, I started to check from 01/14/2021, on 01/15, at 7:30 am I got the data that are in the table for the day 15, so it was with the following days.

On the most recent day, 01/18, I copied the data at 00:30 am, but I made the correction in the table, with the values copied at 7:30 am today, as I do with the following days.

My question about how much time your pc was powered on during the 3 months was NOT about how much time you spent using it. Even when you aren't using the pc, Windows does a lot of writing to the system drive (C:) while the pc is powered on and not sleeping or hibernating. So, my question was about how much time your pc was powered on and either in use or idle, and also whether your pc is set to stay awake while it's idle, or go to sleep, or hibernate.
I'm sorry if I didn't answer your questions correctly, as my native language is not American, so much so that I'm using an online translator to help me in the conversation.

If I understood your question well, you wanted to know how long my PC was on, and during that time, how many hours it was in use, and if it was idle, you also wanted to know how many hours it was also, is that it? On a normal day of use, I don't use it for more than 8 hours, the idle part is included, half of that time is in the morning, the rest at the end of the day, around 6pm, sometimes this total hours extends between 10 ~ 12 hours of use, but are exceptions. It is not connected 24 hours, because at the moment it is impossible, it is only connected during the hours of use, then it is completely disconnected.

But even between 8 and 10 hours, I think he is sometimes between 2 and 3 hours idle. About him being configured to stay awake when he is idle or not, in the power options of windows, I configured him to never suspend. The monitor is configured to turn off in 10 minutes in case of idle. Hibernation is disabled, it is something I always do when installing windows.

Basically, this is my style of use during these three months, but it wasn't every day that I turned on the PC, sometimes I spent 2 to 3 days a week without turning it on.
 

Lucretia19

Prominent
Feb 5, 2020
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If I understood your question well, you wanted to know how long my PC was on, and during that time, how many hours it was in use, and if it was idle, you also wanted to know how many hours it was also, is that it? On a normal day of use, I don't use it for more than 8 hours, the idle part is included,

[-snip-]

About him being configured to stay awake when he is idle or not, in the power options of windows, I configured him to never suspend.
I should have expressed my question more simply: On average, how many hours per days is the computer powered on and not asleep? (Windows writes a lot while the pc is on, unless the pc is asleep.) If I'm correctly interpreting your answer, the average is approximately 8 hours per day on and not asleep, and about 16 hours per day off.

For comparison, my pc averages nearly 24 hours per day on and not asleep. So, all else being equal, I would expect Windows background services to write about 3 times more on my pc than on yours. The amounts I'm referring to are a large fraction of ΔF7.

Over the 6 days or rows from 1.17.2021 to 1.22.2021, your ΔF7 and ΔF8 values are excellent.

I think the sum ΔF7+ΔF8 is the most useful indicator of the rate that ssd life is being consumed. Your sum has averaged about 166,000 over the last 6 days. If you continue at this excellent rate, when your ssd eventually dies it will be for some other reason, like a lightning strike or meteorite strike.

Whenever you log ssd SMART data, you may want to include the Average Block Erase Count too. It provides a direct measure of ssd Remaining Life. Every 15 increments of ABEC correspond to 1% of life used.

I also log a few other values. Including Power Cycle Count, because there may be a correlation between Daily WAF and the number of days since the most recent power cycle. I haven't tried to do a rigorous analysis of my logs to verify whether that correlation is real, but every few days I sleep my pc for a few seconds because a pc sleep causes the ssd to power off. If I ever do try to verify the correlation, I'll have a lot of data available to analyze.
 

Lucretia19

Prominent
Feb 5, 2020
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Firefox may have been improved by a January update so that it writes much less. Three observations support this conclusion:

1. Every night I run a mirror backup process for my internal hard drives, to ensure my external drive has the latest versions of the hard drive files. The mirror process deletes changed versions of files from the external drive and leaves them in my Recycle Bin, so each morning I glance at them before emptying the Recycle Bin. Beginning about a month ago, I noticed that are fewer files in the Recycle Bin each morning, and all (or most) of the files no longer there are Firefox files. (Note: My Firefox profile and cache are on a hard drive.) Their absence from the Recycle Bin means Firefox stopped changing them (unless Firefox is fooling the mirror backup software, FreeFileSync, by no longer updating file timestamps when writing and leaving their size unchanged).

2. The ssd SMART data that StrikerFX posted shows his writing by pc to ssd significantly decreased: the ΔF7 values on and after January 17 are much lower than the ΔF7 values before January 17. StrikerFX wrote 6 days ago that he uses Firefox a lot: "My use during the 3 months was very simple [...]. Most of it I spent just browsing, more than 90% using firefox [...]."

3. I ran Procmon for awhile, configured to display all write events to any drive when the path includes "firefox" or "mozilla." During that time, I browsed the web using Firefox and Procmon displayed no write events.

An alternative theory is that Mozilla changed the way Firefox stores data. For example, it might now use a Windows service to store Firefox data in a Windows database that apps can access. However, I think this theory is probably false. The ΔF7 of my ssd has remained fairly low, averaging around 20 to 30 kbytes/second, which implies Firefox didn't start writing to ssd the data that it used to write to hard drive.
 

Lucretia19

Prominent
Feb 5, 2020
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First Annual Report on the success of the ssd selftests.

For the last year, since 3/01/2020, my pc has been running the selftests .bat file (with a duty cycle of 19.5 minutes of every 20 minutes, except for four days in late March 2020 when I experimented with a duty cycle of 880 seconds of each 900 seconds). The pc runs 24 hours per day, with rare exceptions. Here's the result as of 3/01/2021 (one year later):
Date​
Total Host Writes (GB)​
S.M.A.R.T.
F7​
S.M.A.R.T.
F8​
Power On Hours​
Average Block Erase Count
Power Cycle Count​
ΔF7​
ΔF8​
WAF from 3/01/2020 to 3/01/2021
= 1 +
ΔF8/ΔF7​
03/01/2020​
6,512​
226,982,040
1,417,227,966
1,223​
118
99​
03/01/2021​
8,757​
317,090,210
1,607,822,549
9,781​
141
157​
90,108,170
190,594,583
3.12

The decrease of ssd Remaining Life is derived from the increase of Average Block Erase Count, because each 15 increments of ABEC correspond to 1% of life consumed. ABEC increased by 23 (141-118), and 23/15 = 1.533, which means 1.533% of the ssd life was consumed during the last year. This corresponds to a lifetime of about 65 years, which is very pleasing.

However, this very long expected life shouldn't be attributed solely to the selftests. My pc wrote only about 2.2 TBytes (8,757GB - 6,512GB) to the ssd during the last year. Most users write to their ssds at a much higher rate.

Here's the result over the last 6-ish months, from 8/21/2020 to 3/01/2021, during which I reduced the rate of host pc writing even further (by moving more log files to a hard drive):
Date​
Total Host Writes (GB)​
S.M.A.R.T.
F7​
S.M.A.R.T.
F8​
Power On Hours​
Average Block Erase Count
Power Cycle Count​
ΔF7​
ΔF8​
WAF from 8/21/2020 to 3/01/2021
= 1 +
ΔF8/ΔF7​
08/21/2020​
7,938​
283,519,047
1,505,901,288
5,283​
131
111​
03/01/2021​
8,757​
317,090,210
1,607,822,549
9,781​
141
157​
33,571,163
101,921,261
4.04

Only 0.67% of ssd life (141-131 / 15) was consumed between 8/21/2020 and 3/01/2021, which corresponds to an ssd lifetime of more than 75 years. The pc wrote only 819 GB to the ssd during this period. This rate is much lower than during 3/01/2020 to 8/21/2020 when 1,426 GB were written. The decreased rate of writing corresponds to an increase of WAF (4.04 during 8/21/2020 to 3/01/2021, compared to 2.56 during 3/01/2020 to 8/21/2020). This suggests 819 GB per 6-ish months is less than the optimal rate of writing if the goal is to minimize WAF. (Minimizing WAF is NOT the goal, though.)

A 65 year ssd lifetime is much longer than anyone should need. (A post-apocalyptic immortal is the obvious exception.) So there's no need for anyone to reduce host pc writing to their ssd as much as I have. Unless the pc is writing to the ssd at an abnormally high rate, simply running the selftests .bat should suffice for most users of Crucial ssds.
 

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