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  • [How To] Enable TRIM On Your Mac SSD to Prolong the Life Span

    Solid state drives are amazing drive replacements for hard disk drives. They have awesome read and write speeds, they are durable, and they use less energy. The large misconception is that they last forever. Just like a hard disk drive, a solid state drive is susceptible to degrading with use. They must be maintained just like a hard disk drive must be. In the last couple of years, our understanding of how the solid state drive works has advanced so quickly that we are now ordering them standard in many computers that we own.

    One thing that you might not have known, is that you can increase the life span on your solid state drive by enabling a tool called TRIM. It's not an acronym, it's a command. TRIM is used to help clean up your solid state drive and keep it alive longer. The way that a solid state drive works puts stress on certain memory blocks. Imagine that you have just written data to a clean solid state drive. If you delete part of that data, the solid state drive will simply do what a hard disk drive does and tell itself that it can rewrite over that part. In other words, the deleted data stays there waiting to be over-written. Now, when the solid state drive goes to rewrite over that part that you deleted, it will have to erase and rewrite the whole amount of data that you wrote. Not just the part that you deleted. This is why performance is reduced and why solid state drives can slow down or die over time. This problem can lead to fragmentation due to NAND memory getting clogged with both deleted and stored data.

    TRIM is a tool that helps erase that deleted data from a solid state drive when you delete it. It helps ensure that the solid state drive doesn't have to rewrite the whole amount of data where you deleted just a part of it and that the solid state drive can simply rewrite over the part that you deleted. TRIM keeps your NAND memory looking as clean as when you bought it so that the memory is ready to be rewritten to again in the future.

    Mac computers come with TRIM automatically enabled on Apple-shipped solid state drives. But, if you bought your own solid state drive and you install it yourself, then TRIM will not be enabled. This can be dangerous. Life spans of non-TRIM solid state drives can be dramatically lower than TRIM solid state drives. If you bought a solid state drive yourself and installed it on your Mac, then you should enable TRIM. To do this, you can download a tool that will patch your solid state drive so that the Mac recognizes it as one of Apple's. It was recently updated: TRIM Enabler 2.0 beta 4.

    As you see from the screenshot above, enabling TRIM is as easy as turning on a switch. Once you have it turned on, it gets to work making sure that your solid state drive isn't coagulating with deleted data. This is an extremely important tool for Mac users who have installed a solid state drive and I cannot stress this enough. You need TRIM. Do you have TRIM already? Share in the comments.

    Sources: Trim Enabler 2.0 Beta 4
    This article was originally published in forum thread: [How To] Enable TRIM On Your Mac SSD to Prolong the Life Span started by Anthony Bouchard View original post
    Comments 23 Comments
    1. KartRacer's Avatar
      KartRacer -
      Quote Originally Posted by HCWHunter View Post
      The Anandtech article does mention that TRIM is generally not recommended on SSD's with Sandforce controllers but doesn't have anything bad to say about the Enabler. FWIW
      Quote Originally Posted by AnandTech.com View Post
      As always, use such utilities at your own risk. Especially SandForce based SSDs have had problems with TRIM in OS X and itís generally not recommended to enable TRIM with them--plus the built-in garbage collection in SF SSDs is fairly effective. I would recommend force-enabling TRIM in OS X only if you do something disk intensive where performance matters, and only if you have an SSD where idle garbage collection is proving insufficient; otherwise you most likely wonít notice the change in performance and you run the risk of unintended consequences. On the other hand, TRIM Enabler makes disabling TRIM as easy as enabling it, so giving TRIM a try shouldn't hurt anything. Moreover, you can always enable TRIM later on if you experience poor performance, and even disable it right after it has TRIMíed the empty blocks in case TRIM causes problems with your SSD.
      Not exactly a ringing endorsement. Read the first sentence. That's a pretty hefty warning, and Oskar Groth doesn't honor warranties and this MMi article states that you explicitly NEED to enable TRIM or face an unusable SSD in the near future. Which is explicitly false and that advice should not be taken in any way, shape, or form. It's extremely irresponsible of MMi to have a writer that not only is ignorant of what he is writing about, but gives explicitly wrong and warranty voiding information based upon that ignorance. Not wholeheartedly recommending this piece of software due to what's been stated in the above quoted paragraph IS saying something bad about it. They state twice that it isn't necessary, once that you should only do so at your own risk, and that by doing so you risk the chance of unintended consequences. Which is why I've said from the beginning to ignore this articles factually wrong statements and horrible "end of the world" fear driven ignorance and consult your manufacturer. Because neither Oskar Groth nor Anthony Bouchard will honor your warranty if this hack messes up your SSD. At least Groth doesn't try and scare people into using this tool like Anthony does. I seriously doubt he even knows how an SSD works, at least I get nothing from this article that shows he does.
    1. Vanishing's Avatar
      Vanishing -
      Quote Originally Posted by Atari800 View Post
      The next article is on USB stick drives. I bet the arguments in that will be a blood bath. Lol
      I turned TRIM on and my microwave dinged. Coincidence? I think not
      Sorry, I had to toss that in there. I am old school, I still use 8" floppy disks
      What.. you gave up on tape reels and punch cards?!
    1. KartRacer's Avatar
      KartRacer -
      When is this article going to be amended? It's still full of inaccuracies and false information.

      New info from Anand. Apparently aftermarket SSDs are being weird under OSX after long times and under loads. So this probably isn't the best thing to do to your SSD despite what Anthony ignorantly recommends.Attachment 567331