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[Q] External SSD with W8.1 is recognized as HDD

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By dkohalloran, Junior Member on 4th March 2014, 05:59 AM
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I am reading up about optimizing of SSD drives and I'm seeing that Windows 8 is supposed to be pretty good with automatically deciding whether to optimize or defragment drives based on what they are (SSD vs HDD). But I have a problem. I just bought an SSD but under the Optimization menu it is showing up as a Hard Drive.

It's a brand new Samsung 840 EVO 500GB and I'm going to be using it solely for music and movies as an external drive. I also bought an Anker external SATA III to USB 3.0 enclosure. I have the drive recognized and everything under the File Explorer but I'm just a little nervous that it's listed as a Hard Drive under the Optimization menu. How can I get Windows to see that it's in fact an SSD?
4th March 2014, 08:28 PM |#2  
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Hmm. Leaving aside the fact that "solely for music and movies" is an absurdly pointless waste of an SSD (those are large, contiguous, non-latency-sensitive, moderate-to-low bandwidth files; in other words they are everything that a traditional magnetic disk is good at and an SSD is not) I would guess that the issue lies in the SATA3-USB3 conversion. If there's any drivers available for that enclosure specifically, you could try installing them (though they really ought to have installed automatically). Beyond that... does Windows even schedule automatic "optimization" of removable drives (presumably it *does* see your drive as removable)?

If I were looking for a portable media drive, I'd frankly just return that one and use the money to buy a traditional 2.5" HDD with 2-4x the storage capacity. There's literally not a single reason I can think of to use an SSD there unless you plan on dropping the drive a lot while it's in use (modern laptop drives will lock their heads if they sense a sudden drop, so even there the SSD has only a small advantage). Magnetic storage will give you much better capacity and probably last longer, too.
4th March 2014, 08:47 PM |#3  
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I got the SSD on a really good sale and I'm definitely not returning it, the price I paid for it was absolutely bonkers and I'd be foolish to return it. I figured I'd buy it because I never know when I'm going to see it for the cheap again. I got it for 150 bucks CAD. So when I get a bigger drive in the future I will have an SSD

The software that came with the SSD for some reason won't install and the Samsung software won't recognize the SSD. Windows saw it right away as a portable media drive and I went into disk management, created an MBR volume and formatted it under NTFS. This was the only solution because many other users of this SSD have had the same problems as me - it straight up won't be recognized by the software, presumably probably because of the USB 3 connection. That's ok though because the software is optional. This was suggested as a solution and it works perfectly, now I'm just worried about the drive being falsely defragmented by Windows.
4th March 2014, 11:53 PM |#4  
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Ah. Well, you could try installing the software using Compatibility Mode (maybe try Win7 first?) but it sounds like, whether or not the drive is in fact a great deal, it has lousy firmware. Unless you can flash an update to it that fixes the problem, your best bet would simply be to try making sure Windows never attempts to "optimize" the drive.

Of course, unless you remove or edit the files on there, there won't be any fragmentation anyhow. So attempting defrag probably wouldn't do anything in any case. Similarly, if you aren't deleting files then you don't need to TRIM their data, so the usual optimizations for SSDs don't matter much either. You might want to see if you can disable access-time updating for the drive though, as that's very wasteful on an SSD (you can globally disable access timestamps using fsutil, but I don't know if you can do so for a single drive on Windows).
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