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XPS 8950, 1TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD questions

I bought a new XPS 8950 with a 1TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD  (Boot). I found this article on 9 things to set up with your SSD. I’m upgrading from a XPS 8700 (9 years old) that has a SATA SSD. But anyways some of the things we did not do with the old SSDs was to use System Restore. And no defrag (I’m seeing two sides to this, some say keep it on others say it doesn’t do anything). Item 4 (enable  AHCI) I see people for and people against it. So may main questions are:

Do people change to AHCI or go with what Dell sets it at?

Do people use system restore on the newer SSDs?

Do people keep Windows Defrag on?

TIA

From article:

  1. Disable Fast Startup
  2. Make Sure Your Hardware Is Ready for It
  3. Update the SSD Firmware
  4. Enable AHCI
  5. Enable TRIM
  6. Check that System Restore Is Enabled
  7. Keep Windows Defrag ON
  8. Configure Write Caching
  9. Set the "High Performance" Power Option
Solution (1)

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@Bruce Kurtz wrote:

 

a. some of the things we did not do with the old SSDs was to use System Restore.  And no defrag (I’m seeing two sides to this, some say keep it on others say it doesn’t do anything).  Item 4 (enable  AHCI) I see people for and people against it.  So may main questions are:

b. Do people change to AHCI or go with what Dell sets it at?

c. Do people use system restore on the newer SSDs?

d. Do people keep Windows Defrag on?

TIA

From article:

  1. Disable Fast Startup
  2. Make Sure Your Hardware Is Ready for It
  3. Update the SSD Firmware
  4. Enable AHCI
  5. Enable TRIM
  6. Check that System Restore Is Enabled
  7. Keep Windows Defrag ON
  8. Configure Write Caching
  9. Set the "High Performance" Power Option

 


a. A different time (both for Windows and SSDs). Now, most SSDs have life-expectancies rated in TBW numbers.

b. I'll usually run Dell's however they come. When I eventually clean-install Windows ... I normally switch from RAID to AHCI. After install, I never install Intel-RST (or whatever they call it now).

c. Sure. However, I've never had a reason to try to use it in years now. Even years ago, never had much luck with it. There are better backup tools now-days (like Macrium Reflect). 

d. Sure. But now Windows knows to not defrag SSDs (it's only for spinning HDD).

1. You can use Fast-Startup now. However, with 1TB M.2 PCI-e NVME SSD ... they are so fast it makes little difference.

2. Good idea.

3. If there is a problem or reason to, sure.

4. See above

5. You can check that it's on, but Windows should detect it as SSD and Enable it already.

6. You can use System Restore if you want to

7. Windows knows to only defrag HDDs.

8. No. I suggest you keep the default Windows setting.

9. If you mean in Power-Profiles, sure (why not) ... it's a desktop (plugged into the wall).

In my opinion, single best thing you can do to your SSD to increase it's lifespan is to Over-Provision it. Samsung recommends 10% . You do that at very end of drive. I do it to all my SSDs (SATA and NVMe).


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- Click "Accept as Solution" button on any post that answers your question best.

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Replies (11)
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@Bruce Kurtz wrote:

 

a. some of the things we did not do with the old SSDs was to use System Restore.  And no defrag (I’m seeing two sides to this, some say keep it on others say it doesn’t do anything).  Item 4 (enable  AHCI) I see people for and people against it.  So may main questions are:

b. Do people change to AHCI or go with what Dell sets it at?

c. Do people use system restore on the newer SSDs?

d. Do people keep Windows Defrag on?

TIA

From article:

  1. Disable Fast Startup
  2. Make Sure Your Hardware Is Ready for It
  3. Update the SSD Firmware
  4. Enable AHCI
  5. Enable TRIM
  6. Check that System Restore Is Enabled
  7. Keep Windows Defrag ON
  8. Configure Write Caching
  9. Set the "High Performance" Power Option

 


a. A different time (both for Windows and SSDs). Now, most SSDs have life-expectancies rated in TBW numbers.

b. I'll usually run Dell's however they come. When I eventually clean-install Windows ... I normally switch from RAID to AHCI. After install, I never install Intel-RST (or whatever they call it now).

c. Sure. However, I've never had a reason to try to use it in years now. Even years ago, never had much luck with it. There are better backup tools now-days (like Macrium Reflect). 

d. Sure. But now Windows knows to not defrag SSDs (it's only for spinning HDD).

1. You can use Fast-Startup now. However, with 1TB M.2 PCI-e NVME SSD ... they are so fast it makes little difference.

2. Good idea.

3. If there is a problem or reason to, sure.

4. See above

5. You can check that it's on, but Windows should detect it as SSD and Enable it already.

6. You can use System Restore if you want to

7. Windows knows to only defrag HDDs.

8. No. I suggest you keep the default Windows setting.

9. If you mean in Power-Profiles, sure (why not) ... it's a desktop (plugged into the wall).

In my opinion, single best thing you can do to your SSD to increase it's lifespan is to Over-Provision it. Samsung recommends 10% . You do that at very end of drive. I do it to all my SSDs (SATA and NVMe).


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
- Like many of you, I can appreciate a good game-engine.
- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
- Consider giving posts you like a "thumbs-up"
- Posting models-numbers and software versions speeds trouble-shooting.
- Click "Accept as Solution" button on any post that answers your question best.
524

Thanks Tesla, I think I'll probably keep the default settings.

497

"In my opinion, single best thing you can do to your SSD to increase it's lifespan is to Over-Provision it. Samsung recommends 10% . You do that at very end of drive. I do it to all my SSDs (SATA and NVMe)."  Tesla thanks for the tip on over provision.  It didn't make it into the top 9 of the article, but googling articles on it, it is highly recommended.  Do youhave anymore tips for the SSDs?

482

I added a second NVMe drive to my 8950 and I had issues with the boot order automatically changing in the BIOS. I switched to AHCI and the problem stopped. If I had not added a second NVMe drive or had any issues, I would have left it how Dell had it set up from the factory. Windows will automatically detect if a SSD or HDD or both are installed and make the appropriate selection as to optimize  (SSD) or defrag (HDD).

362


@Bruce Kurtz wrote:

"In my opinion, single best thing you can do to your SSD to increase it's lifespan is to Over-Provision it. Samsung recommends 10% . You do that at very end of drive. I do it to all my SSDs (SATA and NVMe)." 

Tesla thanks for the tip on over provision.  It didn't make it into the top 9 of the article, but googling articles on it, it is highly recommended.  Do you have anymore tips for the SSDs?


No, not really. I think between the two of us, we have covered just about everything. 


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
- Like many of you, I can appreciate a good game-engine.
- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
- Consider giving posts you like a "thumbs-up"
- Posting models-numbers and software versions speeds trouble-shooting.
- Click "Accept as Solution" button on any post that answers your question best.
10 Diamond
557

@Bruce Kurtz 

Do people change to AHCI or go with what Dell sets it at?

Dell default is raid which DOES NOT WORK without F6 pre install drivers. In other words you are asking for trouble.

Do people use system restore on the newer SSDs?

Cache, Error Logs, Indexing, Hibernate, System Restore, Page File all write to the SSD So these are ALL BAD to have on.

Do people keep Windows Defrag on?

Some do leave it on and find that their SSD dies in a few weeks having been WRITTEN TO DEATH by defrag.  Should always Be OFF IMHO for SSD.

 


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524

“Dell default is raid which DOES NOT WORK without F6 pre install drivers. In other words you are asking for trouble.”  I assume Dell loads all the appropriate drivers before it leaves the building.  I don’t really want to change this, so what ever Dell sets it to, I’m ok with that.

 

Do people use system restore on the newer SSDs?

“Cache, Error Logs, Indexing, Hibernate, System Restore, Page File all write to the SSD So these are ALL BAD to have on.”  I’ll have to do some more research on system restore before I make a decision.

Thanks for ideas!

 

510

@Bruce Kurtz 

" I assume Dell loads all the appropriate drivers before it leaves the building." dell doesnt put said drivers on new blank hard disks and windows doesn't support installing without those drivers.

F6 drivers are PRE windows install drivers. They MUST be used if you use default RAID on.

this is Neither intuitive or easy.

So AHCI is always better. 


How to Install the RAID Storage Controller (F6) Driver During the Windows Installation Setup Process

https://www.dell.com/support/kbdoc/en-us/000148150/

NO Drives FoundNO Drives Found

 


Report Unresolved Customer Service Issues
here

I do not work for Dell. I too am a user.

The forum is primarily user to user, with Dell employees moderating
Contact USA Technical Support


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DEFRAG only relates to spinners, and is the process where portions of files are relocated to be sequential for faster access. Windows cannot DEFRAG an SSD because the concept makes no sense at all for digital storage.

TRIM is the process on an SSD where the micro-controller resets a block to the unused state, allowing for faster future writes.

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