What's the best procedure to run SpinRite on new SSDs or thumb drives?

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Lux Brush

Member
Mar 22, 2023
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I was thinking about what would be the best procedure to run SR on any brand new SSD, solid-state thumb drive, or an SD card.

My first thought is to run ValiDrive for any thumb drives or SD cards to confirm their size, but after that, I'm not quite sure what level would be appropriate to truly test the new drive before putting it into service. For SSDs, it's the same thought but without ValiDrive.

Level 2 was the first one I thought of, but does that test a new drive enough to verify its health?
 
SpinRite on Level 1 is fine for new SSD's. If you can read the SSD then drive is GOOD.

SSD's either work or they don't. Remember SSD's are not HDD's, they work differently.
 
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If you can read the SSD then drive is GOOD.
If the drive is empty, all the LBAs should be unmapped and it's not defined what the SSD firmware will do if you read them in that state. (My guess is it will return a static "empty LBA" as a response.) A fake device will fake reads and writes or do other strange things, so you can't really rely on any test that doesn't fill the drive with verifiable (but not predictable) data. That is partially what ValiDrive attempts to do.
 
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(My guess is it will return a static "empty LBA" as a response.)
What we've seen is that the drive returns all zero's (0's) for anything that's never been written. As you correctly noted, it's as if the entire drive had been TRIMMED to unmap all addressable space from physical media. So a brand new drive isn't really reading anything from the media until and unless something has first been written to it.
 
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So level 3?
Right! Level 3 will read AND write all zeros from/to the drive. Now the firmware will know that something has been written to the drive. So, subsequent reads will then read and return all zeros instead of just returning all zeros without reading them.
 
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Right! Level 3 will read AND write all zeros from/to the drive. Now the firmware will know that something has been written to the drive. So, subsequent reads will then read and return all zeros instead of just returning all zeros without reading them.
So, would a Level 4 be the right setting since it does a verify read after it writes?
 
So level 3?
And, since running a Level 3 on a drive will “De-Trim” the entire drive — which leads it to mistakenly believe that the entire drive now contains important file system data — the drive should then be fully trimmed. SpinRite v6.1 cannot do that today because it doesn't know about file systems as SR7 will. GRC's next product “Beyond Recall” will be able to do this quickly. But Windows and Linux can and will also do this by “optimizing” the drive. Under Windows, “optimizing” for an SSD has become a file system driven TRIM operation. (y)
 
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