Bad for SSD's health?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by nooboob, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. nooboob macrumors member

    Sep 27, 2011
    Long story short, I had to reinstall Lion (by downloading the software), over several times into my 2011 MBA 11.6''. I assume this would rewrite the OS files over and over again. I've also heard that this was detrimental to the life of the SSD's.

    Did I just shorten the life of the SSD? Or is the data blocks life in question only refer to several-PASS wipes (IE: 7-pass wipe, DoD wipe, etc)?

    Also, a minor question: My HDD is labeled "Untitled" (I forgot to relabel it when I reinstalled the OS. Is there a way to rename it?)
  2. Xikum macrumors 6502

    Oct 19, 2011
    I'm not too knowledgable about this, but SSDs do (in theory) have a limited amount of read/write cycles.

    However, SSDs are very well put together nowadays. They are still new technology, but they are definitely not fragile. While in theory you have reduced the amount of read/writes by re-installing your entire operating system (a huge task), I don't think that you will have to worry, purely because the amount of read/writes you can do is huge. I don't think you will see the end of your SSD before that MacBook Air is in the recycling bin.
  3. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    No. While yes, if you write to the same flash memory block over and over and over again eventually it will fail, most blocks can be written to 10K+ times before they fail (average). Further, the controller chip will actually spread writes out across all your memory to keep your write wear even across all of your memory blocks (rather than just writing over the same ones time and time again). So did you reduce the reduce the life of your SSD, sure, but by how much? Something probably in the neighborhood of .000000001% Frankly, Pages outs (Virtual Memory Usage) due to not having enough RAM is bound to be way worse for an SSD than reinstalling an OS a handful of times.
  4. nooboob thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 27, 2011
    Whew. Thanks guys. Had me worried there. Now, what about renaming the HDD? It's currently titled "Untitled", due to my negligence in renaming it while it was reinstalling. Is there a way to change it?
  5. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010
    Open Finder, Command+UpArrow until at the top level, click on the HDD entry, press Return, type new name, press Return again.

    There may be a simpler way, but this should work.
  6. convergent macrumors 68030


    May 6, 2008
    Of course you shortened the life of your SSD by writing to it. Every time you turn it on you shorten its life. But this SSD life thing is overblown. Its a very minuscule shortening and I'm sure your drive will have a long life.
  7. nooboob thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 27, 2011
    Thanks deedawg. You don't happen to know what the default name is, do you?

    Nvmd. Found it.
  8. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Your SSD is probably using 25nm MLC NAND memory and those last 3,000 write cycles. So until you have written to even last cell on the SSD 3,000 times, you have nothing to worry about. Even if you were a heavy user and wrote 20GB a day to that drive it would take years to hit the limit. Don't sweat it. :)
  9. Fazzy macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2011
    check the tracking device
    Right on. The SSD is far going to outlive your use of the computer itself.

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