back to article Windows 10 to let you know that your SSD is dying rather than throwing out a BSOD when it's already too late

A new Windows Insider build – 20226 – contains a feature designed to spot impending failures of NVMe SSDs that gives users the opportunity to get their data off the things before they curl up and die. The team is also rolling out a change that turns off theme syncing, as well as re-enabling the ability of Notepad to persist …

  1. P.B. Lecavalier

    SSD Failure Warning: Only Fair

    It's about time, given that this OS is an absolute destroyer of anything SSD. To this day you still are forced to enable the astonishingly stupidly designed pagefile on Windows for any usability (made sense with 32 MB ram), even if you have 64 GB of ram!! (On Linux, swap is used only if running out of memory, just saying, been that way forever.) I've never tried Windows on an SSD, and part of the reason is that I want my drive to last a long time.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: SSD Failure Warning: Only Fair

      You are not forced to enable a swap file on Windows and I am not aware of any version since (and including) 3.0 where you were.

      1. martynhare

        Yes, you are, regardless of the amount of RAM you have

        There are enough apps on Windows that allocate enough virtual memory that they never use to require a page file to work properly. Linux uses overcommitting and copy-on-write trickery to overcome this while Windows does not (in exchange Windows doesn’t suck anywhere near as bad as Linux when it’s out of RAM).

        Seriously, I’ve had to increase the page file for HP Z4 workstations (rocking 64GB of RAM) to at least 1.5x the total RAM just to stop Microsoft Teams randomly crashing on modern Windows 10. Only an idiot disables the swap file or keeps it small if they know how the internals work.

        1. the Kris
          Meh

          Re: Yes, you are, regardless of the amount of RAM you have

          No, you're not!

          I've been running Win 10 on my laptop for 5 years now without any pagefile. No software has complained or crashed because of it. This includes: VMware Workstation, MS Visual Studio, C++Builder, 7Zip, OpenOffice and a whole lot of other stuff.

      2. P.B. Lecavalier

        Re: SSD Failure Warning: Only Fair

        Since 3.0?? I distinctly recall trying to disable it on XP. Of course you can disable it. That which took 1-2 seconds then took multiple times that. That was with 4GB of RAM, which back then was huge. In other words, it could not be disabled.

    2. katrinab Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: SSD Failure Warning: Only Fair

      Windows, and every other operating system, runs so much faster on an SSD. It is like getting a brand new computer.

    3. IGotOut Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: SSD Failure Warning: Only Fair

      You can use it, set it a limit, disable it or set the drive.

      Not sure what your issue is....never had a problem disabling it on large systems....but why would you....it is only there if you need it....looking at you SQL server.

      1. the Kris

        Re: SSD Failure Warning: Only Fair

        "it is only there if you need it"

        That should be the case. Unfortunately Windows will proactively swap pages of memory to the pagefile when those pages haven't been accessed for x time. Even before there is any memory pressure, "just in case you need it".

    4. David Roberts

      Re: SSD Failure Warning: Only Fair

      I have distant memories of defragging HDDs and removing the page file to release the locked areas then recreating it large.

      So you can run without one.

      As far as I know the wear levelling on SSDs means that you don't have to defrag.

      In fact before Windows was fully SSD aware I think you had to disable automatic defragging on SSDs.

      Wear levelling should also move data around the SSD so page files shouldn't be an issue

      1. hayzoos

        Re: SSD Failure Warning: Only Fair

        SSDs: Because of wear levelling, you do not want to defrag. Because of no moving parts you do not have to defrag.

        I recall setting a fixed pagefile of 1 to 1.5 GB for a system with 1 GB RAM. Years later an 8 GB system was recommended to have 8 to 12 GB pagefile. Was tempted to setup a RAMdisk for the paging file. Allowing Windows to manage the pagefile, right, wait while it expands the file, fragmenting, and pages the RAM, it makes the system faster, ha.

        There were some defrag utilities which could place the pagefile and hibernate file as single contiguous files at the beginning of the drive for the best performance. Sounded good in theory, but the rest of the files being access were all over the drive anyway.

    5. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

      Re: SSD Failure Warning: Only Fair

      Hmm even emmc havent seen any issues with here except 2 SSD's which after being left powered on for a day sorted themselves out.

  2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "Raise your hand if you're still using Skype"

    It's still installed because I have customers that still use it.

    I haven't been required to launch it for over a year though, because the COVID confinement made them acquire and install other tools for VPN access and so forth, so I don't know how long it will stay in my application list.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Still using skype :-(

    Keep getting Skype invites from people during #covid19, and Skype normally does not work from an iPad, when clicking on someone’s meeting request... what complete junk

    1. Tom Chiverton 1

      Re: Still using skype :-(

      More reliable on Linux than Teams that doesn't even open from Firefox (but does from Chrome if you do it the 'right' way)

      1. Wexford

        Re: Still using skype :-(

        I've been using Teams in Firefox on Debian, so I can tell you that it works.

  4. David 132 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    And if your SSD is soldered down?

    “Warning: Your SSD is failing. Consider replacing it.

    Oh, sorry, because your system manufacturer is evil and cares more about margin than sustainability, your SSD is soldered down. Time to buy a whole new PC! Sucks to be you!”

    1. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: And if your SSD is soldered down?

      Yeah, don't buy cheap HPs

      1. Timmy B

        Re: And if your SSD is soldered down?

        "Yeah, don't buy cheap HPs"

        Or expensive Macs.... he says typing on an expensive Mac... oops.

  5. TVU

    "your SSD is soldered down. Time to buy a whole new PC! Sucks to be you!”

    On environmental grounds alone, that bad practice should be banned.

  6. Sebastian A

    Powertoys

    Isn't powertoys more of a "Here's what Microsoft is too stubborn to include but we all want" package? Surely letting them design it by committee is going to result in missing features because MS is notoriously stubborn about listening to feedback.

  7. bittenhand

    Powertoys Video Mute

    I see that the Mute Powertoy has a virtual video driver that just passes through the video stream from a selected camera. When you mute, it just mutes the audio and sends a black screen instead.

    What it should do (as seen in Speed, Mission Impossible etc) is just loop the previous 30 seconds allowing you to go out and something less boring instead.

    1. ChrisC Silver badge

      Re: Powertoys Video Mute

      Why Don't You suggest that to MS ;-)

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