Does Flash Fragment?


I recall that Maximum PC advises against defragmenting flash drives, such as the ones in an iPod. Does that include solid state drives, like in the Eee PC?


Defragmenting is a process developed for standard magnetic hard drives. Defragmentation tries to put all the data sectors for a file physically near each other on the disk, so the drive doesn’t have to seek all over the platter to find the whole file. Flash memory has different architecture, with no moving parts, and defragmenting doesn’t help it. In fact, because of the way NAND flash memory stores data (data is stored in blocks, and the whole block must be erased and rewritten to store any data on it), regular defragmentation can decrease the life span of the drive.

So, if your Eee PC has solid state memory, don’t defragment it. Diskeeper sells an SSD optimizer, but we haven’t yet tested its effectiveness.

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