Solid-State Hard Drives & Defragmentation: Just Say No

I recently rejuvenated my 2010 MacBook Pro by replacing the stock hard drive with a solid-state “hybrid” drive – it’s a combination of traditional platters (750GB) and a stack of memory chips (250GB) – that is not quite as fast as a full solid-state drive, but in everyday use it’s damn close. And with the price being about one-sixth of what a full SSD costs it becomes an extremely attractive option if you want to update an older machine and keep using it for a couple of more years. It’s an upgrade that I highly recommend to anyone with aging hardware that they aren’t quite ready to – or able to – replace. Modern operating systems access the hard drive a lot, and after a couple of days of use a decent hybrid drive will reduce the times involved to virtually zero. You can get a quality 1TB drive for about 100 bucks, and your machine will suddenly seem at least twice as fast.

However, that’s not what this post is about.

This is actually about defragmentation. With more and more fully solid-state drives coming standard in decent laptops, and lots of people dropping hybrid drives in older machines, it’s worth pointing out that you should NEVER EVER DEFRAGMENT A SOLID-STATE OR HYBRID HARD DRIVE. Period. Not only will it provide zero benefit, it can actually reduce the lifespan of your drive.

So repeat after me: NEVER EVER DEFRAGMENT A SOLID-STATE OR HYBRID HARD DRIVE.

Whew. That’s better.

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