Should I defragment my Axiom SSD to maintain optimal performance?

Solid-state drives, (SSDs) do not require defragmentation. Since there are no physical disks, (platters) there is no need to organize the data in order to reduce seek time. Therefore defragmenting an SSD is not effective. Also, defragmenting an SSD can put undue wear on specific areas of the drive. SSDs are designed to write data as evenly as possible over the entire drive to reduce undue wear to any one location.

Defragmenting your SSD drive a couple of times will not harm it, however if done continuously over a long period, it may reduce the lifespan of the drive.

Do Axiom Signature and Signature III SSDs require special drivers?

No – Standard drivers included in Windows or MacOS for any HDD will support Axiom SSD drives as plug-and-play components.

Which is the right SSD for my use? Are there different versions for Mac vs. Windows systems?

First, Axiom does provide different SSDs for server, client, and consumer systems. We also prepare and format the drives differently for consumer Mac and Windows/PC systems.

For server and high performance applications, Axiom provides enterprise hot-swap drives over-provisioned for enterprise-class transactions to provide greater drive longevity and durability through wear-leveling and enterprise-class controllers and NAND flash from Micron.

Our Signature Consumer SSDs are divided between PC and Apple systems with the proper formatting for the MacOS or Windows. Also Axiom includes the desktop brackets for all client and consumer 2.5” SSDs to provide the greatest convenience and flexibility for either a desktop or laptop installation.

Are these devices intended for use with desktops or notebooks?

Yes - Axiom Signature SSD drives are tested and validated to work on the latest PC and Apple laptops and desktop platforms.

Providing the greatest flexibility for a successful and easy install, each client/consumer internal 2.5” Axiom SSD is shipped with the desktop brackets bundled in the SSD kit.

What is S.M.A.R.T. and do the Axiom Signature SSD drives support it?

SMART stands for Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology (S.M.A.R.T.). It is a built-in monitoring capability in hard drives and SSDs that allow users to monitor the health of a device. It does this through monitoring software designed specifically for the S.M.A.R.T. feature. All of our Signature SSD drives support S.M.A.R.T.

The SSD drive is recognized correctly in BIOS, but is not recognized by Windows 7 installation, cloning software or when installed as a secondary drive within a system already running Windows 7. How do I resolve this?

Verify that you have the latest BIOS updates for your motherboard. If the SSD is still not recognized, for a desktop system, try another SATA port on the motherboard.

If the issue still persists, disable the AHCI feature in your BIOS. If you cannot find this setting in your BIOS, please refer to your system manual or contact your motherboard or computer manufacturer. If you need additional assistance, please contact Axiom technical support for help.

Will the SSD experience a performance decrease? If so, is there a way to reset the drive to a factory default?

There is expected performance drop with all NAND flash storage devices however, Axiom Signature SSDs use an advanced controller with intelligent recycling for advance free space management and TRIM support to extend the performance over the life of the drive.

Performance decrease has been reported on some manufacturer’s legacy SSD drives. If you have an older SSD drive that does not have effective garbage collection, SSD drive performance will drop over time. This is due to the way the system overwrites data that has been flagged for deletion.

Along with performance decrease reported in older SSDs, some manufacturers provide a factory default or “reset” to resolve issues with their drives without TRIM support. It should be noted that this “reset” will delete all the data on the drive and is an impractical tool for ongoing optimization.

What is TRIM and Garbage Collection? How are they related? Will TRIM work in XP, Vista or Linux?

Over time, most of the storage locations or NAND flash memory cells on an SSD get written to. When NAND flash memory is written to again, they need to be conditioned in order to accept new data. This can cause a delay and is seen as a reduction in drive performance. Garbage collection is a function built into a SSD that reconditions empty storage locations so when new data is written to the drive, there are locations on the SSD ready to accept data.

Although Garbage Collection function is built into most SSD drives, some drives, like Axiom Signature SSD drives perform data management better than others. Aside from Axiom advanced SSD controller that provides intelligent “recycling” or “garbage collection” for advanced free space management, TRIM provides additional data management by letting the operating system tell the drive when to perform this function. At this time, only Windows 7, Server 2008, MacOS 10.7 and newer versions of Linux use TRIM.

All Axiom Signature SSDs are TRIM compatible.

Can I use two or more SSD drives in a RAID?

Every Axiom 2.5” SSDs can be used in RAID. Due to endurance and transaction requirements, we recommend our Signature III 6Gb drives that use a client-class controller, or our Signature III Enterprise SSDs that are over-provisioned for eMLC applications and high performance processing, and server applications.

How do I verify the TRIM Command is enabled in Windows 7?

Open Command Prompt with Administrative privileges (Run as administrator) and enter the following command.

fsutil behavior query DisableDeleteNotify
If the result is '0' TRIM is enabled.

More details on Command Prompt or Elevated Command Prompt window.

To open an Elevated Command Prompt window:

Click on Start Orb > Type "CMD.exe" in Search box > Right click on "CMD" and select "Run as Administrator" (If you receive a prompt confirmation, click YES)

To verify the TRIM command is enabled, type the following and press enter in the Elevated command:

fsutil behavior query disabledeletenotify
The results will be as follows: DisableDeleteNotify = 1 (Windows TRIM commands are disabled) DisableDeleteNotify = 0 (Windows TRIM commands are enabled)

To enable the TRIM command, type the following and press enter in the Elevated command:

fsutil behavior set disabledeletenotify 0
To disable the TRIM command, type the following and press enter in the Elevated command:

fsutil behavior set disabledeletenotify 1

Does upgrading my machine with a new hard drive (HD) or solid state drive (SSD) void the original manufacturer warranty?

No. Under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act the U.S. Federal Trade Commission protects consumers, including that a manufacturer cannot void the product warranty due to the addition to equal specification replacement or third-party product. This includes hard drives and memory modules for computer systems or transmission fluid for a car. If you are having an issue with an Axiom product, contact our technical support to help resolve the issue.

How do SSDs differ from hard drives?

An SSD works entirely different than a typical hard disk drive, though both serve the primary function of storing and accessing data. SSDs store data on faster NAND flash memory while standard hard disk drives, (HDDs) store data on mechanical spinning disks or platters. Due to the solid-state components utilized in SSDs, they have extremely low access times with virtually no latency versus the delays of a hdd that mechanically need to position an aperture arm over the moving/spinning disk that results in latency and longer seek times. Additional benefit of SSDs over HDDs is they consume less power, provide greater durability and are virtually shock proof, dissipate low heat, and create near-zero noise.

If I'm using an older OS such as Vista or XP, will I still get the performance benefits of SSDs?

While you will get the overall benefits of an SSD vs. a HDD in both XP and Vista, SSD's will perform best with Windows 7 due to features available such as TRIM. Though Windows Vista and XP were released before SSDs were a mainstream product, both can be used without issue.

What is the life expectancy of my Axiom SSD?

Aside from the estimated projections of flash memory lifecycles, how the drive is used will have a great effect on the life expectancy of your SSD. Generally, you should get many years of solid use out of your SSD.

It should be noted that excessive benchmarking of the SSD drive that forces numerous writes/reads in the NAND flash will shorten the overall SSD lifespan. Also, do not defragment your drive, it will also tax the flash components and is not necessary to maintain your SSD high performance.

Why do certain models of Axiom SSDs have more "non-usable" space than other models?

Axiom Signature Enterprise drives have more reserve-space or over-provisioning than client/consumer SSDs due to the high-performance and read/write usage in server applications. Over-provisioning provides greater wear- leveling and is one of the major factors in optimized longevity and reliability.

Why are the Axiom SSDs listed as 60GB, 120GB, 240GB and 480GB when other manufacturers list their SSDs at 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB?

Each Axiom SSD references the user addressable capacity and does not include non-volatile memory intended for the flash controller's wear-leveling, and flash memory block management. By reporting the lower user capacity versus the total SSD capacity sets realistic expectations for the user regardless of the application. Axiom enterprise drives are over-provisioned at 28%, while the consumer market drives are over-provisioned at 7%.

What benchmarks should I use to test my SSD?

If you desire to test the drives performance, Axiom would recommend IOMeter to test the IOPS and ATTO32 to test sequential read/write speeds. Please note that some benchmarks perform a large amount of read/writes to the SSD, and Axiom doesn’t recommend excessive benchmarking of your drive.