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Browser cache and temporary files are really dangerous if I use SSD?

  • Hello!

    Browser cache and temporary files are really dangerous if I use SSD?
    The cache files are small and very-very short-life, and exist a lot of them.

    I have an SSD with TLC memory chips.


  • Only if you really value your privacy. On normal HDD's when deleting a file it's not really deleted but the reference to it is removed and it's marked as free space. At some point it will be overwritten by new data. SSD's complicate the issue however. When a sector has been written to it can't be used again until it's erased. The problem is that erasing is a timely operation and for this reason data gets erased not as individual sectors but as blocks of data, typically in the region of 1MB as opposed to 512 bytes. For this reason SSD's have extra capacity to serve as replacement for sectors that haven't been erased. To complicate the issue even further the wear leveling on modern SSD's will try to ensure that all sectors are used equally. Writing to the same logical sector again may therefor write to a different physical sector.

    Even on normal HDD's data can remain for years on sectors that aren't used often but in some cases old data have been found on SSD's even after a decade. The upside is that HDD's can erase data while SSD's have no such option and even the suggested secure erase of an entire disk isn't guaranteed to do so.

  • @molngab, if you're asking about the risk of "wearing out" the SSD cells by frequent file writing, if you have a reasonably modern SSD, the answer would be "virtually none". Given the math involved, the odds are much higher that you will obsolete your system long before the SSD reaches end-of-life.