How Do Solid State Drives Work: Ultimate Useful Guide For Beginners

Linda J
Linda J
Last Modified May 9, 2019
How Solid State Drive Works

Wondering how do solid-state drives work? In this article, we are going to answer basic questions by anyone who wants to learn more about solid-state drives.

SSDs offer a number of advantages over conventional media drives. While their use in the consumer arena is relatively new, the technology that powers their fast storage and recall operations has actually been around since the early 1980s. Before you visit your trusty SSD data recovery service, and interrogate them for questions,  check out this quick guide first!

here’s how these awesomely hardy devices keep your data in order without employing a single moving part.

What Are Solid State Drives and How Do They Work?

What Are Solid State Drives

Solid state drives, or SSDs, function by using transistors and other solid-state electronics to store and retrieve data. Most employ special floating-gate field effect transistors, or FETs, which change their conductivity in response to external voltages. Unlike the majority of FETs, however, these devices feature electrically isolated, or floating, gate sections. Any charge that builds up on the gate has nowhere to go and thus retains its state for some time.

Individual FETs, or cells, act like NAND logic gates, with each storing a charge or lack thereof to represent a single 0 or 1 and the device only outputting a 0 if all of its inputs are 1s. These transistors include source lines and bit lines that connect each cell to control reading and writing and arrange the individual bits into grids. Additional transistors are employed to control addressing, or which bit is being accessed at a given moment.

Each grid, or block, is further divided into rows of bits known as words, whose sizes typically max out at around 16K. With typical block sizes of up to 256 pages, common page sizes can reach around 4MB.

SSD Operation

Ssd Operation

While RAM generally beats all other devices in terms of low read and write access delays, NAND memory consistently outpaces hard drives in these categories, and the fact that seeking is unnecessary is a clear advantage. The one operation that flash falls behind on is erasure, which isn’t needed for hard drives or RAM.

Erasing stored bits at the block level is the best way to minimize the negative side effects of the high voltages required for erasure, so these operations take some time. As SSDs become increasingly full, they may also slow down, as they have to locate blocks that are OK to delete and erase them completely before writing new pages.

Techniques like garbage collection, where blocks are modified by writing their new state to empty blocks before deleting the originals, and TRIM, or skipping rewrite operations for select data when block erasure is performed, can decrease overhead. Other methods, like wear leveling, ensure that different NAND blocks are generally used the same amount to increase overall drive life. Wear leveling, garbage collection and TRIM also help mitigate the impacts of having to write whole blocks just to erase select pages.

What Are The Parts In An SSD?

You also need to find out what’s inside an SSD whenever you’re studying how do solid state drives work. SSDs revolve around two main components: the memory and the controller. The memory consists of the blocks of NAND flash gates that actually hold the data. The controllers are complex electronic circuits that perform read, write and erasure operations.

Parts In An Ssd

Controllers also take care of monitoring blocks for wear leveling, finding unusable sectors that have sustained damage, data encryption, error correction and garbage collection. Different manufacturers employ a range of proprietary techniques to give their SSD products competitive edges, and these typically revolve around how controllers function.

What To Do when SSD loses data

Ssd Data Loss

Even if SSDs are advanced and can perform well, data loss is still something you can experience. Even experts who have studied how do solid state drives work for years don’t have any assurance that they’ll never lose any data. Once you notice that you have unexpectedly lost some important files, it’s best to stop using your computer or laptop right away.

You should immediately bring your device to a licensed technician who has years of experience in recovering data. They are the only ones who can safely recover your files. They can even tell you some quick facts about how do solid state drives work.

Asking Help From TTR Data Recovery

At TTR Data Recovery, we have a team of licensed technicians that will help you with any kind of data recovery service you may need. Our team handles at least 70,000 data loss cases every year so you can rest assured that your devices are in good hands. We offer reliable and affordable service that promises to have your files recovered in a week or less.

All the technicians at TTR Data Recovery are knowledgeable about how solid-state drives work. Whenever you have problems with your SSD, they will be able to find out exactly what is causing it and then explain it to you right after. You don’t really need to pressure yourself to master everything there is to know about how solid-state drives work because our technicians can just do all the dirty work for you.

The easiest way to get hold of us is through the live chat on our website. You can also email us at or give us a call at 1-888-328-2887. We offer 24/7 service so feel free to contact us as soon as you sense any problem with your devices.

Importance of Keeping Backups

Ssd Back Up

Since the data loss is inevitable, you might want to be extra prepared in case you ever experience it. The only way you can be is 100% prepared is by keeping a backup of all the files in your computer. A portable SSD or an external hard drive can be used for creating a backup.

Figuring out how do external solid state drives work is quite easy because it’s just like having a USB flash drive with a massive storage capacity. You just have to connect the drive to your computer or laptop using a FireWire or USB cable. Your computers or laptops will automatically detect the drive and ask you if you want to use it to back up your files.

Because you never know when you can lose data, you have to make sure you regularly backup your files. It is recommended that you perform a backup every day. Doing this will make sure you will always have an extra copy of all the important files you store on your computer.

Differences of an SSD and Hard Drive

Differences Of An Ssd And Hard Drive

Hard drives employ magnetic storage to accomplish read and write operations. Each disk inside a drive contains distinct sections of paramagnetic materials, or substances that change their magnetic field in response to external magnetic fields. When a read-write arm uses an electromagnet, or head, to set the orientation of a given field, that bit becomes a 0 or a 1 that can later be retrieved.

If you’re wondering how do solid state drives work compared to a hard drive, it is actually quite simple. SSDs make use of flash memory chips while hard drives require moving parts. Voice coils, motors and other hardware work together to keep the drives spinning and shift the arm back and forth so that its read-write head can access individual data sectors. This traditional methodology has some advantages, like established market share and well-known failure modes, but compared to SSDs, it generally suffers from heightened wear, slower access and increased environmental susceptibility.

The reason why some people prefer hard drives has got to be because of its storage capacity. Hard drives can go up to as much as 10TB. Meanwhile SSDs usually just go up to 4TB. When testing how well do the solid-state drives work, you will get to discover that SSDs are always faster, more durable, and more energy efficient. SSDs promise an impressive overall performance so this is why SSDs are not that cheap.

The Difference of an SSD to an SSHD

Some of you who already know about how solid-state drives work might still be telling yourself that going for a traditional hard drive is still the way to go. If you want to get the best of both worlds, this is where SSHDs step in. SSHD stands for Solid State Hybrid Drive.

The Difference Of An Ssd To An Sshd

To understand how do solid state hybrid drives work, you can just think of SSHDs as a combination of an HDD and SSD. How does a solid state and normal hard drive work together? An SSHD basically gives you the storage capacity of an HDD and the performance of an SDD.

An SSHD makes use of NAND flash memory so you won’t really be worrying about any moving parts getting damaged in the long run. When you compare how solid state drives work to how SSHDs work, you will come to the conclusion that SSDs are still the winner when it comes to performance. SSHDs just have a longer lifespan and are generally more affordable.

The Downside of Using an SSD

Even if there are many good things to discover when reading about how do solid state drives work, there is still a catch to be aware of. When buying an SSD, you should know that the number of writes your SSD can make is actually limited. This versus the old standard might make people want to use HDDs or SSHDs instead.

However, the only people who need to worry about reaching the limit are those who regularly write a huge amount of gigabytes for years. If you just use SSDs for storing personal files, then you’re all good. The reason why the demand for SSDs is still very high today is because of the impeccable speed it promises. At this time and age where many people are always on-the-go, getting work done the fastest way possible is what everyone needs.

Best Kinds of SSDs on the Market as of 2019

Best Ssd In The Market

When you’re picking out a new phone, computer, TV, etc, you always figure out which are the best and most reliable brands. The same thing applies when you are thinking of buying a new SSD. With the numerous brands on the market today, it’s good to know where will you get your money’s worth. Knowing how do solid state drives work will be put to waste if you buy a faulty SSD.

According to Tech Radar, here are some of the best SSDs you can buy in 2019:

  • Samsung 970 Evo Plus
  • Samsung 970 Pro
  • Samsung 860 Pro
  • Samsung 860 Evo
  • Samsung X5 Portable SSD
  • WD Black SN750 NVMe
  • Toshiba OCZ RD400
  • Adata XPG SX8200
  • HP S700 Pro
  • Intel 760p Series
  • Intel 750 Series

Whenever you need to refresh your memory, our tech experts at TTR Data Recovery can tell you all you need to know about how solid state drives work. Want to know how does a new solid state hard drives work storage wise or how do solid state drives work without power? Just give us a call and we’d be happy to help!