Frequently Asked Questions

Kingston SSDs – Everything you need to know

Trim and garbage collection are technologies that modern SSDs incorporate to improve both their performance and endurance. When your SSD is in its fresh out of box condition all of the NAND blocks are empty so the SSD can write new data to the empty blocks in a single operation. Over time most of the empty blocks will become used blocks that contain user data. In order to write new data to used blocks the SSD is forced to perform a read-modify-write cycle. The read-modify-write cycle hurts the SSDs overall performance because it now must do three operations instead of a single operation. The read-modify-write cycle also causes write amplification which hurts the SSDs overall endurance.

Trim and garbage collection can work together to improve SSD performance and endurance by freeing up used blocks. Garbage collection is a function built into the SSD controller that consolidates data stored in used blocks in order to free up more empty blocks. This process happens in the background and is completely handled by the SSD itself. However the SSD may not know which blocks contain user data and which blocks contain stale data that the user has already deleted. This is where the trim function comes in. Trim allows the operating system to inform the SSD that data has been deleted so that the SSD can free up those previously used blocks. For trim to work both the operating system and the SSD must support it. Currently most modern operating systems and SSDs support trim however most RAID configurations do not support it.

Kingston SSDs take advantage of both garbage collection and trim technologies in order to maintain the highest possible performance and endurance over their lifetime.

FAQ: KSD-011411-GEN-13

Part Specific FAQs

The drivers for this drive are available for Windows 8 and up and Server 2012R2 and up by either downloading it within the installation or are built into the OS. We do not support using this drive with Windows 7 or below. It will work with newer Linux versions. Please verify if your distribution supports NVMe. These are not supported in any version of MacOS. FAQ: KSD-060117-NVME-01
High-performance NVMe SSDs require adequate airflow for maximum bandwidth and performance. During heavy workloads or extensive benchmarking, the drive will heat up and the controller firmware may implement thermal throttling in order to maintain proper operating temperature and ensure drive integrity. If performance degradation is observed within these circumstances, confirm the SSD is receiving adequate cooling and/or increase the system’s fan speed to reduce drive temperatures. 

Note: Thermal throttling will engage when temperature reaches 80°C FAQ: KSD-060117-NVME-02
Our NVMe SSD rely on native Linux and Microsoft NVMe drivers. Microsoft’s native NVMe driver issues Forced Unit Access (FUA) IO writes and Flush commands to NVMe devices that have a volatile write cache. This, in effect, undermines the write caching on the target SSD by often bypassing the DRAM cache and writing directly to NAND. As a result of this behavior, the NVMe SSD’s performance is reduced. To obtain maximum performance, you need to disable write cache buffer flushing on the target drive within Windows.  

Steps to Disabling Write-Cache Buffer Flush 

1. Open Device Manager 

2. Select Disk Drives and expand, then select target drive.  

3. Right-click and select Properties 

4. Check “Turn off Windows write-cache buffer flushing on the device”  

a. Note: By disabling write-cache buffer flushing on the device, you run the risk of losing data in transit and/or data corruption in the event of a power failure. Only disable this feature if you are aware of the risks associated with it. 

Performance Comparison

FAQ: KSD-060117-KC1000-04

General SSD FAQs

Kingston SSD Manager (KSM) is ending support for Microsoft Windows 7. The latest version of KSM with Windows 7 support is v1.1.2.5. If you are using Windows 7 and experience complications with KSM, please make sure you have AHCI mode enabled in BIOS and install the latest Intel RST storage driver provided by your system manufacturer. If you still need assistance, feel free to contact our Kingston Technical Support department. FAQ: KSM-001125-001-00
Kingston SSD Manager 1.1.2.6 will not offer firmware updates for NVMe SSDs until IEEE 1667 support has been disabled. In order to complete the firmware update you must do the following:

1. First, we recommend you backup your data.
2. Then use a secondary system to complete a REVERT using the PSID on the drive label. Note: Performing a REVERT will securely erase all data on the drive.
3. Disable IEEE 1667 support
4. The firmware update will become available upon refresh or restart of KSM FAQ: KSM-001125-001-01

More Questions

Secure Erase User Guide for Linux
This guide will walk you through securely erasing your Kingston SSD using Linux tools

SATA Secure Erase Procedure

Warning
Please make sure to have a full backup of any important data before you proceed!

Prerequisites
• You must have root privileges.
• You must have your SSD connected to the system as a secondary (non-OS) drive.
• You must have lsscsi and hdparm installed. You may need to install them with your distribution’s package manager.
• Your drive must not be in a security freeze.
• Your drive must not be password protected.

Instructions
1. Find the device name (/dev/sdX) of the drive you wish to erase:
# lsscsi

2. Make sure drive security is not frozen:
# hdparm -I /dev/sdX | grep frozen

If the output shows "frozen" (instead of "not frozen") then you cannot continue to the next step. You must try to remove the security freeze by trying one of the following methods:

Method 1: Put the system to sleep (suspend to RAM) and wake it up. On most distributions the command to suspend is:
# systemctl suspend

Now issue the hdparm command again. If it worked the output will show “not frozen” (instead of “frozen”).
Method 2: Hot plug the drive. This is done by physically unplugging the SATA power cable from the drive and plugging it back in while the system is powered on. You may need to enable hot plug in BIOS. Not all systems support hot plug.

Now issue the hdparm command again. If it worked the output will show “not frozen” (instead of “frozen”).

3. Set a user password on the drive. The password can be anything. Here we are setting the password to “p”:
# hdparm --security-set-pass p /dev/sdX

4. Issue the secure erase command to the drive using the same password:
# hdparm --security-erase p /dev/sdX

This command may take a few minutes to complete. The drive password is removed upon successful completion.
If the secure erase is interrupted or otherwise fails your drive may become security locked. In this case you can remove the security lock using the command below and then try the secure erase procedure again:
# hdparm --security-disable p /dev/sdX

SATA Secure Erase Example



NVMe Secure Erase Procedure

Warning
Please make sure to have a full backup of any important data before you proceed!

Prerequisites
• You must have root privileges.
• You must have your SSD connected to the system as a secondary (non-OS) drive.
• You must have nvme-cli installed. You may need to install it with your distribution’s package manager.
• Your drive must not be password protected.

Instructions
1. Find the device name (/dev/nvmeXn1) of the drive you wish to erase:
# nvme list

2. Issue the format command to the drive. Here we set the secure erase setting to 1 which indicates a user data erase:
# nvme format /dev/nvmeXn1 --ses=1

This command may take a few minutes to complete.


NVMe Secure Erase Example

FAQ: KSM-SE-LIX

Contact Technical Support

Questions about a Kingston product you already own? Ask a Kingston expert.

Call Technical Support

Monday-Friday 6 a.m.-6 p.m. PT

+1 (800)435-0640 (Closed)

Frequently Asked Questions

More Questions

Trim and garbage collection are technologies that modern SSDs incorporate to improve both their performance and endurance. When your SSD is in its fresh out of box condition all of the NAND blocks are empty so the SSD can write new data to the empty blocks in a single operation. Over time most of the empty blocks will become used blocks that contain user data. In order to write new data to used blocks the SSD is forced to perform a read-modify-write cycle. The read-modify-write cycle hurts the SSDs overall performance because it now must do three operations instead of a single operation. The read-modify-write cycle also causes write amplification which hurts the SSDs overall endurance.

Trim and garbage collection can work together to improve SSD performance and endurance by freeing up used blocks. Garbage collection is a function built into the SSD controller that consolidates data stored in used blocks in order to free up more empty blocks. This process happens in the background and is completely handled by the SSD itself. However the SSD may not know which blocks contain user data and which blocks contain stale data that the user has already deleted. This is where the trim function comes in. Trim allows the operating system to inform the SSD that data has been deleted so that the SSD can free up those previously used blocks. For trim to work both the operating system and the SSD must support it. Currently most modern operating systems and SSDs support trim however most RAID configurations do not support it.

Kingston SSDs take advantage of both garbage collection and trim technologies in order to maintain the highest possible performance and endurance over their lifetime.

FAQ: KSD-011411-GEN-13
The drivers for this drive are available for Windows 8 and up and Server 2012R2 and up by either downloading it within the installation or are built into the OS. We do not support using this drive with Windows 7 or below. It will work with newer Linux versions. Please verify if your distribution supports NVMe. These are not supported in any version of MacOS. FAQ: KSD-060117-NVME-01
High-performance NVMe SSDs require adequate airflow for maximum bandwidth and performance. During heavy workloads or extensive benchmarking, the drive will heat up and the controller firmware may implement thermal throttling in order to maintain proper operating temperature and ensure drive integrity. If performance degradation is observed within these circumstances, confirm the SSD is receiving adequate cooling and/or increase the system’s fan speed to reduce drive temperatures. 

Note: Thermal throttling will engage when temperature reaches 80°C FAQ: KSD-060117-NVME-02
Our NVMe SSD rely on native Linux and Microsoft NVMe drivers. Microsoft’s native NVMe driver issues Forced Unit Access (FUA) IO writes and Flush commands to NVMe devices that have a volatile write cache. This, in effect, undermines the write caching on the target SSD by often bypassing the DRAM cache and writing directly to NAND. As a result of this behavior, the NVMe SSD’s performance is reduced. To obtain maximum performance, you need to disable write cache buffer flushing on the target drive within Windows.  

Steps to Disabling Write-Cache Buffer Flush 

1. Open Device Manager 

2. Select Disk Drives and expand, then select target drive.  

3. Right-click and select Properties 

4. Check “Turn off Windows write-cache buffer flushing on the device”  

a. Note: By disabling write-cache buffer flushing on the device, you run the risk of losing data in transit and/or data corruption in the event of a power failure. Only disable this feature if you are aware of the risks associated with it. 

Performance Comparison

FAQ: KSD-060117-KC1000-04
Kingston SSD Manager (KSM) is ending support for Microsoft Windows 7. The latest version of KSM with Windows 7 support is v1.1.2.5. If you are using Windows 7 and experience complications with KSM, please make sure you have AHCI mode enabled in BIOS and install the latest Intel RST storage driver provided by your system manufacturer. If you still need assistance, feel free to contact our Kingston Technical Support department. FAQ: KSM-001125-001-00
Kingston SSD Manager 1.1.2.6 will not offer firmware updates for NVMe SSDs until IEEE 1667 support has been disabled. In order to complete the firmware update you must do the following:

1. First, we recommend you backup your data.
2. Then use a secondary system to complete a REVERT using the PSID on the drive label. Note: Performing a REVERT will securely erase all data on the drive.
3. Disable IEEE 1667 support
4. The firmware update will become available upon refresh or restart of KSM FAQ: KSM-001125-001-01
Secure Erase User Guide for Linux
This guide will walk you through securely erasing your Kingston SSD using Linux tools

SATA Secure Erase Procedure

Warning
Please make sure to have a full backup of any important data before you proceed!

Prerequisites
• You must have root privileges.
• You must have your SSD connected to the system as a secondary (non-OS) drive.
• You must have lsscsi and hdparm installed. You may need to install them with your distribution’s package manager.
• Your drive must not be in a security freeze.
• Your drive must not be password protected.

Instructions
1. Find the device name (/dev/sdX) of the drive you wish to erase:
# lsscsi

2. Make sure drive security is not frozen:
# hdparm -I /dev/sdX | grep frozen

If the output shows "frozen" (instead of "not frozen") then you cannot continue to the next step. You must try to remove the security freeze by trying one of the following methods:

Method 1: Put the system to sleep (suspend to RAM) and wake it up. On most distributions the command to suspend is:
# systemctl suspend

Now issue the hdparm command again. If it worked the output will show “not frozen” (instead of “frozen”).
Method 2: Hot plug the drive. This is done by physically unplugging the SATA power cable from the drive and plugging it back in while the system is powered on. You may need to enable hot plug in BIOS. Not all systems support hot plug.

Now issue the hdparm command again. If it worked the output will show “not frozen” (instead of “frozen”).

3. Set a user password on the drive. The password can be anything. Here we are setting the password to “p”:
# hdparm --security-set-pass p /dev/sdX

4. Issue the secure erase command to the drive using the same password:
# hdparm --security-erase p /dev/sdX

This command may take a few minutes to complete. The drive password is removed upon successful completion.
If the secure erase is interrupted or otherwise fails your drive may become security locked. In this case you can remove the security lock using the command below and then try the secure erase procedure again:
# hdparm --security-disable p /dev/sdX

SATA Secure Erase Example



NVMe Secure Erase Procedure

Warning
Please make sure to have a full backup of any important data before you proceed!

Prerequisites
• You must have root privileges.
• You must have your SSD connected to the system as a secondary (non-OS) drive.
• You must have nvme-cli installed. You may need to install it with your distribution’s package manager.
• Your drive must not be password protected.

Instructions
1. Find the device name (/dev/nvmeXn1) of the drive you wish to erase:
# nvme list

2. Issue the format command to the drive. Here we set the secure erase setting to 1 which indicates a user data erase:
# nvme format /dev/nvmeXn1 --ses=1

This command may take a few minutes to complete.


NVMe Secure Erase Example

FAQ: KSM-SE-LIX

Contact Technical Support

Questions about a Kingston product you already own? Ask a Kingston expert.

Call Technical Support

Monday-Friday 6 a.m.-6 p.m. PT

+1 (800)435-0640 (Closed)

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