The trim command is unsupported on my Samsung T3 external usb ssd drive. I would like to know when and under what conditions the internal garbage collection is activated so it purges deleted files on the drive.

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    This seems more of a question for Samsung technical support - many products have multiple versions with a single model number, which may have internal differences. This means that even if someone has the same drive, they may observe slightly different behaviour to you. Safest method with most SSDs is to enable encryption before putting any files on them, so any recovered data is useless without the key, but this doesn't help with already written data. – Matthew Sep 8 '16 at 7:59

In the absence of TRIM, an external USB drive (SSD or not) is pure block storage. It just stores 512 or 4096 byte blocks. It doesn't know about files, let alone whether they're deleted.

  • How does this then affect deleted files, not at all? It just stays until it's overwritten? – user638145 Sep 8 '16 at 18:38
  • if you keep the drive almost full, it will "turn over" a lot quicker. – dandavis Sep 8 '16 at 19:20
  • @dandavis: "Full" is a file system concept, and "TRIM" is how the computer shares that concept with a block device. Without TRIM, all blocks are equal. – MSalters Sep 9 '16 at 7:08
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    @user638145: Indeed. And due to wear levelling, a the blocks of a file that's overwritten might be swapped with (hidden) blocks from the spare capacity, so deleted files might physically remain on the disk even longer. – MSalters Sep 9 '16 at 7:10
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    if you keep it full of say, mp3s, remaining blocks will rotate faster, increasing the likelihood of over-write. – dandavis Sep 9 '16 at 12:27

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