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by John W. Simek, Vice President of Sensei Enterprises, Inc.

Microsoft Pushing to Require SSDs for PCs

June 9, 2022

Solid state drives are faster than hard drives with spinning disks. Is speed a reason Microsoft is pushing computer manufacturers to drop traditional hard drives in favor of solid-state solutions? Tom’s Hardware has a post suggesting an SSD requirement for Windows 11 PCs as early as 2023 or 2024. Currently, there is no firm requirement to have an SSD in your computer. “Microsoft’s most current list of hardware requirements calls for a ’64 GB or larger storage device’ for Windows 11, so an SSD isn’t a minimum requirement for a standard install.” The reality is that quite a few machines have one already.

Price is the primary reason to select a spinning drive over an SSD. Your cost per gigabyte of storage is cheaper for a spinning drive. Price conscious consumers will typically opt for a traditional hard drive over a solid-state drive. From a reality perspective, we don’t see many spinning disk drives in computers we analyze in our forensic lab. External USB drives are a different matter, which is where we see a traditional hard disk. Because of the way SSDs work, analysis of unallocated space goes out the window (bad pun). Even if Microsoft is successful in pushing for an SSD requirement, most machines we see already have them.

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