Helpful ReplySigns of SSD Failure?

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2018/06/19 19:45:43 (permalink)

Signs of SSD Failure?

Hey All,
Still running WIN7/SP1/latest updates on a 5 year old Dell XPS8500.  All has been well until early this year when a couple of times I got unceremoniously got kicked out of WINDOWS and when I tried to reboot, my SSD (boot drive) was not recognized by the BIOS. 
I'm a retired computer professional so I did what I had to do to get things sorted out.  Happened again a few weeks ago.  Took the whole case apart, vacuumed inside, made sure everything was set and connected properly.  Was OK for a few weeks, and then last night - "BSOD" 2x, which in the 5 years I've had this computer I've only seen maybe 2 other times when trying to load funky drivers.
The common element - the room was hot and humid and I'd been doing a lot of browser work.  Air Con is on today and all is fine.
Would this be a sign of impending SSD death - a drive that stops working when it (presumably) "overheats"?  I cleaned up the drive and it's nowhere near an 80% use rate.  Ran Malware Bytes and my AntiVirus - all OK.  Checked the SSD for bad sectors - none found.
The computer is set up in the same spot it's been for 5 years; same house, same room, same weather - so this is a recent phenomenon.
When I had the case apart I didn't notice any fans not working (CPU, Power supply).
Wondering if this is a sign from the universe that it's time to move on to a new computer with WIN10 PRO - as I'm starting to run into software updates that are only WIN 10 compatible.
Thanks for any offered advice,
Danny V.
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Re: Signs of SSD Failure? 2018/06/19 20:23:32 (permalink)
Heat will definitely play a factor (I saw this with intense read/write operations), and the memory cells will degrade over time as well, especially if the "write" area is a small percentage of the drive. Not sure if this will be much use but I noticed two things with my old Patriot Wildfire (240GB).
1) Internally it will not throttle itself, so any massive installation packages (specifically DimPro installs) would blue screen it from the internal heat load. I ended up having to manually unpack those packages with 7zip prior to installation, since the double whammy of back-to-back intense operations overheated it about 50% through the installation process.
2) I had the SSD go dark to the BIOS like three times with the oddest "fix" ever. Booting from a Win7 recovery disc, I would choose the repair option, it would run a bit then say "The version on disc is not compatible with the installed version..." So I exited, rebooted, and the BIOS magically recovered (really odd).
There are some utilities to check an SSD health, and I ran those with nothing found. The cells will degrade over time (I think my benchmarks degraded about 10% in 6 years with it), so in preparation for the inevitable I bought a replacement and imaged that over. I did not notice any similar issues with the new SSD (Samsung 850 EVO 500GB). A few months later I bought a new machine and stole the Samsung to be the D drive, and threw the Patriot back into the Win7 machine. Ironically, the Patriot still outbenched the Samsung using Samsung's software.
The EVO's go on sale fairly frequently, and the cloning tool worked like a charm once it installed (IIRC, the upgrade to it didn't take, so I ran the version it initially installed).

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Re: Signs of SSD Failure? 2018/06/19 23:55:06 (permalink)
I would check power supply ratings vs load too.  If you've been adding things over the last 5 years, maybe you've exhausted the headroom the computer was built with.

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Re: Signs of SSD Failure? 2018/06/20 18:09:44 (permalink)
I'd go with motherboard eventually going bad.

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Re: Signs of SSD Failure? 2018/06/20 18:54:21 (permalink)
Thanks for all the replies.

The drive is a CRUCIAL CT480M50 mSATA (on the motherboard) SSD. I don't think they sell them anymore and couldn't find any firmware updates.

The 80% usage is in reference to some pundits saying you should never have an SSD drive more that 80% full. I'm at 60%.

There are a lot of variables at play here - but the heat in the room seems to be the constant factor.

I guess the real question is - replace the SSD with a SAMSUNG 850/860 mSata, load WN10 PRO, reload all my software, and see if I can get another two years year out of it,
just go for a new DELL XPS 15 laptop with WIN 10 PRO and Thunderbolt 3, USB-C ports.

I'll figure it out.

Thanks again.

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Re: Signs of SSD Failure? 2018/06/20 23:10:02 (permalink)
SSD drives can die suddenly as well. 
I bought my EVO at the end of 2015 about the time I helped a friend build a new system.  He bought the Samsung SSD 850 EVO 250GB for his build.  I was so impressed with that drive that I went straight home and ordered the same model for my PC.  It still shows 100% on disk diagnostics and is running flawlessly.
My buddy called me last year, saying he had just returned from vacation and his system would not boot.  I talked him through checking his BIOS, swapping SATA ports and cables etc.  Nothing he did would allow the BIOS to see the EVO again, so he pulled it out and brought it to me.
I hooked it up to my system, internally with SATA, and then I tried a USB/SATA adapter.  It was a brick!
He ordered a new one, re-installed Windows and was up and running again.  So definitely back up your SSD drives regularly, preferably with system images so you can restore quickly to a replacement drive.

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Re: Signs of SSD Failure? 2018/06/22 21:16:09 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby abacab 2018/06/23 00:15:23
I can share what I've learned about storage devices whether you decide to stick with your present system or get a new one.
If you are concerned about heat, there is a handy, non-obtrusive, small (4MB) program (runs in windows) that will monitor your computer system’s temperatures and voltages called HWMonitor from CPUID.  Hopefully Dell had the courtesy to include motherboard monitoring in the bios and make it available for this program. Measuring is always better than guessing. If you do not know your manufacturers specs for SSD operating temperature, use the following guidelines.  If you want to stress your SSD, run CrystalDiskMark (3MB program) while monitoring temps.
  • Manufacturers throttle the newer SSD’s at 70°C.
  • The max for a HDD is 60°C.
  • A cramped laptop runs at 50°C.  If you get this for a desktop, your cooling is poor.
  • The optimal HDD temps are between 35°C and 45°C, according to the Google server study in 2007.
  • But most importantly for SSD’s, power off cool down to 25°C is more important for extending life than actual operating temperature.  When the SSD is not powered, a high soak temperature enhances conductivity of the semiconductor.  Consequently, the electrons in the memory cell will escape reducing the memory cells charge and rendering the data unreadable.
Heat also takes a toll on the power supply.
To optimize an SSD for extended life, check out Sean’s guide at:
This is a long list of things to turn off, minimize, or to shift to an HDD so you can minimize the writes to your SSD.
Lastly, if you are not backing up your operating system and files, start now.

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