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Solid state drive vulnerability
Old 05-10-2015, 07:52 AM   #1
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Solid state drive vulnerability

There have been anumber of comments here about backing up important information on the newer solid state drives. This article warns that temperature can have a serious effect on some lower quality drives, causing them to lose data.

Solid-state drives lose data if left without power for just a few days | ZDNet
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Old 05-10-2015, 08:49 AM   #2
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Intresting article. Im not sure about the statement on enterprise class. Megacorp had good amount of enterprise SDD, we didn't experience significantly more issues than HDD. It was very closely monitored as they adopted the technology early.

My experience is probably skewed in that the DCs I was in were certified tier 4(interesting information on Google) the environmentals and infrastructure were totally amazing. If if failed nobody but the geeks even knew, just to schedule maintenance. By definition there were multiple exact backups.

For the home user it could be a PIA.



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Old 05-10-2015, 09:33 AM   #3
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I guess, there's no such thing as a free lunch. Maybe I won't be saving my pennies to go SSD after all
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Old 05-10-2015, 10:06 AM   #4
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I would imagine that there are critical bits and noncritical bits. For instance, if a bit is flipped in a photo and thus a pixel is damaged, is that really going to matter? Most photos are not that critical if one were unreadable.

Then there are the critical data like some of my spreadsheets. For this, I have several layers of backups: (1) the hard drive on the PC, (2) the removable hard drive, (3) my flash memory stick, and (4) cloud storage.
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Old 05-10-2015, 10:28 AM   #5
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[...]I have several layers of backups: (1) the hard drive on the PC, (2) the removable hard drive, (3) my flash memory stick, and (4) cloud storage.
This is my approach, too - - redundant backups on redundant devices. Right now I keep my data on my laptop computer, backed up on a portable external hard drive and on a big thumb drive. The cost for both of the latter (together) added up to just $100, and I can afford that. I back up 1-2 times each week.... at least once/week on each of the two storage devices, but generally not on the same day.

I think that the chances are pretty small that all three devices would catastrophically croak at the same time.

It would be even safer to use cloud storage as well, because the backup would be at a different location, but I just don't yet feel comfortable with the small risk of invasion of privacy. Maybe someday.
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Old 05-10-2015, 10:51 AM   #6
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First, SSDs are not really being used for long term storage anyhow. They are relatively expensive, they are used on active computers to speed things up - you are paying for speed - no sense spending that and leaving it sit.

Second, as others mentioned - back up.

Third, what kind of writer is this anyhow (bold mine)?

Quote:
Don't immediately freak out, though. It depends entirely on the temperature, but also the type of drive you're using.
What does the word 'entirely' mean? The 'but also' makes no sense in the context of 'entirely'. Pretty much lost me right there if they can't communicate with simple English.

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Old 05-10-2015, 11:48 AM   #7
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It's tough to bite on buying a SSD today with prices as of today for about $450 for a 1TB drive, where you can get a 1TB regular HD for about $60.

As for backups, what I really like (for Win) now is Macrium Reflect. Picked up the current (purchased, though there is a free one, with less features) version and schedule automated backups of my Data folder and entire system, to a separate internal HD.

Plus I do some syncing (with a syncing program) of my data folder for redundancy.

If my OS goes kaput or takes a virus/maleware hit, or I delete data by mistake, I feel protected .
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Old 05-10-2015, 12:21 PM   #8
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I've had some not-so-nice failures on SSD drives in laptops. In fact I just went through the fun of "restoring" the OS on my laptop - and it's still crashing intermittently - so I assume it's the SSD. I have a new ultrabook on order with an old school hard drive. My younger son's laptop has had the SSD crash and be replaced twice. Sure - we could recover the data in all these cases - but that is a PITA and time consuming to reinstall all the software, etc.

My older son built his "dream" gaming desktop. Due to stupidity, it got crunched. Case was bent, pretty awful. We assumed the hard drive was destroyed. The only damage was where the SATA connector hooked in (the little plastic clippy thingy that holds the cable in place snapped off. I regained a new appreciation for the old mechanical drives.

I do backups... don't get me wrong. But it's a PITA to restore - and I'd rather not do that frequently.... so I'm backing away from SSD hard drives.
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Old 05-10-2015, 12:25 PM   #9
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Interesting, this is new information to me.
I just counted - I have 11 SSD's spanning the quality range from low end OCZ & Kingston to high end Intel, and Samsung. I have not experienced any data loss over the past 6 years. Normal house temp, 60 - 78 degrees F.
I will be sure to make a back-up copy of all my drives when I put them into storage in the near future, just to be safe. Thanks
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Old 05-10-2015, 01:31 PM   #10
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Updating my desktop C drive (only OS and programs) to SSD was the single best performance boost I've ever done. I first upgraded nearly 3 years ago but a few months back bought a larger Samsung SSD to take the place of the smaller Kingston one. I used the Samsung software for the cloning and setup (Samsung Magician) of the new SSD. Everything went without a hitch but after barely a month, I happened to check "lifetime writes" which is a measure of how much lifetime is used up. I was shocked to see I had over 3 TB of lifetime writes already! At that rate, the SSD would likely be failing within 2-3 years. Compare that to my previous Kingston SSD that in 2.5 years only had a total of 13.4 TB lifetime writes. I went back into Magician and used custom settings to eliminate certain features like hibernation and move virtual memory to another drive. Why the software had not set it up that way initially is beyond me. Since I changed the parameters, lifetime write rate has dropped back closer to that for my old drive and I shouldn't have to worry about premature failure.

Just a word of warning to ensure your SSD is set up properly and that your OS is new enough to work well with SSD's. Also don't trust any SSD software to make good setup decisions on its own. And after your install, double-check to see that lifetime writes are reasonable.
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Old 05-11-2015, 03:59 AM   #11
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I went back into Magician and used custom settings to eliminate certain features like hibernation and move virtual memory to another drive. Why the software had not set it up that way initially is beyond me.
That's because the pagefile is one of the things that benefit most from SSDs (bunch of random 4K reads) and assuming you have plenty of RAM, shouldn't put excessive write strain on the SSD.

As for 3TB lifetime write in one month, that's pretty normal following initial install and set-up. The writes tend to normalize over time. One thing you do want to disable which might have been left over from an HDD clone is automatic disk defrag.

Mind, I believe we do write around 2-3TB per month on some of our SSDs (live TV buffer). Personally, I'm not concerned. Endurance testing has shown that even 256 GB class TLC-based SSDs can handle 200TB NAND writes. Heck, even after years of operation, our SSDs still show 90+% health in CrystalDiskInfo. Honestly, random controller failure and sudden power loss are more likely culprits for SSD death than running out of write cycles.

Also note the SSD data retention in the article is primarily based on SSDs that have already used up their rated P/E cycles. Since the NAND is already in a degraded state, they can't hold their charge as well. Iirc, data retention is more around 8-10 years for SSDs in a non-degraded state.
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Old 05-11-2015, 08:21 AM   #12
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Interesting. I've been hesitant to buy off on SSDs because of price and 'newness'. I back up routine stuff to a external HDD as well as a cloud storage provider. For the 'real important' stuff, I back up every 3 months or so to a HDD I keep in the safe deposit box.

Sent from my mobile device so please excuse grammatical errors.
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Old 05-11-2015, 09:55 AM   #13
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From the article it sounds like this doesn't affect consumer drives much:
Quote:
Most consumer solid-state drives, such as those in high-end performance desktops and certain notebooks (including Apple MacBooks), do not suffer as much. They are designed to retain data for about two years in storage under the right temperature.
The only place where I think this could impact me is if I leave my laptop in the passenger compartment of my car on a hot day (I would either put it in the trunk or take it with me).

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It's tough to bite on buying a SSD today with prices as of today for about $450 for a 1TB drive, where you can get a 1TB regular HD for about $60.
Using a computer without an SSD feels like molasses to me and there's no way I would get a new computer without one. SSDs are significantly more expensive but I think most users can get by with much less space (e.g. 256GB or 512GB) which is generally sufficient for OS, Apps, and user files (except for large media libraries).
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Old 05-11-2015, 09:55 AM   #14
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Flyboy, newness of SSD? We used SSD in enterprise class servers at least 5 years ago. Is that too new? I'd hazard a guess those drives supporting ~100,000 users did a little more I/O activity than the average pc.

Sure sometimes you'll get a dud SSD. If you purchase enough HDD you'll get duds too. We had purchased and installed 2000 HDD the year before I retired. They started failing the first week. We had at least a 200 failures over the first 6 months, it wasn't unusual if 4 or 5 would fail the same day.
Working with the vendor it was determined that it was just batch of drives with consecutive serial numbers that happened to have a high failure rate.

The more I think about the article the "author's" writing contains the same amount of factual information as an E.J. Jones commercial.

Just a suggestion if you looking at the cost of SSD don't. Just get a hybrid drive, much cheaper all the same benefits. If there's a downside to hybrid vs SSD someone please educate me.



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Old 05-11-2015, 10:27 AM   #15
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Just a suggestion if you looking at the cost of SSD don't. Just get a hybrid drive, much cheaper all the same benefits. If there's a downside to hybrid vs SSD someone please educate me.
Hybrids/SSHDs make use of data caching to speed up the system. Normally, you only benefit after repeated use of the same data and that's really mostly for reads. You usually have no control over the algorithm used for caching.

Pricing for SSHDs used to be pretty atrocious, too. Just a couple of years ago, you would have been better off getting a 128GB SSD (OS/Programs) + 1TB HDD (Data) for the same price as a 1TB SSHD. Nowadays, I've seen SSHDs on sale frequently so they're more acceptable. Still, I prefer the SSD (OS/Programs) + HDD (Data) approach. It's just... cleaner for me.
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Old 05-11-2015, 10:52 AM   #16
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Flyboy, newness of SSD? We used SSD in enterprise class servers at least 5 years ago. Is that too new? I'd hazard a guess those drives supporting ~100,000 users did a little more I/O activity than the average pc.

Sure sometimes you'll get a dud SSD. If you purchase enough HDD you'll get duds too. We had purchased and installed 2000 HDD the year before I retired. They started failing the first week. We had at least a 200 failures over the first 6 months, it wasn't unusual if 4 or 5 would fail the same day.
Working with the vendor it was determined that it was just batch of drives with consecutive serial numbers that happened to have a high failure rate.

The more I think about the article the "author's" writing contains the same amount of factual information as an E.J. Jones commercial.

Just a suggestion if you looking at the cost of SSD don't. Just get a hybrid drive, much cheaper all the same benefits. If there's a downside to hybrid vs SSD someone please educate me.



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Well...New to me!

When the price comes down, I will re-evaluate but between the current setup I have now for backup and my aversion to spending money, it might be a while. It's not easy retiring at 40 of you spend money all willy nilly on those new fandango things.

As a matter of fact, I bought a cheap flip phone to use while in Mexico and I like the simplicity of it so much, I'm thinking of dumping my 3 year old busted up Samsung Galaxy 3 for it permanently!

Sent from my mobile device so please excuse grammatical errors.
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Old 05-11-2015, 11:08 AM   #17
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Don't hybrid drives have only a tiny amount of flash memory (e.g. 8-16GB)? Even apple's fusion drive with a larger SSD (128GB?) has a limited write buffer of ~5GB last I checked.
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Old 05-11-2015, 11:44 AM   #18
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Yes, here's a nice link that explains the pros and cons of HDD, SDD and hybrid. I understand totally why hnzw_rui has his machine configured how he does. Putting the OS on SSD makes boot time scream, your page file is the highest I/O on the system so you see massive gains immediately.

One thing to remember is this technology is getting faster and better daily. All the concerns about the "sectors" failing on SSD true but they have improved drastically. I'm not sure folks realize that happens all the time on HDD too. Granted not as frequently today but it's always been there. The industry is headed to SSD for all I/O intensive workloads, doesn't matter how fast your chip is as all machines wait at the same speed! In ten years HDD will only be used for data that is seldom if ever accessed(IMHO).

http://www.pcworld.com/article/20254...-for-you-.html




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Old 05-11-2015, 11:48 AM   #19
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Don't hybrid drives have only a tiny amount of flash memory (e.g. 8-16GB)?
Yup, most SSHDs have a pretty limited amount of flash. Again, the flash is only used for caching in order to speed up frequently used data stored on the mechanical portion of the drive. Think of it as a tier 2 persistent cache (RAM being tier 1 volatile cache).

Western Digital has the WD BlackČ which is pretty much a 128GB SSD+1TB HDD combo drive but it's just as pricey as buying the SSD and HDD separately. Still, it's a good fit for certain applications such as laptops where you might want/need both speed and capacity but don't have room for two drives.
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