System administrators, ordinary PC users have always been interested in the SSD drive uptime. In this article we will describe the main aspects of this problem.
The manufacturers of SSDs claim it is nothing to worry about: they have a longer life span than SSDs. So crashes and malfunctions are less frequent.An article on the subjectHow to extend the life of an SSD
Comparing SSD, HDD and SSHD
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Benefits and drawbacks of SSD
- Electronic chips are faster than HDD. The latter contain physical parts and disks that are slower in read/write speed.
- Fast response time: Convenient for quick writing and copying of any information
- The user can check the current state of SSDs using S.M.A.R.T. analysis tools showing the remaining life of the drive.
- The life span is limited. While conventional HDDs may - in theory - last forever (in reality a maximum of 10 years), SSDs have a built-in "time of death".
- Data can only be written to a memory cell inside the chips about 3,000 to 100,000 times during its lifetime. After that, the cells "forget" the new data. Manufacturers use wear reduction algorithms so that the controller distributes the data evenly across all cells.
- The cost of SSDs is much higher than hybrid drives and HDDs.
- Data recovery is often not possible or more expensive than HDD recovery.
Total number of terabytes written (TBW)
Total number of terabytes written (TBW) is a wear assessment used on enterprise and consumer SSDs.
As data is copied to the SSD evenly across all cells, the TBW number should indicate how much data can be written to all cells within the SSD chip and over the life cycle of the SSD.
The average TBW for a 250GB SSD is between 60 and 150 terabytes. In order to exceed this TBW assured value, the user would need to write 190GB daily for one year (in other words, fill two thirds of the SSD with new data every day). Under typical PC user usage, this would be nearly impossible.
S SSD lifespan is longer than expected
According to long term research by Google and University of Toronto, the SSD lifespan limit is nearly 10 years, although the average lifespan is less.
Studies have also found that the age of the SSD is a major determinant of when it stops working. Also, according to the same research, SSDs are about 25% less likely to be replaced than HDDs.
When data is lost on an SSD or physically damaged, self-repair is not possible and the only thing left is to go to a professional service center.
In case of failure of the SSD controller or chip there is no point in trying to perform a data recovery using dedicated data recovery software. This may result in permanent data loss (no possibility to recover data).
What may lead to data loss on the SSD
While the life cycle of an SSD is generally longer than the indicated life cycle, there are always significant risks of data loss.
If the controller chip is damaged, you will not be able to access the data. The only option is to replace the controller with a similar one, which is a difficult task. In these cases data recovery specialists can reset the data using special tools.