SSD Failure

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by mcvaughan, Feb 17, 2008.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2007
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #1
    Well, while enjoying a beautiful, sunny day here I was outside with my MBA surfing the web. I had a few other apps open at the same time like iTunes, QuickTime and Mail. Safari all of a sudden beach balls and I wait a bit until I try doing a force quit on it. After a while I still have no response and I cannot close it. So, I hold my breath while forcing a shutdown with the power button. To make a long story short, I ended up with the flashing question mark on the gray screen. Now I'm doing a remote reinstall from my MBP! :mad:

    A beautiful day turned gray... :rolleyes:
     
  2. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2007
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #2
    Well, more bad news... I think my SSD has failed. After initializing the remote install from my MBP, nothing shows up for an installation destination. :mad:

    I guess I'm off to the Apple store. :(
     
  3. macrumors 68040

    Cybergypsy

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Location:
    Central Florida!
  4. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2007
    #4
    Oh man, that's terrible. I though SSD were supposed to be more reliable.

    I do agree with your diagnosis though. There's no much that could destabilise OS X in the way you described except for a hardware failure. My XP box craps out after about 6-12months requiring reinstall, but I've never found that to be the case with OS X.
     
  5. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2005
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #5
    Can you use Disk Utility from the OS X Installer to wipe the drive and have it ready to go? it may not be the answer but its saved me a couple of times.
     
  6. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2007
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #6
    well, just got back from the store. Drive is definitely toast -- does not show up in disk utility. Of course, the store had no 1.8/ssd airs in stock, so I am on a waiting list for a new one. Hopefully tomorrow. :(
     
  7. macrumors 6502

    drchipinski

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    #7
    On that note...I will wait for a MBP or a MB, not another MBA
     
  8. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Location:
    Virginia
    #8
    Oh man that is insane.. I figured the SSD drives would be more stable (no moving parts).
     
  9. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2005
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #9
    Your judging an entire product line on one hardware failure?

    I wont buy another car, i hear one broke down once.
     
  10. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2007
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #10
    Agreed. The MBA is a fantastic machine, and there's no reason to pass it over because of isolated failures. It's easy to get a bad one out of thousands and thousands of good ones. I look forward to getting my replacement unit.
     
  11. macrumors 68000

    CaptainCaveMann

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2004
    #11
    +1

    This is really the first time I've heard of this happening. Overall people seem to be singing the MBA's praises. And I'm stoked about getting one. Be grateful you can afford such a high end machine, period. :cool:
     
  12. macrumors 68040

    synth3tik

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2006
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    #12
    At their current state SSDs are less reliable, just as fast, and take up about the same amount of power.
     
  13. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2008
    #13
    Where did you hear that they are less reliable? I've heard that they're more reliable and faster at some tasks, slower at others...???
     
  14. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    #14
    I'm guessing he's saying they are less reliable since they are less proven. Until they've been around longer as an OS housed drive they must be viewed cautiously. I'm not saying they won't prove to be more reliable but currently people who get an SSD based hard drive are doing so knowing they are a new technology.

    That being said, as others have posted we can't judge SSD technology based on one incident. We'll see if more of these posts start to come out.
     
  15. macrumors 6502

    drchipinski

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    #15
    I am juding it on the fact that I had two defective machines within a 24 hour period....all I have been hearing/reading is that the machine looks good...but let me tell you about the problems it has been having....

    That is why I am judging it the way I am .

    Personal experience.
     
  16. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2005
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #16
    Fair do's, i don't know your story as its not in this thread but there are good ones out there.

    I thought mine had a battery issue (7 hours to charge) but it turns out it just needs a few charges/discharges to calibrate it. Its now perfect.
     
  17. macrumors 603

    Cromulent

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2006
    Location:
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    #17
    Not at all. Solid state drives are actually rated at a shorter mean time to failure than standard drives.
     
  18. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2005
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #18
    This is misleading, Hard Disks and SSD's have similar MTBF's but quoted lifespans are where its at, a regular Hard Disk for example will never last long enough to reach its MTBF!

    Decent Server Grade Hard disks generally last 50-70k hours, but they have an MTBF of a million hours, no point in having an MTBF that good when the drive will never last that long!

    An SSD with quality flash and load levelling algorithms etc. will far outlast a regular hard drive.
     
  19. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2003
    #19
    So regarding load leveling algorithims then.

    Does the drive do anything to spread the writes across the drive? ie. not repeatedly write to the same part of the drive?

     
  20. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2007
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #20
    Ugh. Well, no SSD shipments at one of my local Apple stores today. I was told to call back tomorrow. How frustrating! I haven't had it two weeks and I'm back to waiting, but now for a replacement. At least I have my MBP, otherwise I'd be dead in the water. I think I can only wait until Friday until I decide to either:

    A. return it

    or

    B. suck it up and buy a 1.6/80 (might be hard knowing the speed of the SSD)

    I just have this feeling that there won't be a steady supply of these any time soon.

    I guess I'm back to lugging the MBP around for now (not that that's entirely awful. :))
     
  21. macrumors 6502a

    steve31

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    Location:
    Edmonton Canada
    #21
    after having the SSD you will never be happy if you dont go ssd...but you can always put an ssd drive in later for cheaper.;)
     
  22. macrumors 68030

    BlizzardBomb

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2005
    Location:
    England
    #22
    I wouldn't say shorter mean time to failure = less reliable. After all, that statistic is useless if it fails in a recent purchase (which can also happen to HDDs).

    Current flash technology supposedly lasts over 10 years of regular use and no-one I know uses a 10 year old computer as their primary computer. :)
     
  23. macrumors 6502a

    BryanLyle

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2005
    #23
    True, but I just revived a 9 year old iMac (Strawberry) and installed 10.3 on it. It really is amazing that it actually runs and is useable :) Kids have something they can beat on now.
     
  24. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2008
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    #24
    Anomaly

    I second this. I read this board religiously, mostly because I can't afford an MBA SSD (yet), and this is the FIRST time I have heard of an SSD failing. Thanks for posting, otherwise I never would have noticed this stat. Makes me all the more psyched about purchasing the SSD option!
     
  25. macrumors 68030

    BlizzardBomb

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2005
    Location:
    England
    #25
    Yup, it's amazing how we don't realise that some really old computers can still perform tasks nicely. But like I said, it's likely many people don't use a computer regularly (e.g. daily) for over 10 straight years.
     

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