Are SSD Failures common?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Gregintosh, Sep 7, 2011.

  1. Gregintosh macrumors 68000

    Jan 29, 2008
    Now that SSDs are standard, I wonder if the failure rates of hard drives are any lower an before? In other words, is the sense of security that SSDs have no mechanical parts, thus an HD crash is unlikely, a false sense of security or is it for real?
  2. happyslayer macrumors 6502a


    Feb 3, 2008
    Glendale, AZ
    I build and service PC's and Mac's for a living.

    I have installed probably thirty or so SSD's in the last couple years.

    I have had two of them have problems. One was my own Runcore 128GB SSD I put in a previous RevB MBA, and the other was a desktop model OCZ 128GB model I put in a customer's PC. In both cases, it appeared to be a controller error on the SSD. They just ceased to function and no longer showed up on the systems as an available or bootable drive.

    I have not noticed any data or file system issues on any SSD I have installed.

    My father-in-law has had a failure on a Western Digital 128GB SSD he got cheap on Newegg and he is on his second OCZ Revodrive X2 PCIe model 100GB SSD. Again, they appear to be controller/SSD-system-board issues.

    So there are failures. However, I have installed several hundred rotational drives over the years and there have been many, many different kinds of failures with them as well.

    So, basically, no tech is perfect. However, SSD's are certainly the fastest things out there, can't be hurt by every-day types of shock (banging around in cases and packs) and generally can't succumb to the typical kinds of rotational drive issues.

    For my own desktops and laptops - Mac and PC - I have upgraded or ordered them with SSD's and will never go back. I only use a couple big rotational drives for back-up and storage of video and audio.

    My two cents.
  3. Fernandez21 macrumors 601


    Jun 16, 2010
    out of curiosity, were you able to retrieve any of the data on those drives? just wondering if that possible incase of failure.
  4. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Nov 6, 2009
    When a huge external costs much less than $100 and Time Machine software makes it so simple to back up, why would this even be an issue?

    In case of failure, you recover your data from the Time Machine backup.

    The days of not having a backup because of cost or difficulty are far behind us now. There is no good excuse for not having one. Drive a new one and reinstall all of your data from the backup.

    Or spend $100 or so on software that might be able to recover the data or send it to a company who can take apart the drive and recover your data for probably a few hundred bucks...with no access your data for a week or more. Up to you. :cool:
  5. Gregintosh thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jan 29, 2008
    I'm not worried about the data since I use dropbox for anything critical, I'm more concerned about traveling.

    Basically, I want to minimize the chance that I'll be in another state or heck, another country relying on my computer to run my business and then having it crash and be unusable.

    That's why I am curious about this, since I always thought that removing the moving parts would solve 99.9% of issues.
  6. Gregintosh thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jan 29, 2008
  7. reputationZed macrumors 65816

    Mar 9, 2011
    34°55′42″N 80°44′41″W (34.
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_5 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8L1 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Yes and no. HDD failures are typically die to a physical issue while SSD failures are typically related to firmware. The physical limitations of a spinning disk complicate making any major improvements in reliability. Firmware should improve over time so there is a good chance SSD's will increase in reliability.
  8. Azathoth macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2009
    We have 900 Intel X25 on order here - I'll get back to you in a year's time ;)

    TBH I have a customer that complained about some 160GB Intel SSDs dying, but I dont know the cause.

    IMO SSDs are less prone to failure, but failure is often catastrophic and unrecoverable. HDDs tend to give early warning signs, and following a failure there is a lot of SW like SpinRite, that can be used for recovery.
  9. Brandon0448 macrumors 6502


    Aug 2, 2011
    Anchorage, Alaska
    I bought a cheap ADATA SSD for my PC and I'm pretty sure the controller failed on it after only like 3 days of use. After I got a refund I purchased a more expensive Intel SSD and haven't had a problem since.

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