Crucial M4 drive failing?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by calviin, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. calviin macrumors regular

    Nov 16, 2008
    So I bought a Crucial M4 256 GB drive almost exactly a year ago. (Two weeks left.) The problem is, the amount of space used and free is highly variable, with no interaction from me. I'm not talking a gig here or there. I keep my drive relatively empty, typically with 100 gigs or so free. But just yesterday, it plumpeted down to 50~ gigs free and currently, I have 168 gigs free. Is this a sign of how SSDs fail? And if so, how should I go about resolving this? Contact Amazon or Crucial and ask for a replacement?
  2. fins831 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 7, 2011
    just contact crucial, they will swap it out, its still under warranty
  3. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    freezes are usually a sign of a failing ssd.

    You may want to download daisydisk and analyze your space used in admin mode. These might be all kinds of temporary files. Maybe swap running wild or the swap used by a VM.
    If it is the SSD the actual disk size should be shrinking, as in the same space used but less free.
  4. Orlandoech macrumors 68040


    Jun 2, 2011
    Salt Lake City, UT
  5. calviin thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 16, 2008
    So I emailed Crucial and this is what they said. (I didn't do anything else yet just in case the drive was failing; I didn't want to exacerbate the problem.) I'm going to try it just in case and see what happens. Hopefully this can help other people out if they encounter the same problem. I do have Trim and "Put hard disks to sleep when possible" selected already though.

    "Thank you for contacting us. The behavior you are describing is consistent with TRIM commands not executing on the drive (which may result from lots of writing and rewriting, especially OS installs, not done on the OS level). You may have TRIM enabled, however it is likely there is an interference preventing TRIM from reaching the drive. The accumulation of 'junk' data from file deletions, even reformats, basically clogs up the drive and reduces or sometimes even halts performance and can even dismount the drive. A secondary feature called Garbage Collection activates when the drive is powered, but has no data throughput, for an extended period, and does background cleanup on our SSDs which can make up for the lack of TRIM.

    If this is the cause of your drive's behavior, a period of idling the drive without any data being written or read actively will improve its performance. We recommend you perform this idle period on a desktop computer because it allows you to only connect the SATA power connection. However, a USB enclosure with an external power source will also work. A laptop computer will also work, but you’ll have to connect the drive and navigate to the systems BIOS menu. (Please refer to your system manufacturer’s documentation on how to access the BIOS.)

    For laptops, we don’t recommended using a USB enclosure powered via USB; dedicated AC power is preferable. In addition, Apple users must hold the Option key while they power on the system (with the SSD installed). This will boot the Mac to the Startup Manager screen. The Startup Manager screen works like the BIOS screen on a laptop, in that it gives the drive power without any data throughput. An alternative Apple method is to close all open programs (including background processes) after startup and idle on your desktop. Just power the drive and let it sit, preferably overnight, but even a few hours should improve performance if this is the cause of your drive's erratic performance, though full Garbage Collection takes 8-24 hours and should be resumed when you can be without that system for an extended period.

    To prevent the SSD performance degrading again, you can make adjustments to your power settings:

    - Go to System Preferences
    - Go to Energy Saver
    - Make sure 'Put the hard disk(s) to sleep when possible' is unchecked. "
  6. calviin thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 16, 2008
    Yup. It seemed like other people have it enabled to and have had no problems. Should it be off?
  7. FuNGi macrumors 65816


    Feb 26, 2010
    Hmmm. I was under the impression that just leaving your laptop on yet idle, with sleep settings turned off, would allow garbage collection to kick in. These instructions seem a bit convoluted.

    I too have a Crucial M4 with TRIM enabled, hard disk sleep off, etc. No problems.

    Good luck.
  8. demosthenes80 macrumors newbie

    Feb 3, 2013
    Friend of mine just had this problem with his Crucial M4. Updating the firmware fixed it.
  9. calviin thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 16, 2008
    Didn't solve my problem. I can't update the firmware without a CD and I don't have a CD on me at the moment. Any other possible solutions? Still two conflicting values for available space. :(

    Screen Shot 2013-02-06 at 10.17.24 AM.png

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