MBP (2009, 15") destroyed Samsung 840 SSD

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by andy9l, May 3, 2013.

  1. andy9l macrumors 68000

    Aug 31, 2009
    England, UK
    Hi all,

    Since I use a relatively high spec 27" iMac, I was rarely using my 2009 15" MBP. However, over the past couple of months I've relied heavily on my MBP for various reasons. Having seen the performance boost of an SSD in my iMac, I thought I'd buy an SSD to get me through until the new Haswell rMBP refresh rather than buy a soon to be 'obsolete' rMBP.

    To keep a long story short:

    • Installation of SSD went well
    • OS X install went well
    • Updating SSD firmware to latest went well
    • Installation of apps, and copying of data went well
    • MBP was working perfectly at this point for ~3 weeks
    • 3 days ago, MBP goes to sleep (15 minute timer)
    • Tried to wake up - whole system froze
    • Turned off via power button (no other choice)
    • Restarted…everything was ok
    • Put MBP back to sleep via  -> Sleep
    • Woke up, same crash happened again - another power button job
    • Upon restarting, no bootable partitions were found
    • The drive could not be seen or formatted by OS X, Ubuntu, or Windows!
    • The drive was, in essence, completely destroyed
    Fortunately I got the drive replaced, so am sitting here with a new, unformatted Samsung 840 SSD - but I'm scared to go any further. If the MBP is likely going to destroy it again, I'd rather get my money back.

    Does anyone know of any incompatibility issues with a 2009 MBP and the Samsung 840 series? Any similar reports, or ways to avoid this? I had enabled TRIM support, which I know isn't native for third-party SSDs, so perhaps that had something to do with it? I've tried Googling, but couldn't find anything really substantial.

    It was directly related to the wake up of the MBP / OS X. It worked absolutely perfectly at all other times.

    Although I don't lose any data - most stored on Dropbox or iMac - it's a real pain having to spend ~2 hours installing OS X / apps and copying data (I know, first-world problems...). I prefer not to use backup restores, especially with new hardware.

    Any ideas/hints/suggestions welcome!
  2. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    It should work, so you probably got a faulty drive. Just install the new one.
  3. Ledgem macrumors 65816


    Jan 18, 2008
    Hawaii, USA
    Well, that's what they're there for :) It's a time-saver. Just boot from your Time Machine drive and choose to restore. It's about the same as cloning from a disk image. If the only thing that's different is the hard drive (with no other hardware modifications) then there isn't really a good reason not to.

    Disable the sleep image. On Apple's laptops the default behavior involves writing the contents of the RAM to the disk every time the computer is put to sleep. The benefit is that the computer can lose power and, upon receiving power again, power up into the same state ("hibernation"). The downside is that it represents a lot of wear-and-tear on your SSD, particularly if the computer is going through many sleep/wake cycles.

    You can change the sleep mode fairly easily through Chameleon SSD Optimizer. Just remember that with "hibernation" disabled you should turn off your computer if it's very low on battery, instead of simply putting it into sleep.

    I can't say whether or not that's what did your drive in, but this should increase the longevity of any SSD regardless.
  4. Orlandoech macrumors 68040


    Jun 2, 2011
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Check the SSD guide in my sig. It may be of some help.
  5. andy9l, May 10, 2013
    Last edited: May 10, 2013

    andy9l thread starter macrumors 68000

    Aug 31, 2009
    England, UK
    Thanks for the tips guys. I have actually read through the tweaking link in your sig several times Orlandoech!

    I haven't made any 'tweaks' this time round - a little anxious to do so after the last time. It's been running perfectly well recently though. I noticed the sleep image thing mentioned on several websites, and I understand what it does - but what concerns me is making further unofficial changes to OS X.

    After enabling TRIM, my drive lasted only 10 days - with no previous mishaps. I'm sure the two weren't linked, but one cannot help wonder if they were (especially when it's at your time expense). This somewhat puts me off enabling TRIM again.

    I'll be straight with you both; I want this drive to last 1-2 years. In our situation, the cost of SSDs is negligible - we only need small 128GB drives at the moment. What does irritate me is the effort of getting it replaced/restoring the Mac.

    Do you think enabling TRIM/forcing hibernation mode off is really necessary for me? The reason I ask is I'm waiting for the new Haswell MacBooks this Summer, and passing this MacBook to my parents who are interested in moving to OS X after previous repeat failures of other manufacturer hardware - namely Dell.

    My parents won't notice the drive drop to 180mb/s read - is what I'm getting at! So over 1-2 year of normal use, will the SSD really 'die off' that much without making suggested tweaks to OS X?
  6. Ledgem macrumors 65816


    Jan 18, 2008
    Hawaii, USA
    Anyone with more knowledge can and should refute me, but I can't imagine how TRIM would kill a drive.

    I wouldn't call it critical, but there are few good reasons not to. TRIM will keep up the performance of the drive, and there are no downsides to enabling it. Changing the sleep mode has the potential to negatively impact you if you find yourself in situations where the power cuts out while the system is suspended, but that's it. Otherwise, the system will enter sleep faster and you're potentially increasing the longevity of the drive by quite a bit.

    Keep in mind that Samsung claims the 840 should last for seven years assuming roughly 10 GB written to the drive per day. I don't know how OS X writes the sleep image (I have a hard time believing that it dumps the entire contents of the RAM every time the system goes into sleep), but if you have a lot of RAM and suspend the system many times per day it seems likely that you could easily exceed 10 GB based on sleep image writes alone.

    TL;DR: these only have the potential to increase performance and longevity, and with Chameleon SSD Optimizer they're very easy to enable. There isn't really a good reason not to do them.
  7. andy9l thread starter macrumors 68000

    Aug 31, 2009
    England, UK
    Thanks for a great reply :)

    There's only 4GB RAM stuck inside the MBP right now, and I've no current intention of increasing that. Being a Junior web/app developer, there's been little need for more than 4GB over the recent years. With my parents, the laptop will be used for browsing, playing music, and reading emails. Even in a year or two, 4GB should be enough for Mountain Lion (perhaps even 10.9) and the apps required for those tasks - one would hope!

    Hopefully that will minimise the daily writes - and ~7 years at 10GB/day is well over what this will be used for. As I say, I'd be more than happy for it to die after 2 years...if we haven't already got rid of it by then (have kept original HDD). The usage will be extremely light, basically for anything they can't do on their iPads. Perhaps I'll recommend they turn the MBP off at night, rather than having a continuous sleep/wake cycle for months, which will presumably take a toll on the SSD?

    My iMac (see signature) will also be handed off to my parents to replace the desktop they're using - again, purely because they think they want OS X. Again, I've upgraded the iMac myself with a SSD - but this one is from OWC, and they personally recommend avoiding enabling TRIM due to their controller handling the drive reasonably well. I added it about 10 months ago now, not had a single hiccup - never had TRIM enabled.

    If I could just palm both these Macs off to them without them having to do anything in Terminal after updates, that would be ideal. Although they're relatively computer literate, they are not familiar with OS X, and it would certainly be cause for concern if they started running Terminal commands on the kernel files!

    By the sounds of it, I can do just that. The Samsung drive might die after a few years but, to be honest, for £70 - a few years is fine by me.

    Thanks for the info!

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