MBP 2016 SSD - how to test hardware ?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by avon75, Nov 8, 2017.

  1. avon75, Nov 8, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2017

    avon75 macrumors newbie

    Mar 3, 2011
    Hi all
    I recently lost my 2015 MBP to a liquid related incident (curry sauce got inside the case). I now have a new 2017 model via insurance, and the insurance company have offered me the chance to return my hard drive (512GB SSD) in a USB caddy for £35.
    For a 512GB SSD - that's a bargain. So I think I'll take the risk, but how can I verify the SSD is working properly and hasn't been permanently damaged by the liquid ? The insurance inspection, and Apple who initially inspected it, confirmed there was liquid on the RAM, SSD, battery and logic board, which led to the erratic behaviour on start up (it would randomly switch off and even then only work on external power).
    Is there some software that can perform a full diagnosis of the SSD ? I don't trust Disk Utility, as I have a USB stick that can't erase anything and DU says it's OK.

    (Edited to correct the year)
  2. simonmet macrumors 68020


    Sep 9, 2012
    It sounds like you had a good backup regime (Time Machine?) and aren’t too worried about the data on it.

    It’s a very fast drive and fast SSDs are expensive. I say go for it. Assuming it works you could always use it for unimportant or less mission-critical duties.
  3. ZapNZs, Nov 8, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2017

    ZapNZs macrumors 68020


    Jan 23, 2017
    I assume you mean some year other than a 2016? If you mean this is the SSD from a 2016 non-touchbar 13-inch, then a USB enclosure will not work - as far as I know, there are no external enclosures for 13-inch MBP nTB SSDs - other than putting it inside your 2017 (which I would not personally do if this were me considering what happened to the computer it was in), there is not much you can do with the drive at the time.

    Provided this is an OLDER SSD and NOT the SSD from a 2016...
    (NOTE-if this is a late 2013 to mid 2015 MacBook Pro, I only know of one USB enclosure that will work with the SSD, and it is $100 USD - it seems unlikely the insurance company would include this enclosure at the quoted price. The inexpensive m.2 enclosures will NOT work, as they are all m.2 SATA.)

    I prefer DriveDX for the friendly user interface and it's customizable options. It's not free, but there is a free trial, and IMO it's absolutely worth the $30-ish price-tag. I run it on all my systems 24-7-365 as I have very little confidence in macOS' ability to identify a failing or failed drive. DriveDX has, on several occasions, successfully identified failing drives that macOS listed as 'Verified' (i.e., macOS failed to identify and/or alert the User to a pending failure, and, in some instances, these were not just pending failures but serious failures that rendered the drive unusable.) DX is compatible with the touchbar MBPs and NVMe drives. (Obviously, the enclosure being used must support SMART - most modern enclosures do.)

    However, the drive has to be malfunctioning in order for an App like DriveDX, which pulls SMART data, to identify it as problematic. If there is liquid damage but the damage is yet to cause a malfunction, it's possible no SMART program will identify this at this point in time, and the drive could fail at a future date from corrosion that can worsen over time. If the drive is not under warranty and it's a SATA drive in an external casing, IMO it is worth opening and inspecting with a magnifying glass for signs of corrosion. Considering the nature of the spill, if the internal board has come in contact with the liquid, IMO there is a good chance it will be quite visible. Further, the outer-facing SATA pins themselves can be inspected for corrosion.

    Finally, to build on the above paragraph, you can always perform an extended test to ensure the SSD functions correctly under real world usage (as a drive can pass SMART tests, may not have easily visible signs of corrosion, but still be in the process of failing.) You can install macOS onto this drive, boot into the OS you installed, let it run for a few days, intentionally generate large files to fill up most of the drive, and ensure everything works as it should.

    If the drive passes a SMART checkup, does not have visible signs of corrosion, and functions flawlessly for an extended period of real-world usage, IMO you've pretty much done all you can to ensure the drive is still usable.
  4. avon75 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 3, 2011
    Sorry, my bad, I meant a mid-2015 Pro.
    Thanks for all the advice, I think I’ll give the insurance company’s repair agent a call and verify if they can send it back in an enclosure.
  5. ZapNZs macrumors 68020


    Jan 23, 2017
    The only USB enclosure I know of that works with the 2015 PCIe AHCI MBP SSD is the OWC Envoy Pro, which is $100, and User reviews indicate it is anything but consistent in whether/how well it works (after all, it's mating USB and PCIe...) There are several Thunderbolt options, which are obviously much pricier. Other USB options may exist and I just might not know of them - but chances are they would be equally expensive as the OWC.

    I am going to go out on a limb and guess that your insurance company incorrectly believes that something like this will work given the physical dimensions are similar and the different keyed connectors are not easy to differentiate between unless it's all sitting right in front of you. Such an enclosure will not work as the drive's pins will not physically fit into the enclosure's keyed pin holes, nor could the enclosure utilize it even if it did.

    (If I said sometime inaccurate, someone please correct me.)
  6. avon75 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 3, 2011
    Interesting feedback - I appreciate your time and guidance on this. I don’t need any data from the SSD as I use cloud storage for my files, but I initially thought 512GB SSD for £35 was a bargain. I will phone them on Monday and see what they say in terms of the actual solution on offer.

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6 November 8, 2017