Warning signs of SSD failure?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by silvershamrock, Sep 10, 2013.

  1. silvershamrock macrumors member

    Aug 1, 2013
    Edmonton, AB
    Hi everyone

    My MBA has one of the SSDs that has proven vulnerable to failure (128GB Toshiba) and it's reaching the age where these failures usually start occurring (current age is 12.5 months).

    I'm wondering if any of those who have experienced drive failures with that SSD got any kind of warning signs before the flashing question mark of death. (For example did any of your apps start behaving strangely, or did the machine seem to be slowing down?)

    I ask because I've recently started having an intermittent problem with iTunes that Apple support can't figure out. And I'm wondering if that's the first sign of trouble on the horizon....

    Any insights from those who have been down this road would be welcome!

    Thank you all :D
  2. The WOPR macrumors newbie

    Aug 26, 2013
    Mine had absolutely no warning. Everything worked fine until the night I put it to sleep, and it refused to wake up the next morning.
  3. HarryWarden macrumors 6502a

    Oct 27, 2012
    I've heard that some with the problem have experienced sporadic program crashes, especially in Safari, prior to the failure of the SSD. Do you have AppleCare or some other third party warranty because you may need it soon if the iTunes problem is indeed related to the SSD?
  4. henryonapple macrumors 6502

    Oct 29, 2012
    is your computer starts to crash it is a sign of bad things to come!!!
  5. mp42 macrumors newbie

    May 4, 2006
    You really won't have any warning. If you look at the other threads on this topic, everybody reports it working and then suddenly not. I've had two failures, and each occurrence was sudden. The only wise thing to do is have regular backups!
  6. silvershamrock thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 1, 2013
    Edmonton, AB
    Thank you for your input :D

    Yes, I do have AppleCare. And I keep 2 separate TM backups, plus a clone, so I'm well covered there. I don't normally get AppleCare because Macs are normally so reliable that it's usually a waste of money - but after reading some of the stories I scrambled out and bought it.

    I'm mainly concerned because I've also been having problems with apps crashing on me (most notably iTunes which crashes regularly, although other apps have been affected too) and neither the Genius bar nor the phone tech support team can figure out why. Especially since I have one of the vulnerable drives, I was starting to wonder if this is an omen....

    Even if these crashes are caused by a defective SSD which is starting to go, though, it's unlikely that anything can be done about it until/unless it fails completely. So, I guess there's nothing to do but wait and see if my computer got one of the dud drives.

    Thanks again for your input :D
  7. HarryWarden macrumors 6502a

    Oct 27, 2012
    Did you have to go to the store to purchase AppleCare? I tried to buy it online at the website and it wouldn't let me.
  8. silvershamrock thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 1, 2013
    Edmonton, AB
    I bought mine through the website. I think you still have to be in the original warranty period though. (My original warranty still had about 2 days left on it when I made the purchase.) What error message were you getting?
  9. Compile macrumors member

    Aug 30, 2013
    It's exactly like RAM.

    If one cell/module died the whole drive is dead without warning.
    That is the only downside of an SSD compared to a mechanical. With mechanicals you have some notice prior to it dying.
  10. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    That's with spinning hard drives. I had a case of Time Machine backups taking forever. For SSD drives, they usually stop working without any warning whatsoever. I read (but no guarantee it's true) that losing power unexpectedly can lead to trouble; that shouldn't happen with a MacBook with battery; it should turn itself off when it still has a bit of power left.
  11. henryonapple macrumors 6502

    Oct 29, 2012
    My MBA 2012 started to crash over and over again before it finally stopped booting up entirely.
  12. richard6r macrumors regular

    Jun 11, 2013
    Yesterday my MacBook was running fine, later that day the fans were at a higher RPM than normal. First warning.

    I shut it down and it wouldn't boot up. I plugged in my time machine and in disk utility the ssd says "invalid extent entry". Second warning.

    Booting up into my portable thumb drive installation I was still able to access key files on the drive. I backed everything up and reformatted the drive through the mountain lion installer. Installation froze at 5 minutes remaining with beach ball never to awake again. RIP SSD.
  13. Compile macrumors member

    Aug 30, 2013
    Your fan won't turn on because of the SSD...

    Sounds like something else died.
  14. richard6r macrumors regular

    Jun 11, 2013
    Possibly. But the computer wasn't even warm to the touch. In fact I had no apps running for quite a while and the fans were still spinning loudly

    Either way, the SSD no longer shows up in disk utility.
  15. AXs macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2009
    It's a manufacturing defect from what I've gathered.

    It's not going to deteriorate like older technology where they slowly die out. Modern tech doesn't work so much like that anymore. Either it works, or it doesn't work.

    Even if you have a working Toshiba SSD I would recommend you visit apple while still under warranty and tell them that your device has randomly crashed or failed to boot 4-5 times the past month.
    They will know right away that it is a Toshiba SSD and would have been made aware of the failure rate.

    This way, even if it works then and there for a day or 2 with them, they might still consider replacing it for you.

    Actually, Apple should take responsibility of this malfunction if it's such a widespread issue. You have every right to sue them if they refuse to swap it even if no longer under warranty by citing the average life expectancy of storage devices, and make it abundantly clear that Apple has to take responsibility for not announcing that their device may have a 13 month life-expectancy before repairs are needed.

    It is not a usage/user problem - it's manufacturing issue.

    Apple either has to declare that 2012 Macbook Airs have a life expectancy of 1 year, or fix it for you. Even then, if they declare 1 year life expectancy you can sue them for selling products that have been made aware to be faulty.

    I don't know how law works in the US, but it's all about scaring them to fix it for you when talking nicely doesn't work. I recommend seeking some professional legal advice- You can do it on the net on the right sites, someone would likely help you out.
  16. aaron5566 macrumors regular

    Jun 23, 2012
    I was using mine in Windows 8, when it crashed. Force restarted to see a flashing folder with a question mark. Everything was running smoothly prior to its' death. My laptop was 14 months old. Still waiting for my laptop to be fixed and it has been a month :/
  17. HarryWarden macrumors 6502a

    Oct 27, 2012
    A month? What the hell? Did you take it to an Apple store to be fixed or did you mail it in?
  18. netsped macrumors 6502

    Jul 8, 2008
    No warning at all. My MBA became unresponsive in one second, I was able to move the mouse cursor throughout the screen but couldn't click on anything.

    I proceeded to force the shutdown and immediately saw the folder with the question mark.

    Diagnosis, dead SSD. It was a Toshiba 128Gb and my MBA is a mid-2012 model.

    Everything was normal one second before. My MBA was 12 months, 2 days old when it failed. I didn't had Applecare but managed to get help from Apple after a couple of days.

    I'm planning on selling it because I don't want to suffer another dead SSD in 10 months. I'm just waiting to see what update Apple does to the retina 13" MBP on October (hopefully).

    But, my MBA has been working flawlessly since then (early August).
  19. Yabbietol macrumors newbie


    Jul 6, 2012
    Replace dead SSD with larger size SSD

    I have just had some excellent service from my local Apple store fixing a faulty wifi card on my mid year 2012 MacBook Air. So far no problems with 128G SSD. Though at first I had some concerns as Safari would not connect properly, but after three visits to Apple store we isolated the problem to a faulty wifi card which they replaced at no cost (I have 3 year Apple care).
    No I am not in the wrong forum, considering how helpful they were with a tricky intermittent fault. I was wondering if any one with a faulty 128G SSD has tried to negotiate the fitting of a 256G drive instead of replacing the 128G with another 128G, which appears to be less reliable than the 256G.
    Even if you had to pay Apple he difference in hardware cost this could be a win-win for Apple and the customer. So far my 128SSD is going well, but if it fails while still under Apple care I certainly will try this tactic.
    Once Apple care expires I would still ask, they can only say no. Failing that an OWC SSD 256G would look attractive.
  20. aaron5566 macrumors regular

    Jun 23, 2012
    Yup... It's gonna be a month next week. I did take it to Apple. One week was spent deciding whether or not they would fix my laptop for free, 3 weeks waiting for the SSD itself. :/ Maybe Apple ran out of SSDs from all the MacBook Airs dying now.

Share This Page