Common Causes and Signs of Solid-state Drive Failure

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Do you think your SSD is failure-proof? Most people buy Solid State Drives (SSDs) because these are more reliable and efficient than traditional hard drives. However, this doesn’t mean that solid-state drive is immune from failure and data loss. SSDs are used as an alternative to HDD because they are faster and more stable.

SSDs are designed with no moving parts and that helps in avoiding mechanical issues. But similar to any other device, an SSD also has a limited lifespan, typically ranging from 5-8 years. Moreover, most SSDs experience failure or data corruption before even completing their expected lifespan. And when that happens, users lose access to the files stored in their SSD.  

Solid State Drives are trusted for their fast performance and reliability. However, no storage technology is perfect. Even if you’re using the best SSD from Samsung, Toshiba, or OWC Solid State Drive, there’s still a possibility of sudden or gradual breakdown. So, what you should do to protect your data and prevent possible SSD failure?  

If you’re using an SSD to store important data, make sure you have a backup and recovery solution to deal with sudden failure and data loss situations. Recovering data from SSDs can be complex and require expertise. In case of sudden data loss, you’ll need services of a professional like OWC Data Recovery.

Also, to keep your SSD safe, you need to know what are the possible causes of SSD damage, signs of failure, and measures to prevent SSD breakdown. So, let’s check out the most common causes of solid-state drive failures. 

1. Physical faults and damages 

SSDs are immune from mechanical damage because the drive doesn’t have any moving parts that are vulnerable to damage. However, this doesn’t mean that an SSD can’t suffer physical faults with its components. Flaws such as substandard workmanship of the soldered parts are often responsible for connections malfunction or oxidization.

Due to manufacturer’s faults, poor quality SSDs are prone to electronic failures that lead to data loss. In addition to this, the drive may also get damaged due to external factors like a heavy blow or water submersion. Your SSD can get damaged if you drop it or spill liquid on it. Moreover, your SSD can also get too hot when running intense operations like high-level calculations. Ideally, you should prevent it from extreme temperatures.  

2. Data corruption 

SSDs are not only susceptible to physical faults, but also logical issues. Besides accidental file deletion and drive formatting, you may also encounter data corruption due to virus infection. Your SSD and data stored on it may get infected or corrupted due to malware or bad sectors.

Data file corruption within the SSD results in damaging segments of the drive. Another possible cause of SSD failure is power outages or power surges that may cause short circuits in the drive and corrupt the stored data.  

3. Firmware upgrade failure 

Often users upgrade the firmware of solid-state drive to improve its performance. However, due to some reasons, SSDs fail during the firmware upgrade and stop working. This happens due to human error and interruptions during the upgrade process.

In an event of firmware problem, most SSDs automatically turn into a fail-safe mode. But SSD firmware is complex and data loss may occur due to many reasons. So, make sure you perform firmware upgrade carefully; otherwise, your solid-state drive can stop working.  

Signs of failing SSD 

SSD deteriorates gradually and the signs of damage may not be apparent until the drive fails suddenly. However, some symptoms indicate your SSD is going bad. Identifying these common signs of SSD damage can help in taking timely action to backup all your essential files. Here are the signs of a dying SSD.  

  • System Crash: If your operating system is crashing during boot or while you’re working, it’s a sign of failing SSD. Your system may boot after a few reboots, but don’t ignore this clear sign of damaged SSD.  
  • File System Corruption: If you get an error message in your Windows system asking to repair the File system, it indicates an issue with your system or the SSD itself.  
  • Bad Sectors: Similar to the bad sectors in hard drives, SSD could also fail due to bad blocks. When this happens, you can’t read or write data.  
  • Read-Only: Sometimes, due to drive corruption or file system error, your SSD may switch to Read-Only mode. When this happens, your data can be lost if necessary steps are not taken promptly. 

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