How long do SSD drives last — not long enough

Almost exactly 4 years ago I bought a 64GB SSD for my then much younger laptop. It is a “Super Talent FTM64GX25H”.

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Read transfer rates were about 130MB/s in my machine. How much is to be attributed to the SSD itself or the SATA controller, I don’t care anymore. It was definitely multiple times faster than the 120GB disk that was in there before. And it ran much cooler as well. The hard-disk tended to run very hot and overheat. Probably the wrong model for that laptop, as there is virtually no airflow around the disk.

The fancy box it came in advertised it as

“Rugged, Low Power, Silent”

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The last part is now more true than ever. It is indeed silent now, as it died today.

It started acting in strange ways, which I blamed on me using a disk partitioner and shifting several GB of data around, but then it suddenly died. Belly up, run down the curtain, pushing up the daisies… Final symptoms: OS doesn’t start up properly when device attached. Lots of SATA bus errors on that port.

The innards:

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Hah! Those seals WILL be broken. This little bastard has voided itself.

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Some hot-air desoldering practice:

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And finally, complete Widlar-ization:

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That felt GOOD.

And for sake of completeness, I’ve also widlarized a really shitty SanDisk USB stick:

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p.s. now I have another problem… I can’t remember they pass-phrase for the encrypted data on the hard-disk anymore. I’d really like to see what is on there. I don’t really need it, as I haven’t needed it for 4 years, but still! On linux you can add more than one pass-phrase for disk encryption, so use that feature – just in case you forget one of them.

MAKE BACKUPS.

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4 Responses to How long do SSD drives last — not long enough

  1. SSD’s do last a long time. This one has presumably failed, ’cause it’s from a noname brand.

  2. Solider Staat says:

    Why do you think that flash memory was the culprit?
    It could also be a firmware issue that corrupted the flash.

    • robert says:

      Everything is possible. Clearly something died very quickly. This thing had been working flawlessly for almost 4 years, then started acting in strange ways and was dead 15 minutes later. According to SMART it still had about 30% to 40% of its life remaining. Maybe it was the controller chip.

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