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Ask Slashdot: How do SSDs die?

kfsone (63008) writes | about 2 years ago

Hardware 1

kfsone (63008) writes "I've experienced, first hand, some of the ways in which spindle disks die, but either I've yet to see an SSD die or I'm not looking in the right places. Most of my admin-type friends have theories on how an SSD dies but admit none of them has actually seen commercial grade drives die or deteriorate.

In particular, the failure process seems like it should be more clinical than spindle drives. If you have X many of the same SSD drive and none of them suffer manufacturing defects, if you repeat the same series of operations on them they should all die around the same time.

If that's correct, then what happens to SSDs in RAID? Either all your drives will start to fail together or at some point, your drives will become out of sync in-terms of volume sizing.

So, have any slashdotters had to deliberately EOL corporate grade SSDs? Do they die with dignity or go out with a bang?"

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Sudden death vs. wearing out (1)

OffTheWallSoccer (1699154) | about 2 years ago | (#41668429)

Some SSDs will die a sudden death. This is where the S.M.A.R.T. attributes won't be able to predict the end. Causes of death include catastrophic NAND flash (or other component, such as voltage regulator) failure and, of course, firmware failure (corrupted meta data, etc.).

Most SSDs will simply wear out and die slowly, once the NAND exceeds its maximum rated P/E (program/erase) cycles. S.M.A.R.T. attributes will enable you to see this coming, as the SSD tells you what % of life remaining there is. Once the NAND starts wearing out, the drive will reallocate bad blocks more frequently. Once there are no more spare blocks available, the drive will either go into read-only mode or simply crash, depending on vendor/firmware.

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