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Proactive / pre-emptive monitoring of SSD degradation

Posted on 2014-10-21
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Last Modified: 2014-11-11
Extracted from an IT forum:

"Even server grade SSD's are prone to sudden failures. Mostly due to exceeded max write count. And when they fail you lose whole data stored on them (happened few times in my work).

You can read SSD disks all the time but writing to them causes fast wear. Most SSD's have a specific limit of number of writes (more specific erase cycles for memory blocks) and when they reach that limit they just stop working.

In my laptop (not so heavily used - few VM's and ubuntu desktop (30% of the drive left unpartitioned) an intel consumer grade SSD died in a year (no files recoverable). "

Having read the above & I'm using a Crucial M500 SSD on my Thinkpad (& there's no space to
put in another HDD to do mirroring), would like to know

a) is there any freeware / tool out there that could do preemptive monitoring
    of my SSD deterioration & warn me before it fails

b) besides regular backup, is there any other way to prevent a complete failure?
    I know in the old days, Norton Utilities will mark a sector as bad & attempts
    to recover the data to another sector

c) I've heard of HDD where a certain % is reserved for sort of RAIDing.  Maybe
    I've recalled wrongly but is there such a method for SSD (if it's available
    for HDD) ?

d) after how many writes will my M500 SSD (250GB) fail or is close to the
    threshold of failing?  Any tool to monitor the number of this "write IO" ?
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Question by:sunhux
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by:Aaron Tomosky
Aaron Tomosky earned 300 total points
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You can monitor wear levels with a "smart" monitor. If you want reliability, go Intel. I also have a bunch of Samsung 840 pro and evo in servers for over a year running just fine but I could be Lucky (raid 10 though).
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by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
David Johnson, CD, MVP earned 200 total points
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for the 840's get the hotfix as it will restore the original speed. these drives tend to slow down read access for old data
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by:sunhux
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Where can I download this  "smart" monitor software?
Could you provide me the link?  Needed for Win 7,
Win XP & Macbook Snow Leopard.

Does this "smart" software warns me before an SSD
is about to fail?


2 more questions:

c) I've heard of HDD where a certain % is reserved for sort of RAIDing.  Maybe
    I've recalled wrongly but is there such a method for SSD (if it's available
    for HDD) ?

d) after how many writes will my M500 SSD (250GB) fail or is close to the
    threshold of failing?  Any tool to monitor the number of this "write IO" ?
0
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LVL 78

Assisted Solution

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
David Johnson, CD, MVP earned 200 total points
Comment Utility
c) I've heard of HDD where a certain % is reserved for sort of RAIDing.  Maybe
    I've recalled wrongly but is there such a method for SSD (if it's available
    for HDD) ?


I've never heard of this.
d) after how many writes will my M500 SSD (250GB) fail or is close to the
    threshold of failing?  Any tool to monitor the number of this "write IO" ?


What will happen is you will start to lose capacity as sectors are overwritten too many times.  How many writes to a sector depends upon the specific SSD and most SSD's use wear leveling to use blocks that have less writes on them to be used first.. With a spinning disk this would introduce disk fragmentation but on an SSD this does not apply.  Different rules for different technology.  your ssd uses 20nm Micron MLC NND which has 72TB total bytes written (TBW), equal to 40GB per day for 5 years.  As with all storage media backups are mandatory, and when an ssd fails it is usually catastrophic where nothing can be recovered.

http://bit.ly/1FF8EZF
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Author Comment

by:sunhux
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http://bit.ly/1FF8EZF

Above link does not have any software that monitors the status of the SSD
or does it?
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Author Comment

by:sunhux
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Any other software eg: the "Smart" software that does such monitoring?
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Aaron Tomosky earned 300 total points
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Linux and Unix have smartctl built in. For windows you have to add a smart monitoring tool like: http://sourceforge.net/projects/smartmontools/
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