SSD issue?

Discussion in 'SSDs & Data Storage' started by FenFox, Aug 4, 2018.

  1. FenFox

    FenFox Limp Gawd

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    Over the past year I've noticed that my 4 and a half year old Intel SSD has slowed down dramatically. Accessing files/accessing the recycling bin/deleting files etc. And occasionally my computer would crash and I'd be presented with: "Reboot and Select proper Boot device or Insert Boot Media in select Boot device and press a key" I'd have to power off/on to bypass this message - if I restart, it would present me with the same message.

    So I assumed my OS was either corrupted or the SSD was nearing the end of its life.

    So I ran CrystalDiskInfo which reported no problems. Ran GSmartControl and it reported 10 re-allocated sectors. Ran Intel SSD Toolbox, and there were no reported issues. Bought a new SSD and fresh installed Windows and I haven't noticed any issues in over 2 weeks.

    So, I'm not sure what to make of this situation. If Intel's software says the drive is good, I'd think It's more accurate than CrystalDisk/GSmartControl. But I can't really explain the poor performance of the drive other than the old Windows install being corrupt. Would you RMA this SSD?
     
  2. Spartacus09

    Spartacus09 Limp Gawd

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    Is the firmware up to date?
    How much free space does it have?
    How many TB have been written to the drive?
    What model of Intel drive is it?
     
  3. FenFox

    FenFox Limp Gawd

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    Well, I didn't check it with Intel SSD Toolbox while it was my main Windows OS SSD. Just checked it with CrystalDiskInfo / GsmartControl at that time.

    -Right now it has 223/223 GB free space.
    -The firmware is up to date.
    -Model # Intel SSDSC2BW240A4
    -Intel SSD 530 Series 240 GB.
    -How much TB written? Does this fall under "Host Writes" in the SMART data? 22166.41 GB So 22 TB.
    Or are you looking for: Total NAND writes: 242837.00 GB? There's also LBAs written/read which I dunno if you want.

    When I check it in GsmartControl it still says 10 re-allocated sectors, but Intel SSD Toolbox says it's fine. Everything is in green. But I don't see re-allocated sectors within the Intel software SMART data.
     
  4. Spartacus09

    Spartacus09 Limp Gawd

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    SSD generally have builtin sectors in case some fail, those numbers aren't concerning yet.
    So you wiped the drive, how do you know its still slow?
    Do you remember how much space was used when it was slow?
     
  5. AlienTech

    AlienTech Limp Gawd

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    That is strange.. I have 2 relocated sectors which were caused by a power surge that fired the mother baord. And after checking the drive it started working again, total I have like almost 70TB and over 50% life left.. And it has been working fine for an year..

    I think there might be other problems.. The error correcting might be recreating the lost data and hence shows no problems but it takes longer to recreate the missing data slowing it down a lot. Since SSD's unlike hard drives move sectors around the while block might be problematic now. ie the entire die might have gone bad. It happens often.. When on a hard drive the main MBR developed an error it exihibted the symptons you are describing.. The drive still worked for a few years until I tired to fix it and it seemed fixed but died days later.. ie it marked the bock bad.. Since it was the beginning of the track it seems teh drive could not easily mark it or something. If you dont know, a read error will cause normal operation to retry for pretty much forever and would take a very long time to time out. Why you need special programs to read data of such problematic drives.
     
  6. FenFox

    FenFox Limp Gawd

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    Hmm, I think there was like 20 GB left. Something around there. I can't remember if it was overprovisioned. I know you can overprovision with Samsung's Magician. But I thought by default SSDs were already overprovisioned to some extent.
     
  7. Spartacus09

    Spartacus09 Limp Gawd

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    If theres not enough free space, especially on an older drive like that, it won’t able to do garbage collection properly. That could be a huge factor in the problem, about 10-15%+ free space is recommended for maintaining optimal performance.

    Overprovision protects in cases of failed nands and provides space for garbage collection to a point, but it can take alot longer than it normally needs to because it has less space to move that data around.
     
  8. FenFox

    FenFox Limp Gawd

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    Well, how do you know if an SSD has overprovisioning on it? I assumed all do to some extent - some more than others. So at that point you probably could technically stuff the drive full.
     
  9. Denpepe

    Denpepe Gawd

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    Not realy because the overprovisioned part only get's used to replace dead cells afaik for all other intents and puposes they are non existent.
     
  10. Maxx

    Maxx [H]ard|Gawd

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    I use Hard Drive Sentinel but it may not give you any more information than other software. Still worth a look, though. It should let you know the SSD's general health and amount of data written.

    All SSDs have some overprovisioning, by which I mean hardware overprovisioning. For example a 256GB drive is actually 256GiB (~275GB) as is a 250GB or 240GB drive. Traditionally the 256GB variant would not be listed as overprovisioned while the 250GB is 2.4% and 250GB is 7% (this is known as "marketed overprovisioning"). This space is used for background management and reallocation to improve wear leveling. Usually drives have additional overprovisioning (240GB in the example) to compensate for a lack of DRAM cache because the lack of one increases write amplification (and thus reduces endurance) and can reduce write perfomance. This additional overprovisioning can also improve relative performance when the drive is fuller.

    There's also software overprovisioning, but I digress; your drive is rated for 20GB/day of writes for 5 years, or about 36TB TBW. Chances are it would survive 2-3x that but I believe Intel often has drives drop into a read-only mode once they exceed a certain limit. Either way I hope that gives you a value of comparison.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
  11. Tiberian

    Tiberian DILLIGAFuck

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    Use CrystalDiskInfo to see how many reads/writes the drive has had done to it over the time you've owned it. Personally what I do at least once every 6 months is image whatever OS is on my SSD and then I do a proper Secure ATA Erase (using Parted Magic) which sorta kinda 'resets' the drive to factory condition (given the wear that's taken place). It's never been an issue for me with the SSDs I've owned. I just got an old ThinkPad T440s yesterday and it has an Intel SSD Pro 1500 series 180GB drive in it and it seemed kinda slow given the condition from the original owner, whoever it was. Overall the laptop had a slowness to it that I couldn't adequately explain.

    Normally a Secure ATA Erase (this is not a zero wipe which is terrible for an SSD) takes 3-20 seconds on a relatively clean SSD meaning it doesn't have a lot of data on it. When I initiated the erase process it took close to 48 seconds to finish which is the longest I've ever had an SSD require. After that however I did more testing for speeds (it's not anywhere near as fast as the specs say it should be) and so I did another secure erase after my testing was done, the second time the erase took 4 seconds and done.

    Anyway, the only actually trustworthy tools for hard drive and SSD diagnostics are the ones provided by the manufacturers of the drives themselves. The rest of the third-party stuff is using S.M.A.R.T. more than anything else and I don't trust S.M.A.R.T. either 'cause it's wrong vastly more often than it's right. The third-party stuff can't access aspects of the firmware that the manufacturer's diagnostics can so they are severely limited most of the time.

    If you feel the drive is having issues, and it's still under warranty (I'm guessing it has a 5 year warranty considering you said it's 4.5 years old, then contact Intel and say it's having issues and you'd like to RMA it. Worst case: they say no. Best case: you get a new SSD.