A solid-state drive (SSD) is a next-gen storage device that uses integrated circuits (ICs) assemblies as memory to store data. SSDs are compact, faster, and take less power to operate as compared to traditional hard drives.
SSDs are getting more popular as storage device. The SSD market is estimated to witness a very rapid growth between 2020 and 2025. Consumers and businesses are now looking for speed and other technology benefits. This has further pushed the demand for SSDs.
A traditional hard drive has moving parts, like a motor, spindle, read-write head, etc. Thus, it takes more power to operate and access the data. On the other hand, SSD does not have any moving parts. Thus, it does not make sound and is faster. HDDs are more vulnerable to failure. The failure rate in SSDs is much lower than the HDDs. However, this doesn’t eliminate the chances of data loss from SSD.
There are warning signs, which can indicate that the HDD is going to fail in the future. This helps the users in taking precautionary measures and backup the data well in time, thus eliminating the risk of losing data. SSD also gives some warning signs before failure.
Also Read: SSD vs HDD – Comparison of storage drives.
Before we go into details about the warning signs of SSD failure, let’s first understand the reasons for SSD failure.
Reasons for SSD failure
Lack of moving components in SSDs makes them less prone to failure due to component failure. However, this does not mean that SSDs are immune to failure. All the data storage devices are bound to fail at some point of time in their lifecycle.
1. Power Surge and Fluctuations
SSDs are flash devices and operated via integrated circuits. These IC’s are vulnerable to malfunction due to power surges and fluctuations. Power surge or fluctuation can corrupt the existing data stored in the SSD, even if it doesn’t fail. 2. Limited Read/Write Cycles
2. Limited Read/Write Cycles
All SSDs have limited read/write cycles. It means that as soon as the read/write cycles are over, you are bound to face issues while accessing or storing new data on SSD. This is a major drawback of all flash storage devices.
3. Firmware Failure or Upgrade
Firmware is a software that provides low-level control for device-specific hardware. Firmware upgrades may also cause SSD failure as old configuration drives sometimes do not support the latest updates.
Warning Signs of SSD Failure
The failure of SSD leads to data loss situations. In most cases, SSD failure cannot be avoided. However, you can identify some symptoms that are an indication that your SSD is going to fail. You can take necessary actions to avoid data loss.
1. Bad Block Errors
Bad block is a term used specifically in the case of SSD and is similar to bad sectors in HDD. If bad blocks are developed in SSD, they create problems in reading or saving a file and may also lead to SSD failure.
Here’s how bad blocks can affect your files:
1. The system detects the bad block while writing data to the drive and thus refuses to write data.
2. The system detects the bad block after the data has been written and thus refuses to read that data.
What happens when SSD develops bad blocks?
- You cannot read or write files on SSD.
- The operating system files need to be repaired.
- Active application often freezes or crash.
- Errors while moving the files within the system.
- System running slow.
In case you are noticing such issues, it is recommended that you do a drive health monitor check and take a backup of your important data on the SSD.
2. SSD Crashes during Boot
Bad blocks on your SSD can cause your PC to crash unexpectedly. If this is happening frequently, then this has something related to the SSD health. These are early signs of bad health of SSD. In such cases, it is recommended to take backup and stop using the SSD. Another alternative approach you can try is format the SSD and reinstall the OS. If the issue persists, you should look for SSD replacement. If this works for you and you face data loss after formatting of drive, then try a professional data recovery software to recover the lost data.
3. SSD becomes Read-only
A solid-state drive may enter into a locked read-only mode once it exceeds its lifetime writes cycles. In such a case, you won’t be able to modify existing information or even save new information on the SSD. If you are facing this issue, then the best option for you is to connect the SSD with another system, make it a non-bootable drive, and take backup of the data.
4. SSD Failure due to Firmware Updates
A firmware update optimizes the performance of your hardware. However, in some cases, these firmware updates can also cause issues with your SSD.
Keep a regular check for the latest firmware update from your SSD manufacturer. In case you have recently updated the firmware and your SSD has started creating some problems in reading/write operation, it's time to prepare for backup of important data.
Some more indications which you can refer to are:
- Getting Blue Screen of Death errors – On Windows
- Black Screen of Death errors – On Mac
- Read/write operation not happening
Sometimes, out-of-date SSD firmware can also cause SSD failure.
If you have 3rd-party SSD, like Intel, Kingston, Samsung, SanDisk, etc., then check for firmware updates on their websites. If the firmware update is available, install the update, restart your computer, and see if this fixes the problem.
You may face data loss situation due to failure of SSD. To avoid data loss, the best option is to take regular backup of your data. In case you suffered data loss due to SSD failure, reach out to data recovery experts to recover data from failed SSD.