Real life experience on SSD life spans



This SSD which is the last OCZ model I had left has finally started giving issues. When I replaced my main desktop PC a year ago, I put this Agility 3 SSD in the former PC, which since has had very light use, e.g. streaming video while walking on a treadmill. It had nothing more than a basic Windows 10 installation, so no data to lose.

When I powered it up this morning, it hung at the blue Windows 10 logo. When I rebooted, it then hung just after finishing the POST. When I tried booting a Windows 10 USB stick, it also could not boot, again hanging at the blue Windows logo. At first I thought it may be a RAM or Graphics card issue, until I tried booting a live Linux USB stick.

One thing I miss back in the MS-DOS / Windows NT days which Linux still has is all the info text that appears during boot. Sure enough, Linux displayed many errors about /dev/sdb during boot and made it to the GUI. Indeed GParted also could not access the drive:


As with any other hard drive failure, I generally disconnect and reconnect the cables. In this case I also took the SSD out and turned on the computer. This time it booted straight into Windows 10. To be on the safe side and make it easier to reload Windows 10 back on if the drive totally fails, I thought I’ll try making a backup. However, by the time I attached a USB HDD, the OS crashed out and again kept getting stuck after POST.

For curiosity, I decided to disconnect the SSD, tap it a few times and hook it back up. Well, this time the SSD did not show up in the BIOS and then asked to insert a boot disk. I tried tapping the SSD again and it showed up in the BIOS, but hung again after the POST. Finally, I tried tapping the SSD a little harder and the PC fully booted into Windows 10. :grin:

I made another attempt at backing up to an external HDD and it went successful. The PC is still running at the moment, going through Windows updates, although who knows how long for.

Just a pity a never thought of tapping any of my previous SSDs that failed before RMAing them. This possibly means they may have failed from dried solder joints, especially since the SSDs were working one day and dead the following day. Indeed, bad solder joints mainly present an issue after a device has cooled down.


Just over 4 years here using a Samsung EVO 840 as the system drive. I believe I’ve encountered the bug known for this model where the speeds reduce over time for older written data, though haven’t tried the firmware patch.

Still keep daily backups as I know with SSDs they pretty much have a binary ‘it’s working’/‘now it isn’t’ state, unlike HDDs in some scenarios where you can detect warning signs with system behavior or drive itself.


Well I am currently using the Crucial M500 480GB SSD as my main drive on my dell inspiron laptop, the M500 is a five year drive and most it life was spent on my laptops (early on the Toshiba and now on the Dell).
The drive had a very heavy use over the last six months, it stays powered on 24/7 and it handles all the read and writes, from all the downloads and stream that I do.

The last time that I ran CDI was back in 21-07-2017 and back then it had 7618GB written, today that numbers has gone up, not that much.

Most of those writes are done over that last six months.
A quick test with AS SSD gives results that are good, for a drive that is on a laptop, and since its installation it never had a secure erase or a format. Also this install of windows was a clone and not a clean install.

Now on drives that died, well it was an OCZ Vertex 2 64GB, that drive showed no signs that it will go bad, benefits of spinning drives, one day it simply refused to be detected on any system, and that drive back then it had a very light use.

Now lets see how much the Crucial M500 can take.



How can an SSD die off randomly?

How can one make sure this does not happen?


In my case it just happened, I am sure that most newer drives should give you a warning, plus all major manufacturers have some tool to monitor thr health of the drive.


Warning as in a message (I’d be interested to know which makes do this) or just signs of failure? As I’ve known two devs’ SSD drives to just die spontaneously without warning and seems to be inherent to the tech (the lack of noticeable warning signs that is, not necessarily the early death of the drives themselves).


@ TL7

In the past some controllers die very quick, especially in OCZ-SSDs. OCZ overclocked some controllers for higher IOPs.

Bur my Vertex 3 Max IOPs still works flawless, also my Petrol and Octane which are known for high failure rates


I have also 2 M500, 240GB. The Raw Read Error Rate should be 0, but increases and decreases sometimes. This is overall not a good sign.

To bad that many SSD-manufacturers don´t support this parameter


Well SMART is one way to monitor your drive, also most manufacturers have tools to monitor the drives health, samsung has magician, crucial has the storage executive.

Once again, all drives can fail without showing any warning.


My M500 works just fine, and raw read error is zero.


On your screenie I read 116?


Increases, then decreases?
How does that work?

Today it happened? No warning sign?

I wonder how that happened.


Nothing happened today, everything is working fine.


You are right, lets see if this will go up.


Dunno exact why this decrease, maybe it would be resetted at off/on and/or restart?

Decrease happens when the SSD is powered on and you read (a lot of) data

Have the same problem with some other SSDs, esspecially with my Corsair Neutron. This SSD sometimes slow down and the value increases

My exotic Mach Extreme hold the value, mostly it changes between 7 and 8

But most SSD-manufacturer don´t support this parameter


All of the better brands nowadays come with 5 year warranties and for reasonable prices.

I got my first SSD in May 2015 (warrantied til May 2020) which is a Samsung 850 EVO 250GB and it’s in my main PC and still going strong. Samsung Magician says I have written 11.8TB at the moment (most of my larger data writing is done on regular hard drives. so if I did not have those the data written to that 850 EVO would be noticeably higher. still, it does have some larger file writes to it here and there) and here it is 3 years and 2 months later and the drive is rated at 75TB written. so at my current rate ill get 20 years or so out of it (which I expect my computer to be outdated before it dies from written data to it). but it will likely go well beyond that 75TB written figure before failure actually occurs from writes. my guess is failure will occur from some other random thing before it will die from me writing data to it. but I guess we will all have to wait and see how reliable modern SSD’s are.

also, I just ordered a Intel 545s 128GB SSD earlier (about 4 hours ago) as it was a deal too good to pass up for such a quality drive and it also has a 5 year warranty. I got it for $31.99 (I doubt it can be beat for that price range as not long ago I seen a PNY 120GB SSD for $29.99 but only has a 3 year warranty and is generally a worse SSD than the Intel and I get a 5 year warranty and 8GB more storage space for only a $2 difference) as it will be a solid upgrade to my 10 year old laptop and it’s rated write life according to Intel’s site is 72TB of which I expect will go well beyond that to before actual drive failure occurs from writes (the 256GB model has 144TB written rated life span) which means I can just use it and forget about it, especially for only $32 as even if I did manage to wear it out from writes, it’s going to be difficult to complain for only $32.

basically just about any respectable brand modern SSD should easily last years unless your going crazy with data written to them or you happen to get a bad one in the batch.

NOTE: my Samsung 850 EV0 250GB is powered on 24/7 basically outside of an occasional reboot or power down to clean out the PC etc.


For normal consumer use? It should last years, maybe even decades.

Samsung just released their new 860 EVO and PRO line at the beginning of this year and they have a high lifespan, higher than their 850 line. They are Made in Korea too.


But fails are always pssoible.

I have many SSDs in my PCs and Laptops and had one total failure, and it was the most expensive SSD I ever bought. Some others made problems like slowing down sometimes or decrease the Raw Read Error. Some had single defect blocks, one have a lot of defect blocks in the first 10 POH.

On my work I had one failure of a SSD, it was dead as I start the PC. It was a half year old and don´t show any issues before it fails.

An other one have a strange behaviour, sometimes an software-installation or windows-update hangs and the HDD-LED lights permanent. Tried it in 3 different PCs, all show the same behaviour

If I compare with the many HDDs I had/have the SSDs are more reliable. But backup your data is necessary, even if you buy a Pro-SSD with 10 year warranty.

The bad things for me are:

  1. If you erase accidently data you can´t recover it like with HDD
  2. SSD die mostly without warning


In my opinion they are not worth the extra cost because your standard brand name SSD comes with a 5 year warranty and chances are if it reaches 5 years of regular use it will likely last many years beyond that. but even if the standard SSD’s don’t last much beyond 5 years your still better off saving the $ (by getting standard over pro) and putting it towards whatever is new say 6 years from now(assuming the standard 5 year warranty drives died around 6 years) as the money you save from buying a PRO currently will likely be enough to buy the same capacity drive, if not larger, in 6 years or so from now and things will probably have even better life span to and might even be faster to.

like currently looking online real quick… a Samsung 860 EVO vs Pro with the 500GB range of SSD’s (which are the largest SSD’s most people would buy currently as they are the sweet spot for most people), there about a $80 difference, so it’s far better to save the $80 (by getting the EVO) and in 5+ years of time, if the EVO SSD happens to die, you can likely get the same or better than what’s available now for that $80 or so that you saved by not getting the Pro and not only that it seems likely you will get more than 10 years, between the two SSD’s, should the initial one happen to die not long after the warranty expires as it seems like the odds are in your favor to get a fair amount of life over the warranty period especially between two name brand SSD’s. plus, like i was saying above… in 6 years or so of time from now I would imagine SSD’s life spans will be even better and likely faster to even though I realize that there is not much room for improvement for SSD’s on the SATA interface since they seem to be roughly topping out the SATA III interface. so who knows how much longer SATA will hang around but I suspect it should still be pretty common in 5+ years for desktop computers.

so basically… it makes little to no sense to get the Pro over the EVO for the vast majority of people given the info I just mentioned.

but that aside, what you experienced seemed to be what I have generally heard with SSD’s which is why I tend to prefer regular hard drives for storing more important data (and, as you already know, you get a lot more storage space for less $ with a regular hard drive over a SSD) and use SSD’s where speed is of higher importance.


The PRO’s have higher endurance ratings and uses MLC instead of TLC, but their price is like x2 that of the EVO.


For more than 99% of consumers Pro-SSDs also not better in speed at daily life, but more than 1% buy it :wink:



people don’t really think things through and just buy it as they probably see a 10 year warranty and think it’s amazing, and while it is a good product, it’s not worth the premium price over standard given all of that crap I mentioned above etc.

Yeah, but overall there is not enough of a difference to justify the price gap, especially for a high percentage of users.