SSD died after dropping laptop

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drk421
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Re: SSD died after dropping laptop

Post by drk421 » Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:34 am

I have really bad luck with hard drives (especially WD), so I just use RAID mirroring and be done with it. It seems expensive at first (double the price for the same capacity), but when you hear a drive going clickity click, you know you don't have to waste a day setting up your environment again. I use the Intel Matrix RAID because the drive is still readable if you plug it into any old SATA controller. The RAID data is also on the drive (not on the controller NVRAM), so if your controller bites it you're not SOL.

I still use Dropbox/Google Drive on my really important stuff (code, projects, etc).

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Re: SSD died after dropping laptop

Post by tepples » Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:11 am

But be careful what kind of RAID you use. Consider what happens when a drive fails, and another drive fails before the array finishes rebuilding. In RAID 5, you lose everything and have to go back to tape or the cloud. In RAID 10, you have only a 33 percent chance of losing everything: only a 1+2 or 3+4 failure causes loss, while a 1+3, 1+4, 2+3, or 2+4 loss is survivable. RAID 5 makes me wanna BAARF.

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Re: SSD died after dropping laptop

Post by lidnariq » Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:31 am

Having used RAID-1 for the past 7 years, all I can say is that RAID has never saved my data.

What RAID does is keep your machine on and running after a hard drive failure. But I've lost data to hard drive failures once in 25 years, ever, and it would have been solved by real backups instead. And meanwhile I've lost data ~30 times to my stupidity^W^W and at least 8 times due to filesystem corruption.

The infamous JWZ says it more bitterly/amusingly than I would: http://www.jwz.org/blog/?p=801607

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rainwarrior
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Re: SSD died after dropping laptop

Post by rainwarrior » Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:09 am

I've had 3 hard drive failures, myself.

But yes, having your data in two locations is a lot safer than having two copies of your data in one location. RAID redundancy is no substitute for backups, but it's still good protection against failure of a single drive (which is a common enough occurrence that I think it's worth doing in some cases).

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blargg
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Re: SSD died after dropping laptop

Post by blargg » Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:36 pm

I like JWZ's article. Unlike everything else in your house, when your data gets lost, you can't buy replacement anywhere. You know the frustration when you've typed a long post and your web browser eats it before you click Post? Imagine that multiplied by 100000, all because you didn't take the time to make a backup (write your web post in a text editor rather than the browser).

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James
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Re: SSD died after dropping laptop

Post by James » Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:41 pm

tepples wrote:RAID 5 makes me wanna BAARF.
I think that RAID6 should generally be favored over RAID5, but saying that parity-based RAID levels should never be used (or, according to one of the presentations from that site, that RAID10 should ALWAYS be used) doesn't make sense. In the real world, one usually needs to make trade-offs between cost/performance/reliability. If I need a large amount of storage for an application with low IO requirements, RAID10 is probably not the best choice. Certainly not from a cost perspective.
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Re: SSD died after dropping laptop

Post by tepples » Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:47 pm

blargg wrote:write your web post in a text editor rather than the browser
And I do that for several reasons:
  • To protect against web browser data loss, as text editors are usually simpler and less complex.
  • Starting a text editor is sometimes faster than starting a web browser. Some sites are so slow that by the time the post form has opened, I've already hammered out half a paragraph at 80 wpm. Or I might have just opened my laptop, and it takes 30 to 60 seconds after coming out of sleep to find a wireless access point.
  • I commute to and from work on the bus, and I don't feel like paying half a thousand dollars per year for mobile Internet on top of what I already pay Comcast for Internet at home. Often I start writing while offline.
But just starting composition in a text editor doesn't protect against the power going out or a kernel or window system failure, seeing as most PC text editors don't automatically save documents that haven't been given a filename.
James wrote:If I need a large amount of storage for an application with low IO requirements, RAID10 is probably not the best choice. Certainly not from a cost perspective.
I guess part of their cost calculation includes the cost of downtime while restoring from slow backup media.

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James
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Re: SSD died after dropping laptop

Post by James » Wed Dec 05, 2012 1:19 pm

tepples wrote:
James wrote:If I need a large amount of storage for an application with low IO requirements, RAID10 is probably not the best choice. Certainly not from a cost perspective.
I guess part of their cost calculation includes the cost of downtime while restoring from slow backup media.
Perhaps. Though, arguably, if downtime is that costly, you're looking at an HA solution (e.g., a duplicate system). The point I was trying to make is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution here.
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drk421
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Re: SSD died after dropping laptop

Post by drk421 » Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:31 pm

Well, RAID-1 has been working fine for me for years. Drive fails, swap in another one, keep on going... If I were to loose both drives, I wouldn't have lost anything that can't be replaced, since all _MY_ files are on Dropbox and Google Drive. What RAID-1 saves me is all the trouble of reinstalling the OS and setting up my environment.

I'm aware you can rsync on Mac/BSD/Linux because the file system doesn't lock files like Windows. Unfortunately, I'm using Windows.

I prefer to think of it this way:
If your house burnt down while you were away, would all _YOUR_ critical data still be backed up?

95% of the data on my drive is just Music/Games/Movies that take up lots of space and can easily be replaced. Yeah, its a pain to download it all again, but I haven't lost anything permanently.

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blargg
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Re: SSD died after dropping laptop

Post by blargg » Wed Dec 05, 2012 8:12 pm

RAID protects from some hardware failures, downtime. But it's an exact mirror, so doesn't save you from non-hardware-caused data loss. Separate backup protects you from hardware failure, and from accidentally deleting files, filesystem corruption, etc. Off-site protects from theft, house fire, etc. Also, incremental backups protect from undetected corruption that gets copied to the more recent backup(s).

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Re: SSD died after dropping laptop

Post by WedNESday » Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:57 am

Dwedit how far did you drop it and since it has no mechanical parts what would cause it to break?

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koitsu
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Re: SSD died after dropping laptop

Post by koitsu » Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:51 am

WedNESday wrote:Dwedit how far did you drop it and since it has no mechanical parts what would cause it to break?
No offence intended, but at this point it doesn't matter -- the SSD has now experienced the 8MB capacity bug and the data stored on the drive is lost.

It's possible Dwedit could give the SSD to one of the very few data recovery companies that restore data from SSDs (specifically they give you raw dumps of each NAND flash chip), but it's expensive (more so than MHDD recovery), and if the drive internally uses encryption (often AES) or compression for its storage there's still no chance of getting any of the data back since raw NAND flash dumps don't provide FTL mappings (i.e. LBA-to-NAND-page mappings). The X25-M is somewhat "old" and AFAIR does not use encryption, but like every SSD, does rely on an FTL.

Moral of the story: do not think even for a minute that SSDs are impervious to physical damage. They aren't. Just because something lacks moving parts doesn't mean something can't be broken when given a good jostle. Do regular backups. And like others have already said: RAID is not a replacement (nor a supplement) for backups.

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Re: SSD died after dropping laptop

Post by infiniteneslives » Thu Dec 06, 2012 11:42 pm

does it the SSD have parts on both sides of the PCB?

If it only has parts on one side of the pcb and you've already considered it a loss, a fun last ditch effort might be to toss it in a toaster oven to reflow the whole board. :)

If nothing else you can just leave it in there for way to long over baking it while you tell it to, "BURN IN HELL!"
If you're gonna play the Game Boy, you gotta learn to play it right. -Kenny Rogers

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koitsu
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Re: SSD died after dropping laptop

Post by koitsu » Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:32 am

infiniteneslives wrote:does it the SSD have parts on both sides of the PCB?
The X25-M has parts on both sides -- the controller and some NAND flash chips are on one side, and more NAND flash chips are on the other. Both sides have miscellaneous parts (capacitors, resistors, etc.) as well. For SSDs this is normal (NAND flash going on both sides of the PCB).

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Dwedit
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Re: SSD died after dropping laptop

Post by Dwedit » Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:53 pm

My RMA replacement from Intel just arrived. I think they sent me a newer drive, it's a "320 series" instead of the X25-M, still 80GB.
In a rather thick fit of irony, I was doing an NTFS resize on my hard disk drive (120GB) to get it ready to ghost to the 80GB SSD drive, and the filesystem was corrupted after the NTFS shrink, even though NTFSResize said it was successful. Linux wouldn't mount it, and neither would Windows.
I restored the 80GB SSD from the exact same 6 month old backup, and this time Windows booted on the first try. It downloaded about 38 Windows Updates soon afterwards.
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