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Windows 7: How SSD power faults scramble your data

01 Mar 2013   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 
How SSD power faults scramble your data

In a rush to run out and buy an SSD? Here's something you may want to consider since with every new technology there always seem to be... one or more things to learn?!


Quote:
Summary: Flash SSDs are non-volatile, so what could go wrong when power fails? A great deal, even on high-end "enterprise" SSDs.

We've got over 50 years experience with spinning disk in all kinds of conditions, ranging from notebooks to massive big iron arrays. SSDs, not so much. And boy, do we have a lot to learn.

see full report

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01 Mar 2013   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 (64 bit), Windows XP SP3, Linux Mint 16 MATE (64 bit)
 
 
Thanks Night Hawk

Thanks for that info.

This probably explains why my friend's laptop is screwed up.

He has some weird power fault (if his laptop flexes, it switches off) and his SSD and OS are corrupted.
It's only 18 months old.
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02 Mar 2013   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

I've held off from buying any myself until the companies get all of the bugs worked out. Having used a number of flash drives which are based pretty much on the same technology I know they can be voilitile at times as well.

I guess for anyone who goes out and buys one the best advice is to always have a full system image backup or two just in case the poiwer goes out! "data loss... data corruption... data lost... ..."
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02 Mar 2013   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 (64 bit), Windows XP SP3, Linux Mint 16 MATE (64 bit)
 
 
Backup SSD Image

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Night Hawk View Post
I guess for anyone who goes out and buys one the best advice is to always have a full system image backup or two just in case the poiwer goes out! "data loss... data corruption... data lost... ..."
Agreed.

Even though I've offered to "walk him" through the procedure, my friend refuses to do it.
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02 Mar 2013   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

Even when working with mechanical drives too many times I hear about people losing a number of files or photos from not taking the time to take precautions like a good backup if not a full image backup. The Golden Rule of Thought has always been to back up the backup of the backups of the backup since there ever is any 100% fail proof method while frequent backups can save the day when any mishap appears!

With any new technology or not quite so new as most would believe SSDs are when in fact not since they have existed since the 90s the technology is still invulnerable to mishaps. The article brings up the issue of degradations of data and OSs when power is lost. I have seen blackouts, shorted supplied trip 20A breakers and never once lose a single file on a mechanical as a result while it appears SSDs are subject to compromises.

Once I got into 7 and found that the need for the old dual boot of two versions would no longer be needed the option for system images became automatic. For a laptop one thing I tend to check is the power plan's advanced settings for the power button itself. Whether SSD or mechanical when a friend reported it kept booting up in safe mode I took a look at his mom's Vista laptop and each time the F8 boot menu was appearing due to bad shutdowns.

The power button was set for sleep not shutdown and the kids would simply close the lid after hitting the power button where each day the F8 was coming up. You have to wonder if seeing that setting changed on your friend's laptop could be a help in preventing the irregular power outages since the battery is constantly draining when not shutdown fully. I noticed the Vista laptop was running too slowly likely from a weak battery despite having the ac cord plugged when going to check where the problem was on that one. The laptop was bought in late 2007.
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02 Mar 2013   #6

Windows 7 Pro-x64
 
 

Anyone that doesn't have every PC connected to a UPS is playing Russian Roulette. Black-outs, brown-outs, lighting, surges and noise on power lines are pretty common no matter where you live. All of these are like spinning the cylinder and pulling the trigger. They can all cause data corruption or hardware failure no matter what kind of disk drive you have.
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02 Mar 2013   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

That is a well known fact as well. Here I seen a few good ones knock power out for days as well as know what happens when a power supply shorts out! I used to test supply boxes(electrical) and watch the caps on the ac transformers smoke! BOOM! and there she goes! as everyone gathers around to watch the smoke rise from the well no ashes with ceramic caps that is!

On the present case the first board was cooked when the supply went! The 20a breaker went tripped showing just how fast and how much pull basic electricity can have. I still keep looking for surge protection strips that handle even more then the last now using some that will take a 2200 joules line surge.

A UPS can get very expensive at times and only provide a few hours of battery time where I can simply grab a 7 laptop if needed. The board being fried however was beyond what any UPS could do there being an internal mishap. How do you protect against a faulty supply that cooks a board? The data remained intact however as well as the drives. How an SSD might have fared is unknown but in that circumstance probably wouldn't have been effected either not like what others are running into however.
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03 Mar 2013   #8

W7 X-64 RTM,SUSE 11.1, XP PRO SP3 as a VM, VMware ESXi
 
 

Hi everybody
failures especially these days with SSD's are overrated -- I've had 6 SSD's for about a year now and NONE have gone defective.

In any case since the capacity of SSD's are relatively small and in general only used for storing things like OS'es on them so they should be backed up regularly.

However if the electronics DOES get fried then that's the same risk you have when using any piece of equipment that uses electronics -- even Aircraft suffer catastrophic power failures from time to time --try watching on National Geographic that excellent program "Aircrash Investigation" --especially just before making your next flight. (Fortunately though modern aircraft can usually recover from this situation due to backup systems and the EPS that is activated if all engines fail).

A typical Windows 7 or Windows 8 OS installation can be backed up in about 7 mins these days if it's on an SSD and you save the backup on to an internal spinner or even a USB3 external HDD. Backing up to an external USB2 drive will take a little longer but probably still take less than 25 mins.

You don't even need to do a daily backup as your OS is not (usually) likely to change very much from day to day.

Backup your other data of course too - and do it regularly -- if you don't you've only yourself to blame when things go wrong -- even if it's not your fault.

As for power outages etc -- the worst place I suffered that wasn't in some 3rd World Banana Republic hell-hole - but in a surprisingly wealthy part of LA -- I usually stay in the Santa Monica / Malibu area when I'm in LA - love Venice Beach etc etc -- but any time it rained you could guarantee you'd have a power outage or two. -- Fortunately rain isn't that common there though --but when it does --don't even THINK about using an umbrella.

Cheers
jimbo
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03 Mar 2013   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Having only a laptop I don't really "have a dog in the fight" so to speak, but think jimbo45 is on the mark here. SSDs, from all I can find are at least as reliable as an HDD these days. ANY drive can go bad and/or lose data at ANY given time. Just the nature of things. If you don't have a back-up ready, then thats on you. If you are in situations that you think could involve a catastrophic data lose, then either back-up more often or turn your machine off if the data involved is that valuable. I'll be keeping my SSD and my normal back up procedures. (Nice article though)
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03 Mar 2013   #10

Windows 7
 
 

I have all my computers / tv system \ electronics connected to a 3.1 KVA ups . Will run everything for 2 1/2 hrs , but the back up natural gas generator does start in 12 seconds when the power goes out .. Everyone SHOULD buy a UPS , good advice ..
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