dhanson865

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Everything posted by dhanson865

  1. I've used external enclosures to recover data from a drive before. The thing is a drive might only stay on for 10 seconds but the boot process on a typical machine is more like 30 to 90 seconds. So you leave the drive powered off externally and boot into windows. Let all the background processes settle down, wait a few minutes, open windows explorer and have your target directory ready. Power on the drive and copy what little you can in the few seconds the drive works. Power off the drive and let it cool down for 15 or 20 minutes repeat until you have all the data It's not fun and it isn't guaranteed to work but I have done this. It's not just theory. Just hope you don't have data nested too deep or in too large a file to make grabbing small portions in a 5 second window impossible.
  2. I only read about 80% of the review but I did do some searches. Maybe I missed it but I don't see mention of price or availability. I tried googling for it and didn't see it for sale.
  3. dhanson865

    SSD Reliability

    is another couple of anecdotes showing sandforce drives failing. The first post covers the short version for one, then we get this Now do you chalk that up to compatibility issues or do you call it several failed drives?
  4. dhanson865

    SSD Reliability

    Pay attention to what Intel said in the IDF presentation. They saw 5% hard drive failures per year in their "internal" IT records drop to less than 1% SSD failures per year as they migrated from hard drives to SSDs. A big portion of this advantage for them was because 80% or so of their employees use laptops/notbooks/netbooks whatever you want to call them. Dropping, bumping, overheating, etetera cause failures of hard drives in laptops and such. Of course every hard drive has to be packed and shipped to you before you can use it and no matter how careful you are with a hard drive you don't know how UPS/FedEx/shipper joe/stock boy fred/etcetera treated that drive. Even if you take the shock damage out, thermal issues are significant. Once you take Shock and Heat out of the equation (which all SSDs do) you get down to reliability of the flash memory, the controller, and other circuits on the SSD "motherboard". The significance of this data is all relative. Good SSDs are more reliable than good hard drives (because they don't have to worry about shock or heat). Bad SSDs are worse than good hard drives (though I can't say exactly why, it varies from one model/brand to another). One of the downsides to cheaper sandforce drives is that manufacturers (knowing that the controller is more robust in dealing with failed flash) feel free to use lower quality flash and/or have less of it held in reserve for wear leveling/bad block relocation. If the sandforce controller was paired with the same quality flash as the Intel/C300 drives they would fail less but they would also be more expensive. Lets, be clear, if you gave me free of charge a 120GB G.SKILL Phoenix/Phoenix Pro or Mushkin Enhanced Callisto Deluxe I'd be reinstalling windows on it first thing and it would be my new boot drive and I'd be happy to do it. It's just if I'm going to spend my own money on it I'm going to take the route that is less likely to waste money. I'll take the drive that has 1/5th the failures or 1/3th the failures instead. Again these numbers aren't here to scare you away from SSDs, they are here to help you make an informed decision on which SSD to buy. Yes you should switch from hard drives to SSDs, No you shouldn't stop making backups. Any drive can fail.
  5. dhanson865

    SSD Reliability

    Now lets dip into the OCZ Vertex 2 60GB reviews I've heard people talking about how flash is supposed to fail to an unwriteable read only state but I've never seen anyone who actually knew of a drive in that state just references to flash documentation and Wikipedia articles. What I've actually read in newegg reviews and manufacturer support threads are 1. totally dead doesn't respond to power at all (including letting smoke out or catching on fire) 2. powers up but no data visible 3. the drive misreporting its size in MB instead of GB and data not being accessible 4. the drive working OK but data being wiped 5. the drive working part of the time (causing blue screen errors at random, random reboots, failing to resume from standby properly) I can see some of this being firmware/controller issues part of the time but you can't rule out physical defects or other types of hardware failure. In fact I specifically avoided counting any performance issues or anything that looked like user error and I didn't count posts where someone gave a bad review saying it wouldn't work with specific laptop or motherboard chipset. Every day is International Backup Awareness Day.
  6. dhanson865

    SSD Reliability

    You might think that if you haven't read the reviews. Pick a controller and drive sort by most reviews then when in the individual product sort by lowest rating. You'll see tons of DOAs and a few it died after 2 weeks/2 months type reviews on some drives and on others you see more It died reviews than you see DOAs. Either way I'm seeing more DOA and died in use failures than outright compatibility issues for any drive other than the ones with the sandforce controllers. Sandforce is the only one I'd say it's more likely or just as likely to be a controller/firmware issue. On the topic of number of reviews for individual drives the top drives are OCZ Vertex Series OCZSSD2-1VTX30G 30GB 493 reviews Intel X25-M SSDSA2MH080G2R5 80GB 322 reviews OCZ Vertex Series OCZSSD2-1VTX60G 60GB 277 reviews OCZ Agility Series OCZSSD2-1AGT60G60GB 230 reviews OCZ Vertex Series OCZSSD2-1VTX120G 120GB 187 reviews but that is because the Older Intel part numbers no longer show on newegg and because it's common for newegg to have 2 to 5 versions of the same Intel drive listed (OEM vs retail, with a bundle, without, new SKU even though the controller didn't change, etcetera). So lets pick some quotes from the 80GB Intel reviews which obviously doesn't have any significant firmware or compatibility issues. He didn't mark it as DOA so I'm assuming he used it for a few weeks or months. I doubt a firmware issue caused this but I'm willing to be corrected if anyone in the know can say how exactly an 80GB drive fails in a way that it looks like a 8MB drive short of a hardware failure. Now this, I suppose you could argue that he had a controller failure on the motherboard, or bad ram, or bad CPU, something that caused his system to stop working with the drive correctly but it was a failure after several months time. limit to quote blocks reached, splitting this into multiple posts.
  7. dhanson865

    SSD Reliability

    "I have no inside data and thus as you say I can't rule out the inaccuracy of a voluntary poll. It could be inaccurate by insanely high margins. It is however the worst of every single drive I looked at on newegg and I literally read thousands of reviews in preparation for the posts I've made in this thread. http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductRe ... 6820220389 It is worth noting as the worst SSD on newegg (in my own words) it still gets 3 eggs on a 1 to 5 scale. The newegg data says Intel SSDs fail in the low single digits as a percentage of reviews. IDF quote below says: Scott is a SR. Technical Account Manager at Intel. So if newegg says 2.4% and Intel says 0.6% say then the failure rate reported is 4x higher than actual. But assuming it's representative then you could normalize it by cutting the percentages to one quarter or you could just use them as a rating and not fixate on the number, realize that better is better no matter the score. I won't bet my life on the ratio of failed drives between Intel Gen 2 and sandforce 1xxx controllers but I'm happy enough with the data to let it affect a purchase decision.
  8. dhanson865

    SSD Reliability

    It's interesting to note that the C300 gets to ~4% even after the early problems (if you look at the newegg reviews there are still complaints from the period when firmware updates bricked drives). The numbers I'm reporting are raw numbers including screwups early in the life of a drive. The OCZ Onyx (Indilinx Amigos) reviews are insanely off the charts, Hmm I guess I should have put the Amigos in Tier 3 as well. The worst I ever culled in the SPCR thread was Patriot Torqx (Indilinx Barefoot) dead drives approaching the 50% mark. It was rough reading all the complaints and doing the count. Amazing when you see Patriot with 50% dead drives vs another brands Indilinx Barefoot implementation hitting ~10% dead drives. It's obvious one is better than the other.
  9. dhanson865

    SSD Reliability

    Samsung 470 0/30 failures ~0% still too new to tell but no news is good news on this front Samsung drives were very reliable the last time around (when they were too slow to recommend) It's nice to see that they are fast enough to recommend now and people aren't screaming about them. Indilinx Martini OCZ Vertex Plus 0/000 no reviews yet JMicron/Toshiba Kingston SSDNow V+/V+100 1/84 failure either Kingston is scrubbing their reviews or its just too early to tell. Kingston SSDNow V/V100 22/434 ~5% failure rate, much more believable. ahh yes Western Digital has a JM618 based drive, lets look at it. WD SiliconEdge Blue 8/164 ~5% failure rate. Let me know if there is a JMicron/Toshiba based SSD that you think has significant reviews on newegg that I should add to this section.
  10. dhanson865

    SSD Reliability

    Sandforce recap OCZ "Vertex 2" (sandforce controller) 48/309 ~15%. Note in the SPCR thread I go into more detail on this but I gave up after getting stats from the highest selling capacities. Odds are its a statistically valid sample since I got the majority and it's a higher quantity that many other brands below. Corsair Force series (sandforce controller) 24/102 ~24% ADATA S599 (sandforce controller) 6/56 failures ~11% though that drive hasn't sold much compared to many of the others I've dived for. Interesting to note ADATA advertises these mostly by chips present no usable capacity. For example Most sandforce drives with 64GB flash will label the drive as 60GB, ADATA labels it 64GB. Note this is not the usual 1000 vs 1024 or unformatted vs formatted issue, this is on top of those concepts. ADATA S599 uses 13% overprovisioning but unlike other companies they don't round down the product name to a multiple of 10 to offset the overprovisioning. Mushkin Enhanced Callisto Deluxe (sandforce controller) 9/83 failures ~11% again not a lot of reviews. G.SKILL Phoenix/Phoenix Pro (sandforce controller) 23/198 failures ~12% all together we had 48/309 OCZ Sandforce ~15.5% 23/198 G.Skill sandforce ~12% 24/102 Corsair sandforce ~23.5% 9/83 Mushkin sandforce ~11% 6/56 Adata sandforce ~11% -------------------------- 110/748 failures ~15% That is your bottom line Sandforce drives have about a 15% failure rate from what I can see on newegg which is significantly out of whack with the 2% and 4% we see with Intel and Marvell controllers. patriots sandforce drives have less than 10 reviews on newegg so I didn't bother to include them.
  11. dhanson865

    SSD Reliability

    Intel Gen 2 and Marvel (C300) are the Tier 1 players Intel Gen 2 is still the drive to beat reliability wise. 160GB 7/177 failures ~4% (I did weed out 3 posts that were from people that weren't actually reviewing the drive) 120GB 0/000 no reviews yet 80 6/347 ~2% 40 0/008 ~0% --------- 13/532 ~2.4% Micron/Crucial/Marvell C300 128GB 5/093 256GB 6/078 64GB 0/045 128GB 0/014 64GB 0/013 64GB 1/010 (also micro SATA complaints) 128GB 0/006 (also micro SATA complaints) 256GB 0/006 256GB 0/001 ------------ 12/266 ~4.5%
  12. Prices still dropping but looking to closer to stable now. Intel X25-V 40GB ~$99 ~$2.48/GB Intel X25-M 80GB ~$178 ~$2.23/GB Intel X25-M 120GB ~$230 ~$1.92/GB Intel X25-M 160GB ~$375 ~$2.34/GB I didn't expect the 160GB drive to drop that much. Still the 120GB version is the best deal.
  13. fwiw in another thread I looked up the performance specs and the 120GB drive is just as fast as the 160GB.
  14. dhanson865

    Samsung 470 Series SSD Review

    I think you missed a pro to add to the review. Samsung has a piece of software that looks to be their equivalent to Intel's SSD Toolbox. That is significant for the XP and Vista users out there with no OS level trim support. Also they are claiming Server 2003/2008 support as well. Nice to see them not weasel out and use the old "it's a consumer drive why would we support a server OS" excuse. http://www.samsungssd.com/faq * SSD Magician Tool (EXE) * SSD Magician Manual (PDF) * SSD Magician Firmware Utility Manual (PDF) * Installation Guide (PDF) * Tech Specs Given I'm in the US I'm fine with the English only limitation. Anyway it has buttons in the software for: System (presumably a sysinfo type report) Performance benchmark (with choices on range in MB, sequential IO or random IO choices in KB, it even compares the previous run to the current run and has a history button that lets you compare any two benchmark runs) Performance optimization (and the ability to schedule) F/W update (dunno why they avoided spelling out firmware, the button is the same size as Performance optimization, nice thing is this creates a bootable USB flash drive so you can make the drive once and flash a bunch of drives if you have a setup where you would like to do this) Data Clone (planned feature in a future version) It's not as solid as the Intel Toolbox but it's leaps and bounds more advanced than the non offering for other drives. It'd be nice to see a roundup on which drives have tools and what it really means to users of OSes other than Windows 7. AFAIK off the top of my head its something like Controller Firmware GC/Trim/wiper Tool Secure Erase Tool Intel G1 Yes No No Jmicron Yes Yes* Yes Indilinx barefoot Yes Yes Yes (assuming OCZ tool works on non OCZ drives?) Intel G2 Yes Yes Yes Sandforce 1xxx Yes No Yes C300 Yes No No* (can use sanitary erase tool from OCZ?) Samsung 470 Yes Yes (beta) No I know there is a wiper.exe around and google searches make it seem that it is used for Indilinx and Jmicron (or are there two executables sharing a name)? I also remember that older Jmicron drives could be pre TRIM and G1 Intel drives are pre TRIM. When I try to boil it down to Yes/No answers it looks nicer than it really is for some of these. The Intel Toolbox really feels so much friendlier/more useful than the bare bones tools for a jmicron or indilinx drive. I haven't used the Samsung SSD Magician yet but from the screenshots I'm expecting it to be impressive as well. Whatever the comparison is it's not one that is easily made in a short review unles you've had real world experience with the drive for several months but if you have enough general SSD experience and an accurate knowledge of the comparison I was trying to make it'd be appreciated to point out those things (especially in a roundup or state of the union style article).
  15. The 160GB is the one drive they give the performance boost to and commands both the price premium for capacity and performance. It's the 80GB and 120GB drives that are changing the pricing noticeably (and fwiw the xbit article made a mistake and listed it as 125GB instead of 120GB). Pricing should settle out in a few days but I'm already seeing lowered prices today. The quote below is from a post I made on another thread on SSD prices
  16. dhanson865

    Samsung 470 Series SSD Review

    Interesting, I'll have to add it to the price list of drives faster than a indilinx barefoot. It'd be nice to see some reliability data from newegg or another large retailer but that'll take time. Wait, newegg has it but the google price search has to be for "samsung ssd 470" if you want to see all vendors. Some retailers are using MZ-5PA064/US and some are using MZ5PA064HMCD-0AA00 for example. Looks like the drive has been around since September 2010.
  17. dhanson865

    SSD as Backups

    No, that article is talking about a device where dozens or more SSDs are raided internally to a 2.5" enclosure and each section is powered up/down independently. This causes vastly increased power cycles even in normal use so they went SLC because of the extra power cycling. A normal SSD without the internal RAID and extra power cycles could be used for backup media and would be better off being MLC for cost reasons since the power cycling wouldn't happen often enough to be an issue. Really what he is talking about is Near Line Storage not Off Site Storage.
  18. dhanson865

    Things that will damage SSD

    Intel might do a better job of it but any drive with wear leveling will take advantage of such space. Also sandforce beats that issue from another direction by reducing writes before they happen instead of managing the free space so well.
  19. dhanson865

    SSD as Backups

    OK, so IDF fall 2010 came and went and one of the things mentioned in the SSD track was how long data would last if a drive sat unplugged for an extended period of time. It will last longer than this but the JEDEC spec is focusing on these two time frames SLC/MLC Enterprise grade drives 3 months MLC Consumer grade drives 1 year LTO targets 15 years Now it is likely that a MLC drive will hold the data several years and it is possible that manufacturers will someday sell SSDs designed for longer archival* but until they do SSDs would only be proper for daily, weekly, monthly backups and you would need to do a separate backup to LTO for long term storage. * It was discussed that you can redesign the flash memory to increase the archival life of flash. I don't remember if he mentioned what the trade off was but we can assume its something like write speed or cost.
  20. Zero write fill of a drive is the worst thing you can do to a SSD when it comes to performance/reliability. You need to do a secure erase to undo that zero fill. A secure erase is the only thing that will put a SSD back to factory fresh performance.
  21. dhanson865

    SSD as Backups

    Sounds like a good start. You do need to add testing a restore to the mix occasionally. Or since it is random access try opening a data file directly from the backup drive on that PC or another PC from time to time.
  22. It's a shame. I like the format of the price graph you did post. Having both a Min and Avg/Mean line over a stretch of several months is nice.
  23. Indilinx drives have dropped prices dramatically in the last few weeks and Sandforce 40GB drives continue to rise in price. Intel X25-V 40GB ~$100 ~$2.50/GB Crucial M225 64GB ~$130 ~$2.03/GB Corsair Nova 64GB ~$136 ~$2.13/GB Crucial C300 64GB ~$155 ~$2.42/GB Intel X25-M 80GB ~$200 ~$2.50/GB Crucial M225 128GB ~$250 ~$1.95/GB Corsair Nova 128GB ~$256 ~$2.00/GB Crucial C300 128GB ~$276 ~$2.15/GB Intel X25-M 160GB ~$420 ~$2.63/GB Crucial C300 256GB ~$570 ~$2.23/GB Corsair Force 40GB ~$120 ~$3.00/GB OCZ Vertex 2 40GB ~$130 ~$3.25/GB OCZ Agility 2 120GB ~$265 ~$2.21/GB OCZ Vertex 2 120GB ~$285 ~$2.38/GB Corsair Force 120GB ~$290 ~$2.42/GB You might find a retailer that is running a special but the price engine prices for sandforce 40gb drives are rising.
  24. dhanson865

    SSD as Backups

    Yes but to how many drives/tapes? If you are backing up to a single drive/tape daily overwriting your prior backup you don't have any recourse if a file is corrupted on both the current disk and the only backup. Anybody who is doing daily backup is likely rotating media and storing media off-site. If you rotate across 3 drives/tapes then 600GB per day ends up being like 200GB per drive/tape per day (on average). I was doing backups for a company with over 50 employees and the full backup for all the servers was about what you backup from your single desktop PC. I used to use LTO-3 then we got a new drive/tapes and used LTO-4. Let me tell you it'd be plenty convenient to stop using LTO and move to SSDs when the day comes that I can get a SSD that holds as much as LTO does (it's a moving target, LTO-5 will be common by then) Oh and for the record LTO-4 is good for 4 years of writing once per week or less than a year if you write a full tape every day without rotating media.
  25. dhanson865

    SSD as Backups

    backing up to SSD is never going to wear out the drive unless you want to do backups thousands of times a day instead of just once a week or something more reasonable. You should go read some of the early threads about the X-25M where people tried to wear them out in server database use or with scripts and did the math on how long it would take.