If one thing is clear, it is that SSD drives are much faster and consume less energy than hard drives of a lifetime.
But it is also true that there are times when they do not last as long as they are estimated, which is seven to ten years, which causes symptoms that not everything is working as it should begin to fail.
So that all this does not take you by surprise and you can be prepared for any moderately serious unforeseen event, the best thing is to know how you can identify that something is not right, which is exactly what we are going to tell you.
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What exactly is an SSD?
The SSD is a type of storage unit that in its operation we will not notice any difference with hard drives (except for its speed), but that use a different technology than these.
SSD use flash memory to store all the information, in the style of USB drives, with the difference that access is done by digital means.
For this reason the solid state drives (SSD) they are so fast, because they don’t have to search for data on a spinning disk like traditional hard drives.
The great advantage of SSDs over hard drives that we have used all our lives is the speed in reading any type of data, since it is practically instantaneous.
But they also stand out because their power consumption is lower and because his shelf life is longer not containing so many moving parts.
Why do they fail?
As we have told you, SSDs do not have as many moving parts as a hard disk, but they do require a capacitor and power supply, two components susceptible to giving some kind of failure.
Another problem with SSDs is that have limited read and write cycles, just like any type of flash memory. This is something that should not be a concern at first. Since the SSD should last many years, longer than or even the computer should last.
In any case, even if we reach the end of these cycles, there will be no problem, since the data is never lost, it could always be copied to a new SSD.
How can we check an SSD?
The best way to know if our SSD is working correctly is to install a software that calculates its speeds.
That is, if we know the speed at which the SSD should work, when passing a SSD monitoring program, this will tell us what its real speed is. If we see that the difference in performance is great, it is that something may be happening.
In addition to speed, which is the clearest symptom, there are also others that we are going to tell you about.
Surely it has ever happened to you that a hard drive has bad sectors, well, in SSDs what there is is bad blocks.
Because of this it may be the case that the computer tries to read or save something, and after a much longer time than normal, it turns out that it gives a failure and does not finish the task.
When a block is defective, it usually gives the following symptoms:
- A certain file cannot be read or written.
- It may happen that a application in particular freezes when started and fail continuously.
- When we try move files we have errors continually.
- All file reading and operation has become much slower.
If you notice something of this type, the best thing you can do to verify it is to install a monitoring software such as Hard Disk Sentinel, so that it can reliably indicate if there is any type of error.
It is a very easy to use program and you will only have to install it to see all the data it offers you.
When we have a continuous error in certain files that may mean that something is happening on the SSD.
It may happen that the system detect block which doesn’t work fine while you’re writing and automatically refuses to write data to that space. If this happens, it is best to save the data to another location or turn to the cloud if necessary, restarting the computer and retesting.
It can also happen that the system detects it after writing, which will make it no longer read that block. This error usually leads to the loss of the information of the block. Yes, you can use methods to recover failed data, but rarely do you get a satisfactory result, at least at the user level.
File system needs to be repaired
If we receive a blue screen in which a error when starting the computer, it may be because the system did not shut down properly when we shut down the PC, bad blocks affect boot, or there is a problem in the connector port.
Despite the spectacular nature of the error, in principle it is too worrying, since both Windows and macOS already integrate specialized tools to solve these types of problems with the operating system.
In any case, it is recommended, just in case, to make a backup copy from time to time to prevent any type of loss in the recovery of this data if we have an error of that type.
Continuous startup failures
If every time we start the computer we have an error, but then it lets us run smoothly, it may be a sign that the SSD is running low.
The best thing is to run a diagnostic tool like the one we have shown you before again and see if everything works correctly. If not, it is best to make a backup copy of our SSD, then try to format it and reinstall Windows.
If the problem continues, we should better think about changing our solid state drive.
The disk becomes read-only
Although it is a fairly rare error, it may be the case that the disk only allow us to read it and do not let any type of data be saved in it, it will mean that the unit has died, so it will be necessary to format it and see if it is fixed or directly change it.
The best thing is that it can still be read, which will allow us to recover all the data we need. From there we can try to format it and try to see if it works again because it was a specific error or put all the data we need in a new SSD.
With everything we have told you, you will know what symptoms your SSD can give before it can stop working, although, as we have already told you, they last for many years, so much so that in most cases they are longer than the computer itself.