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Corsair Nova 128GB Unusual Cell Wearing


dejanh

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Hi there,

 

I bought a brand new Corsair Nova 128GB drive about three months ago. The drive is used about 8-10 hours per day, and is turned off for the rest of the time. Sometimes it is used several times during one day in varying time intervals in-between which the drive is turned off.

 

Now, what I noticed by observing the drive SMART stats is that the cell wearing count is going up even when there is no data being written to the drive. Indeed, the overall cell wearing count is pretty high and right now the drive is 93% health and getting lower. The cell wearing count has gone from 716 this morning to 721 right now while I am typing this. Nothing was installed to the drive, in fact nothing was really written to it period, yet the cell wearing went up.

 

What is going on here?

 

As an FYI, I am not looking for a "run ATTO and report numbers" comment. This is not an issue of speed. The drive speed is fine, or at least seems fine considering it is a boot drive (approx. 195MB seq. write, 250MB seq. read). This is a longevity issue. At the rate my drive is going now it will be dead within 3 years approximately, much too fast for a $300 piece of hardware.

 

Thanks all! Looking forward to any information I can get :(:

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What application are you using to see that information?

 

As I have posted many times in other threads, all of the applications I have seen that display this information are not optimized for SSD's and as such what ever information they provide may not be valid. And sorry but yes I would suggest running ATTO and post a screen shot to verify the drives performance if its low then try running Parted Magic and Erase the drive and quick format it.

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What application are you using to see that information?

 

As I have posted many times in other threads, all of the applications I have seen that display this information are not optimized for SSD's and as such what ever information they provide may not be valid. And sorry but yes I would suggest running ATTO and post a screen shot to verify the drives performance if its low then try running Parted Magic and Erase the drive and quick format it.

 

The two applications that I am using are Crystal Disk Info, and Indilinx SSD Status. Both report the drive health exactly the same at 93%. It has been steadily dropping since I bought the drive.

 

As I said, performance is not an issue. I ran ATTO earlier today and got 195MB/s seq. write, 250MB seq. read, both approximate figures. I think peak was about 196MB/s seq. write, 265MB/s seq. read.

 

I am concerned at the longevity of the drive. Simply saying "well it's fast so it's fine" is not enough. The drive is only covered by a 2 year warranty and if it dies on me because of excessive cell wearing after 3 years you guys won't have to deal with it but I will be out $300 and a functional SSD. I like Corsair, hence the reason why I bought this drive but I'm not going to come back if the drive dies on me after 3 years.

 

:(:

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That seems to be a bug either in the software or the firmware and as long as the drive is performing properly there is nothing to worry about.

 

Can you tell me the default block allocation size for this drive and the flash memory specifications, particularly how many times each block can be erased? Also, if it is possibly a firmware bug, then why did you guys opt to not support firmware updates on the Nova? Surely Indilinx must still be providing updates. Is there a way to get my hands on newer firmware?

 

I know that you say that there is nothing to worry about, and I agree in the two years that the warranty lasts it looks like there really is nothing to worry about. However, as I said I am concerned about the drive's longevity. I am planning to use this thing for much longer than 2-3 years.

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It may take a bit longer as I was just informed the Engineer is out of the office this week, but I will see what I can do!

 

No worries. As long as you keep me updated I'm good, even if it takes a bit of extra time :)

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Sent you some more info...worn out cell count has gone up by another 20 cells today :(: Please forward the additional information to your engineer as well. Maybe he can solve this mistery for me :(:

 

If I continue loosing 20 cells per day I will get max about 1.37 years of life out of this drive.

 

Edit: I also did an advanced search now to see just how many files were created and/or modified today and a total of 1,197 files were either created or modified today. I do not feel that is very many for a drive that is continuously used for about 10 hours doing various tasks including web browsing. Not to mention, that a lot of these files are simply modified, not necessarily created.

 

Edit 2: Currently I am getting wear at a rate of approximately 1.32 cycles per 1GB of written data. As one individual posted the brunt of that data was written early on during the installation of all of my applications. The drive up time is 792 hours so far, and it has 965.746 GB of data written to it during that time. I am not certain where all of those writes came from. Having said that, that works out to be 1.22GB/h. Translating that into cell wearing cycles it would be 1.32 * 1.22, or approximately 1.61 cycles per hour. Assuming 10,000 cycles before the drive is dead this is then equal to 6209.64 hours or at this rate less than a calendar year (8760 hours). This is absolutely absurd. Assuming that I use the drive 10 hours per day that can be adjusted to 2.4 * 6209.64 = 14903.13 hours or translated into years it is a total of 1.70 years.

 

This is absolutely unbelievable. Any ideas what is going on? By the way, CrystalDiskMark and Indilinx SSD Status both report the same values.

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As I stated this is not reliable information as it can change, image the drive using Accronis then secure erase the drive and install it as a second HDD then check it with ATTO an Crystal Disk Info.
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As I stated this is not reliable information as it can change, image the drive using Accronis then secure erase the drive and install it as a second HDD then check it with ATTO an Crystal Disk Info.

 

Well, looks like I got to the bottom of the problem, though I would still need that information from your engineer so please let me know as soon as he has it for me...

 

After searching around for a while and spending a few days monitoring my disk usage and Windows services I felt compelled to do something about the User directory of Windows 7. It turns out that I needed to move the whole Windows 7 User directory to a spinner drive (traditional hard disk drive). I followed the guide here to do it...

 

http://lifehacker.com/5467758/move-the-users-directory-in-windows-7

 

Moving the Windows 7 Users directory to a traditional hard disk drive has now brought my cell wearing count per day to 6-10 cells per day (down from 20-30 cells per day) which over a longer period amounts to approximately 6.07 years before the drive is worn out assuming 10 hours average use per day.

 

You can use the following forumula to estimate total longevity of the drive based on the daily cell wearing count:

 

{[(total cells to be worn - cells worn to date) / cells worn per day] * daily usage factor} / days in a year = remaining life in years

 

...in my case this is...

 

{[(10,000 - 763 cells worn to date) / 10 ] * (24 / 10)} / 365 days = 6.07 years

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As i've said on PM, dejanh, moving almost everything from SSD kinda defeats the whole purpose of having a super fast drive... isn't it ?

 

For example, on my Nova 128, i have moved the swap, moved the tmp & temp folder, moved the work folder, moved the cache folders for ie, firefox, safari, etc... If i'll go start moving the Users folder... why not move the Windows folder too... so that Corsair SSD should live forever and not be bothered with data ?!?

 

Unfortunatelly, my arround 3-4 months old Nova is now showing 56% Health with arround 4500 cell wearing. And that's after all those "tweaks" and moves... Plus, it started to lose some data (chkdsk got me some folders converted to files... made a mess). It's simply not acceptable for such a high end product and i don't understand how my non-Corsair drives (at work) are still over 90% health even after 10 times more usage than my Nova... I am now 99% convinced there is something wrong with the hardware inside Nova (or maybe the firmware).

 

So, good luck with your drive and formulas to increase the life of your Nova... I think for me it will be the last Corsair...

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You are complaining that you are loosing cells in that software correct?

My whole point is that is not reliable information and running that test will verify that.

 

It is reliable. I have done exactly what you have asked me and will post the results within the next half-hour to an hour.

 

For now I can tell you that after secure erase as per instructions on your support forum found here http://forum.corsair.com/v3/showthread.php?t=85344 and re-image, more worn cells and at the moment the performance seems to have gone down the tank.

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Alright...so after a while tweaking I think I at least managed to resolve the performance problem. I had to use the ForceTrim utility to restore the performance to what seems to be somewhat acceptable level. 4K sequential and random write and read are terrible however...

 

#1, screen-shot after performing secure erase and restoring the OS and apps; ForceTrim not run yet

 

http://img.techpowerup.org/100803/after_secure_erase_03082010_pre_forcetrim187.png

 

#2, screen-shot after performing secure erase and restoring the OS and apps; after running ForceTrim

 

http://img.techpowerup.org/100803/after_secure_erase_03082010_post_forcetrim214.png

 

Cell wearing is still showing quite high and as I said 4K sequential and random write and read performance is quite bad.

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But most of the items do not change and they should like Post count again that has not been proven at this time to mean anything. And erase and read failures are "0" as well as drive life has not changed. Your drive is functioning properly and at spec according to the ATTO results. There is no reason to replace it.
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But most of the items do not change and they should like Post count again that has not been proven at this time to mean anything. And erase and read failures are "0" as well as drive life has not changed. Your drive is functioning properly and at spec according to the ATTO results. There is no reason to replace it.

 

What's the status on those eng. specs I asked for and other questions that I sent to you?

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