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What's the connection between SSDs and power issues?


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Hi All,


I have an F120 on my desktop, and I'm pretty happy with it.

Following my purchase, and my praise, my boss bought an SSD for his laptop (from another brand).


However, after a couple of weeks, after some hibernate operation (following a low battery situation), his SSD stopped writing information: he formated it, installed Windows on it, rebooted it, and when he did a cold shutdown and started everything again, the SSD would be in the state before the hibernate operation, even after a couple of weeks. I've seen this problem reported here on the Corsair forums, and on the brand forum as well. He ended up replacing the SSD with a new one, this time a Corsair (since mine was working so fine).


But this time, after a different issue with power (I believe the laptop went into sleep mode or something), the BIOS stopped seeing the SSD at all. We tried an USB-SATA cable, we even tried it on my desktop, but the SSD was never recognized again. It ended up going back to the supplier again.


I know it's not exactly my problem, and my own Corsair is still working fine after a couple of months, but these problems on my boss laptop got me wondering. What's the deal with SSD problems and power issues? Both problems seem to be related somewhat to some power operation on the laptop, but what scares me most is that it seems that all it takes is some "quirky" power issue and the SSD will be damaged permanently. Granted, a classic hard drive can become corrupt if the power goes down abruptly, but I've never seen a classic hard drive getting totally trashed just by a simple power issue.


Is this a problem on the controllers (as this seems to be affecting several brands)? Is it something related to the way laptops manage power? On my own desktop, I have all the power management stuff turned off, and I only do shutdowns on the machine (never sleep or hibernate).


I'm asking this because my boss was getting into the whole SSD thing, but after this he's reconsidering all that, and saying that the technology doesn't seem to be ready for mainstream yet.


Any thoughts?



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I understand that it might be a compatibility issue, but what "scares" me is the fact that it totals the SSD... I've never came across a hard drive that got totaled because the IDE or SATA controller wasn't compatible. It paints the SSDs as something unreliable, won't you agree?
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SSDs aren't unreliable, however they're not as universally compatible as HDDs are (not yet anyway). HDD technology has been around for over 50 years, so a lot was ironed out over the years. SSD controllers are a lot more complicated than HDD controllers are because of the electromechanical nature of HDDs. More moving parts, easier to use / deal with in a logical fashion. Analog technology is generally more robust than digital, whereas digital is generally faster with more capabilities.


I don't think SSDs are unreliable, however I wouldn't expect any random SSD to be compatible with any PC I can find (again, not yet anyway). SSDs as we see them now are still in their infancy and as such are still largely cutting edge. Mass production, mass marketing and the simplicity of storage devices push these cutting edge items more and more into the hands of the standard consumer.


As for your boss' power issues, I'm more so wondering if it's the laptop causing it. Was the other SSD SandForce based? Power fluctuations won't generally trash HDDs because of how the data is stored. HDDs store data magnetically versus SSDs store data in electrical gates (IIRC).


As with all important data, back it up, whether it be locally or in the cloud (Mozy, Dropbox, etc). If you're interested in discussing SSD technology from an enterprise IT standpoint, you may want to check out the Petri IT forum in my sig.

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