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SSD disappeared from BIOS


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I built a (very nice) new system last April (2011), which uses a Corsair F115GB SSD for the OS and a HDD for data. Frankly the whole system's been virtually flawless for ALMOST a year - yesterday evening I came back from a few hours at friends to a frozen OS, hard reboot (hold power button for a few seconds for my BIOS), and the SSD disappeared from BIOS entirely!


This has never happened on this system/drive. I don't have a test system so I paid Fry's Electronics $35 to try accessing the drive: not found from cold boot on their MS system or via hot-swapping into Linux. They can see that power is getting into the drive, but it just doesn't respond...


Yes, I know - RMA it, but it its got all my OS/programs (and their setup/settings - thanks Microsoft:( Sure I can spend a day rebuilding the OS drive and loading all the progs back on, but I can't recover program data/settings that are stuck on the drive... is there any way short of a data recover $ervice to get to the flash and mirror it onto another drive?


Suggestion: Corsair to offer data recovery on RMA drives - just mirror any data onto the replacement! I'd be impressed.

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Sorry, nope.




but this makes me question my choice of an SSD. With an HDD you usually get a warning - obvious performance issues related to moving parts and/or their noises - but with no moving parts an SSD can fail without warning (especially concerning when early: under 1yr vs. 3-5y expected lifespan). And while it seems rarer than getting some warning (BIOS finds drive with cold boot), without knowing how common those issues are I have no way of knowing how uncommon this result is...


Sure we need data backups, and I grabbed Acronis' True Image, but hesitated when looking at another SSD: it sounds like the Sandforce controllers are having issues, but I searched and so are Marvell's. Even Intel's track record looks poor compared to their processor division:




I've been burned by HDD (Seagate's 1TB Barracuda bricks awhile back) but even those gave plenty of warning that they were dying untimely deaths. So here are my suggestions for Corsair (who continues to impress me with their customer service):


1) offer data recovery in the RMA process; I know they have the equipment,


2) create a software program that runs in the background, monitoring SSD health and alerting the user to any indications of problems, and


3) SSD is essentially a giant flash drive; maybe you could add an emergency USB-connection so users could access their data if the SSD's other hardware failed.


I'll look into data recovery, but shouldn't pay $500+, and can't pay $1,000+ ; and I don't know the providers either. Data Savers are the top-end, read expensive, company. OnTrack is reportedly a bit cheaper, and there are others like Flash Fixers. Sigh, I'll call around before RMAing the drive.

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2. there are some programs that can do that but the number it gives you is not really reliable as it relies on the S.M.A.R.T. values which sometimes may be wrong.


Thank you, I'll look into them, as it sounds a bit better.


Where I'm at now is I am concerned about SandForce controllers (the likely reason why my drive is unresponsive), and while Intel appears to have figured out how to handle them better in their latest offering I hesitate to jump ship from here (great customer service and products) just to rely on firmware fixes (?). Even SandForce's favorite company, OCZ (whom they give preferential treatment), has decided to use a different controller for their latest offering!


Now I could go with the Corsair Performance line, which sports a Marvell controller I believe (been reading lots of specs... somewhat blurry-eyed about all this at the moment), but even the Marvells have colored reputations. This leads me to conclude that Samsung might be the best choice, in regards to stability, as they use their own controller (like Intel used to do before they caved in to the speed uber alles rat-race).


Sorry but I don't know how else to stimulate discussion.

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