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Debunked: Your SSD won't lose data if left unplugged after all

Gordon Mah Ung | May 22, 2015
Internet: Your SSD likely won't lose data when unplugged. So says the man at the heart of the confusion over SSD life.

They cited numerous tech websites that have torture tested SSDs well beyond their rated life spans using 24/7 work loads. The TechReport did manage to kill a number of SSDs but only after writing hundreds of terabytes to them, with some of the drives making it beyond the petabyte range. That's an unlikely duty cycle for consumer use.

Since it's nearly impossible for an average users to even wear out an SSD--one of the criteria for the SSD to lose data at high temperatures--the risk of data loss is very small, Cox and Smith said. Even so, a worn out SSD would still go a year without data loss, according to the data in the original presentation, and that's while being stored at 87 degrees the entire time.

That's not to say that SSD's aren't immune from failures and data loss. Like all electronics, there's always the risk of failure. Our own story helps put SSD failure rates in perspective. 

Enterprise customers are OK too

Enterprise customers also are largely immune to heat-related dead drive issues. That's because, again, it's a scenario for only after the SSD has been worn out. And since enterprise customers would prefer tape or other cheaper methods to backup data over an SSD, it's an unrealistic scenario where data loss would happen to enterprise customers, Smith said.

So why even do the original presentation?

Smith and Cox said the intent was a spec for a worst case scenario. What if the truck with the SSDs from the data center broke down on the way to the place where the data would be archived to tape? How long could the truck be parked before data loss occurs from excessive heat? While that's a scenario that could happen, it's also highly unlikely--which is why the fear gripping SSD owners is unwarranted.

 

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