Tuesday, November 15, 2011

If you have an SSD...

First of all, stop. and take a backup of anything you would not like to lose today.

Done? I don't care if you just moved everything to your dropbox folder, just do it, please.

If you don't have Dropbox (or know what it is), go here and watch the video. Create an account and choose a folder where important stuff will be synched to dropbox's servers and you can retrieve it at any time, from mobile devices or other computers. You might think lightly of this, but if you don't have some mechanism for daily backups, you will thank me - I wish I hadn't learnt this the hard way.

Now, all makers and models are susceptible to this, but I just had a terrible experience with an Intel 320 SSD. The worst part is, there is no guarantee it won't happen again. And it's not like magnetic hard drives; I lost everything. You can use a linux live cd to fix the problem, but you won't get your data back.

This is very important - DO NOT LET WINDOWS UPDATES REBOOT YOUR PC IF YOU HAVE A SSD. Really. Just hit i'll reboot later and do a nice shutdown. You will read why in the links below - for now just trust me lots of people have found out that a windows update re-start is not a graceful shutdown and it just bricks SSDs.

With an SSD, any shutdown or re-start is a potential disaster. The best thing you can do is just suspend and resume.

Update the firmware. It doesn't matter if you did it 2 months ago. This is the time when companies are realizing SSDs aren't as ready as they thought - new firmware is coming out all the time. You already have a good backup if you are paying attention - go ahead and update the firmware. It is not a guarantee but it will help a bit.



Last but not least - if you have a desktop, keep your important stuff on a magnetic drive. The tech is tried and true and you have a better chance of getting data back off a normal drive than a SSD. Use the SSD for applications where speed matters but you can get the files back easily, ie, OS files, game files, program files. Keep your documents and important stuff OFF the SSD.

If you have a laptop... dropbox or normal HD. The SSD WILL fail at some point.

BTW, if you ever get the 8mb bad_ctx error, look for the hdparm linux commands to secure erase it if you have a laptop, or the intel ssd toolbox if you have a desktop.

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