Coding Horror: The Hot/Crazy Solid State Drive Scale

As an early advocate of solid state hard drives …

… I feel ethically and morally obligated to let you in on a dirty little secret I’ve discovered in the last two years of full time SSD ownership. Solid state hard drives fail. A lot. And not just any fail. I’m talking about catastrophic, oh-my-God-what-just-happened-to-all-my-data instant gigafail. It’s not pretty.

I bought a set of three Crucial 128 GB SSDs in October 2009 for the original two members of the Stack Overflow team plus myself. As of last month, two out of three of those had failed. And just the other day I was chatting with Joel on the podcast (yep, it’s back), and he casually mentioned to me that the Intel SSD in his Thinkpad, which was purchased roughly around the same time as ours, had also failed.

Portman Wills, friend of the company and generally awesome guy, has a far scarier tale to tell. He got infected with the SSD religion based on my original 2009 blog post, and he went all in. He purchased eight SSDs over the last two years … and all of them failed. The tale of the tape is frankly a little terrifying:

  • Super Talent 32 GB SSD, failed after 137 days
  • OCZ Vertex 1 250 GB SSD, failed after 512 days
  • G.Skill 64 GB SSD, failed after 251 days
  • G.Skill 64 GB SSD, failed after 276 days
  • Crucial 64 GB SSD, failed after 350 days
  • OCZ Agility 60 GB SSD, failed after 72 days
  • Intel X25-M 80 GB SSD, failed after 15 days
  • Intel X25-M 80 GB SSD, failed after 206 days

I always wanted a solid state drive for my laptop – until I read this one…

About TechPreacher

Technical Evangelist working for Microsoft Switzerland. Focusing on the Internet of Things and Windows development. EV geek and passionate gamer, with a life.
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