Are SSDs Immune from Failure?

Compared with their mechanical counterpart the hard disk drive, SSDs are much more reliable – but no technology is immune from failure.

Hard disk drives (HDDs) were the standard in PCs and laptops for decades. Containing multiple moving parts including the spindle motor, read/write heads and magnetic platters, HDDs are susceptible to physical damage, through accidents like knocks and bumps but also general wear and tear after years of these parts being used. Solid-state drives (SSDs) store data on NAND flash chips, which are much smaller than the platters found within HDDs. In an SSD, there no moving parts, which makes them much more durable. However, there are multiple ways an SSD can fail.

Heat can cause problems, especially when they’re running intense operations. Adequate cooling can help to prevent SSD damage from heat, in the form of a fan, a bigger chassis, or liquid cooling system. Keep your PC or laptop well ventilated, and out of direct sunlight. If you’re using a laptop with an SSD, make sure to keep it on a flat surface. Ideally, you want to keep your SSD as far below 70°C as you possibly can. A 2015 study by Facebook on their own servers found that the hotter an SSD runs, the higher the impact on data integrity. Therefore, while many SSD manufacturers recommend keeping your SSD below 70°C, it’s still best to keep it as cool as possible.

SSDs might not contain any moving parts that are susceptible to damage, through heat, but they contain controllers which are. Firmware can become physically damaged due to exposure to heat, or as a result of a power surge. An SSD’s controller also executes firmware-level software, which can also become corrupt. In 2019, the Hewlett Packard Enterprise Support Center warned of a firmware defect that had been detected in certain models of SSDs used in a number of devices. A critical fix was issues, however, if anyone missed the memo and didn’t update their SSD’s firmware, their SSD would fail after exactly 3 years, 270 days and 8 hours.

In short, while SSDs are certainly more reliable than SSD’s, they are not immune from failure. However, due to their lack of moving parts, they are certainly less susceptible to failure compared to SSDs. Despire being a realtively new data storage device, at Data Recovery Specialists we have a team of SSD recovery experts with all the latest knowledge and tools at their disposal. Contact us now for a free SSD recovery diagnosis to see if we can help. 

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