Are Solid State Drives Reliable?

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Solid state drives (SSDs) are replacing hard drives. The advantages are compelling. SSDs are faster, quieter, and use less power, since they do not rely on a spinning disk. Unfortunately, these advantages come with a drawback. They may lose data, particularly if left at high temperatures or stored without power. In some cases data may be lost in a week or less.

  • Avoid storing computers with SSDs in the heat and do not let them sit idle for long periods of time.
  • Use hard drives instead of SSDs for long term storage and be sure to backup your data.

The original presentation from Alvin Cox at Seagate is no longer available on the internet. My guess is that it was removed because someone at  Seagate, which sells SSDs, found the report inconvenient; however, the data remains available through a number of articles, including some of those listed below.

ssd-temp-data-retention-100584545-large

For more details on the reliability of SSDs see the following articles:

SSDs can lose data in as little as 7 days without power
Some SSDs Can Lose data After Just A Few Days In Storage
Leaving unpowered SSDs in a warm room can kill your data fast
SSDs lose data if left without power for just 7 days
Unpowered for a few days, some SSDs can begin to lose data
SSD Storage – Ignorance of Technology is No Excuse 

Note added June 6, 2015:

Alvin Cox’s original presentation is available on the WayBack Machine:
http://web.archive.org/web/20150428040623/http://www.jedec.org/sites/default/files/Alvin_Cox%20%5BCompatibility%20Mode%5D_0.pdf

About Mark Mizen

At Creative Memories, I evaluate photographic products and related materials so that today's memories are not lost to the future and then communicate this information to Creative Memories Consultants and their customers. My interests extend from preservation of traditional photographs to the production of photo books to the expected longevity of electronic image files. My long-term objective is to direct the development of technology that meets consumers needs for high-quality products.
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