Are Solid State Drives Reliable?


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.


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:


About Mark Mizen

I have over twenty years professional experience in all aspects of photography and digital imaging. I am Chair of the ISO WG5 TG2 committee responsible for physical properties and durability of imaging material and am currently with HID Global working on systems for security printing for IDs, licenses, and credit cards. Previously, I was Director of Digital Development at Creative Memories from 2009 to 2012 and was responsible for the Creative Memories digital products and services. I also established and directed the Creative Memories Technology Center, which evaluated new products prior to product introduction, assisted with production difficulties, and provided technical information to support product sales.
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