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Failing SSD? Need a new one. Have questions.

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March 21, 2014 5:10:39 AM

So I have had my SSD(KIngston v-100) for about 2 years now. The performance has signifigantly decreased, and I think it is about to die. Basically it used to read and write(Sequential) 250read/170write. Now it still reads at 250mb/s but the write speed is around 70mb/s. The 4k test in AS-SSD used to read at 12mb/s, and write at 32mb/s. Now it is around 4mb/s read, and writes at 6mb/s.

I have reisntalled the AMD AHCI drivers, and Sata drivers, and also tried different ones but to no effect. I also ran the chkdsk utility and bad sectors showed up as well. Basically now I have extra long load times in everything. Usually when opening/installing programs, they come up as not responding for 10-15 seconds before the drive kicks back in and continues the process. This happens with pretty much anything I do that involves my C:/ drive. Windows explorer, Internet explorer, installing drivers, and pretty much anything else.

So it looks like I will be buying a new SSD, and will be looking for a 250gb drive in the high performance range. Preferably not sandforce, so maybe a crucial, or Samsung drive would be best.

My motherboard is only Sata 2 so I am also wondering if I should look at M-sata drives or PCIe drives to get full speed off a PCIe slot. Is there any other options I am forgetting?

Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

PS: I have a FULL system image saved on another drive. If I grab a new SSD, will I be able to recover that image to the new drive?

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a b G Storage
March 21, 2014 5:30:34 AM

Your SSD could be dying according to what you describe but something that stands out to me is the read/write you mentioned. How much space is left on your SSD? From what I understand the speed of an SSD is dramatically reduced once the drive starts to fill up.
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March 21, 2014 5:53:59 AM

over 60gb free. Tiny bit over half actually. That is why my seq. write was at 170mb/s instead of the 230mb/s advertised. On a fresh install it reads at full speeds. As I used the extra space it lowered to 170mb/s instead. Now it is way lower all of a sudden in seq writes and my 4k readings.
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a c 300 G Storage
March 21, 2014 6:07:58 AM

Still, the drive is over-provisioned. When I read something like that, I wonder about TRIM.

I have a suggestion. It entails a very small risk, but you already wrote that you have a system image. Yes, you can restore that to a new drive. It should work just fine. You might try this: Make and verify a system image of the entire drive. Boot a CD of something like Parted Magic and do a Secure Erase on the drive. For an SSD, this is like a factory reset. If you check out the SSD articles, you will see that they do this between tests.

Restore the image to the reset drive and see if this improves your performance.
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March 21, 2014 6:31:45 AM

Can I just boot using my windows dvd and wipe the partition/format then recover the image from my other drive? That should get the drive fresh again as well shouldn't it? If not, I will try your method instead.

PS: Trim is enabled. I checked through the windows command. fsutil behavior query DisableDeleteNotify mine came up as a 0 which would indicate that trim is enabled.
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a c 300 G Storage
March 21, 2014 6:46:38 AM

Partition and format will not do what a secure erase will. Secure erase, among other things, TRIMs the whole drive, telling the firmware that every block is free. That's why I do it before every system restore.
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March 21, 2014 6:55:05 AM

WyomingKnott said:
Partition and format will not do what a secure erase will. Secure erase, among other things, TRIMs the whole drive, telling the firmware that every block is free. That's why I do it before every system restore.


Ok well that's good to know, thanks. So if I have a full system image saved I should be fine in doing either right? If worst come to worst, can I recover that image to any of my current drives? I have 2 caviar blacks, a seagate barracuda, and a WD raptor that I could move it too if I have to. That's in the event of my main SSD failing all together. lol.

While I got you here, I also asked about M-sata and PCIe SSDs. Would I be best off picking up one of those if I decide to buy a new drive since my motherboard is only Sata II?
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a c 300 G Storage
March 21, 2014 7:37:55 AM

The image backup should work to any drive. Image backups of HDDs to SSDs need special treatment to ensure TRIM and 4k alignment; the other direction is fine. I do it regularly. Just be sure, if your data is on your physical system drive, to do a recent backup!

I know nothing about M-SATA drives. I am very happy with the performance that I get from my SSD on my SATA II motherboard. If you can afford a PCIe SSD it will be an amazing experience using it, but the good ones are pretty pricey and you will need a relatively modern motherboard to boot from one. Probably less expensive to pick up a PCI-e SATA III controller; just make sure it has more than one PCI-e lane. One lane is slower than SATA III!

So everything depends on your budget. Big budget -> New mobo or PCI-e SSD. Medium - SATA III controller and new SSD (see the Best SSDs for the Money article that is updated regularly). Small - do the secure erase thing and see if it gives you another two years off that drive, or buy a new SSD and attach it to an SATA II port.

And enjoy.
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a c 300 G Storage
March 21, 2014 1:18:11 PM

Unless I missed something, that doesn't state the number of PCI-e lanes. That's pretty much a guarantee that it only has one. Here: http://www.startech.com/Cards-Adapters/HDD-Controllers/... , it's an X1. And "The maximum throughput of this card is limited by the bus interface. If used with PCI Express Gen 1.0 enabled computers, the max throughput is 2.5 Gbps. If used with PCI Express Gen 2.0 enabled computers, the max throughput is 5 Gbps."

If you can live with that technical limitation, go for it.
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