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Crucial M4 Failure - BS Answer from Customer Support?

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  • SSD
  • Crucial
  • Storage
Last response: in Storage
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October 10, 2012 3:16:51 PM

Hi,

I bought a Crucial M4 128GB SSD back in August 2011. It's been great, I love it and I will never do without a SSD again, but over the past couple weeks my computer has been shutting down at random times. When it reboots, my computer does not detect the drive and I can't boot into Windows. After a while it would eventually be detected and work just fine. Finally, it stopped working last night and won't detect.

I'm running Windows 7 Pro 64-bit with TRIM enabled. I've tried using the drive on three different SATA ports, using different power connectors and tried putting it into an external enclosure. Nothing is working. I contacted Crucial's support and got this response:

"Thank you for contacting us. The behavior you are describing is consistent with TRIM commands not executing on the drive (which may result from lots of writing and rewriting, especially OS installs, not done on the OS level). The accumulation of 'junk' data from file deletions, even reformats, basically clogs up the drive and reduces or sometimes even halts performance and can even dismount the drive. A secondary feature called Garbage Collection activates when the drive is powered, but has no data throughput, for an extended period, and does background cleanup on our SSDs which can make up for the lack of TRIM.

If this is the cause of your drive's behavior, a period of idling the drive without any data being written or read actively will improve its performance. We recommend you perform this idle period on a desktop computer because it allows you to only connect the SATA power connection. However, a USB enclosure with an external power source will also work. A laptop computer will also work, but you’ll have to connect the drive and navigate to the systems BIOS menu. (Please refer to your system manufacturer’s documentation on how to access the BIOS.)

For laptops, we don’t recommended using a USB enclosure powered via USB; dedicated AC power is preferable. In addition, Apple users must hold the Option key while they power on the system (with the SSD installed). This will boot the Mac to the Startup Manager screen. The Startup Manager screen works like the BIOS screen on a laptop, in that it gives the drive power without any data throughput. An alternative Apple method is to close all open programs (including background processes) after startup and idle on your desktop. Just power the drive and let it sit, preferably overnight, but even a few hours should improve performance if this is the cause of your drive's erratic performance, though full Garbage Collection takes 8-24 hours and should be resumed when you can be without that system for an extended period."

Does this make sense to anyone? I was just thinking that I need to RMA it and get a new one. I'm at work and can't try their "fix" out until tonight. Should I just respond back and ask for the RMA number and get the process started or try this out?

Thanks

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a b G Storage
October 10, 2012 3:36:49 PM

Apparently it hasn't occurred to you that they might just be right. What does it hurt to try their suggestion? They will certainly ask you if you have done as they suggested. I don't see how anybody benefits from lying to them.
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October 10, 2012 5:52:21 PM

ram1009 said:
Apparently it hasn't occurred to you that they might just be right. What does it hurt to try their suggestion? They will certainly ask you if you have done as they suggested. I don't see how anybody benefits from lying to them.


It has occurred to me that they might be right, obviously they know their products better than I do. I am looking to see if anyone else has seen this kind of issue out of an M4.

If there is somebody that had this before and the fix didn't work, I was thinking about going ahead and pushing for the RMA and save a couple days without my computer.

Never planned to lie, just putting an issue out there some insight.
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November 9, 2012 5:38:51 PM

kab1985 said:
It has occurred to me that they might be right, obviously they know their products better than I do. I am looking to see if anyone else has seen this kind of issue out of an M4.

If there is somebody that had this before and the fix didn't work, I was thinking about going ahead and pushing for the RMA and save a couple days without my computer.

Never planned to lie, just putting an issue out there some insight.



Googled m4 garbage collection and found your question. This just happened to me today. I was working, and my computer locked up. Rebooted and it wouldn't boot - the progress bar got 2/3 across and just froze. Tried repeatedly without luck. Took the drive out, and it booted past that to the point where it says there is no drive.

Put the 128GB M4 (with the September 2012 firmware version 10, purchased in April 2012) into an external enclosure and plugged it into another computer. It was as if I hadn't plugged anything in. As far as I was concerned, the drive is completely dead.

Called customer support to arrange the swap where they send me a new one, and I send the defective one back. He told me about the idle garbage collection, and how it happens when the computer is sitting there idle. I had left my machine on all night by mistake, so it had plenty of idle time and he agreed. He described the alternative process of just powering the drive for a while. My external enclosure has an optional power connection as well, so I tried using that to power the drive for a couple of hours without the USB connection attached to a computer. When I returned, I powered the drive down by unplugging the power cable, then plugged both the power cable in as well as the USB, and sure enough, my netbook recognized the drive. I have put the drive back in the original computer and it booted as well!

Does this mean that every 7 months I'm going to have this "failure"? I sure hope not. And I'm not sure what I should do about the RMA.

Anyway, I thought you may be interested.
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