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Sandisk SSD - Lost Partition - Very Strange

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January 28, 2013 7:23:34 AM

Hi, I have been using a SanDisk Extreme SSD 120GB (latest firmware) for a little over a month. If I remember correctly, I put my computer to sleep, and the next morning the computer was off, so I turned it back on and my computer wouldn't load into Windows and I was prompted to Reboot and Select Proper Boot Device...

So, I then got another harddrive and installed windows on it. The SanDisk SSD did not show up in My Computer, but did show up in Disk Management as Unallocated Space and it also showed up in the little Eject Media system tray icon.

I tried various programs to recover the partition (and attaching the SSD to another computer and trying the programs), but none worked.

And, for the very strange part, I managed to get a program that recovers files to find stuff on the drive. The strange part is it listed the Volume of the SanDsik SSD as the same name as one of my other Harddrives (These harddrives weren't even in the same computer at the time of the scan). What could be the explanation for this?

The crappy part of this whole situation is there is only one folder with some important files (probably all under 20mb) that I care about.

Any help in fixing my issues would be great, even if it's to tell me there is no way to get my stuff back so I stop wasting time.

Let me know if any more info on my part is needed.
January 28, 2013 7:56:30 AM

Is there any chance that you computer had a task set to defrag the drive? That sounds to me like what might have likely happened.
January 28, 2013 3:32:25 PM

Yes, that is probable, but I can't find anything through searching that says it would mess it up.
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January 29, 2013 12:28:42 AM

Are there any ways to diagnosis what happened so I can try preventing it in the future? Or is it possible it was a problem with the drive itself?
a b G Storage
January 29, 2013 11:29:10 AM

Maybe don't use sleep while using the Sandisk SSD, some Sandforce SSD have problems with sleep.
January 29, 2013 2:20:21 PM

I have noticed that. Does that mean I should use my warranty?

SSDs seem like more trouble than they're worth

Best solution

January 29, 2013 7:53:55 PM
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mazraen said:
I have noticed that. Does that mean I should use my warranty?

SSDs seem like more trouble than they're worth


Using your warranty won't get your data back unless it's on an Acer machine where they are starting to offer data recovery as part of their warranty support.
With Sandforce/LSI controllers the reason you see "sleep" problems has little to do directly with powering down.

The reality is the biggest cause of failure in sanforce driven ssd's is loss of meta data due to bugs in the wear leveling algorithms in the firmwares(which are modified by each individual drive manufacturer).
The reason you see the failure when powering up is because the cache which stores temporary copies of the meta data has been dumped from the previous session of use.

Every time you intitialize the drive after that point, more user data is being overwritten. That is the reason why unlike with Hard Drives, SSD data recovery is never 100% once meta data has been corrupted.

Take away lesson is that SSD are not meant for use as primary storage with a high volume of writes. The future of SSD's is caching.
January 29, 2013 9:20:33 PM

I mean, should I used my warranty because my drive might be defective? Or, are these problems normal? And, like you said, I shouldn't store important stuff on my SSD.

So, should I just turn my computer off and never put it to sleep?
January 29, 2013 9:56:55 PM

mazraen said:
I mean, should I used my warranty because my drive might be defective? Or, are these problems normal? And, like you said, I shouldn't store important stuff on my SSD.

So, should I just turn my computer off and never put it to sleep?

If you're not worried about getting your data back, then yes you shouldn't have any problems getting a replacement through the warranty process.

However, I would try secure erase first. That may return your ssd to a functional state if you're not concerned with the data.
January 30, 2013 12:05:42 AM

okay, thanks for your help. There was only 1 file I really needed, and it will set me back a half days work, but oh well.

And, ya, I guess I'll erase it first. Still have like 34 months under warranty, so shouldn't be too much of a hassle.

As for your statement about SSD caching. I have a Gigabyte Z77X-D3H motherboard that uses "EZ Smart response", It says it still requires installing the operating system on the SSD.

Is that a good alternative?
and...
Is that what you were talking about?

January 30, 2013 12:22:09 AM

Best answer selected by mazraen.
January 30, 2013 12:23:22 AM

mazraen said:
okay, thanks for your help. There was only 1 file I really needed, and it will set me back a half days work, but oh well.

And, ya, I guess I'll erase it first. Still have like 34 months under warranty, so shouldn't be too much of a hassle.

As for your statement about SSD caching. I have a Gigabyte Z77X-D3H motherboard that uses "EZ Smart response", It says it still requires installing the operating system on the SSD.

Is that a good alternative?
and...
Is that what you were talking about?


Yes Smart Response is SSD caching.
The difference is that the first step is to install the os on the SSD then the utility mirrors the system onto the hard drive and caches based on your activity prioritizing "hot" data onto the ssd from that point.

The only thing I would suggest is to get and ssd with enough capacity to store all of your applications that you want to have ssd read performance.
January 30, 2013 12:30:17 AM

Okay, great. I'll look more into it later this week.

Thanks a lot for your help!
January 31, 2013 4:06:17 PM

leonfeldman89 said:
Using your warranty won't get your data back unless it's on an Acer machine where they are starting to offer data recovery as part of their warranty support.
With Sandforce/LSI controllers the reason you see "sleep" problems has little to do directly with powering down.

The reality is the biggest cause of failure in sanforce driven ssd's is loss of meta data due to bugs in the wear leveling algorithms in the firmwares(which are modified by each individual drive manufacturer).
The reason you see the failure when powering up is because the cache which stores temporary copies of the meta data has been dumped from the previous session of use.

Every time you intitialize the drive after that point, more user data is being overwritten. That is the reason why unlike with Hard Drives, SSD data recovery is never 100% once meta data has been corrupted.

Take away lesson is that SSD are not meant for use as primary storage with a high volume of writes. The future of SSD's is caching.


I just had a similiar experience with this same SSD only 128gb though. I cloned my boot drive in the laptop over to this Sandisk Extreme 128gb model and installed it in the laptop. I booted and began enjoying using it for about fifteen minutes. I got up to take a break and when I came back about fifteen minutes later the laptop had powered down. When I went to reboot I got the error also that the device was not accessible. I then proceeded to take the drive out, put the old one back in, reboot and then plug the Sandisk in with a USB adapter. I could access the drive and all the files were there and I could read and write to it like nothing happened. Okay, I am presently cloning again. I feel I am doomed with this model drive now after reading your reply to the other fellow with his similiar problem. So, now I relegate this sucker to an external data transfer device and not to rely on it for anything like a primary boot device. From what I've read I believe I need to look into a more quality SSD which you have pointed out. I feel like I wasted $79 after the $35 rebate that I still need to send in. ;)  Thanks for your great info!
January 31, 2013 8:35:08 PM

pstreicher said:
I just had a similiar experience with this same SSD only 128gb though. I cloned my boot drive in the laptop over to this Sandisk Extreme 128gb model and installed it in the laptop. I booted and began enjoying using it for about fifteen minutes. I got up to take a break and when I came back about fifteen minutes later the laptop had powered down. When I went to reboot I got the error also that the device was not accessible. I then proceeded to take the drive out, put the old one back in, reboot and then plug the Sandisk in with a USB adapter. I could access the drive and all the files were there and I could read and write to it like nothing happened. Okay, I am presently cloning again. I feel I am doomed with this model drive now after reading your reply to the other fellow with his similiar problem. So, now I relegate this sucker to an external data transfer device and not to rely on it for anything like a primary boot device. From what I've read I believe I need to look into a more quality SSD which you have pointed out. I feel like I wasted $79 after the $35 rebate that I still need to send in. ;)  Thanks for your great info!


Well there are 3 reliable solutions for consumer ssd use.

1. Use Crucial(micron), they have the most robust(bug free) ssd's from my experience.

Possible issues: in the future with smaller and smaller flash chips, reliability even for quality manufacturers will rule out using SSD alone for primary storage.

2. Use a hybrid hard drive They have slc(enterprise) flash integrated onto the controller board of a traditional 2.5"(laptop size) hard drive.

Possible issues: They only have 8 or 16GB of flash memory so only the operating sytem will be accelerated reliably. Ultimately it's too little memory if you want to load other programs and applications at SSD speads.

3. SSD as a cache drive paired with a traditional hard drive. This uses a piece of software(dataplex, Easycache, etc...) or hardware/firmware(gigabyte motherboards with intel Smart Response drivers) to mirror "hot" data onto a full size ssd. Basicaly you can consider this similar in performance to a hybrid drive with enough ssd storage for all your application to be accelerated.

Possible issue: Currently for consumer(Windows 7) operating systems their is no caching software that isn't strictly tied to approved and registered models of SSD sold bundled with the software. If you want to do ssd caching, you either have to have a gigabyte motherboard with SRT, buy and ssd bundled with the software, or uses a compatible server OS like windows server 2008 or Ubuntu server, etc...

Edit: actaully using a server OS is probably a non-started because you'll need to get a server caching software through "alternative means" and have the know how to manage it.
February 1, 2013 10:06:05 AM

leonfeldman89 said:
Using your warranty won't get your data back unless it's on an Acer machine where they are starting to offer data recovery as part of their warranty support.
With Sandforce/LSI controllers the reason you see "sleep" problems has little to do directly with powering down.

The reality is the biggest cause of failure in sanforce driven ssd's is loss of meta data due to bugs in the wear leveling algorithms in the firmwares(which are modified by each individual drive manufacturer).
The reason you see the failure when powering up is because the cache which stores temporary copies of the meta data has been dumped from the previous session of use.

Every time you intitialize the drive after that point, more user data is being overwritten. That is the reason why unlike with Hard Drives, SSD data recovery is never 100% once meta data has been corrupted.

Take away lesson is that SSD are not meant for use as primary storage with a high volume of writes. The future of SSD's is caching.


I agree with leon. SSDs are a new technology & would need support & time to stabilize. other SSD features include error detection and correction such as "RAISE" which improves the disk failure rates.I have Corsair SF SSDs which I have RMA & fortunately did not store critical data. Firmware updates are crucial for any SSD & they would take care of issues of these sort unless there is a mojor bug in the hardware.
February 1, 2013 10:58:40 AM

mad-max79 said:
Maybe don't use sleep while using the Sandisk SSD, some Sandforce SSD have problems with sleep.


yes, it is a problem for a certain small subset of solid-state drives. Some manufacturers have noted that the sleep problems seem to result from "compatibility of hardware & software" problems rather than the drives themselves. On a separate note, Corsair have openly acknowledged that a nontrivial percentage of their customers have encountered this problem, and they are working to fix it. You can try fixing this by making sure your drivers and firmware are up to date. Both OWC and Corsair released new firmware versions in the last few months that fixed the SSD sleep problems for many users. Some users have also managed to stop the bad SSD behavior by updating the drivers for the Intel chipsets on their motherboards.
February 1, 2013 1:05:46 PM

steave_01 said:
I agree with leon. SSDs are a new technology & would need support & time to stabilize. other SSD features include error detection and correction such as "RAISE" which improves the disk failure rates.I have Corsair SF SSDs which I have RMA & fortunately did not store critical data. Firmware updates are crucial for any SSD & they would take care of issues of these sort unless there is a mojor bug in the hardware.


Well I don't want to burst your bubble, but I don't think we are actaully on the same page here in terms of agreement.
SSD's are not that new a technology. Well, I should say that NAND Flash isn't new, modern controllers that manage many parrallel channels and multipackage chips are relatively new.
Error Correction(ECC) algorithms have been around on hard drives and other magnetic media for a long time. With SSD's th edifference is that they have to be many times more sophisticated becouse sometimes you're writting only 100 electrons onto a cell and often more than once.

My point about their relibility is that there is a disconnect between what retailers push as "the replacement for Hard Drives" and what the industry knows: SSD will only get less reliable for primary storage and should be used as caching solutions going forward. Ths has been the consensus at The Flash Memory Summit in Santa Clarita at least the past 2 years.

The second major disconnect is the concept of "sleep failures" or "power down" failures, or hardware/software incompatibility issues. The reality is that these failures occur because of a loss of meta data. The loss of metaq data is a result of a bug in the wear leveling algorithm which drive makers customize for performance resulting in inconsistant reliability. This isn't synonomous with the endurance parameters of the flash chips themselves, but with smaller die sizes, sub 20nm and beyond, the room for error shrinks exponentially.

Oh also I should menttion "RAISE" is just the terminology for multichip configurations which define modern SSD's and separate them from other flash media like usb flash drives and sd cards, etc...

There's actually no functional "R" in RAISE in much the same way that RAID 0 isn't truely redundant.
It's just a proprietary striping configuration across Silicon elements(NAND Flash Packages) with overprovisioning.

It has little in common with true redundancy like RAID 1 or 5.
It's a marketting gimick mostly and easy to sell on the consumer side, but on the enterprise side overprovisioning and controller/firmware reliability is king.
February 1, 2013 3:17:21 PM

Sounds to me like a class-action suit or suits might be forthwith for these companys hawking these things as 'replacements'. I am sorry to read this from you now. As for my trouble with my Sandisk SSD 128 Extreme, I just got off a chat with 'Patt J' with Sandisk. Basically, at the end of the chat I was made to understand that this drive would not work with my laptop which has as it's O/S, Vista. Hah, yeah! I should have known before buying. Oh well, I have put off upgrading to Win 7 for a long time now with the laptop. I've been using Win 7 Pro on the desktop for almost a year now and love it. Even though I went through two weeks with a Microsoft support tech, downloading and trying many different installs until one worked and t got rid of a bug I had as it worked for hours while I slept one Saturday night. That's another story though.

So, now on to try an upgrade on this HP Pavilion DV6700. It had 3gb of ram but I swapped out the 1gb chip yesterday to a 2gb so now it's maxed out to 4gb. Wish me luck on this I guess. ;)  May take me a couple of days to find the time. I will report back here to let all know how it went. :hello: 
February 1, 2013 6:52:33 PM

pstreicher said:
Sounds to me like a class-action suit or suits might be forthwith for these companys hawking these things as 'replacements'. I am sorry to read this from you now. As for my trouble with my Sandisk SSD 128 Extreme, I just got off a chat with 'Patt J' with Sandisk. Basically, at the end of the chat I was made to understand that this drive would not work with my laptop which has as it's O/S, Vista. Hah, yeah! I should have known before buying. Oh well, I have put off upgrading to Win 7 for a long time now with the laptop. I've been using Win 7 Pro on the desktop for almost a year now and love it. Even though I went through two weeks with a Microsoft support tech, downloading and trying many different installs until one worked and t got rid of a bug I had as it worked for hours while I slept one Saturday night. That's another story though.

So, now on to try an upgrade on this HP Pavilion DV6700. It had 3gb of ram but I swapped out the 1gb chip yesterday to a 2gb so now it's maxed out to 4gb. Wish me luck on this I guess. ;)  May take me a couple of days to find the time. I will report back here to let all know how it went. :hello: 


Well, I don't know about a law suit, it's pretty standard to push a newer faster technology as a replacement. It's more about hype and ignorance than any kind of fraud.

Basically it boils down to the fact that if a typical failure rate over warranty period of adrive(hard drive or ssd) is 1% or less, then a 3% failure rate because of a buggy ssd is easily affordable ot their bottom line.
They are NOT LYING to you when they blame power down or compatibility issues.

They are just relying on the ignorance of the consumer and reviewers on tech sites that dont understand that testing reliability on computer hardware always includes testing hardware/software/firmware compatibility across many platforms and that a company always has enough leaway to implement testing with a bias towards performance over reliability.
February 6, 2013 6:57:02 PM

:bounce:  I am happy to report that upon re-cloning and re-installing the Sandisk SSD 120gb drive, it has been working flawlessly now for five days. I don't know what to think was the original problem now. Was it not seating in the connection in the laptop before or something else. Doesn't matter now. I am thrilled with this and the laptop is snappier now. It has been running continously now for this five days. We'll see how many miles it goes I guess. Now, I am not afraid to venture forth with these SSD drives and begin to think about upgrading the desktop. Tiger Direct came out with a great sale yesterday on hard drives including the SSD's. I bought two 3tb Barracudas to upgrade my Stora NAS box for now. I will be looking for a second box for redundant backup now too. I hope everyone else has happy endings with their SSD's! And, to think that a Sandisk customer support rep had ended my chat last week agreeing with me that their drive wouldn't work with Vista and I was told to upgrade to Win 7. Not just yet. Hah. :kaola: 
!