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Marvell-Based SSDs From Corsair, Crucial, OCZ, And Plextor: Tested

SSD Management: Problems With Secure Erase

Our testing lab truly appreciates the excellent support provided by Intel, OCZ, and Samsung. All three companies provide some sort of SSD management software that make tasks like secure-erasing or updating firmware a pain-free proposition, allowing us to test drives in quick succession. Secure-erasing SSDs from other manufacturers can quickly become complicated using utilities like HDD Erase.

Unfortunately, we discovered that all of our Marvell-based SSDs (except the Octane and both m4s) do not properly respond to the secure erase command from within HDD Erase, consistently generating a “HPA/DCO area” error. Typically, it isn't necessary for you to use secure erase, since the TRIM command helps maintain the performance of your solid-state drive. However, there are occasions when it comes in handy, particularly before a re-format or prior to rebuilding a RAID array.

We're not expecting Corsair, Crucial, or Plextor to release their own erase utilities. However, you can achieve the same outcome using the free erase tool from Parted Magic. Quick Tip: use the Universal USB Installer to put the Parted Magic ISO on a thumb drive.

  • hellfire24
    crucial FTW!
    Reply
  • Shoulda tossed in a V4 128gb for entertainment value...ah well. :P
    Reply
  • uruquiora
    hellfire24crucial FTW!hmm , my M4 has 10x more BSOD than my vertex 3... Each i boot my pc and work with it i prepare myself for a BSOD with my M4...
    Reply
  • joytech22
    uruquiorahmm , my M4 has 10x more BSOD than my vertex 3... Each i boot my pc and work with it i prepare myself for a BSOD with my M4...
    That is what we in the I.T industry like to call: "Faulty Hardware".
    If you considered that normal all this time, I have some bad news for you..
    Reply
  • chesteracorgi
    With the price of SSDs coming down, Toms should start introducing 256 GB + drives into its reviews. It's nice to have the 64 & 128 GB reviews, but for power builders the 256 GB is becoming mainstream.
    Reply
  • Cyclops21
    Any tests planned on the Sandisk Extreme models. They were a Tom's recommend buy but I still haven't seen any benchmarks on Tom's.
    Reply
  • cknobman
    I'd still say for most boot and program drives SandForce is the way to go as it has a significant performance edge.
    Reply
  • Onus
    I've only installed 6-7 SSDs, with mixed results. Two with Sadforce controllers died within months or weeks (the RMA of one is yet to be tested). Given that the slowest SSD beats the pants off the fastest magnetic HDD, I have quickly reached the conclusion that reliability has to be the #1 criterion for SSDs, and I'm not sure Sandforce is there yet.
    Reply
  • zodiacfml
    Awesome. SSDs time is now!
    Reply
  • ramon zarat
    uruquiorahmm , my M4 has 10x more BSOD than my vertex 3... Each i boot my pc and work with it i prepare myself for a BSOD with my M4...
    You must be joking... The list of forum thread complaining about SF controller instability is endless. The M4 actually has a very solid reputation. I've been running 2 128GB M4 in 2 different PC for the last 8 months. Not a single BSOD. They still both benchmark the same speed as day 1. Actually, the M4 was and might very well still be the best choice for balance between price, performance and reliability in the whole SSD market. In my book, there are only 3 manufacturers really worth mentioning when it comes to SSD: Crucial, Intel and Samsung.

    Your unit is simply defective. That can happen to any manufacturer. RMA it and be happy.
    Reply