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Detect imminent failure and end-of-life in Flash SSD, USB, Memory cards

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When a hard drive is beginning to fail its simple enough to inform because the way in which it occurs at least it will give you warning signs. You will either hear the notorious sound like tick –tick-tick or tick-whirr-tick-tick, referred to as the click-of-death or in more brazen style a CLICK that sounds almost like a slap right before the drive dies for good.

There’s nothing to listen to detect a failure of Flash memory since it has no moving parts. If that being the case what do you go by then?

This post will tell you how to detect imminent failure and end-of-life in Flash Solid State Drive, USB and Memory cards. It will not apply to RAM SSDs or normal Hard Drives.

In the most horrible case situation, the same horror story has been told many times in many different places on the Internet concerning Solid State Disk (SSD).  One day you go to boot and the drive is dead, no warning whatever. If the SSD is accessible and using your drive software utility of choice still shows as a size other than zero, even though little you have some guarantee that you can get some information off of it, but it will take a lengthy. Because of long time to get that file copy, and like with attempting to get well data off near-dead platter-hard drives, the copy may be corrupt when completed.

In just about every other situation, by having random bad file reads and writes flash memory gives some sign that it’s going bad.

Knowing is quite simple when a USB stick is going bad. When you copy a file to or from it, and regardless of what Operating System you boast the process crashes or locks up your OS. After a reboot, if the same thing occurs two times in a row, then try the stick in a different computer to make sure that it’s not a file locking issue. If same ‘weirdness’ happens on the second computer, it’s a good stake that the stick is bad. You can copy the data off the stick and format it, but it won’t be long before the same problem happens again.

The completely non-technical method to identify SSD is starting to come close to failure with SSD is when you boot your operating system and “the whole thing goes wrong”. The operating system takes a lengthy time to boot. Once in the OS, applications crash for apparently with no reason, a simple thing like opening new tabs in your web browser causes the system to almost lock up. Out of extreme anxiety you reboot the computer, and all troubles magically seem to fix themselves a little too easily to the extent that you are concerned. Fine, it’s not magic, it’s indicative the SSD is about to have a failure; this is especially right if the locking up /slowness seemed to occur out of nowhere and you know your system is fresh of malware.

Scan Your SSD with Some Special Utilities:

Any of good reputation software utility that can scan RAID arrays can normally scan SSD storage devices too. If not, one method to test your SSD is performing up to spec or not is a benchmark utility, such as Disk Benchmark from ATTO. It’s free, and you can use it to check read and write speeds of your SSD against the original specs of the speeds your SSD was billed as competent of doing. But do not forget to take the Backup.

If you like this article, then do not forget to share with your friends. 😉

Stay tuned on The Geeks Club for more tech tips and tricks.

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