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Post  Wooster Sun Apr 08 2012, 00:07

There isn't a specific area for this kind of thing, but I've noticed there's a few techy types in here and it's worth flagging this up in case anyone is tempted.

There's a bit of a push on at the moment to promote SSD Cache drives by the likes of OCZ and Crucial.

The logic behind it (that apparently goes back to the 60's) is that it uses software to ascertain what programs and services that are most in demand and it caches them from your standard drive to a paired SSD for (tbh pretty impressive) read operations.

Anyhoo, I decided to take the plunge the other day and bought the Crucial Adrenaline SSD cache drive... and had a couple of problems.

Problem number 1: I didn't fancy risking the boot drive with it (call it a hunch) and had bought it to pair up with a 1TB Samsung drive that held quite a few programs, a lot of media and my Steam folder.
Unfortunately the Dataplex software doesn't allow you to pair it with any drive except the boot drive.

Problem number 2: It worked really well for around 24 hours, the system was far snappier and Photoshop would load almost instantly, but then I had my first BSOD in at least two years...and it was a bad one.
When the system rebooted it couldn't find the OS and the Recovery Console reported that the boot drive was empty.
After jumping through some hoops I managed to disable the Dataplex software and get it to dump the cached files back onto the standard drive.
Two hours of jumping through more hoops with the Recovery Console due to massive file corruption, I managed to get the system running again.

Everything was checking out fine and then I did something idiotic, I gave the Adrenaline drive another chance. grumpy loony

Within an hour executables and processes started falling over like dominos, restarted the system to disable the Dataplex software again (with the intention of removing it and getting a refund).
Long story short, the Adrenaline drive had vanished from the system and after five hours of trying to repair the resulting (even more massive) file corruption I had to give up, wipe the drive and reinstall Windows...which is a total PITA (Installing Windows takes half an hour, it all the other stuff that takes the time).

Moral of the story is: don't be tempted to buy one, it'll end badly. green smile

p.s. It also irrecoverably corrupted my Steam folder (that I took the time to move over to a partition on the boot drive) and I've lost hundreds of hours of gameplay (70 hours of gameplay on Skyrim alone (luckily one Cloud save worked..pity it was from January). wall



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Post  Rosco Sun Apr 08 2012, 00:27

link Some wiki info for the masses link

Mmmmm... I was contemplating getting an 2.5" SSD drive for my netbook to help speed it up.

Do you think this is an issue with the technology itself, the manufacturer or model, or do you think you've just been unlucky?
They can't all be selling duff drives Shirley?

Do you know how their MTBF rates compare to other SSD's or standard HDD's in general?
Obviously in your case it was just 24 hours.


I thought these types of drives had fancy s/w built in that recognised when potential problems were developing and it re-mapped to copy to/use 'spare' areas of the drive.

You'd have thought with no moving parts it wouldn't really wear out. Then again we all know that all things electrical eventually seem to fail.

Anyhoos....Sorry to hear of the severe PITA this has caused you. A learning experience if nothing else.
What's the plan?
Does it have diagnostic s/w that proves it is now faulty and are you going to return for refund?
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Post  Wooster Sun Apr 08 2012, 00:49

SSD's themselves are pretty reliable these days and they should last as long as traditional drives.
(It was an early issue until they developed the tech to balance out wear levelling)

I've had an SSD in one of my laptops for a couple of years and it's in daily use. Only issue I've noticed it will occasionally freeze when the power saving kicks in, but the battery life on it is excellent compared to the standard drive.


It's the software the cache drives use that cause the problems, apparently the Hybrids suffer from similar issues (i.e. the Seagate Momentus drives)
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Post  Dirt Bike Dave Sun Apr 08 2012, 06:14

Rosco wrote:Do you know how their MTBF rates compare to other SSD's or standard HDD's in general?

Hmmmm that's what I was thinking!!!
NOT... That lot above makes as much sense as Japanese to me.

Question scratch

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Post  Wooster Sun Apr 08 2012, 10:49

Very Happy
He's asking how long it's likely to last before going tits up compared to other Solid State Drives or traditional Hard Disk Drives.

There was an issue with the software that was used that could cause it to pack in after 5000 hours (7 months) of use, and once every hour after that. But they fixed it...allegedly. green smile
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Post  ScoldedCat Sun Apr 08 2012, 10:54

They're still showing far too high a rate of instant death for me.

When a SSD dies, its dead, no bringing it back.

I'd have one in a portable device, but make regular backups of anything important!
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Post  Wooster Sun Apr 08 2012, 11:07

And they're still too expensive at over £1 per GB.

You can increase the longevity of them by setting up a RamDrive, if you have extra RAM available.
..something I haven't tried myself since I only have 4GB installed on the laptop.
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Post  SteveCat Sun Apr 08 2012, 12:41

I've worried about the reliability of them, as well as the cost - which has made sure I stay away. I talked someone out of going that route last week, glad I did now.

The read speeds are impressive, but how are they at writing?
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Post  ScoldedCat Sun Apr 08 2012, 13:22

Read and write speeds are equally as awesomely fast and they're getting better.

My PC is business critical and I just don't think the real life reliability is there yet. Although 500mbps read/write is very tempting!
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Post  Wooster Sun Apr 08 2012, 15:50

I think people are getting a bit confused with the title here.

The bad tech isn't the SSD's themselves, it's when they're used in conjunction with software that allows them to cache standard drives.
The bad tech is actually the software. Wink

Incidentally, speaking of dodgy software.
I'm currently at the job I was dreading, setting up my shares between 7 and XP.
It's always a pain in the neck. grumpy
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