Once the price of SSD drives made them a viable choice, their popularity has increased at a fast pace. They provide a major boost in data transfer speed, use less power, combined with a perceived durability advantage over spinning hard disk drives. It is true that they are almost immune to impact damage apart from the severest knocks.
It is recommended that an SSD is only used for the operating system and program files. This is because when an SSD does fail, data recovery is a much more complex procedure, with a lower chance of success. However, if the user areas and desktop contents located on the boot volume are used to store files, as is quite common, important data may be present on the SSD.
SSD Read and Write Limitations
Each storage bit in solid state memory is liable to become damaged after a certain number of read/write accesses. In most cases this is not an issue, as this is not only a high number, but the drive performs automatic balancing to enhance the lifetime of the device. An SSD will under normal remain fully operational for the duration of computer’s life.
Some applications however can cause excessive random data access, such as some video manipulation programs, leading to a rapid increase in memory access, thereby considerably reducing the lifespan of the SDD.
Other SSD Failure Mechanisms
As with any electronic device containing sensitive components SSD’s are susceptible to damage from heat and power surges. Either of these problems may cause damage to any of the electronic components. A power surge is most likely to cause a failure of the power regulator, whereas heat causes a slow build-up of damage, which will eventually become apparent when a fault occurs.
A sudden power failure besides causing a possible power surge, may lead to another side-effect on certain SSD devices. Ideally during the last moments of power an SSD should commit all outstanding memory changes. In some devices this may not occur and could lead to corruption of data, which could lead to a failure of the file system.
SSD Data Recovery
In the event of a severe SSD failure data recovery must be undertaken for a professional data recovery company using the correct procedure and specialist electronic hardware. It may be necessary to directly recover the raw data from each memory chip in the SSD as the first process during data recovery.
Each SSD manufacturer tends to use their own proprietary storage format and data interleaving techniques which are still subject to change as new devices are developed. New techniques quite often need to be developed in-house to handle the most recent changes in SSD technology.