12 February 2011

My OCZ Vertex 120G is dying...


I currently have two SSDs – an OCZ Vertex 120GB bought before Intel priced it’s SSDs competitively (April 2009) and an Intel X25-M G2 160GB i bought at launch (September 2009). The OCZ Vertex is the one i use in my work laptop, and the Intel X25-M G2 is the one i use in my system at home. Both see extensive use, and both have always been used with Windows 7, which is TRIM-enabled.
The most important thing between the laptop and the desktop is that i’m using BitLocker on the laptop, which might have an influence on things. I’ve always been using BitLocker on the SSD, so it would seem strange that this is now suddenly an issue.
I’ve always been aggressive about SSD firmware updates, after a good backup. I’ve upgraded both the Vertex and the Intel drives to be TRIM capable as soon as the respective firmware was out.
Unfortunately, a few days after using the OCZ Vertex in my new laptop, it started to have serious hickups – during which no IO would take place (perfmon disk queue shooting up to 50). During this time, the HDD light on the laptop is not lit.
I’ve tried to make sure that this issue was related to the SSD, so i ran HDTune benchmark:

This looked bad. Further investigation showed that there was a new Firmware out – 1.5. I’ve upgrade to Firmware 1.5, which supposedly had a Garbage Collection and TRIM support. After upgrading to 1.5, the hickups became much worse – the laptop needed about an hour just to boot up.
After looking at and posting on the OCZ support forum, i was told that i’d need to wait for Garbage collection to kick in. I let my laptop sit for a night, during which it crashed and the subsequent reboot was stuck on a “No harddisk found” message from the BIOS. Things looked bleak.
Further replies on the OCZ support forum requested that i do a sanitary erase, which would reset the disk to pristine performance levels (and delete all the data on it).
Unfortunately, the machine was too slow to run a Windows Complete PC Backup (wasn’t finished after 4 hours in). Fortunately, all the important data on my laptop is backed up using the Client Protection of DPM 2010, meaning all i had to do was reinstall my apps and i’d be good to go.
After reinstalling Windows 7, i installed the most important apps and then reenabled BitLocker protection – during which the hickups started happening again. The laptop would sometimes hang for 20-30 seconds, and then continue on on it’s merry way.
At this point, i went to sleep and let the laptop idle at the boot selection screen, so that the garbage collection could do it’s magic.
And now here we are, 8 hours later. While the read performance using HD Tune is nowwhere near as bad as it was before the sanitary erase, the write performance is stil abysmal.


For Comparison, here’s my Intel X25-M G2:

What now? I think I will have to replace the drive. It’s the only choice i have left at this point.
If anyone has a better idea, give me a whirl.

18 comments:

  1. Aw, that sucks dude.. and those things aren't cheap either. I'm still rocking HDDs cause I simply can't justify the cost/speed when my raptor works just fine for me. Maybe Newegg will have a presidents day sale.

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  2. Hmm, looks like you'll have to replace it. Pity SSD's are so expensive.

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  3. I don't know too much about this kind of stuff, but I'd say to go with something affordable that still gives good results.

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  4. You could try running truecrypt to narrow it down to see if it's bitlocker that's causing the problem or if it truly is the drive.

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  5. After reading this I'm glad I held off on buying an SSD. I'm still waiting for prices to drop.

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  6. I don't even know what any of this means! :)

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  7. looks like a hardware issue - sucks dude

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  8. Im not too tech savy, but I can understand the frustration that comes when problems like this happens

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  9. pretty cool blog, hope you won't have to spend too much money in replacing the thing ><

    http://skybluetrading.blogspot.com/

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  10. I think you've given that SSD about all the CPR you can... it may just be time to let it die. I'm like you, I don't give up easily, but at this point I'd be shopping.

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  11. very good blog
    im following




    If anyone wants only important news follow me
    http://bbmike15-thenews.blogspot.com

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  12. After reading this, I'm gonna have to stick with the old HDD's. SSD sounds good in theory, but from the looks of it, they're not ready for me to shell out money for.

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  13. Ugh, SSD is still too new in its current form! Sucks that you're having issues, but realistically, I just don't see the reason to spend the extra on MY computers! They'd never be used to that degree...

    Following and supporting!

    Garage Zoku

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  14. Ah, that sucks. Nothing lasts forever, Man.

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