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.