M4 SMART health dropping like a rock (1-2% daily)

Kilobyte Kid

M4 SMART health dropping like a rock (1-2% daily)

Okay so my good ol' 256GB M4 in my main PC has started a worrying trend of losing reported SMART health on a daily basis now (as per CrystalDiskInfo).

Looking at the logs (or graph rather), it was all smooth sailing for ages, losing maybe 1% over the course of several months. Then all of a sudden the reported health dropped from 90% to 77% in one go (which I hadn't noticed at the time) and has recently started dropping off by 1-2% almost on a daily basis, now being at 72% and expected to drop to 71% later today. I've waited it out a couple days to see if it would stabilize at a certain value, but it didn't. What the **bleep**? (edit: why is this censored? I said the fiery red place's name, not the intercourse variant)

 

Firmware updates have been installed relatively regularly (within a month or two of being released), except for being on 0309 (I think?) for quite a while. It's currently on 070H and connected to the (native intel) SATA3 ports of my ASRock Fatal1ty P67 Performance.

All my other M4s (64GB and 128GB) which I've aquired used for various projects are fine and don't experience this (yet), though I have to say these don't see as much use as the one in my main PC either.

 

As I was typing this post the health went down to 71% as predicted Smiley Frustrated

What gives? I didn't change anything other than "up"grading from Win7 to Win10, and that was in late November, way before any of this started happening. The alignment also appears to be OK.

I'm out of Ideas. Yes I do have backups in case it suddenly fails and I do know that 70+% on a 5+ year old drive is still fine, but something must've caused this sudden decline and I just want to try and find out what's causing it and avoid that (if possible). 

 

edit: seems like the screenshots I attached aren't showing and links to imgur and such get automatically deleted... nice

 

87CIuzG"unaligned access count" higher than I've ever seen on any M4 screenshot I've found so far   oW2IGFxsteady decrease for ages, then sudden big drop and stair-like nosedive  1KUyVUndoesn't show alignment issues. performance not entirely up to par?

4 Replies
JEDEC Jedi

Re: M4 SMART health dropping like a rock (1-2% daily)

Pictures have to be moderated before they'll show.

 

I have a vague memory of someone having this before on an M4 long ago and I think the only solution was to secure erase it. Smiley Sad

 

But as I said, my memory is vague!  I'm not sure if @bogdan remembers any better? Smiley Happy

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JEDEC Jedi

Re: M4 SMART health dropping like a rock (1-2% daily)

It is likely your SSD is dying so make sure to get your data off of it right away if you don't have backups.     If the firmware is up to date and hasn't fixed it, then the only other solution I know is to perform a Secure Erase as suggested by targetbsp.    Besides erasing the SSD, a Secure Erase tends to reset the SSD which sometimes fixes odd problems.    Two other possible options are to leave the SSD unplugged from power & data for a while to let the electronics discharge, or leave it connected to power, but disconnect the data so maybe the SSD can fix itself without having to worry about new incoming commands & data.  These are defintely long shots.

 

Depending on what is causing these failures, there is a slight chance it could stabilize and be safe again.  Here is an intesting article about how SSDs failed while being stress tested 24/7 for a few years (there is a link to the first article in the series).   

 

I haven't seen an SSD "slowly" failing so I would be interested in updates either way.   I wish you luck.

JEDEC Jedi

Re: M4 SMART health dropping like a rock (1-2% daily)


@targetbsp wrote:

I have a vague memory of someone having this before on an M4 long ago and I think the only solution was to secure erase it. Smiley Sad

 

But as I said, my memory is vague!  I'm not sure if @bogdan remembers any better? Smiley Happy


As far as I can remember someone solved such issue by performing ATA secure erase on an M4 and someone else did the same on an C300. I suspect that may be some software/OS bug that could possibly (but not necessarily) be tracked with some tools that would monitor I/O and disk activity.

 

That way or another I would backup the data, ATA secure erase the drive and clean install Windows 10* without installing any other third party apps for a few days. CrystalDiskInfo can be installed of course and imho the drive seems to show good health, except this sudden accelerated NAND wear indicated by AD SMART attribute.

 

* Mind the silent TCG Opal activation on the drive during W10 install and ways to avoid that.

I am sorry, that does not apply to M4 model Smiley Happy

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JEDEC Jedi

Re: M4 SMART health dropping like a rock (1-2% daily)


@HWTech wrote:

 

I haven't seen an SSD "slowly" failing so I would be interested in updates either way.   I wish you luck.


It's worth noting that when CDI says 'health' it's a tad misleading and it actually means 'wear'.  So the drive is experiencing an extreme level of erases but no actual errors.

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