Is your MacBook Pro® with a Crucial® SSD extremely sluggish, crashing, failing to see your drive, or giving you an error when trying to format or reinstall Mac® OS X®? Here are some troubleshooting steps you’ll want to follow in order to figure out exactly what is causing your problem.
Optimizations and post-release fixes can be applied to your SSD via our firmware updates, and may be enough on their own to resolve any abnormal performance you may encounter while using your SSD.
A potential hardware issue in the MacBook Pro
An important step for isolating the source of your problems is to physically remove the drive from the MacBook Pro to rule out any potential internal issues in the computer itself. Note that just because your old drive, or a different drive, isn’t exhibiting any issues inside the MacBook Pro, it doesn’t rule out a potential hardware issue inside the system.
When removing your SSD, make sure to follow appropriate install guides. You can use one of our install documents on our Mac SSD Support page. When the drive is removed, you will want to connect it with some sort of external drive enclosure, or a USB to 2.5-inch drive adapter cable like this one available at Crucial.com.
Once the SSD is physically connected externally to the Macbook Pro, you can hold the OPTION key down while turning the system on. If you already have OS X installed to the drive, this will bring up Startup Manager and should let you select the SSD (now an external USB drive) as your boot device. By selecting the SSD and hitting Enter, you’re telling the MacBook Pro to boot to it over USB, and you can then test the drive out to see how it responds. Bear in mind that the SSD may be slower since it’s now working through the USB interface, but you can theoretically get your desktop to load and use any software you may have.
If you are having problems booting to the SSD externally, or haven’t installed OS X to the drive, you will now want to follow the steps for erasing your SSD, then proceed with reinstalling the operating system.
So long as you can erase your SSD externally and install OS X to the drive, the SSD should functionally be fine. If testing outside the MacBook Pro looks positive, you can install the drive back into the MacBook Pro to see what happens. However, if the system runs into problems after installing the drive, we could be looking at a potential hardware problem inside the MacBook Pro – possibly a malfunctioning ribbon cable or a logic board problem.
Another thing to consider is running Apple Hardware Test to see if it can catch any apparent memory problems or other issues. Be aware that hardware tests can fail running tests on healthy drives when they are behind a faulty ribbon cable, which is another important reason for testing externally.
Possible OS X® issues
A problem with the operating system itself can potentially cause lots of different issues. A bad operating system can be a potential source of slow system performance, crashes, or loading errors. To rule out any possible OS X issue, try reinstalling the operating system. Backup any important data first, then follow Apple Guidelines and remember to erase your disk before reinstalling.
In some situations, the recovery partition on a drive may be corrupt. If this is the case, you will need to use Internet recovery mode if you have a 2011-2012 MacBook Pro, or get an OS X recovery media on a DVD or flash drive to try your recovery if you have a pre-2011 model.
A defective ribbon cable
A potential problem with MacBook Pro systems has to do with the black ribbon cable that connects to the internal drive. Over time, it’s possible for this cable to start exhibiting issues that interfere with the operation of the drive. These problems tend to be more prevalent with fast SSDs since they will be utilizing 100% of the bandwidth on that cable – an older, slower HDD uses only a fraction of this bandwidth and may be more resilient to these problems. For this reason, if your old disk drive (or even a different SSD) is working fine on a cable, it doesn’t necessarily rule the cable out as a problem.
The important thing to remember: If you can see the SSD, erase the SSD, and transfer data to the drive outside of your MacBook Pro, or with it in another system, your SSD is most likely functional.
If it looks like the ribbon cable is the problem for your MacBook Pro, it’s something relatively easy to address. If you’ve already physically replaced your drive with an SSD, then it’s only a few extra steps more to swap your existing cable out. We recommend you look at a reputable Mac parts reseller online for purchasing a replacement cable. Buying a second-hand replacement cable for a bargain price online is an easy way to get another defective one, so for this reason go through a reputable Apple parts dealer.
A defective SSD
If all of the steps above don’t result in a positive outcome, then we may need to look at replacing your SSD. Typically, if an SSD is defective it will give you errors when you try to erase/format the drive both internal and external on the MacBook Pro. If the SSD is simply not being detected no matter where it is installed, you will need to try our power cycle instructions to try and reset the SSD, but if these do not recover the drive, it will most likely need to be replaced.
If you recently purchased your SSD, please contact the place of purchase for replacement options. If you are outside the return period from the seller you bought your drive from, or you received it directly from Crucial.com, you can submit an online RMA request through our website or contact our support.
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There are quite a few options for securing and encrypting the data on your SSD, which can make it difficult to decide which is best for you. Generally, we can break down these types of security into three forms: software encryption, hardware encryption, and ATA security. Each one has varying degrees of security and can even affect system performance. Here’s what you should know about the three types of drive encryption and security.
The simplest and most widely available form of data security is software encryption. Software encryption uses a program to encrypt and decrypt the data as it is being written to and read from your SSD. In order to do all this encryption work, your CPU must spend a portion of its power to constantly compute any new information. This slows your system down in several ways, so if performance is important to you, software encryption should be avoided. In regards to SSDs, software encryption can significantly shorten the write life expectancy of the drive since it constantly has to erase and write new data to the SSD. If you were to forget the password to a software-encrypted drive, you can simply erase the drive, then create new partitions on the device.
Compatible with virtually all storage devices
Can selectively encrypt certain folders or partitions
Lots of options to choose from
Decreases system performance
Adds significant wear to SSDs
Potentially less secure than other forms of security
Takes a long time to encrypt and decrypt data
Some drives come with built-in controllers that allow you to enable hardware encryption. Unlike software encryption, hardware encryption uses a controller built into the drive to do all the hard work. This frees the CPU from having to compute the information, which means you’ll get the most performance possible out of your drive.
You’ll need to make sure you have a computer that has a built-in controller that supports hardware encryption. Crucial® MX-series SSDs come with a 256-bit AES encryption controller, which allows you take advantage of full hardware disk encryption, and is sometimes referred to as a SED (Self-Encrypting Drive). Check out our extensive knowledge base to learn more about hardware encryption requirements with Crucial SSDs and how to set it up, see how self-encrypting SSDs enhance data security and protect your organization, or get an even more in-depth look at how hardware encryption works in our drives.
Hardware encryption has many security benefits because the controllers and encryption standards are so robust – it is practically impossible for someone to recover data from a drive that is locked without the encryption key. Other cool benefits are the ability to encrypt or decrypt a drive in just a few clicks. While software encryption could potentially take many hours to complete encrypting, hardware encryption utilities like Microsoft® BitLocker let you turn encryption on or off in less than a minute.
Like with software encryption, you need to find a program to manage hardware encryption (such as BitLocker or McAfee® Endpoint). If you forget a hardware encryption password, you can use the PSID revert tool in the Crucial® Storage Executive tool to reset the drive.
No loss of performance
Simple and quick to enable or disable
Only select setups will support it
The final form of drive security uses a set of commands under Serial ATA standards to lock a drive with a password. Unlike with hardware encryption, the data on the drive itself isn’t actually encrypted but the controller used to access the information on the drive is locked. ATA security doesn’t necessarily require software to be enabled, but ways to enable it will vary from system to system. If you somehow enabled ATA security on a drive and forget the password, you will be unable to create any new partitions on the device. There are third-party options to remove ATA security locks on a drive, but it is best to never mess with settings unless you know what you are doing – you could essentially make the drive useless if you mess it up. Since there are ways to remove ATA locks, this is less of a secure method for protecting data than it is a deterrence to unauthorized access.
Relatively easy to setup
No additional software required
No loss in performance
Not a secure way to protect your data
No simple way to unlock a drive if the password is forgotten
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Could I suggest removing the SSD from the MBP, and plugging it in with some sort of USB adapter/enclosure, like this one we sell on our site. With the drive connected externally see if it can be formatted correctly, then install OSx. After the OS is installed you can boot to the SSD over USB by holding the OPTION key down at startup to test the install. If everything works externally and you install it back inside the MBP and you start to have issues, that could indicated a defective ribbon cable inside the system that may need to be replaced. The 2.5" drives in Macbook Pros don't have thermal cable, that's something unique to the iMac desktops, so it's not relevant here.
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I second the BIOS update, that system is very old. When switching to AHCI are you're sure the drive is not detecting in the BIOS? That seems like it could easily be the culprit, especially with an older chipset. A word about cloning XP, you're not going to have a very easy time doing that successfully. Assuming you have an older HDD in the system with a 512 alignment, the image isn’t going to work very well if at all on a new SSD, designed for 4k alignments. You’re much better off pre-formatting the SSD connected to a Windows 7,8,10 system to create the 4k alignment, then installing the SSD, and performing a clean install of XP on top of the 4k partition, making sure not to delete it. When you do this make sure to have the system set to AHCI mode since that’s the preferred mode that will get you more performance out of the drive. When performing a clean install of XP it’s possible it won’t detect the SSD, and you may need to pre-load the system ATA drivers to get it to detect; this was almost always required when doing a clean install of XP. New versions of Windows have much better SATA/AHCI drivers which means you rarely have to do this. Below is a video showing how to pre-install drivers during an XP load, and the other link is to the Vostro drivers.
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Ballistix parts for the most part are going to fail the Row Hammer test. There is no reason to be alarmed by this however, since it’s simply a matter of the test not playing well with certain builds of memory. Row Hammer just so happens to hate something about the architecture behind lots of our Ballistix parts, so it’s easily flagged. Row Hammers tests sensitivity is probably why it’s not a common benchmark across most memory testing applications. So long as your system is stable and the memory is passing everything else, there isn’t anything you should be worried about.
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Abnormal performance in Windows operating systems after upgrading to an SSD, such as slower benchmarks than expected or system crashes, can result from outdated or poorly supported storage controller drivers. Besides updating to your motherboard or system manufacturer's most recent drivers, changing your drivers to Windows' built-in drivers can improve or eliminate performance issues.
To do this, open the Device Manager (type Device Manager into the search field).
In Device Manager you will see a list of different driver categories. You will want to look for a category called IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers and expand it.
If you cannot find the IDE ATA/ATAPI section, then your system is most likely not running in AHCI mode. Refer to your Operating System (OS) and system manufacturer documentation and follow their steps to ensure your system is configured for AHCI mode for best performance of single SSD configurations.
You will see a few entries for the AHCI controller (such as the Intel drivers shown below).
Right click on this and select Properties, then click on the Driver tab, then Update Driver Software.
Then select Browse my computer for driver software.
In the next screen select "Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer."
In the list under Model, you will see the current drivers as well as the Microsoft one, called Standard AHCI1.0 Serial ATA Controller. Select that one and click Next.
The Microsoft driver will now be installed and you will need to do a restart for the changes to take effect (sometimes several restarts are required). You can also go back into Device Manager and verify that the Microsoft Standard drivers are now installed.
If you are still experiencing problems after making this change, please reach out to our support team for further assistance.
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When looking at maximum memory speed supported for a specific motherboard or system, one thing that many people forget to take into account is the CPU. With modern day CPUs the memory controller is built directly into the CPU itself, which means different types of CPUs may support different speeds of memory. So while a motherboard may support up to 2133 MT/s (Megatransfers per second) DDR3, most CPUs will not support that memory speed by default. Certain types of CPUs also support more advanced ECC memory like you would find in a server or workstation.
To illustrate some differences in CPUs, let us take a look at an older generation i7-2637M. If you scroll down to the memory specifications section for the CPU on Intel’s website, you’ll notice it only supports up to 8GB of total memory, and DDR3 speeds of 1066/1333 MT/s. So if I install some 1600 MT/s Crucial memory with this CPU, I should expect the memory to downclock and run at 1333 MT/s since that’s the fastest speed my CPU will support.
Now let us look at a more modern CPU like the i7-6660K. This CPU can handle up to 64GB of RAM, and has added DDR4 support up to 2133 MT/s, with DDR3L up to 1600 MT/s. Just because this CPU can support DDR4 speeds up to 2133 MT/s, does not mean it will support those speeds on DDR3 as you can see, so make sure to pay close attention to what DDR type is specified.
Where do I find this information?
You first need to figure out the CPU model number you have. If you are unsure what model number your CPU is, this information will be on the invoice for its purchase, the box it came in, displayed in your system BIOS, or you can open up System Information in Windows, which will show the CPU information as seen below.
For an Intel CPU: simply type in the CPU model number into a web search, typically the first search result that pops up will be the data sheet on the Intel Website. Otherwise, you can search the model number on the Intel page directly. Scroll down to the Memory Specifications on the Intel data page and you will find the relevant information. For an AMD CPU: AMD provides a guidelines article that breaks down the different CPU types and supported memory speeds. As an alternative, third party CPU websites like CPUboss or CPU-world will provide this information for specific AMD CPUs.
Can I get the advertised XMP speed out of my Ballistix memory even if my CPU doesn’t support that speed?
If your CPU is not able to natively run Ballistix parts at their XMP profiles, then you can possibly achieve these speeds by overclocking your CPU bus. By overclocking the CPU to run at a faster speed, you naturally increase memory speed that the memory controller in the CPU can support. If you need any assistance with overclocking your CPU, you will need to refer to online resources, and be sure to refer to motherboard documentation for navigation of the advance BIOS settings. Overclocking is performed at the user’s own risk, so be sure to research the subject until you are confident enough to attempt it, or decide it is just not for you.
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Symptoms Storage Executive gets some sort of error when trying to execute the update firmware option for an SSD within the program.
Diagnosis There is something in the system which is interfering with Storage Executive, preventing it from intiating the restart, and subsequent loading of the Linux firmware updating boot sequence.
Solution Depending on the nature of the error, there may be multiple fixes or workarounds. Here is a list of things you can check which may resolve problems with Storage Executive updating your firmware.
Make sure you have the most recent version of Storage Executive installed.
Disable any antivirus software which prevent the updater from initiating.
Ensure that you are not using RAID mode in the system BIOS settings, RAID will often prevent many of the features in Storage Executive from working with your drive, AHCI is the preferred mode. Refer to your system manufacture for any help with this setting.
If you are still not able to get the automated updater to work, use the manual boot file ISO for your SSD on our firmware webpage to manually execute the update.
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Question What is XMP
Answer Typically when you install memory in a system, there is a set of standardized speeds/timings your memory will run at, this standard is what we call JEDEC. This is why you see DDR3 memory speeds like 1066MHz, 1333MHz, 1600MHz, 1866MHz; these are standardized speeds that all memory manufacturers adhere to.
Outside of JEDEC, we have something else that can determine the speed at which your memory runs, and this is XMP. Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) was originally created by Intel and is now used by all memory manufacturers with high performance desktop memory. Unlike JEDEC, XMP speeds are higher performing, and are usually custom tweeked to the specific needs of the memory. When you purchase XMP compatible memory, you must also pair it with an XMP compatible motherboard, and a CPU that will support the memory speeds. Typically XMP must be manually enabled in the BIOS settings as well.
So what happens if I install XMP memory in a non-XMP motherboard, or I don’t have XMP enabled?
Well the memory will simply run at whatever JEDEC timings the computer decides. With Ballistix parts this often means the memory will be downclocked to the next lowest speed; so a pair of 1866 MHz Ballistix Sport parts could run at 1600MHz if XMP was not running as an example, or it could run at 1866MHz but with a slower latency. This is all okay of course, since most of our memory is designed to run at multiple speed settings, so even if your memory doesn’t have the frequency or timings that are listed for it on our website, it will often run flawlessly at those parameters.
So to sum things up: XMP is a great way to get extra performance out of higher end memory, if you have a setup that will support it, otherwise it’s an additional feature which is not required for the memory to operate.
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When installing an SSD or any SATA-powered device into a desktop, you may potentially run into the scenario where the power supply does not have the appropriate SATA power connections to power your drive. Molex to SATA adapter cables are a very simple and cost-effective alternative to buying a new power supply, but they can be a dangerous alternative to getting a quality power supply, potentially damaging your SSD, internal components, and may also pose a fire risk in your home.
In the event that you have an older power supply unit (PSU), which does not have these cables, or you’ve already used them all for existing devices, you’re left with two options: 1) You can purchase an additional PSU that has a larger quantity of SATA power connections, or 2) You can purchase a SATA to Molex power adapter cable.
Below is an example of a Molex to SATA adapter. They’re inexpensive and they can use an existing Molex power connector to power any SATA device. In these adapters, a lack of proper shielding can allow an electrical arc to jump between the black (ground) and either the 5.5V red or 12V yellow line. When this happens, the plastic between the lines is known to melt and catch on fire, and you essentially have your very own tesla coil going off in your computer.
Since the power is being diverted to the ground line, power supplies respond as if it’s something in the computer drawing power, and safety mechanisms in the PSU will not trigger. It isn’t until the arc jumps over to another voltage line, or causes significant damage in the adapter, that a power supply will shut off. This could potentially cause a fire outside the case.
The three-year limited manufacturer warranty on Crucial SSDs does not cover environmental damage like this. That is why it is important to use a quality power source for any SSD you install, otherwise, you could be left with the dreadful prospect of having to pay for the damage and the loss of potentially priceless data.
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When the topic of memory performance comes up, most people usually think of a memory module speed. Module speed is a measure of a memory’s ability to transfer data, like: DDR2 800MHz, DDR3 1600MHz, and DDR4 2400MHz (or MT/s). In addition to module speed, we have other attributes we call timings, which determine how fast your memory can respond to requests for performing actions.
If we were to think of memory as a racing car, the module speed (MH/z) would be like the raw horse power of the engine, and the timings would be the driver of the car. As the driver of the car gets better at handling turns, responding to obstacles on the race course, the car inevitably will perform faster, so much so, that you can have a car with lower horsepower, outperform one with more, if the driver (timings) are faster than the other.
When we look at timings of memory, they are typically displayed in a numerical format; 9-9-9-24 is as an example of a generic DDR3 memory timing. Below is a table that displays some standard timings for different types of DDR memory.
Timings are most commonly broken down to the four values: CAS Latency (CL), Row Column Delay (T RCD ), Row Precharge Time (T RP ), and Row Active Time (T RAS ). If you noticed the table above has the T RAS missing for DDR4, this is because this value has been merged into another number with the new memory technology, so it is no longer relevant.
The most widely recognized timing for memory would be CAS Latency. This value is typically ubiquitous with performance, it however can be very misleading sometimes. Logic would tell you that the lower the CAS Latency the better, since that means your memory is more able to quickly respond to new information; however newer memory types typically have much higher CAS latency times as you may have noticed already.
So why do new memory types have slower latency times?Along with different timings, there is an attribute called Clock Cycle Time; which is a measurement of how quickly the memory can be ready for a new set of commands. New memory types like DDR4 have significantly faster Clock Cycle Times than older memory, and as the chart below illustrates; this effectively means the True Latency (real speed) is much faster. If you would to know more about Speed vs Latency, check out this in-depth article we have.
So should I really worry about my timings?
In most cases no. So long as you purchase memory that our System Scanner or Advisor Tool says is compatible with your base computer, you can be assured that you have memory that is capable of running in your system; there is however an exception to this rule when purchasing high performance Ballistix parts for custom built system. Some CPUs are limited with the memory speed and latencies they will support, so it’s always a good idea to check the max memory speed your CPU will support, before paring it with any higher end memory. If you have any further questions be sure to reach out to Crucial support.
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SATA and PCIe, what is the difference?
PCIe and SATA M.2 drives have different controllers; whereas the PCIe is the faster of the two, the SATA will generally be compatible with a wider variety of systems. If a system has a M.2 PCIe slot, an M.2 SATA SSD will not work in this computer, it will fit in the slot, but it will not work. There are some system that are dual typed, and will accept both SATA, and PCIe, but they are not the norm. Crucial M.2 SSDs at this time are only manufactured in the SATA type.
What’s the difference between the 2260ds and the 2280ss?
These numbers determine the physical size of the M.2 drive. A 2260 would be 22mm wide and 60mm long, were as the 2280 would be 80mm long. We offer both the 60 and 80 variants in our MX200 line of SSDs. Some system will support multiple lenghts of M.2, but they are typically designed for one.
Does it matter if the slot is single sided or double sided?
Single sided M.2 sockets only support single sided drives. Double sided M.2 sockets support both double sided SSDs and single sided SSDs.
How much does the key notch matter?
M.2 connectors can be keyed in several different ways. Almost all the sub-types will physically fit in each other’s slots, however, they will not work if they are not installed in the correct type. The 2260ds and the 2280ss are both keyed “B and M” which means they will work in B slots, in M slots, and in slots that have both the B and the M key.
Let our website do the work for you Always make sure to use our Crucial Advisor or System Scanner to verify compatibility of any of our SSDs. We will take all the guessing with M.2 drives out of the equation if you simply use our tools to do the work for you. If you have any further questions, be sure to contact our support.
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Why a server can be bad for your SSD
Unlike traditional hard disk drives (HDDs), a Solid State Drive (SSD) is composed of flash memory that stores data. When you erase data from a flash device it doesn’t immediately go away. It’s flagged for deletion, and processes like TRIM and Garbage Collection, will remove this old data to make room for new. In an HDD when you erase something, it is flagged for deletion like in an SSD, but it is simply overwritten when new data when it becomes available; because of how data stored on an SSD this process will not work, and TRIM and Garbage Collection fill this role. Now that we have a basic understanding of how HDDs and SSDs manage data differently, we can begin to understand why installing consumer grade SSDs into anything like a server, workstation, or Network-attached storage (NAS), is not always such a straightforward option, and may not be recommend.
A server or a NAS, will typically be running 24/7 in most situations, and if you understand Garbage Collection, you will know that it can only run when a drive is in an idle, powered state. This means that SSDs typically will not get a break if they’re running in these types of environments. Without Garbage Collection being able to run and do its job correctly, we are left with TRIM to perform this cleanup. The problem with this is that TRIM is not compatible with most server setups that have any sort of RAID array, or NAS devices ( there are exceptions to this rule). Without TRIM or Garbage collection running, an SSD will start to accumulate erased data. Erased data that accumulates on an SSD will not be visible, and you cannot clean the drive up by simply formatting; formatting an already clogged up SSD would actually make any problem worse, since you’re adding an additional layer of erased data on top of what already exists. This accumulation of old data can have drastic effects on the performance of the drive, as well as potentially causing stability issues if the problem is severe enough.
Understanding the differences between Consumer and Enterprise Grade SSDs
We now understand how a server can be bad for an SSD, but not all SSDs are created equal. Let’s see what some of the differences between consumer grade SSDs and their enterprise counterparts are. Crucial sells consumer grade SSDs, this means our drives are designed for standard day to day use, like you would find in a desktop or laptop, other smaller mobile computing devices, and high-performance gaming/work systems. In an enterprise environment like a server, a drive will be subjected to 24/7 operation, often with a combination of high writes and erases. Enterprise drives like the Micron M500DC or S600DC, for example, are designed to handle continuous operation, with high amounts of erases and writes. Unlike a consumer drive which will lose performance drastically when subjected to continuous writes, an enterprise drive will have a steady level of performance over the given period. When we talk about erasing data from an SSD, this also brings up another important difference between the two classes of drives, and that is endurance.
All flash devices, including SSDs, have a limit to the amount of data that can be written to the memory before reliability of that data will be lost, and the memory starts to go into read only mode. Different drives will have different endurance ratings: our BX200 drives are rated at 72 Terabytes (TB) of erase life, an MX200 1000GB drive will be rated 360 TB, and a Micron 800GB M500DC is 2500 TB, so it’s clear that enterprise drives are rated for significantly more endurance life. For most users, endurance is something they shouldn’t worry about; it would take a typical person many years to use up all of the 72 TB write life on a standard drive. A server that is filling a drive several times over every day, could theoretically use up the entire life of a consumer drive in less than a year; and this sort of wear is not covered under warranty. Along with extended wear life, an enterprise drive will typically have more advanced protection for data on the drive.
At a basic level a consumer grade drive will protect only data at rest, while an enterprise drive is going to cover data in motion as well. Data in motion is data that is in the process of being transferred, or on the drive buffer. With a traditional drive if the system were to lose power during a write sequence, any of this data on this buffer would be lost, and this could actually cause some serious data corruption. This link goes to a Micron document which goes into great detail about these data protection differences. For a more general in-depth comparison of Consumer vs Enterprise drives, this Micron document has some great information as well.
A note on SSDs in Workstations
A workstation in most cases is a server. It has a motherboard that for all intents and purposes is a server board, because it uses ECC (Error Checking and Correction) memory. Since we do not list our drives as compatible with servers, they are excluded from workstations for the same reasons. With that being said, most people will not use their Workstation as a server, they will typically use it for heavy office work for applications like: Illustrator, Photoshop, 3D rendering, or other types of visual editing. So long as you aren’t going to use a workstation for around the clock data management like network caching, virtual machine hosting, and things a server would typically manage, then any of our 2.5” SATA SSD offerings should theoretically be fine in the system.
By installing a consumer grade drive in a server, you are not only getting less than ideal performance, you are also risking the reliability of your data, using a device with a shorter wear life, and possibly voiding the manufacture warranty on the drive. For the above reasons it is crucial to install a storage device that is designed for the type of environment you are going to use it in. If you have any questions or concerns about using a Crucial SSD in your system, please contact our support.
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Question Will I lose any data if I upgrade my memory?
Answer You don’t have to worry about losing any personal information when you perform a memory upgrade because your DRAM memory does not store that data.
Unlike the type of memory you find in a hard disk drive or solid state drive (SSD), the memory in DRAM modules is called “volatile” memory. This means that when a system is turned off, all data is erased. Things like your personal documents, programs, operating system, and personal settings are all stored on your local drive. When a computer is shut off, your storage drive will keep your data stored for access the next time you turn your system on. When you first turn your computer on, it actually has to read all the files and programs from your storage drive, then load them onto your DRAM memory. This is why booting up a computer can often take a very long time if you don't have enough DRAM.
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Question What is the difference between DDR3-1333 (PC3-10600), DDR3-1600 (PC3-12800), DDR4-2133 (PC4-17066), and DDR4-2400 (PC4-19200)?
Answer Although these are all types of double data rate (DDR) memory, the varying numbers refer to the different speeds of memory, and even different memory generation types. When looking at the Data Rate (DDR), or speed PC (Per Clock transfers), it is important to note that systems can only handler certain types of memory - this is why it’s important to use either our Crucial Memory Advisor™ or System Scanner, when looking for compatible memory to install in your system.
It is easy to get data rate and speed mixed up because they are often interchangeable when someone is talking about how “fast” memory is. In layman’s terms data rate is how many bits a module can transfer in a given time, and speed is how many bytes it can transfer. Since there are 8 bits in a byte, we simply multiply the data rate by 8, and get the speed of the memory: 1600x8=12800, 2400x8=19200. When looking at both the data rate and speed, the particular generation of memory will be listed as well - for example PC3 prefaces DDR3 speeds, and PC4 prefaces DDR4 speeds.
Below is a list of common memory speeds and associated data rates. There may be some higher- and lower-end speeds that are missing, and slight differences depending on how numbers are rounded, but it is a good general overview of common memory performance attributes.
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