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Bad SSD? Best replacement method?

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Tyerker

Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2012
I bought a refurbished 960GB Crucial M500 direct from Crucial a few months back. I have tried installing both Linux and Windows, and the system seems to do some really spotty things.

When trying to boot Linux Mint 17.3:
- No boot partition found
- Please insert boot drive
- Starts to load into Mint and then brings up a list of "failed to load partition" or "failed to read partition" probably 20+ times

Other times, I can get it to boot into Mint, and it will function for a seemingly random period of time, then:
- Equivalent of Explorer crash, error screen pops up with only rectangles as characters. No toolbars, and double-clicking any shortcut gives "Error loading application"
- System locks completely, mouse cursor continues to move but nothing is clickable
- It functions perfectly for multiple hours including high-demand gaming in Steam, before completely locking or crashing later

Of course, the final scenario is the rarest occurrence. I have run the various disk checker utilities in Linux Mint with no errors.
I've tried multiple SATA Ports and cable for what it's worth. But this is the first build of this station so whether it's the drive, board, etc I can't be certain of.

I never actually got Windows installed to the point it fully booted, so I was unable to verify functionality there.

I am imagining that the drive is bad in some form or another. I had a couple of questions about how to verify that it is indeed the cause of the issues:
1. Is it possible on an SSD to have only the boot sectors (or blocks or whatever) go bad? Could this drive still be viable as a storage drive even if it ends up unbootable?
2. Should I get a high-capacity HDD (WD Black probably) and install an OS to verify functionality, or should I get a smaller SSD to install to (and then buy an HDD anyway)? I'd rather not pay for another TB SSD right now.
3. Any other testing steps I should go through to see if the SSD is salvageable / a lost cause?

Thanks for any and all help, as always.
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
1. Its likely the controller taking a crap. If that is the case, clearly storage or OS wouldn't make a difference.
2. Not sure how to answer this as I don't believe what you are saying will verify anything except that you can install an OS on a different drive. Are you concerned with the installation media not working (as that is what it is testing)?
3. NOthing I can think of outside of perhaps Secure Erasing the drive, and possibly trying it out in another PC.
 
OP
Tyerker

Tyerker

Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2012
1. Thanks, I was thinking it was probably a vital component since it caused some random issues.
2. I am thinking that I have been in the process of building this for long enough, maybe I'll just buy like a 3-4TB WD Black and use it without any SSD for a while. Just get it functional and then worry about a new SSD down the road. Or be stuck with 250GB or so while I am trying to sort out the problem and test.
3. I have done everything short of actually writing 0s. I know it's not good for SSDs to do mass writes or erases, but I suppose right now it doesn't matter.

Thanks! :thup:
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
There is nothing wrong with Secure Erasing a drive. I wouldn't do it for sport, but I wouldn't ever hesitate when I was wanting to reinstall an OS on that drive. SE makes the drive factory fresh! :)
 

JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
I had a similar issue a while back...went through all sorts of things.

I turned off "fast boot" in my bios and everything was golden.


 

HankB

Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2011
Location
Beautiful Sunny Winfield
Do you have another system that you could hook it up to and run manufacturer diagnostics?

Is warranty not an option? I know one reason I lean away from refurbs is because the warranty is often unusually short. Nevertheless, it would be worth asking. The drive records power on hours and if those are low, Crucial/Micron might be willing to help out.

I agree with ED on secure erase or wiping the drive. When SSD lifetimes were short that may have been an issue but I don't think it is a concern any more.

Good luck!
 
OP
Tyerker

Tyerker

Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2012
I will try to disable fast boot and cross my fingers. If that doesn't work I'll secure erase and give it one more shot.

I do not have a second system to run diagnostics on, unfortunately.
 
OP
Tyerker

Tyerker

Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2012
Knock on Wood, but disablng fast boot has gotten me 2 clean boots that last through multiple games, sleep, etc. I think the issue may be solved, but I will come back here with further findings.
 

RollingThunder

Destroyer of Trolls & Spammers
Joined
Jan 7, 2005
I had a similar issue a while back...went through all sorts of things.

I turned off "fast boot" in my bios and everything was golden.

JrClocker,

Same brand SSD or another brand? I ask because this could be inherent to a specific controller or perhaps more widespread with other SSD's.

Knock on Wood, but disablng fast boot has gotten me 2 clean boots that last through multiple games, sleep, etc. I think the issue may be solved, but I will come back here with further findings.

Tyer,

I never enabled Fast Boot in this first SSD (Samsung), not because I knew something others didn't or was experienced with SSD's, which I was not, but because it booted so fast compared to all the WD Raptors I use and owned I decided it was fast enough without Fast Boot enabled! Perhaps JrClocker's suggestion solves your problem. Who would have thought that?