Question SSD failing after 4 years?

Nov 6, 2020
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I have an HP Envy 17" laptop purchased in November 2016, so it's out of warranty. It has a built-in SSD (identified as SAMSUNG MZNLN512HMJP-000H1 in diagnostics) as its sole storage. Last month I began getting SMART warnings that the drive is "close to failure", with recommendations to run the short drive self-test. I've run that, and it failed after 12 seconds with a 303 error. The long drive self-test also fails, with a 305 error, in 5 minutes 32 seconds. According to Samsung Magician, the SMART statistics that are marked as "FAIL" are 184 Error Detection (raw value is 4) ad 187 Uncorrectable error count (raw value is 71).

But those "self-tests" are the only ones that fail. Neither Windows tests (chkdsk /r) nor other built-in tests (Disk Read Verify) show any issues, and I have not noticed any issues with the drive in day-to-day use. I thought SSDs are supposed to last much longer than regular hard drives, and I never had one of those fail so quickly. Is this a real failure or a false alarm? I don't feel comfortable opening up the laptop to replace anything, so my only recourse is getting a new laptop. I don't see anything better about today's laptops in the same price range (save for a later generation CPU, which may or may not be better than the one from 2016 given its lower clock speeds) vs my current one, so any new laptop would likely come with a similar SSD, which would potentially fail quickly again. Any recommendations would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance,
Boris Zakharin
 

kanewolf

Titan
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I have an HP Envy 17" laptop purchased in November 2016, so it's out of warranty. It has a built-in SSD (identified as SAMSUNG MZNLN512HMJP-000H1 in diagnostics) as its sole storage. Last month I began getting SMART warnings that the drive is "close to failure", with recommendations to run the short drive self-test. I've run that, and it failed after 12 seconds with a 303 error. The long drive self-test also fails, with a 305 error, in 5 minutes 32 seconds. According to Samsung Magician, the SMART statistics that are marked as "FAIL" are 184 Error Detection (raw value is 4) ad 187 Uncorrectable error count (raw value is 71).

But those "self-tests" are the only ones that fail. Neither Windows tests (chkdsk /r) nor other built-in tests (Disk Read Verify) show any issues, and I have not noticed any issues with the drive in day-to-day use. I thought SSDs are supposed to last much longer than regular hard drives, and I never had one of those fail so quickly. Is this a real failure or a false alarm? I don't feel comfortable opening up the laptop to replace anything, so my only recourse is getting a new laptop. I don't see anything better about today's laptops in the same price range (save for a later generation CPU, which may or may not be better than the one from 2016 given its lower clock speeds) vs my current one, so any new laptop would likely come with a similar SSD, which would potentially fail quickly again. Any recommendations would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance,
Boris Zakharin
ANY drive can fail at ANY time. You have been living on borrowed time for a month. Hopefully you are doing daily backups of your important data and have all the install media ready to replace the SSD. It is only a matter of time before your laptop doesn't boot. Or the paper you need to turn in tomorrow is corrupted.
You are only making yourself more vulnerable by ignoring the warning signs.
 
Nov 6, 2020
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My Documents is already automatically backed up to OneDrive, and most of the development stuff I do for work is under source control. Should I need a new computer (as I said, manually replacing an internal drive in a laptop is not something I'm prepared to do) the biggest issue would be installing all the apps. So my question right now is, should I be ordering a new laptop ASAP or is there enough of a chance that the drive will be fine for a significant amount of time?
 

kanewolf

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My Documents is already automatically backed up to OneDrive, and most of the development stuff I do for work is under source control. Should I need a new computer (as I said, manually replacing an internal drive in a laptop is not something I'm prepared to do) the biggest issue would be installing all the apps. So my question right now is, should I be ordering a new laptop ASAP or is there enough of a chance that the drive will be fine for a significant amount of time?
If you don't order ASAP and it fails, how much will the down time with NO laptop cost you? You can be proactive or wait for a failure. Only you can decide if the costs of being proactive outweigh the costs of being without anything.
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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My Documents is already automatically backed up to OneDrive, and most of the development stuff I do for work is under source control. Should I need a new computer (as I said, manually replacing an internal drive in a laptop is not something I'm prepared to do) the biggest issue would be installing all the apps. So my question right now is, should I be ordering a new laptop ASAP or is there enough of a chance that the drive will be fine for a significant amount of time?
There is literally no way to predict.

My 2 most recent drive deaths:

1x 960 GB SanDisk SSD. Was working perfectly.
Turned the PC off, came back 10-20 mins later....'hey, where's the E drive?' Simply dead dead dead. Nothing I could do would make it come back to life.

1x 3TB WD HDD. 5 weeks out of the box. Went from seemingly great to dead in about 36 hours.


In both cases, full drive backups saved my bacon.
Not just docs, but the entire drive, OS and applications included.
 
Nov 6, 2020
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I understand that anything can fail at any time, but it appears that neither of your situations were preceded by any type of warning. So, how much faith should I put in the warnings I am receiving?
 

kanewolf

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I understand that anything can fail at any time, but it appears that neither of your situations were preceded by any type of warning. So, how much faith should I put in the warnings I am receiving?
Neither of us are fortune tellers. We can't predict the future. All we can tell you is that it may fail tonight it may not fail for months. As long as an UNPLANNED failure doesn't cause too much hassle, then gamble. But if your laptop unexpectedly fails while you are in the middle of a big project, is that acceptable. We can't decide those questions. You have to.
 

Mtop

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My 2 cents,
Order your new computer!
Warranty is risk managment for a company, the length of warranty is usually a bit shorter than "average drive life"
I keep spare drives around.
Also unless you have a M2 soldered in I would think you could find a pro to clone a drive and install it for you. Just my 2 cents
 
Should I need a new computer (as I said, manually replacing an internal drive in a laptop is not something I'm prepared to do) the biggest issue would be installing all the apps.
If you're not comfortable with changing failing drive yourself, then get somebody else to do it for you.
I'm sure HP service center will be happy to help you. Basicaly any decent laptop service center can do that.
Ask them to replace the drive and clone old drive to new one.

Drive replacement most certainly will cost less than entirely new laptop.
 
Nov 6, 2020
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If you're not comfortable with changing failing drive yourself, then get somebody else to do it for you.
I'm sure HP service center will be happy to help you. Basicaly any decent laptop service center can do that.
Ask them to replace the drive and clone old drive to new one.
It's $300 for a replacement as per preliminary quote vs $850 for a new laptop. Not sure it's such a great deal, especially given I do have other minor hardware issues I've been living with, but I'll certainly think about it.
 
It's $300 for a replacement as per preliminary quote vs $850 for a new laptop. Not sure it's such a great deal
$300 for drive replacement? That's just ridiculous.

Samsung PM871a MZNLN512HMJP is sata m.2 drive.
Compatible replacement would be
Samsung 860 evo 500GB M.2 - €70,​
Crucial Mx500 500GB M.2 - €60.​

So - they are charging you $250 for replacement procedure?

Purchase the drive yourself and find service center, that will do the replacement procedure for $30 max.

Or learn, how to do replacement yourself and save the money.
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgNAHJb2nlo
 
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groo

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My understanding of it; SSDs are hurt when they read and write (or maybe just write), as such, they have a definite life-span.

you should be able to get a USB adapter to clone your internal drive onto a new drive, then swap in that new drive.
 

USAFRet

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My understanding of it; SSDs are hurt when they read and write (or maybe just write), as such, they have a definite life-span.

you should be able to get a USB adapter to clone your internal drive onto a new drive, then swap in that new drive.
Its just write.
Each "cell" has a limited number of write cycles.
But in the totality of a drive, that is LARGE.

The drive firmware shuffles data around, so as not to put too many write ops on an individual cell. "wear leveling'.

It is HIGHLY unusual for a consumer drive to actually go bad from too many write cycles.
It may die of other things (being an electronic device), but wearing out from too much use is highly unusual.
 

groo

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Its just write.
Each "cell" has a limited number of write cycles.
But in the totality of a drive, that is LARGE.

The drive firmware shuffles data around, so as not to put too many write ops on an individual cell. "wear leveling'.

It is HIGHLY unusual for a consumer drive to actually go bad from too many write cycles.
It may die of other things (being an electronic device), but wearing out from too much use is highly unusual.
Do the cells run at 100% until they kick the bucket, then just keel over? I'm guessing failures become more and more common as it wears. toss some questionable cells on top of other items on the fence and problems wrack up quicker, wouldn't they?
 

USAFRet

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Do the cells run at 100% until they kick the bucket, then just keel over? I'm guessing failures become more and more common as it wears. toss some questionable cells on top of other items on the fence and problems wrack up quicker, wouldn't they?
Wear leveling.
Kinda like tire rotation on your car.
Evens things out.

And most good quality drives would go into a read-only mode, if it actually ran out of cells to write to.
 
Nov 6, 2020
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How much speed would I be sacrificing if I just get an external SSD and connect via USB 3.0 or USB-C? It wouldn't be a big markup vs internal SSD as far as price is concerned, and no need to open anything up.
 

falcon291

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My Documents is already automatically backed up to OneDrive, and most of the development stuff I do for work is under source control. Should I need a new computer (as I said, manually replacing an internal drive in a laptop is not something I'm prepared to do) the biggest issue would be installing all the apps. So my question right now is, should I be ordering a new laptop ASAP or is there enough of a chance that the drive will be fine for a significant amount of time?
I cannot get why you are ordering a new laptop. It is not that hard to replace an SSD drive, but if you do not want to do it yourself you get professional support. And a new SSD drive + professional help would cost way less than a new laptop.

But if you are making it an excuse to upgrade your laptop, it is something else. Forget what I am saying.
 

mdd1963

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M.2 or 2.5" SATA SSDs are quite easy to change, even in laptops...

If the current one works, you can clone it to an external drive, then restore that clone back to the new drive after swapping it.... (many external USB drives only routinely average 30-50 MB/sec during tons of small file copies, so, 300 GB of space will take a couple hours, mainly because of the spinning drive's slowness. If you want it done 'lickety split', borrow someone's external SSD...)
 

groo

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M.2 or 2.5" SATA SSDs are quite easy to change, even in laptops...

If the current one works, you can clone it to an external drive, then restore that clone back to the new drive after swapping it.... (many external USB drives only routinely average 30-50 MB/sec during tons of small file copies, so, 300 GB of space will take a couple hours, mainly because of the spinning drive's slowness. If you want it done 'lickety split', borrow someone's external SSD...)
I think you can get a usb adapter for a Nvme so that would be twice as fast as a borrowed external ssd
 

groo

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Wear leveling.
Kinda like tire rotation on your car.
Evens things out.

And most good quality drives would go into a read-only mode, if it actually ran out of cells to write to.
But is it a digital failure or an analog failure. I can't imagine that its 99.99% safe for 1000 writes then the 1001st write has it die virtually all of the time. That doesnt sound like a real world sort of failure to me.
 

gamerbrehdy

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But is it a digital failure or an analog failure. I can't imagine that its 99.99% safe for 1000 writes then the 1001st write has it die virtually all of the time. That doesnt sound like a real world sort of failure to me.
I think it’s analog failure. LTT explained that reading (and writing too if I remember correctly) actually wears down the NAND-flash in the drive. Temperature has an influence on this process (either hot or cold). This was the case with an M.2 drive at Linus’ end, so I’m not 100% sure about what I’m saying here.
 

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