Question SSD How long without power / finite number of write cycles?


Nov 26, 2015
I build 2 PCs quite some time ago and have been using an SSD for years.

I never knew that drives will eventually loose their information if they go too long without power. Even USB drives? How long is this period?

Also, SSDs have a finite number of times they can write? And apparently its bad to reformat an SSD because it shortens its life. Is this true?

How can I protect myself and know when these things could happen to me? thanks
Most SSDs these will last 10 years with typical user patterns of 5-8 TBW per year...

And although no one recommends doing unnecessary writes to an SSD, writing everywhere unnecessarily via a format one time (i.e, 500 GB writes to a 500 GB SSD) might shorten it's life to 9.99 years instead of 10 years....

The rig will be long gone anyway.... :)

(I've even had some folks worrying about shortening the SSDs life by a month 8 years from now when they planned on selling the whole rig with the SSD anyway....; go figure!)


is there any warning before it fails? Does the drive fail or does it just refuse to write (and than you can clone it to another drive)?
Depends on the fail mode.
A fully functioning drive that has actually worn out its write cycles may simply degrade into a read only state
This will, of course, be years and hundreds of terabytes written in the making.

Or, just like any other bit of electronics, it could simply die instantly. I had one do that a couple of months ago.
960GB SanDisk, simply died during a power on. No warning, no slowdown, no read only. Simply gone.

Had worked flawlessly for 3 years, 33 days. Maybe 10TB writes total.
The warranty period was 3 years, but SanDisk did me a solid, and replaced it anyway.

The way you protect yourself is with a good backup routine.

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