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SSD Health


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#1 TechlessOS_3211

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Posted 28 April 2017 - 01:47 PM

Alright, so I've had my MBPr for about three years now. With the way Apple does repairs (and the glued-in battery), I've been watching battery health like a hawk (Thank you Coconut Battery).

 

But now, I found out SSD drives apparently have a set lifespan as well? And you aren't supposed to defragment them or else they might fail prematurely. Oops, I've done that twice, so the damage is already done...
Actually, how long do SSD's last in general? I was hoping to get the answer to that, too.
 
I have CrystalDisk Info on my Boot Camp partition. Is there anything I should be looking for in specific which might spell bad news? I keep backups but I want to make this computer last as long as possible, considering the crap Apple's been releasing as far as laptops go recently, and I'm sure an SSD replacement isn't cheap (if they even offer that). 

 
Here's what it shows:
crystaldiskinfo.png
 



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#2 Drillingmachine

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Posted 28 April 2017 - 02:42 PM

I don't see any problem there. SSD's generally last "over five years" under normal use. Heavy writing will shorten lifespan, but just two defrags are not problem.

 

So quite probably battery breaks down before SSD.



#3 Kilroy

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Posted 28 April 2017 - 02:44 PM

Here's a study that should make you feel better.  That test ended in 2015.  While early SSDs had very limited write life, current SSDs should serve you for years without issue.



#4 nickos

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 03:44 AM

hi to all,

 

yes, recent ssd drives are more robust and last longer

 

as for ssd lifespan this is measured on much data is written on the drive

 

your ssd drive will last for many many years but for a professional video, visual effects, animation and 3d the drive will last only for a couple of years due to the very large amount of data

 

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2043634/how-to-stretch-the-life-of-your-ssd-storage.html



#5 zainmax

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 06:14 AM

Perhaps this video will help to bring a little bit clarity in this confused.......
I see that for most people is SSD Drive area completely unknown like "Terra Incognita".
So, see and if You know, what is HDD and how it works, then is one very big step done.
And yet one thing. Do not read the commercial ads, there is almost everything lie.
SSD Life Expectancy

Edited by zainmax, 29 April 2017 - 06:18 AM.


#6 smax013

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 04:09 PM

Alright, so I've had my MBPr for about three years now. With the way Apple does repairs (and the glued-in battery), I've been watching battery health like a hawk (Thank you Coconut Battery).
 
But now, I found out SSD drives apparently have a set lifespan as well? And you aren't supposed to defragment them or else they might fail prematurely. Oops, I've done that twice, so the damage is already done...
Actually, how long do SSD's last in general? I was hoping to get the answer to that, too.
 
I have CrystalDisk Info on my Boot Camp partition. Is there anything I should be looking for in specific which might spell bad news? I keep backups but I want to make this computer last as long as possible, considering the crap Apple's been releasing as far as laptops go recently, and I'm sure an SSD replacement isn't cheap (if they even offer that).


Others have addressed the longevity of SSD issue. I will offer some thoughts on replacement if you ever need to do so.

There are third party replacement options besides paying able to replace. You can get replacement or upgrade drives from OWC (www.macsales.com) for all MacBook Pro model except the most recently released 2016 models (it takes time for OWC to design the drives when Apple changes things like they just did with the 2016 models). And the process is rather simple to do yourself (typically for the Retina MBPs just remove a bunch of screws holding the bottom cover on, remove the screw(s) that hold the existing SSD in place, remove the old drive, install the new SSD, put back the screw(s) holding the SSD, and the replace the cover and screws for the cover...then install the OS or restore from the backup). They also have videos you can use to guide you plus there a step by step instructions on iFixit.com. Here is the page for the MBP SSD options from OWC:

https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/ssd/owc/macbook-pro

There are not going to be cheap (as all SSD are not cheap when compared to similar size hard drives), but should be cheaper than paying Apple to replace the drive. A new approx. 500 GB SSD from them for a Late 2013 to Mid 2015 rMBP is about $400 for the drive alone (you will also at least need the proper screw drivers as well as Apple likes to use special screws just to be difficult...you can get them through either OWC or iFixit individually or you can pay about $50 more to get the "upgrade kit" that includes the SSD, an external enclosure for the old drive [not needed if the old drive has died], and the necessarily screwdrivers). If you have an older rMBP (2012 and early 2013), then it will be a little cheaper for a 500 GB drive at about $250 (Apple changed the type of drive used for the Late 2013 to Mid 2015).

#7 TechlessOS_3211

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Posted 30 April 2017 - 03:52 PM

your ssd drive will last for many many years but for a professional video, visual effects, animation and 3d the drive will last only for a couple of years due to the very large amount of data

 
Yikes, that's exactly what I do :/
Lots of Maya and After Effects work...
 
As I said in the original post, anything I should be looking for?
 

There are third party replacement options besides paying able to replace. You can get replacement or upgrade drives from OWC (www.macsales.com) for all MacBook Pro model except the most recently released 2016 models (it takes time for OWC to design the drives when Apple changes things like they just did with the 2016 models). And the process is rather simple to do yourself (typically for the Retina MBPs just remove a bunch of screws holding the bottom cover on, remove the screw(s) that hold the existing SSD in place, remove the old drive, install the new SSD, put back the screw(s) holding the SSD, and the replace the cover and screws for the cover...then install the OS or restore from the backup). They also have videos you can use to guide you plus there a step by step instructions on iFixit.com. Here is the page for the MBP SSD options from OWC:

https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/ssd/owc/macbook-pro

There are not going to be cheap (as all SSD are not cheap when compared to similar size hard drives), but should be cheaper than paying Apple to replace the drive. A new approx. 500 GB SSD from them for a Late 2013 to Mid 2015 rMBP is about $400 for the drive alone (you will also at least need the proper screw drivers as well as Apple likes to use special screws just to be difficult...you can get them through either OWC or iFixit individually or you can pay about $50 more to get the "upgrade kit" that includes the SSD, an external enclosure for the old drive [not needed if the old drive has died], and the necessarily screwdrivers). If you have an older rMBP (2012 and early 2013), then it will be a little cheaper for a 500 GB drive at about $250 (Apple changed the type of drive used for the Late 2013 to Mid 2015).

 

I've definitely heard good things about OWC in the past with regards to Apple SSD replacements, although usually for a user replacing an old HDD. Good to hear the 2013 ones are cheaper, since that's the rMBP I have. Do you know if the screws inside the computer are the same size screws/pentalobes as the ones on the base cover? I already have a screwdriver for the external screws (to clean out dust now and then).


Edited by TechlessOS_3211, 30 April 2017 - 03:54 PM.


#8 smax013

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Posted 30 April 2017 - 05:09 PM

I've definitely heard good things about OWC in the past with regards to Apple SSD replacements, although usually for a user replacing an old HDD.


I can definitely recommend them. I have used them many times, both for Mac hard drive upgrades as well as other things (I tend to only buy my external drive enclosures from them as well as external drive docks and universal USB drive adapters...and RAM for my Macs before Apple started soldering the RAM to the motherboards on most newer machines).

I have replaced an SSD in a 17" MacBook Pro with one of their 2.5" SSDs and then later used one of their "drive doublers" to replace the optical drive with a second hard drive for data storage.

I have also upgraded the SSD from an 11" MacBook Air with one of their "blade" SSDs.

For my current rMBP, I have not replaced or upgrade the SSD as I have not needed to...I bought it with a 1 TB SSD. At the time I bought the rMBP (it is a Mid 2014 model), OWC had not come out with the SSDs for that model. Apple had changed the design of the SSD and it took OWC quite a while to come up with a design for it. I did get an external USB 3.0 SSD from them for the purposes of cloning it as my first line backup of it and way to immediately get back up and running if something happens to the internal SSD.

Good to hear the 2013 ones are cheaper, since that's the rMBP I have. Do you know if the screws inside the computer are the same size screws/pentalobes as the ones on the base cover? I already have a screwdriver for the external screws (to clean out dust now and then).


Is it a 13" rMBP or a 15" rMBP? Both will require a Torx T5 screwdriver, but the 13" process appears to be a bit more complex that also requires a Torx T6 to disconnect the battery while working on the SSD. For the 15", disconnecting the battery is very simple and then you only need a Torx T5 to remove the one screw holding the SSD in place.

Here are the instructions for the 13" Early 2013:

https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/MacBook+Pro+13-Inch+Retina+Display+Early+2013+SSD+Replacement/15477

And here are the instructions for the 15" Early 2013":

https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/MacBook+Pro+15-Inch+Retina+Display+Early+2013+SSD+Replacement/17059

Note that both guides list the required tools at that beginning of the guide and offer links to purchase them on iFixit (OWC will also offer such tools). There is also a link on iFixit's site to buy an Apple replacement drive (either new or used). But, then a Torx T5 and T6 is commonly available screw driver bit type, unlike the Pentalope or Tri-point bits that Apple uses for many security areas (typically to open a case...once inside the cases, they tend to use more "regular" screws). I have several small bits sets from various sources that include a T5 or T6 (including one from Lowes, if memory serves me), but I do have at least one full small bit set from iFixit that includes the Apple speciality bits as well as the more "regular" ones...plus a number of individual screw drivers for the specialty bits that came with upgrade kits in the past.

Edited by smax013, 30 April 2017 - 05:10 PM.


#9 TechlessOS_3211

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 01:29 PM

Is it a 13" rMBP or a 15" rMBP? Both will require a Torx T5 screwdriver, but the 13" process appears to be a bit more complex that also requires a Torx T6 to disconnect the battery while working on the SSD. For the 15", disconnecting the battery is very simple and then you only need a Torx T5 to remove the one screw holding the SSD in place.

Here are the instructions for the 13" Early 2013:

https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/MacBook+Pro+13-Inch+Retina+Display+Early+2013+SSD+Replacement/15477

And here are the instructions for the 15" Early 2013":

https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/MacBook+Pro+15-Inch+Retina+Display+Early+2013+SSD+Replacement/17059

Note that both guides list the required tools at that beginning of the guide and offer links to purchase them on iFixit (OWC will also offer such tools). There is also a link on iFixit's site to buy an Apple replacement drive (either new or used). But, then a Torx T5 and T6 is commonly available screw driver bit type, unlike the Pentalope or Tri-point bits that Apple uses for many security areas (typically to open a case...once inside the cases, they tend to use more "regular" screws). I have several small bits sets from various sources that include a T5 or T6 (including one from Lowes, if memory serves me), but I do have at least one full small bit set from iFixit that includes the Apple speciality bits as well as the more "regular" ones...plus a number of individual screw drivers for the specialty bits that came with upgrade kits in the past.

 

I have the 15" version. The screwdriver I have is an iFixit P5...but it seems like Torx T5 is a different type? And I have never heard of tri-point screws. Guess I might need to look into that.

 

One other thing: If I replace the Apple SSD with one from OWC, does that void Apple's repair guarantee? Meaning they wouldn't repair it if something else went wrong (say for example, needing the aforementioned battery replacement)?


Edited by TechlessOS_3211, 01 May 2017 - 01:30 PM.


#10 smax013

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 01:54 PM

I have the 15" version. The screwdriver I have is an iFixit P5...but it seems like Torx T5 is a different type? And I have never heard of tri-point screws. Guess I might need to look into that.


A Torx is like a Pentalobe in that is a star shaped bit, except it is a 6 pointed star (kind of shaped like a Star of David) compared to the 5 star bit of the Pentalobe. It is a common bit.

The tripoint screws are primarily in things like iPhones and Apple Watches, but I believe they are used in MacBook Pros in some places (looks like related to the trackpads at a minimum).
 

One other thing: If I replace the Apple SSD with one from OWC, does that void Apple's repair guarantee? Meaning they wouldn't repair it if something else went wrong (say for example, needing the aforementioned battery replacement)?


Technically, I don't believe it would unless it is the OWC drive that caused the problem that needs to be repaired (i.e. say the OWC drive caused the failure of the battery or motherboard). Most states require a manufacturer to honor warranties as long as the user only replaced "user replaceable" items. The murky part is whether or not an SSD in a Retina MacBook Pro would be considered "user replaceable". I am not sure what position Apple takes, but odds are good that a court would say it is since the cover is only held in place by screws and the SSD is only held in place with one screw. You might be flack from Apple.

Of course, I would argue you are likely going to replace the battery before you would replace the SSD, unless you want to upgrade the SSD to a larger drive. SSDs will tend to last longer than your typical battery, especially if you are cycling your battery a lot.

And the reality is the a battery is not typically something that is covered under warranty when it comes to normal use. The exception is if you purchased an AppleCare Extended warranty. If so, then my understanding is that Apple will replace the battery if the battery retains less than 80% of their original capacity.

So, unless you want to upgrade the drive, it likely should not be an issue. And if it is, then you can just pay Apple outside of warranty to replace the battery. A replacement battery should be less than $200 (my original MBP that had swappable batteries had replacement batteries that cost $129 if memory serves and that did not require opening up a case and dealing with glue). If it is not covered by a warranty, then Apple should not care what you have done. And if they do, then there are other places to get batteries replaced.

#11 TechlessOS_3211

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 02:07 PM

Cool, thanks for the info. I wasn't really thinking about replacing it right away but maybe putting in a larger 1TB drive later. Also I'm pretty sure nothing is considered replaceable in modern MBP's, but that's another thing to look into I suppose. 

 

I guess now all that remains is one of my original questions: Anything I should be looking for on CrystalDiskInfo that would indicate it's time to get a new drive? I understand the SSD may outlast the laptop but in the case it doesn't, I'd like to know ahead of time.



#12 Kilroy

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 02:54 PM

I've purchased two of these, the 64 bit version, one for home and one for work.  The 64 bit set includes two of the triangle bits, a 2 and a 3.  Odds are once you open the machine you can normally consider any warranty void.

 

From the study I posted earlier:

 


Clear evidence of flash wear appeared after 200TB of writes

 

So, that equates to filling your drive 400 times.  The first drive starting failing at 800TB, or 1,600 of your drive.

 

Odds are, even with your heavy use you're not going to kill that drive.



#13 smax013

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 10:22 PM

Anything I should be looking for on CrystalDiskInfo that would indicate it's time to get a new drive?


I am not aware of anything specific. For me, this was true of traditional hard drives that have/had things like SMART checks and other hard drive checking tools.

For me, my approach is use the drive until it fails*...BUT maintain good backups. For most of my computers, the first backup line of defense is a clone drive that is an exact duplicate (i.e. make and model) of the internal drive in the computer that is periodically updated and that can be swapped into the computer at moments notice if the internal drive fails. Second line is then some more regular back up of the data files. Then depending on the computer and/or data, there might be third or even forth lines of defense.

The exception to this is my MacBook Pro. For that, the clone drive is an external USB 3.0 SSD that I can boot from if the internal drive dies. I can then get a new drive in fairly quick order from the likes of OWC to replace the internal drive. This is just because I did not want to pay the premium for a replacement 1 TB SSD (I got my rMBP with a 1 TB SSD since there were no upgrade options at the time of purchase and no guarantee that there would be in the future, so I maxed it out at the time of purchase since it will last me a while...my previous MBP lasted me about 7 years before it died) that would just sit around unused unless I put it in the Mac (the external case you can get with the OWC SSD upgrade kit will ONLY work with the Apple SSD, but not the OWC SSD...so you cannot install the OWC in that case to use as a clone drive...it would have to be the other way around).

* By failure, that can mean files being lost, write or read errors, or the drive literally dying, etc. Basically, anything that results in the drive not doing what I need it to do with no way to restore it to full functionality.

#14 smax013

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 10:37 PM

I've purchased two of these, the 64 bit version, one for home and one for work.  The 64 bit set includes two of the triangle bits, a 2 and a 3.


I too bought an iFixit 64 pit kit, but I also have other brand kits for small bits (they just don't include the "specialty" bits that Apple likes to use...small Phillips, Flat, Torx, and Hex bits).

Odds are once you open the machine you can normally consider any warranty void.


While I am no lawyer (I just "play" one on the forums :grinner:), to my knowledge, this is not true at least in the US. I believe that a warranty is not voided by opening a computer. Any damage that you do while opening the computer or due to any modifications you do would not be covered by warranty, but I believe that courts have ruled that anything not effected by your "tinkering" would still be covered by the warranty. This belief is based upon articles that I have read. For example, here is one:

https://blog.macsales.com/18244-owc-diys-wont-void-your-macs-warranty

Of course, like just about everything in the world it is not a "black and white" issue (and contrary to what most people think, most things are not "black and white"...we live in shades of grey and color). If you replaced the Apple SSD yourself, it is relatively easy for Apple to claim that your DIY drive swap caused other problems, including the issue you want the warranty to cover. You are then faced with fighting them, which would be a major uphill battle and likely cost you a lot of money and time (the money you might recoup if you win, but not the time). So, even though you might "be in the right", you might still face a risk by doing it.

#15 hamluis

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 09:07 AM

While the points made concerning voiding of warranty are well taken...the reality (IMO) is that manufacturers place those stickers expressing that idea...those stickers are placed on systems to give the manufacturer grounds for refuting any warranty claims where a purchaser admits ignoring the disclaimer on the system.

 

This seems common-sense to me and the difficulties of enforcing such a disclaimer...are all in favor of the system manufacturer.

 

Considering the cost of going to legal arbitration...as opposed to the costs of a computer system...it seems that the purchaser has two options.

 

  a.  Abide by the terms of the disclaimer.

  b.  Ignore the disclaimer...but do not express the fact that you did such to the manufacturer, should you try to exercise a warranty claim.

 

The intent of the disclaimer is to prevent false claims under warranty provisions.  Any attempt to fight such...as Smax has pointed out...is likely to be more of a task than the system is worth brand new.  It matters not whether such disclaimers are "legal" or not...they are just a normal part of business and businesses are supported by legal statutes.  To assume anything other than the proverbial "Is it worth it?" is likely preparation for personal frustration, IMO.

 

Louis






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