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posted by martyb on Sunday May 10 2015, @10:37PM   Printer-friendly
from the powerlessness dept.

An SSD stored without power can start to lose data in as little as a single week on the shelf, depending on several factors. When most drives storage were mechanical, there was little chance of data loss or corruption so quickly as long as the environment in the storage enclosure maintained reasonable thresholds. The same is not true for SSDs and the Joint Electron Device Engineering Council (JEDEC), which defines standards for the microelectronics industry including standards for SSDs, shows in a presentation that for every 5 degrees C (9 degrees F) rise in temperature beyond the optimal where the SSD is stored the data retention period is approximately halved.

In a presentation by Alvin Cox on JEDEC's website titled "JEDEC SSD Specifications Explained" [PDF warning], graphs on slide 27 show that for every 5 degrees C (9 degrees F) rise in temperature where the SSD is stored, the retention period is approximately halved. For example, if a client application SSD is stored at 25 degrees C (77 degrees F) it should last about 2 years on the shelf under optimal conditions. If that temperature goes up 5 degrees C, the storage standard drops to 1 year.

[...] When you receive a computer system for storage in legal hold, drive operating and ambient storage temperature are probably not the first things on tap to consider. You cannot control the materials that comprise the drive and the prior use of the drive. You can control the ambient temperature of the storage which will potentially aid in data retention. You can also ensure that power is supplied to the drives while in storage. More importantly, you can control how the actual data is retained.

[...] What started this look into SSDs? An imaging job of a laptop SSD left in storage for well over the 3-month minimum retention period quoted by the manufacturer of the drive before it was turned over to us. This drive had a large number of bad sectors identified during the imaging period. Not knowing the history, I did not consider the possibility of data loss due to the drive being in storage. Later, I learned that the drive was functioning well when it had been placed into storage. When returned to its owner a couple of months after the imaging, the system would not even recognize the drive as a valid boot device. Fortunately, the user data and files were preserved in the drive image that had been taken, thus there was no net loss.

Now imagine a situation in which an SSD was stored in legal hold where the data was no longer available for imaging, much less use in court. Ignorance of the technology is no excuse, and I am sure the opposing counsel would enjoy the opportunity to let the court know of the "negligent" evidence handling in the matter.

 
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  • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 10 2015, @10:43PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 10 2015, @10:43PM (#181220)

    Ethanol-fueled, you know how you'd downloaded those granny nudie pics onto your laptop like a year ago? And then you didn't use your laptop for like six months? Then when you started using it again you noticed how all of the granny's had somehow developed big fat schlongs? Well this probably explains why that happened! The SSD drive corrupted the pixels in the image files and that's why they rendered as honking penises instead of as the wrinkly vags that they originally were.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by Jeremiah Cornelius on Sunday May 10 2015, @11:25PM

      by Jeremiah Cornelius (2785) on Sunday May 10 2015, @11:25PM (#181237) Journal

      There really is no archival medium anymore.
      http://laughingsquid.com/e-book-backup-a-photocopied-hardbound-edition-of-a-kindle-e-book/ [laughingsquid.com]

      --
      You're betting on the pantomime horse...
      • (Score: 4, Funny) by c0lo on Monday May 11 2015, @03:00AM

        by c0lo (156) on Monday May 11 2015, @03:00AM (#181319) Journal

        There really is no archival medium anymore.

        In the present days, the drones don't need memory any more.
        In fact, the act of recalling something from memory/archive is theft, no different than the piracy: the drones should always pay when engaging in this sort of acts.
        Even the fact a drone remembers that something exists and/or was "consumed" earlier is dangerous and subversive (on the fringe of terrorism, I tell yea): not only it forces the industry to take the extra cost of ever producing something new but... the horror... in may encourage thinking, even critical thinking.

        --
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
        • (Score: 2) by Jeremiah Cornelius on Monday May 11 2015, @06:03AM

          by Jeremiah Cornelius (2785) on Monday May 11 2015, @06:03AM (#181372) Journal

          You are confusing some of us by lumping Betas in with Deltas and Gammas as "Drones". Betas are permitted these authorized memories, provided they have remitted regular fees and remain current.

          --
          You're betting on the pantomime horse...
          • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Monday May 11 2015, @06:22AM

            by c0lo (156) on Monday May 11 2015, @06:22AM (#181379) Journal

            Betas are permitted these authorized memories, provided they have remitted regular fees and remain current.

            You are confused, my friend, you seem to remember something untrue, which is ungood plusplus.
            It never happened, we were always at war with... I do hope you aren't in need for a MiniLuv visit, it may land you in room 101

            --
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 11 2015, @08:20AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 11 2015, @08:20AM (#181402)

              which is ungood plusplus.

              That's "double plus ungood".

              • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Monday May 11 2015, @10:34AM

                by c0lo (156) on Monday May 11 2015, @10:34AM (#181425) Journal

                That's "double plus ungood".

                In 1984 maybe. Since then, the word "double" has been erased.

                --
                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 11 2015, @12:40PM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 11 2015, @12:40PM (#181444)

                  I think you mean: "It is ungood plusplus and always had been; if you find any texts from 1984 using the wrong word, that's just an evil manipulation made to confuse people. Such texts should therefore immediately get destroyed."

      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 11 2015, @03:40AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 11 2015, @03:40AM (#181336)

        There are millennium disks (M-Discs) by milleniata/LG/etc.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 11 2015, @08:44AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 11 2015, @08:44AM (#181408)

          So they surely have a 1000 year old disk they still can read, right? :-)

          Do they guarantee the availability of suitable drives for the next 1000 years? Because you know, there's little value in fully intact data that you cannot read any more.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 11 2015, @11:17PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 11 2015, @11:17PM (#181696)

            Nope, but they withstood all the tests the navy put them through while everything else peeled or failed in some other way.

            Best you can do without a press. Get some. Use them for backups once in awhile.

      • (Score: 2) by The Archon V2.0 on Monday May 11 2015, @03:00PM

        by The Archon V2.0 (3887) on Monday May 11 2015, @03:00PM (#181481)

        > There really is no archival medium anymore.

        ObXKCD^H^H^H^HMaxHeadroom: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-a8TG-1gWY [youtube.com]

      • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Monday May 11 2015, @04:49PM

        by bob_super (1357) on Monday May 11 2015, @04:49PM (#181533)

        > There really is no archival medium anymore.

        Oh noes! What will happen to all the tits picks? (or dick pics, if that's your thing)

        Probably well over 95% of the stuff stored anywhere is crap (either was always crap, or is obsolete).
        SSDs are just a plot from the Secret Society of Historians to help their descendants cut through the junk.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 10 2015, @11:12PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 10 2015, @11:12PM (#181231)

    Conspiracy from the music industry to punish the file sharers.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by anubi on Monday May 11 2015, @05:14AM

      by anubi (2828) on Monday May 11 2015, @05:14AM (#181364) Journal

      Ephemeral media has the opposite effect on me.

      When I "buy" something, yet I can not "own" it, then I quite happily settle for a copy, as I know that is as good as it gets.

      "DVD rot" and unskippable DVD content led me to abandon the concept of buying DVD's, as I saw how my inability to skip content on On The Air TV went, and I was looking to the DVD to spare me from being a captive audience, or force me into caching it on a VCR ( which, thanks to Macrovision, was tricky as well ).

      At least the internet copy is editable, and to me its like the luxury of enjoying pitted olives - where someone else has already addressed the annoyances. I did not know how to bypass copy protection at the time, so a purchased DVD looked to me like a terrible investment. Far better to rent than to buy.

      One must have a super admirable integrity to actually pay extra for an inferior product just to meet someone else's expectations.

      --
      "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]
  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Farkus888 on Sunday May 10 2015, @11:32PM

    by Farkus888 (5159) on Sunday May 10 2015, @11:32PM (#181238)

    How does this affect traditional thumb drives? Anyone know? They use a different form of memory than ssds.

    • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Monday May 11 2015, @07:23PM

      by Freeman (732) on Monday May 11 2015, @07:23PM (#181595) Journal

      I have a number of Flash Drives that have sat around for years and still work just fine. Not sure as to the exact type of memory used in Flash Drives vs the SSDs though.

      --
      Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 11 2015, @12:22AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 11 2015, @12:22AM (#181259)

    Unless all you do is surf the web.

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by Subsentient on Monday May 11 2015, @12:31AM

    by Subsentient (1111) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 11 2015, @12:31AM (#181267) Homepage Journal

    I was hesitant on SSDs for a number of reasons, including trouble with swap space, bad write speeds, and data retention. Looks like I was right.

    --
    "It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." -Jiddu Krishnamurti
    • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Monday May 11 2015, @03:04AM

      by Grishnakh (2831) on Monday May 11 2015, @03:04AM (#181322)

      Yep, me too, for most of the same reasons, and also capacity (I like being able to store a bunch of movies and music on my laptop without spending an arm and a leg). I guess I'll stick with my spinning platters for now.

    • (Score: 1) by Bogsnoticus on Monday May 11 2015, @04:13AM

      by Bogsnoticus (3982) on Monday May 11 2015, @04:13AM (#181347)

      Given that SSD's have a limited write/read cycle on them, I go along and actively disable swap spaces, and have yet to see a perform decrease from it.

      Lifehacker has a handy guide to maximising your SSD lifespan here. [lifehacker.com]

      --
      Genius by birth. Evil by choice.
    • (Score: 2) by TheRaven on Monday May 11 2015, @08:04AM

      by TheRaven (270) on Monday May 11 2015, @08:04AM (#181396) Journal
      Bad write speeds? The SSD in my laptop can happily handle 300MB/s of sequential writes and 30-100MB/s of random writes. The one in the laptop it replaced was only slightly slower. Some of the newer ones are noticeably faster.
      --
      sudo mod me up
      • (Score: 2) by tempest on Monday May 11 2015, @03:17PM

        by tempest (3050) on Monday May 11 2015, @03:17PM (#181492)

        I had a similar experience with an Intel (forgot the model) SSD. For intense heavy continuous writes it had about 1/3 less throughput than a WD Raptor. It's a special use case I happen to have, so I wouldn't dissuade a normal user from getting an SSD for that reason alone.

    • (Score: 2) by mtrycz on Monday May 11 2015, @08:12AM

      by mtrycz (60) on Monday May 11 2015, @08:12AM (#181399)

      I placed a modern SSD in my laptop, and switched the DVD-reader for an HHD caddy. I would use the DVD reader like once a year, probably.

      I expect my (modern) SSD to last some 10 years, before I switch it, according to my manufacturer. The problem is that there are actually no test cases for a 10y lifespan, (because the technology exists for less than that), but lab tests executing as much writes as "normal" use over 10years said it would last. Could be marketing of course.

      One problem with SSDs is taht, unlike HDDs, failure is binary and sudden. An HHD will give you signs of dieing with weeks of problems and degraded performance. An SSD is likely to ust fail. A weekly backup should do tho (if you store your data on the secondary HDD).

      --
      In capitalist America, ads view YOU!
      • (Score: 2) by TheRaven on Monday May 11 2015, @04:13PM

        by TheRaven (270) on Monday May 11 2015, @04:13PM (#181517) Journal

        An HHD will give you signs of dieing with weeks of problems and degraded performance

        If you're lucky. In my experience, that happens about half the time, the other half they just spontaneously fail. Google's numbers show that SMART errors indicate that a drive is about to fail, but lack of SMART errors don't indicate that it isn't.

        --
        sudo mod me up
    • (Score: 2) by wantkitteh on Monday May 11 2015, @08:19AM

      by wantkitteh (3362) on Monday May 11 2015, @08:19AM (#181400) Homepage Journal

      Perhaps for your particular usage case - if you're compiling the Linux kernel on a low memory system stored in a non-air conditioned shipping container on the surface of a hot desert for six months, maybe you have a point. ;)

  • (Score: 5, Informative) by kaszz on Monday May 11 2015, @01:01AM

    by kaszz (4211) on Monday May 11 2015, @01:01AM (#181280) Journal

    Formula to predict the phenomena:
    Months before self destruction = 24 * 2^(-(temperature-25)/5))

    temperature in celsius.

    Or inverted:
    Temperature = -log(months/24) / log(2) * 5 + 25

    Thus for 1 month reliability the temperature must be kept below 47 °C.

    Internal heat inside say a laptop should jeopardize the SSD data but as the article says. The phenomena only applies without electricity. But it also means SSDs should not be trusted as reliable storage.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 11 2015, @08:21AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 11 2015, @08:21AM (#181403)

      Internal heat inside say a laptop should jeopardize the SSD data but as the article says. The phenomena only applies without electricity. But it also means SSDs should not be trusted as reliable storage.

      I think it can apply even if the devices are powered. I doubt all SSDs will refresh/rewrite all data on the SSD. Otherwise the Samsung EVO wouldn't have the problem it has ;). I have one and I workaround it by running DiskFresh every month or so ( http://www.puransoftware.com/DiskFresh.html [puransoftware.com] It's also useful for flaky normal HDDs).

      There's a firmware update for the EVO, but I didn't trust it... Hmm I just checked and looks like I was right to not trust it - the first patch didn't work: http://www.extremetech.com/computing/199673-second-patch-for-ongoing-840-evo-ssd-performance-issues-being-prepped-by-samsung [extremetech.com]

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 11 2015, @08:27AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 11 2015, @08:27AM (#181405)

      So the trick for long-time data storage is to put the SSD in the fridge? Or maybe even in the freezer?

      • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Tuesday May 12 2015, @12:10AM

        by kaszz (4211) on Tuesday May 12 2015, @12:10AM (#181709) Journal

        Have an additional platter disk for backup?

  • (Score: 2) by darkfeline on Monday May 11 2015, @02:05AM

    by darkfeline (1030) on Monday May 11 2015, @02:05AM (#181301) Homepage

    So SSDs are only good as an expanded, slightly longer-lived RAM? This isn't an issue if you keep your computer always on or almost always on and is thus perfect for that age-old computing dream of keeping all data in memory and forgoing disk storage entirely, but for long term cold storage disks and tape are still the best it seems.

    --
    Join the SDF Public Access UNIX System today!
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 11 2015, @08:30AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 11 2015, @08:30AM (#181406)

      Seems that hybrid drives got it right: HDD for storage, SSD as cache.

  • (Score: 0, Disagree) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 11 2015, @03:50AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 11 2015, @03:50AM (#181340)

    Once bitten, twice shy.

    SSD is trash for home use.

    Leave it alone for a week or 2 (vacation), data gone.

    Power cuts out? Data gone?
    Battery dies? Data gone?

    Wrote to much, bricks itself (intel etc).

    Trash.

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 11 2015, @08:51AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 11 2015, @08:51AM (#181409)

      Just use an SSD to store your operating system (no great loss if no longer readable: just get a new drive and reinstall; not too many writes; big win in speed) and a HDD to store your data (most data doesn't need that much performance anyway; unlikely to die without warning). And of course, have a good backup strategy.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 18 2015, @03:50PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 18 2015, @03:50PM (#184600)

      The assumption that everyone turns off their computer regularly at home seems a bit odd. I'm more likely to turn off the computer in the office quite regularly than I am to turn off my home desktop for even 10 minutes every few months. Also, using ANY hard drive in your computer without having the data backed up on a suitable backup solution (read: something OTHER than an SSD, stored separately) has always been a poor choice. While this information is useful to be aware of, I don't see it being any reason to get rid of the SSD system drive I've got in the desktop I keep on 24/7. As for portable devices, the gains of an SSD are even higher, with lower electricity demands coupled with speed (often necessary on the go). That they can't provide all of these gains AND be a good archival medium is hardly damning; it's just a matter of certain features coming at the cost of others, which is pretty standard with most any technology.

  • (Score: 2) by RedBear on Monday May 11 2015, @04:43AM

    by RedBear (1734) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 11 2015, @04:43AM (#181359)

    So, we're just talking about data loss here, right? As in, sectors on the unpowered SSD losing a verifiable value of whether they hold "ones" or "zeros"? If you repartition and reformat the drive, can you then continue to use it as normal? Do the corrupted sectors go right back to being perfectly usable?

    I'm assuming this issue isn't the same thing as SSD sectors permanently going bad due to being overwritten too many times, but I'd like some verification.

    --
    ¯\_ʕ◔.◔ʔ_/¯ LOL. I dunno. I'm just a bear.
    ... Peace out. Got bear stuff to do. 彡ʕ⌐■.■ʔ
    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by TheRaven on Monday May 11 2015, @08:07AM

      by TheRaven (270) on Monday May 11 2015, @08:07AM (#181398) Journal
      Yes. Flash cells hold a value that, over time, becomes harder to distinguish. I'm a bit sceptical about the claims in TFA, because normal wear levelling algorithms mark a cell as bad if it can't be expected to hold a discernible value for a year. There was a nice paper at EuroSys last year proposing exposing this to the OS so that the cells that can still hold data reliably for a day can be used for scratch space (the OS can explicitly refresh them faster, but not use them for anything that you'd want to maintain across reboots, e.g. swap, caches and so on).
      --
      sudo mod me up
  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 11 2015, @06:19AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 11 2015, @06:19AM (#181376)

    First we have the draconian copyright + DMCA BS limbo [1] and now this retention issue...

    1 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orphan_works [wikipedia.org]

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 11 2015, @10:17AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 11 2015, @10:17AM (#181424)

      It is important to lose data so that common people cannot store anything for a long time, and so that history can be re-written by big brother when he feels like it. SSDs losing data, and quality of HDDs going down very fast. It is not a mistake. They wanted it this way. All is going according to plan.

      The establishment would like to see every hard drive connected to a government line 24/7, so they can keep an eye on everyone. If a hard drive goes offline for more than 1 second, it will automatically self-destruct. Suddenly your data is no longer yours.

      I would suggest everyone buy HDDs with platters, and pay well for a high quality product, which will help boost the HDD industry and increase HDD quality. So that we can continue to save OUR data on OUR drives forever.

      • (Score: 2) by zugedneb on Tuesday May 12 2015, @03:40AM

        by zugedneb (4556) on Tuesday May 12 2015, @03:40AM (#181783)

        ...why not just forget shit and restart?
        I mean, write some poetry, or music that is not very close to what others have written...
        Also, what will happen when our life expectancy comes to 500 years? And after?
        Why store anything? Why not just "sit down" and find the moment again?

        About rewriting history, it is always like that...
        As example, in the archives concerning what led to WW2: what is actually true? What has been rewritten?
        Are you certain there is no lab with the purpose of making paper after old formulas? And ink?
        Once history has become rewritten, many others will stand up for it:
        -some do it for the game
        -some for the humiliation of others
        -jome for the economical benefits
        -some for fear of retaliation
        -and so forth...

        --
        old saying: "a troll is a window into the soul of humanity" + also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Ajax
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 11 2015, @01:37PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 11 2015, @01:37PM (#181460)

    zpool create ssd /dev/ssd
    zfs create ssd/zerotrust
    zfs set copies=2 zerotrust

    0 1 * * 1 zpool scrub ssd

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 11 2015, @06:21PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 11 2015, @06:21PM (#181563)

      Does ZFS mean zero power file system?

      (Yes, I'm trolling the troll. Apologies if serious but...)