In July of 2013 I was looking to replace my traditional hard drive for new solid state (SSD) drive. I spent a lot of time reading reviews online, comparing performance and prices. Eventually, I decided to buy an OCZ Vector 256GB SSD. At the time, SSDs cost about $1 per gig, so I spent about $260. (You could buy the same drive now for almost half that – $130.)
Until recently, I was really enjoying my SSD drive: Windows booted in about 20 seconds, programs opened immediately, copying large files was very quick. To be fair, I put a LOT of wear and tear on the drive between installing/uninstalling, testing new software and tools, Visio changes, and creating a few blog videos. Plus I would often use the drive to copy data from another failed drive to a new one.
Then it happened: I was in the middle of a remote support session with a client when The Blue Screen of Death appeared. Embarrassed, I told the client I would call back in a few minutes. (Fortunately, I had a backup laptop, and was back to work in the time it took my old laptop to boot up.) Once the support call was complete and resolved, I set my attention on figuring out what went wrong with my primary work laptop.
The laptop rebooted fine (sigh of relief.) I had run a backup of my laptop only three days before, so I felt confident that if this turned out to be a hardware problem, I would still be able to restore my data to another drive or to another PC. Regrettably, I did not get a chance to read the error message that was displayed in the BSOD – which is usually a big help. Next step was to review any windows updates that were recently installed, and try to remember if I had manually installed any new programs or attached any new devices. The only suspect I could find was a video driver update. Instead of uninstalling it, I used System Restore to go back to the day just before the update was installed. After restore, the laptop seemed to work fine for a few days. Then I started to notice a few problems: boot-ups were taking considerably longer, the system would hang if I had more than three programs open, and things just seemed to take longer: opening and saving documents, etc. I never saw another BSOD, but I was beginning to get nervous anyway. So I found my original hard drive, used a drive replicator to copy my SSD back to the old hard drive and swapped out the drives. Since then, I haven’t had any problems. Yes, the laptop runs slower with the old hard drive – but at least now it is stable and not failing. Though Murphy’s Law says that my laptop will crash as soon as I post this blog.
I was aware that SSD’s have a limit to the number of times you can write to them, the OCZ Vector was a great SSD while it worked, and I plan to do some more testing on the drive/update firmware/call their support when I get time. All in all, I would say getting a good two years out of it is acceptable. But I am currently looking for a different brand. Let me know if you have any suggestions or questions.
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