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Surface scan and SSD


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#1 saiyan

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 04:02 PM

Does StableBit Scanner do sector write tests during surface scan of a SSD?
if so, what is the implication for the SSD's usable life expectancy?
Should I minimize or even not scan SSDs unless there are problems?

Thanks.

#2 Alex

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 07:12 PM

Hi Saiyan, I'm the developer.

 

The Scanner never writes to SSDs while performing a surface scan and therefore does not in any way impact the lifespan of the SSD.

 

However, SSDs do benefit from full disk surface scans, just like spinning hard drive, in that the surface scan will bring the drive's attention to any latent sectors that may become unreadable in the future. The Scanner's disk surface scan will force your SSD to remap the damaged sectors before the data becomes unreadable.

 

In short, there is no negative side effect to running the Scanner on SSDs, but there is a positive one.

 

Please let me know if you need more information.



#3 saiyan

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 05:44 AM

Hi Alex..

Thanks for the information.



#4 saiyan

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 09:23 PM

Hi Alex,

 

I just saw a screen capture of SMART attribute info of a SSD posted by another user (see http://community.cov...ved-but-hdd-ok/)  and I noticed it has estimated SSD lifetime info displayed.

 

I don't see such SMART attribute data displayed for my Crucial M500 960GB SSD w/ latest firmware version MU03.

 

Is estimated SSD lifetime attributes vendor specific?

If so, can you add SMART attribute support for Crucial M500 in the future?

 

Does the lack of SSD liftime attribute displayed imply that StableBit Scanner may have failed to identify my Crucial M500 as an SSD?

I hope Scanner did identify M500 as an SSD otherwise I would be concerned whether 960GB of sector write tests was done when I scanned the SSD yesterday.

 

How does StableBit Scanner identify whether a mass storage device is a SSD?

Is it based on whether TRIM supported by the device?

 

Thanks.



#5 Christopher (Drashna)

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 03:41 AM

Saiyan, 

 

Yes, a lot of the SMART data, especially on SSDs, is very manufacturer specific.

 

If if the raw data is there, check the SMART data page for the drive. That should list all the identified SMART attributes. But you can check the "Submit to Bitflock" option. This sends us data, and Alex goes through it to add more detailed info about the drives. So if the RAW data is there.... 

 

For example, my SSD has a "Media Wearout Indicator". It's an OCZ Vertex 4.  And very vender specific.

 

And no, TRIM support won't matter. It's mainly what is actually exposed via SMART data, and what we've identified.


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#6 saiyan

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 05:51 AM

So StableBit Scanner can always identify a mass storage device as SSD regardless of the manufacturer?



#7 Christopher (Drashna)

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 03:19 AM

That depends on the drive. But in most cases, yes. Sort of. We don't report if it's a HDD or SSD, but we do list the SMART attributes, and in the "Disk Details", we list the features that the drive reports that it supports.


Christopher Courtney

aka "Drashna"

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This is my server

 

Lots of "Other" data on your pool? Read about what it is here.


#8 saiyan

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 09:43 PM

What happens if Scanner failed to identify a SSD correctly?

Will surface scan do sector write tests?

Thanks.



#9 Christopher (Drashna)

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 11:57 PM

Saiyan,

 

No. The surface scan is read only. The only time we write is if we are able to recover files, after you've told it to. 

 

The same thing goes with the file system check. We don't alter any of the data on the drives without your explicit permission.

 

 

 

 

And to clarify, we don't really identify if it's a SSD or HDD. We just identify the drive (using Windows APIs). How we handle the drive doesn't change between SSD or HDD.  And in fact, because of what Scanner does, it doesn't matter what kind of drive it is because we are "hands off" with your drives. Grabbing the information about the drives and running the scans are all "read only" and doesn't modify anything on the drives. The only time we write to the drives is when you explicitly allow it (repair unreadable data, or fix the file system). And because we use built in tools/API when we do this, Windows should handle any "SSD" specific functionality/features. 

 

I just wanted to make this clarification, because you seem to be very hesitant about Scanner and SSDs. 

But basically Scanner itself doesn't care if the drive is a SSD or not, because nothing we do should ever adversely affect your SSD.

Data integrity is our top priority, and we try to go out of our way to preserve your data.


Christopher Courtney

aka "Drashna"

Microsoft MVP for Windows Home Server 2009-2012

Lead Moderator for We Got Served

Moderator for Home Server Show

 

This is my server

 

Lots of "Other" data on your pool? Read about what it is here.


#10 saiyan

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 12:00 AM

Hi Drashna,

Thanks for the clarification.

 

The reason I asked about surface scan and sector write test is because I remember some 3rd tools I have used before (and perhaps including CHKDSK) would do sector write test when doing surface scan or at least testing to make sure free space sectors are okay.

 

so I'm not going to worry about surface scan and ssd now.

Thanks.



#11 Christopher (Drashna)

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 12:04 AM

That I can understand, but the surface scan is DEFINITELY read only. All it does is to make sure each sector is readable. If it detects any issues, it flags it for followup/repair/action, and lets you know. It doesn't write to it at all.

 

As for chkdsk, unless you use /scan (windows 8) or /f (fix), it should never write either.

 

But I'm sure there are utilities that do write as part of their testing. Scanner is not one of them.


Christopher Courtney

aka "Drashna"

Microsoft MVP for Windows Home Server 2009-2012

Lead Moderator for We Got Served

Moderator for Home Server Show

 

This is my server

 

Lots of "Other" data on your pool? Read about what it is here.


#12 Alex

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 06:24 AM

Saiyan,

 

The StableBit Scanner uses your disk model to decipher your SMART data, in that process, it obtains SMART interpretation data which includes a flag indicating whether your drive is a SSD and whether it has a lifetime indicator that we know how to read.

 

If you could submit your SMART data to BitFlock (see attached) then I can take a look at it and see if I could add that lifetime meter to your SMART screen.

 

And as Drashna said, the SSD flag does not control whether we write to a drive during a surface scan. We simply never do.

 

Thanks,

Attached Thumbnails

  • bitflock_analysis.png





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