Spring Cleaning

Every year, around the beginning of the year, I have the tradition of doing a little "spring cleaning" on my computer(s). Usually, that means I send all newly gathered photos, music, project schematics, and code to my external drive in preparation for a clean drive and a fresh instalment of the current (or new) OS. This year, however, fate decided to kick-start my cleaning by destroying my drive before I could back anything up. When I purchased my laptop in 2013, I opted to include the shiny new 120GB SSD. After some light research, It appears that (solid state) drives from that era had a life expectancy of a whole year. I'm guessing that's including certain extremes, but still.

Let's rewind and talk about the mental terror the drive failure put on me. I had no way of knowing it was the drive, the motherboard, the SATA port, nothing. I have no other mSATA devices to test. Furthermore, the timing of the crash was way too coincidental; It happened as I was replacing the digitizer (which had cracked a few months prior).

So here I am, working on the LCD. I get it all back together, and reboot. everything's working alright, then...


The system comes to a halt. No response. Keyboard yields no effect, the only thing to do is a hard shut down. After that, it boots with the generic drive failure message. I boot into BIOS, and I see the painfully vague "Not Detected" under the SATA field.

"Not Detected"?! 'The hell does that mean?

I unplug the drive, reinstall it. nothing.
Try reinstalling the OS via liveUSB. nothing.

Now, my computer's telling me it's "not detecting" my SATA drive. After researching and weighing out my options, I eventually order a new (SS)drive off Amazon (since my local BestBuy didn't carry/know what mSATA was).

For a week I think I destroyed my laptop by electrostatic shock or something, retracing all my steps in my head over and over again.

The drive comes in, I Install it, and I'm back in business.

I attribute the failure to pure coincidence. I was working on the LCD, and didn't touch any other component of the motherboard. Still yet, the timing was awfully strange.

While I am glad it was the drive that failed, and not the motherboard, it is bitter sweet. I had a years worth of code for an Atari project I was about ready to show the world on there. Oh well, lesson learned.

It appears a lot of companies have stepped up their game on SSD endurance. I went with the Samsung 850 EVO. It's rated to last five years with 40GB read/write daily (cnet). That's pretty good seeing as I'd never write 40 gigs a day (Samsung also offers a decent warranty as well).

Things to take away from this:
  1. Back your mess up. Frequently.
  2. Back it up some more.
  3. Do your research when purchasing new tech.
  4. Go ahead and back up your files again.