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Wednesday, 17 August 2022

How to Estimate the Remaining Life of Your SSD

How to estimate the remaining life of your SSD

Most computers today come with Solid State Drives, otherwise known as SSDs.Because they are faster, smaller, and more efficient than hard disk drives.

However, SSDs are more expensive than HDDs, and it would probably be in your best interest to estimate the remaining life of your SSD.

What is the average lifespan of your SSD?

Unlike an HDD, an SSD has a limited number of possible writes before the drive falls into read-only mode. This is because of the way SSD hardware is designed - massive speed increases come at a price.

But the point is that most users don't have to worry about it at all. As it turns out, even the most avid home user will need a few years to run out of write cycles, so if you're worried about that, don't worry.

That being said, if you're wondering how many years are left on your SSD, there are ways to estimate the remaining life of your SSD.

On average, a modern SSD will survive until you write about 700 TB of data over its lifetime. Some may live longer, some shorter - that's just an average. It follows that if you can see how much lifetime data you have written to your current SSD, you can estimate its remaining lifetime.

Use CrystalDiskInfo to estimate SSD lifespan

CrystalDiskInfo is a really handy little program that you can use to estimate the remaining life of your SSD. It has enough information that's actually useful and not overwhelming, and best of all, it's completely free to use.

Install and run CrystalDiskInfo.

Look in the Health section. It should have a health percentage like a battery that tells you the remaining life of the SSD - the higher the health percentage, the longer your SSD will last.

Under Health, it should also tell you the status of your SSD.

If it says OK, then you don't have to worry about anything yet.

However, if it says Caution, it means that the SSD is degrading and you should back up your files and replace them before it's too late.

If it says Bad, the SSD is at the end of its life and you'd be lucky if it worked if it hadn't already failed. If it says otherwise, you might want to investigate further – but that's beyond the scope of this post.

Check the top right for Total Host Writes (or it might just be Host Writes it depending on your version). This is how many total data has ever been written to this disk.

If you're hovering around the 400 TB mark, for example, then you know you're more than halfway through the device's lifespan. As you approach 700 TB, you'll want to think about getting a backup drive just in case. But truth be told, it would take years of heavy use to even come close to that amount!

Estimate remaining SSD life using warranty and MTBF hours

Most SSD manufacturers have a warranty that you can use to predict how long your SSD is likely to last at a bare minimum. Of course, this does not mean that the warranty will tell you the remaining life of your SSD, but it could help you estimate the probability of its failure. For example, an SSD with a warranty of five years or 600 TB TBW (Total Host Writes) is likely to last longer compared to an SSD with a warranty of three years or 200 TB TBW.

Another factor you can use to estimate the lifespan of your SSD is the MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) hours listed by the manufacturer in the datasheet.

However, it does not predict how many hours your SSD will last, but it will tell you the probability of your SSD failing during the warranty period. For example, if your SSD's MTBF is 1 million hours, that means it has a 0.03% chance of failure within the warranty years, even if you use it for at least eight hours every day. In other words, the higher the clock's MTBF, the less likely your SSD is to fail.

If you don't have the original datasheet to check the warranty and MTBF hours, you can use CrystalDiskInfo to find out the model number of your SSD. Your SSD's model number is usually written in bold just above the firmware details. Alternatively, if you're using Windows, you can right-click on your local drive, select Properties, and look for your SSD manufacturer's model number under Hardware.

Once you have the model number of your SSD from the manufacturer, you can google it and find the datasheet to know the warranty and MTBF hours. The longer the manufacturer's warranty and the MTBF hours in the spec, the longer the expected lifespan of your SSD.

SSDs have a long lifespan

The SSDs have no moving parts, they are very reliable. In fact, most SSDs can last over five years, while the most durable drives exceed ten years.

However, how long your SSD will last depends on how often you write data to it, and you could use that to estimate its lifespan.

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