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Is a virus corrupting our SSDs?

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  • User profile image
    itsnotabug

    Hi all,

    Over the course of 2 weeks, 5 SSD drives have failed with corrupted MBR and MFT. This is very statistically significant considering the size of our team. We are doing some investigation on the supplier side to determine if they were from the same batch or if there is any other info on the serial numbers of the drives (Samsung btw).

    The thing is, we all got drives at different times during the year and we all have different read/write usages... some use VMs a great deal, others do nothing but compile in VS, some do both. It's just surprising (but not impossible I suppose) that they would fail so close to each other in time.

    Is it possible that a bootloader somehow got into our system and if corrupting the drives outside of the operating system? Does anyone have any tips on what I should do to check? I am admittedly not a hardware guy so I may not even be articulating this question correctly. Thx!

  • User profile image
    cbae

    Are these hardware failures or can you reformat them to make them usable again?

    I find your username ironic given your post title.

  • User profile image
    JoshRoss

    If it is a poorly designed root kit, perhaps RootkitRevealer can find it.

    -Josh

    EDIT: Then again, maybe not. I must be showing my age, it doesn't look like it has be updated in years.

     

  • User profile image
    kettch

    @JoshRoss:The SysInternals crew recommend not using rootkit revealer on anything newing than XP I think.

  • User profile image
    cheong

    @itsnotabug:I'm thinking about the fake "2TB Flash Drive" made in China that we seen earlier... Can you try to write a very big file into it?

    Also, since SSD is flash based technology, it has limited write lifetime (say, a flash drive 10 years ago can write about 80,000 times. If you write on the same location more than that, the write can end in inconsistant state. The number averagely doubles every 3 years, and since the size of disk is much much bigger now, it's less likely to happen these days. Yet for some locations the write would be more intense). If you bought a "refurbished" one it would have failed in quite a short time.

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  • User profile image
    JoshRoss

    @cheong: I wonder if there are bolts in it too?

  • User profile image
    cheong

    @JoshRoss: Probably... I don't know for sure. Tongue Out

    EDIT: Actually itsnotabug can search the "model number" reported by explorer or even the "Device ID" reported by device manager on the web to see whether it is a valid model or whether it has known problem.

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  • User profile image
    itsnotabug

    Oh wow... that bogus drive is hilarious. These scammers should be applying themselves in legit endeavors... I bet the guy who hacked that controller is a pretty decent engineer.

    Okay, update. The drives are re-formatable. After grabbing files with GetDataBack for NFTS I restored to a system image from last year and so far, so good. Nothing suspicious in research of the model number... I've been writing large files in VMs and a few 4GB+ videos so it's legit.

  • User profile image
    PerfectPhase

    What model are they, if they're Crucial M4, make sure you have the latest 000F firmware, we had a lot of trouble with them before the update.

  • User profile image
    ScanIAm

    My G.Skill 120GB SSD in my laptop died on wednesday morning.  I was suspicious that maybe there was, indeed, some kind of weird virus going around, then I read this:

    http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2011/05/the-hot-crazy-solid-state-drive-scale.html

    Apparently, they just aren't that reliable.

    And my main computer has a pair of them striped in raid 0 for the system drives...

  • User profile image
    Lucifer2385

    I have a SSD (60Gb) to and i think it's great ! (No noise or waiting to spinn)

    I have backup my whole system to a `normal` drive for safety
    And if it dies after 2 years, its still a good buy for your money i think.

  • User profile image
    kettch

    @ScanIAm: Indeed. Their reliability sucks. However, the productivity benefits for folks like developers definitely make up for needing to have a solid backup strategy.

  • User profile image
    ZippyV

    , Lucifer2385 wrote

    I have a SSD (60Gb) to and i think it's great ! (No noise or waiting to spinn)

    I have backup my whole system to a `normal` drive for safety
    And if it dies after 2 years, its still a good buy for your money i think.

    Definitely backup your whole ssd drive every week. My PCI-Express SSD card has it's problems too: files get corrupt or checkdisk launches during boot.

    I have also tried doing a full image restore using Windows 7 Backup. Worked perfectly.

  • User profile image
    itsnotabug

    @PerfectPhase it's Samsung MZ-5PA2560/0D1

    GetDataBack for NFTS is the best $80 you can spend, although some of the indexes it rebuilt were fubared and ended up causing other problems... namely endless paths that are impossible to delete, even with the usual RMDIR and DEL tricks. I finally found this project by Johan Delimon (which should just be a part of the operating system): http://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/Delimon-Win32-Explorer-V40-bc957ab4

    Hopefully when we move away from NTFS this wil be less painful.

    All in all, I love the speed of the SSD compared to what I used to run, but my old drive lasted 5 years!!

  • User profile image
    elmer

    SSDs are used in enterprise/commercial datacentre environments, where reliability is crucial.

    I know that Intel give a 5year warranty on their 320 SF-2281 entry-level drives, and they are not likely to do that if they are expecting to be replacing them all the time.

    Makes me wonder if environmental and physical use conditions, play some part in disparity between expected and experienced life-spans that gets talked about so much on the interweb.

  • User profile image
    GoddersUK

    Talking of which, Azure is apparently using SSDs these days:

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/06/08/microsoft_azure_ocz/

  • User profile image
    cheong

    @elmer: Actually in such environment if you're willing to put lots of money in and care about the reliability and performance of page files or what, I'd buy one of those DRAM drives like this one or even a DDR drive.

    At least the RAM modules removed from old motherboards are tried-and-true reliable.

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  • User profile image
    jh71283

    @ScanIAm: AFAIK, RAID does not yet support TRIM, so your array might start to slow down over time.

    That's what happened to one of our machines here, at least. 

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