Solid-state drives lose data if left without power for just a few days

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Summary: Solid-state drives are great for performance, but data security must come first.
By Zack Whittaker for Zero Day | May 9, 2015
Storage. It's not a sexy topic. But everyone uses it in some way or another. You have iPhones, you have computers. Everyone knows how important a person's data is. But it doesn't just "disappear."
Or does it?
 New research suggests that newer solid-state hard drives, which are faster and offer better performance, are vulnerable to an inherent flaw -- they lose data loss when they're left dormant in storage for periods of time where the temperature isn't properly regulated.
 The worrying factor is that the period of time can be weeks, months, but even in some circumstances -- just a few days.
Solid-state drives are better than regular mechanical hard drives, which are slow and sluggish. But unless they're battered around, smashed, or poured in acid, they pretty much last forever.
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I can only assume they are referring to ether magnetic buildup and or condensation. Although both will and do affect a mechanical hard drive also. The SSD is basically just a cover with memory chips and a simple board. There really isn't much to in in principal. A mechanical drive on the other hand has platters and a wand arm.
From past experience a SSD is only vulnerable when the chips fail or when the controller fails. On a mechanical drive they normally don't fail but the platters create bad sectors making them useless.
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Not true here and I have been using them for more than 4 years but on a Laptop with a good battery??? The ones I have in my new laptop are very small in size W22mm x L80mm and 2mm thick and they go up to 1TB in size I'm waiting for Mushkin to bring out there M.2 2280 SATA III Drives in  the third Quarter of this year!
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From what I have read it is when the power is turned off for as little as a week.
Well I can a test to this being utter nonsense. Throughout the Department of Defense there are numerous backup plans which consist of backing up to tape, using backup servers, image backups and a rotating off site backup. We currently use a rotating  offsite image storage plan. What this consists of is a server that contains large SSD's that are hot swap and on those ssd's are images from a variety of servers through the server farm. These ssd's are then taken off site daily and placed in a secure environment and new ones rotated in it's place. Each SSD is then stored for 6 months till its scheduled to be rotated back in. This is a expensive but very secure backup solution. This has been utilized for ages with the older Tape Backup units and is kinda sorta fail safe.
I can say that I have NEVER EVER lost data on any of them due to being unpowered. That doesn't even make logical sense that the data could be lost. Could the SSD die or just become unusable? Sure but any media can have that issue. That is caused by numerous outside factors such as mishandling, poor workmanship, product failure etc, but it has ZERO to do with having no power available for periods of time.
As an extreme example just think of a standard USB Flash Drive. Although the memory chips differ as does the way data is accessed, it is all the same basic principal. USB Flash Drives are designed to be uninstalled and powerless for long periods of time. So are SSD's. The engineering concept of both is similar enough to make the claim that a SSD if not abused will last indefinitely unpowered.
In closing I have never seen a study on how long the SSD will stay viable outside of power but with experience on my side I can say years is not a stretch. I would suspect they have a shelf life similar to a basic DVD which is something like 20 years after use/cutting before the molecular breakdown starts to occur.
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Personally I would be surprised if they did lose data in 1 week, if they did start to I cannot see the point of them.
For example, if you go on holiday for 2 weeks come back, what has happened to the data then?
The only problem I see with that senario is even if you do go on holiday and even unplug the PC for two weeks, the drive is still getting power, although minute amounts bia the system motherboard battery. That battery is used to keep the CMOS info and to also keep date time info. However what most people don't realize is it also keeps check of installed items, thus a small bounce of power to each device. he onboard battery can do this normally for well over a year when the system board is installed and several years when not installed.
Again I think the entire idea of a ssd losing data when unpowered is complete nonsense.
The short and sweet to this all is, If you keep your unplugged SSD in temps over 86f then you could start losing data. The bigger question is: Why are you storing a SSD with valuable data in a location that is so hot? Basic rule of thumb in the computer world and this applies not just for complete systems but for each individual part that has volatile memory, Heat kills. If you store it in a cool dry play then this isn't even an issue. Same can be said about a CPU, Ram Stick, GPU etc.
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I was initially alarmed until I read the article and saw that it was only at high temperatures that this happened.  At room temperature they're a lot more stable.  
Anyone who is using SSD for archive storage is wasting money anyway 🙂
Actually you would be surprised at the amount of big industry that is using SSD's for archive storage. There are many benefit's to it, not just size limitation but speed and the overall maintenance of a SSD and how Linux, Unix and Windows server handles a SSD.
The initial cost is rather high for the devices themselves but if you factor in what a main Server would need for mechanical storage the costs are rather close. (SAS/SCSI controller card, Decent Server backup software and RAS drives).
Since a lot of companies are moving toward using cloud storage for archives this will lower the cost locally but on the end storage it still will need some seriously expensive hardware. A good Server SAS card for instance is gonna cost you anywhere from 10k on up. So when you factor that in rotating backup routines with SSD's really is a viable option.
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Huh, I'm surprised to hear that - I would have assumed it would be cost prohibitive.  But I can see the advantages of faster access when you need something.