Do I have a corrupted SSD?

If you suspect your solid state drive (SSD) may be corrupted or damaged, there are a few signs you can look for to determine if that is the case. SSD corruption can lead to a variety of issues like computer crashes, data loss, and performance problems. In this article, we’ll go over the common symptoms of a corrupted SSD and steps you can take to diagnose and fix the issue.

Common Signs of SSD Corruption

Here are some of the most common signs that your SSD may be corrupted or damaged in some way:

  • Frequent computer crashes, especially during bootup or when reading/writing data from the SSD
  • Error messages related to the SSD appear, like “disk read error” or “SSD not detected”
  • Programs freeze or respond slowly when accessing data on the SSD
  • Files appearing corrupted – videos/images won’t play, documents display garbled text
  • Entire folders or large amounts of data suddenly missing from the SSD
  • Unable to access the SSD from File Explorer or Disk Management utility
  • SSD making abnormal noises during operation, like clicking, buzzing or screeching
  • Overheating SSD – much hotter than usual during operation
  • Drastic performance decrease – SSD operates much slower than its normal speeds

If you notice any of these issues consistently happening when your SSD is connected, corruption or damage is likely the culprit. The specific symptoms can point to the type of problem – for example, overheating and abnormal noises may indicate a hardware problem whereas data errors and crashes suggest file system corruption.

Verifying and Diagnosing SSD Issues

If you suspect your SSD is corrupted, the first step is to do some diagnostics and confirm the issue. Here are some tips for verifying and pinpointing the problem:

  • Check Disk Management – Open Disk Management (press Windows Key + X and select Disk Management) and look for any warning signs like your SSD showing up as “unallocated” or “offline.” Healthy SSDs will show up as “online.”
  • SSD manufacturer tools – Most SSD makers like Samsung, Crucial and Kingston have free utilities to test SSD health. Download and run these to check for errors.
  • CHKDSK – Run the CHKDSK utility from command prompt to scan for file system errors and bad sectors on your SSD.
  • S.M.A.R.T. status – Use a program like Speccy to read your SSD’s S.M.A.R.T. data, which shows detected errors and disk health status.
  • Drive repair tools – Try using built-in Windows tools like chkdsk, sfc or DISM to fix SSD errors.

Based on what these diagnostics tools report, you should get a clear indication of the type and extent of corruption on your SSD. They’ll also tell you whether the issues are fixable through software repair or if the drive may need to be replaced due to hardware failure.

Fixing a Corrupted SSD

If diagnostics reveal your SSD has logical errors like file system corruption or bad sectors, the good news is these can often be fixed with software tools. Here are some potential solutions for repairing a corrupted SSD:

Disable Write Caching

Write caching is a feature that can sometimes lead to data corruption on SSDs. Disabling it may stop further corruption:

  • Open Device Manager
  • Expand Disk drives and right click on your SSD
  • Select Properties > Policies and uncheck “Enable write caching”

Update SSD Firmware

An outdated SSD firmware version can also cause corruption. Check the manufacturer’s website for a firmware update utility and install the latest firmware.


Using the CHKDSK command is one of the best ways to fix file system errors on a corrupted SSD in Windows. To run it:

  • Open command prompt as admin
  • Type “chkdsk C: /f” (replace C: with your SSD letter)
  • Restart your PC and CHKDSK will scan and repair errors on the next bootup

Format SSD and Reinstall Windows

If CHKDSK fails to fix the issues, you may need to format your SSD and do a clean Windows installation. This will wipe all data but gives you a fresh start:

  • Backup any data you want to keep externally
  • Boot from a Windows installer drive
  • Delete all existing partitions on the SSD during setup
  • Create a new partition and format the SSD
  • Perform a clean OS install

Use DiskPart

DiskPart is a command line utility that can fix certain corruption issues by remapping sectors on the SSD. To use it:

  • Type “diskpart” in admin command prompt
  • Type “list disk” and “select disk X” (where X is your SSD number)
  • Type “clean” to delete all partitions
  • Create new partition and format SSD

Third Party Tools

There are also many third party tools available that specialize in SSD repair and recovery like:

  • Ontrack EasyRecovery
  • Stellar Phoenix SSD Data Recovery
  • EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard
  • R-Studio Data Recovery

These can help recover lost data and rebuild corrupted file systems. But they are often not free and may not fix hardware damage issues.

SSD Not Repairable – Time for Replacement

If your SSD is still facing corruption issues after trying these software fixes, the damage is likely at the hardware level and a new SSD may be needed. Signs your SSD requires replacement include:

  • Multiple failed error fix attempts
  • DIAGNOSTICS reveal irreparable bad sectors
  • Physical damage visible – cracked chip or components
  • SSD no longer recognized or detected at all
  • Extremely slow even after troubleshooting steps

Before replacing, try testing your SSD in another computer if possible to confirm the issue follows the drive. Also check if your SSD model has warranty coverage for free replacement in case of failure.

Tips to Prevent SSD Corruption

To avoid SSD corruption happening in the first place, here are some best practices to implement:

  • Proper partitioning – Create separate partitions for operating system, programs, and data instead of storing everything on C:\
  • Regular backups – Always maintain backups of important data on an external drive in case the SSD fails
  • Overprovisioning – Leave 10-20% free space on SSD so it can efficiently manage writes and wear leveling
  • Anti-virus protection – Use a reputable anti-virus program and keep it updated to prevent malware
  • Update firmware – Keep SSD firmware updated for bug fixes and performance improvements
  • Handle with care – Avoid physical damage by handling SSD carefully, especially when transporting

Following these tips will help keep your SSD healthy and minimize chances of serious file system corruption occurring down the road.

Recovering Data from Corrupted SSD

If your SSD becomes corrupted and you lose access to important files, recovery should be attempted before reformatting or replacement. Here are some options for data recovery on a corrupted SSD:

From Backup

If you have a current backup of your SSD on an external drive, you can easily restore lost files by simply copying them back from the backup.

Windows Previous Versions

If you have System Restore enabled, you may be able to recover older versions of files from a restore point before the corruption occurred.

Cloud Storage

If you use cloud backup services like iCloud, Google Drive or Dropbox, you may have copies of files preserved online that you can download.

Data Recovery Software

Specialist data recovery programs can scan your SSD and extract recoverable files from corrupted partitions. They can recover a variety of file types.

Data Recovery Service

For catastrophic SSD failure and major data loss, a professional recovery service can disassemble the drive in a cleanroom and attempt extracting the data.


SSD corruption can happen without warning and lead to system instability, crashes and data loss. However, there are many steps you can take to diagnose, repair and recover from SSD corruption issues:

  • Use built-in Windows tools like CHKDSK, SFC and DISM for basic error fixing
  • Update SSD firmware and drivers to latest available versions
  • Disable write caching to prevent further file system damage
  • Repartition and format the SSD then reinstall OS as a last resort
  • Turn to data recovery software or professional services to rescue important files
  • Replace the SSD hardware completely if determined to be irreparable

Regularly backing up your SSD data and following best practices for maintenance and security will also greatly reduce your chances of encountering corruption issues. Overall, being prepared with troubleshooting steps and recovery options will allow you to get an SSD back up and running smoothly even after corruption occurs.