How do I know if my SSD is good or bad?

Solid state drives (SSDs) have become incredibly popular in recent years as replacements for traditional hard disk drives (HDDs) due to their faster speeds and improved reliability. However, not all SSDs perform equally. Some SSDs can start to slow down or even fail after prolonged use. So how do you know if your SSD is still in good working condition?

Check the SSD’s health using monitoring software

One of the best ways to check on your SSD’s health is to use drive monitoring software. Programs like CrystalDiskInfo provide detailed insights into the condition of your drive by analyzing attributes like host writes, media wear, and reserved blocks. Generally, you want to see the following results to confirm your SSD is still in good shape:

  • 100% life remaining
  • 100% health
  • No reallocated or pending sectors
  • Temperature below 60°C

If your SSD is showing high wear or a reduced lifespan, it likely means the drive is degrading and at risk of failure. Time to start thinking about a replacement!

Monitor for performance issues

Aside from using monitoring software, you can check for problems with your SSD through normal everyday use. Here are some warning signs that your SSD may be underperforming or on the fritz:

  • Long loading times for files and programs
  • Higher than normal operating temperatures
  • Unusual noises like clicking or buzzing
  • Frequent hangs, freezes, or crashes
  • Difficulty detecting the SSD in BIOS
  • Higher than expected invalid or corrected read/write error counts

If you notice any of these issues, it likely indicates some type of problem with your SSD. The drive could have bad blocks, corrupted firmware, or a failed controller.

Check SSD’s age and warranty status

Most SSD manufacturers provide warranties for 3-5 years to cover drive failures. Check how long your SSD has been in use and whether it is still covered under warranty. SSDs used beyond the warranty period are at a higher risk of problems due to worn out NAND flash memory chips.

Additionally, look at how much data you have written to the drive over its lifespan. SSDs are designed for a finite number of program/erase cycles before failure, typically in the range of 3000-5000 P/E cycles for TLC NAND drives. If your workload has exceeded this amount, your SSD is living on borrowed time.

Perform a benchmark comparison

Run some benchmarks on your SSD like CrystalDiskMark and compare the performance against other drives of the same model when they were new. This can help identify cases of SSD slow down.

For example, if your SSD is only hitting 400MB/s sequential read speeds but most reviews show 560MB/s when it was first released, that indicates your drive is likely worn out or damaged in some way.

Check S.M.A.R.T. data with monitoring tools

S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology) is a monitoring system built into SSDs to track drive reliability metrics. Tools like Hard Disk Sentinel can read a drive’s S.M.A.R.T. data to check attributes like:

  • Total data read/written to the drive
  • Total number of power on hours
  • Bad blocks
  • Temperature
  • Pending reallocations

Healthy SSDs should show no indications of failure on any S.M.A.R.T. attributes. Be concerned if you see high counts of reallocated sectors, overheated components or excessive loaded hours.

Test with manufacturer SSD toolbox

Most major SSD brands like Samsung, Crucial and Kingston provide free toolbox software to test the health of their drives. These tools often contain features like:

  • Short diagnostic scans
  • Full read/write drive tests
  • S.M.A.R.T. status checks
  • Firmware updates
  • Secure erase tools

Run a full diagnostic scan of your drive through the toolbox. This will thoroughly test all cells in the NAND flash. Any weak blocks or failures will get flagged.

Check for errors in Event Viewer

On Windows machines, you can consult the Event Viewer utility for any disk related errors logged for your SSD. Events flagged as errors or warnings around the disk, storage, or drivers can signify problems.

Some specific messages to look out for include:

  • The device, \Device\HarddiskX\DRY, has a bad block.
  • The driver detected a controller error on \Device\HarddiskX\DRY.
  • Error correcting code (ECC) mismatch for low surrogate for data unit X in plane Y.

Frequent errors like these indicate possible SSD failure and data loss risk. The disk needs replacement.

Check for reallocated sectors

When an SSD encounters bad NAND flash blocks that can no longer reliably store data, the drive will remap those sectors to spare good blocks. This is called reallocating sectors.

A small number of reallocated sectors is normal over an SSD’s lifespan. But a high or growing count indicates SSD deterioration. Use a tool like CrystalDiskInfo to monitor reallocated sectors regularly.

Perform a secure erase

Try fully resetting your SSD to factory settings using the secure erase function. This clears all data and wipes drive completely. If errors persist after secure erasing, it points to irreversible hardware damage.

Monitor host writes

Host writes refer to the total data written to an SSD from the host computer. Consumer SSDs are typically rated for 60TB-160TB of host writes before wear-out.

Use the host writes statistic in tools like Hard Disk Sentinel to find the total data written to your SSD across its lifetime. High relative to the drive’s rating signals the SSD is nearing its end of life.

Check for unusual noises

Given SSDs have no moving mechanical parts, they should operate silent. Unusual noises like squealing, screeching or clicking sounds can indicate a problem with the NAND flash memory or controller board.

Strange noises tend to precede or coincide with SSD failure, so always investigate any new sounds coming from your SSD.


There are many techniques available to assess an SSD’s health and identify potential problems or degradation. Monitoring tools, performance checks, S.M.A.R.T. data, error scanning, and noise are the top ways to confirm if your SSD is still in good shape or headed towards failure.

Keep an eye on your SSD’s lifespan metrics and promptly replace any drives that are aging past their reliable operating limits. This helps you avoid catastrophic data loss when the storage suddenly dies.

With proper SSD health monitoring and preemptive replacements as needed, you can enjoy fast and stable solid state performance for years before needing to upgrade.