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Do SSDs lose Data over time?

    The storage of a computer is a crucial factor in deciding which computer or laptop to choose. For a long time, a hard disk drive or HDD has been the only option of internal storage available in computers manufactured. But now thankfully because of technological advancements, a new alternative of storage capacity is available, known as SSD or solid-state drive.

    Solid-state drives being the successors of HDD come with multiple advantages over the traditional option. SSDs consume less power in accessing data stored in them and are also much faster than the older alternative. Apart from these, it is more resistant to damage or breakage and has a low power consumption.

    SSDs are generally more reliable if we talk about the performance and build quality. They can handle more G’s as well. But, if we talk about the long-term storage, the Flash technology used in SSD isn’t that reliable. So, yes SSDs are going to lose data over time. But, it is always an option to use a HDD+SSD combo for better results.

    In fact, I would advise you to keep SSD and HDD both in your system. HDD will be perfect for raw data storage and SSD for OS and software installations.

    We hope that after knowing this trivia about SSD you will be curious to know more about the workings of SSD. In this article we are going to discuss one important aspect of SSD, that is its data storage period. From how long an SSD can store data to recovering data and data storage without power, we are going to discuss everything you need to know. 

    Reliability of SSD when it comes to long term data storage:

    The storage period of SSD is a topic of mixed reactions and answers from different persons. On average SSD can store data from 5 to up to 10 years. One slight drawback when storing data on an external SSD can be the limited number of writing data on the SSD.

    The number of rewrites can range anywhere between 3000 to 10,000 and is dependent on the size and capacity of the drive. 

    But, you can see your SSD failing in just two years without giving you any reason. So, it is always advised to keep a backup. Again, having an HDD for your raw data storage will be a good idea for sure.

    This means that one can add or write more data to the SSD only until the prescribed number of data. After crossing the limit one can’t add more data to the drive but can always access previously written data. But in most cases, the SSD is found to outperform the storage capacity and retention ability of the HDD.

    How long can an SSD store data without power?

    The period for which SSD can retain the data stored is dependent on quite a few factors. These include the temperature of the environment and how often the SSD is powered. A study at JEDEC Standards Committee showed some shocking results about the retention of data by a solid-state drive. 

    According to the research, the ability to retain data varies for both consumer-grade and enterprise-grade level SSDs. The study showed that at an average temperature of 30 Degree C for a consumer SSD the period is up to 1 year. This means that when stored at a temperature of 30 Degree C the SSD can retain the data stored for up to one year approximately. 

    The enterprise-grade SSD can store the data for about 3 months at an average temperature of 40 C. This being a commercial form of the SSD is generally stored in higher temperatures and also retains data for a shorter period of time. 

    Can data be recovered from the SSD?

    Another important question that many people often ask when dealing with SSD is data recovery of the drive. In short, the simple answer to this is yes, data on an SSD can be recovered. There are different methods and ways of recovering data on a damaged or failed SSD. 

    Also, data on a water damaged SSD can also be recovered. So if you are afraid about losing data stored on an SSD, you can lay them to rest now. As the data on the SSD is stored in the various flash chips present on the drive. This makes it possible in some cases to access data even if part of the data is damaged or destroyed. Although it’s advisable to not use a damaged SSD unless you have the technical knowledge to remedy it. 

    Should you buy an SSD instead of HDD?

    So after reading this one might question why one should still choose SSD over a hard drive despite its short data retention properties. Many people might argue that SSD is not a suitable storage option if it can lose data in less than one year. We are going to help you understand the advantages SSD has over the traditional option and which one to choose for various purposes.

    SSD is best suitable for the internal storage of computers and laptops. So if you are considering buying a new computer or even thinking of upgrading the storage of your current device, always choose an SSD. with regular usage and keeping the device at normal temperatures one will not have any problem retaining and accessing their data from the SSD.

    But if you are considering SSD as an external storage option then you need to consider the various conditions before making your decision. If you need the device for only occasional use then HDD might be a better option because of the cost. But if you are using an SSD to store data on a continuous basis then a solid-state drive might be the better option. 

    SSD is more resistant to any damage from breakage or wear and tear, so even if your drive meets with an accident you won’t have to worry about it. Also, SSD is much faster compared to hard drives and will save a lot of your time when accessing data from the drives. Because of their faster retention, they also consume less power. So ultimately we would suggest you choose an SSD for everyday usage despite its few shortcomings. 

    Read SSD Buying Guide 2021


    There are several opinions about the data retention and writability of data in an SSD. However one must be mindful of their purpose of choosing SSD over HDD. There are factors to be considered that will determine whether SSD is the best choice for you or not. The average temperature at which the SSD is stored and how often the drive is powered make a huge impact on the functionality of the SSD. 

    We hope that going through this article has helped you understand the reliability of data in SSD for long periods. If you work at normal temperature levels and power your SSD regularly then SSD is the best option for you. 

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