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Thread: Buying Used SSD's

  1. #1

    pigoo3's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 20, 2008
    Buying Used SSD's
    Some folks know that when I upgrade my computers...I like to purchase used Mac's...this extends to buying used parts as well...when I need to do some sort of repairs or upgrades.

    I buy used hard drives all the time...and I've pretty much have had great success with them. I'm starting to see used SSD's starting to "pop up" on my local Craig's List...and like many folks...I would like to get an SSD...just to see how fast they really are.

    So what are folks opinions regarding the risks of buying a used "traditional" hard drive versus a used SSD?

    If you feel that purchasing a used SSD is more risky than a used hard drive...can you be specific why you feel that way (what is it about a used SSD that makes it more risky)?


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  2. #2

    RavingMac's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 07, 2008
    In Denial
    My guess (and it is mostly guess/gut feeling) is that it would be less risky, providing you tested it first. From the articles you and I have seen it appears that SSDs tend to fail catastrophically, so they are either good or bad, not going bad (at least in a way that the user can determine).

    I would think if you stuck with the SSDs that had demonstrated good performance/reliability you should be okay.
    I've always wanted to be smart, handsome and modest. But, I guess I'll have to be satisfied with two out of three . . .

  3. #3

    Lifeisabeach's Avatar
    Member Since
    Sep 30, 2007
    The Republic of Neptune
    You can get more detailed SMART data of an SSD using some of the better tools like SMART Utility and SMARTReporter and if the drive supports SMART logging. The OWC drives like what I have unfortunately are not a good example of these. I can get a pass/fail for a short test, like what Onyx and other tools do, and the long test will run, but the detailed results aren't logged.

    Here's a Windows-based tool that is specific to estimating the life of an SSD based on the SMART data... they give a good overview of how their software works.
    How SSD lifetime are calculated? - OnLine SSDlife

    Please verify and include the exact model/year of your Mac and OS X version number (available from "About This Mac", then "More Info" on the Apple menu).
    Links: Onyx | EasyFind | Apple Hardware Test | How to test your hard drive | The Safe Mac Adware Removal Guide | Uninstall MacKeeper
    Lifeisabeach - Mac-Forums Member of the Month June 2009, Feb 2012, and March 2013.

  4. #4

    Member Since
    Aug 17, 2012
    Quote Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
    If you feel that purchasing a used SSD is more risky than a used hard drive...can you be specific why you feel that way (what is it about a used SSD that makes it more risky)?
    Risky? Probably not. Life-expectancy of SSD's is waaaay better than many people think. Some early reports completely misinterpreted the numbers.

    HOWEVER, what keeps improving with SSD's (as opposed to Sata drives) is how they work with current OS revisions. Housekeeping, communication with the southbridge, etc.

    For this reason, I would absolutely NOT recommend buying even a one year old SSD right now. Things are changing much too quickly. - Perhaps if the older SSD you're getting has a firmware update available, but still....

    If you do buy used, make sure to update the firmware if possible, and be SURE to do a low-level format, to completely clear all the cells. (The way that's done in Windows is with Diskpart. I'm not 100% sure how you do that on a Mac so that you get the same results. I'd check with Intel or OCZ about this if I were you just to be safe.)

  5. #5

    harryb2448's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 28, 2007
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    Yes very risky in my view.

    Have owned many SSD's. Kingston SSD Now and G.Skill Falcon were the worst lasting three months and two days respectively. Have had three OWC drives. Two performed excellently and one was replaced f.o.c. as it would not take a firmware update.
    Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!

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