IBM Support

Potential for SSD data loss after extended shutdown

Flashes (Alerts)


Abstract

There are considerations which should be made if you are planning on shutting down an SSD based system for an extended period. The JEDEC spec for Enterprise SSD drives requires that the drives retain data for a minimum of 3 months at 40C. This means that after 3 months of a system being powered off in an environment that is at 40C or less, there is a potential of data loss and/or drive failures. This power off time limitation is due to the physical characteristics of Flash SSD media's gradual loss of electrical charge over an extended power down period. There is a potential for data loss and/or flash cell characteristic shift, leading to drive failure.

Content

IBM recommends the following: 
  • Always perform regular backups and make sure you have recently backed your system up prior to extended shutdowns.
  • A system (and its enclosed drives) should be powered up at least 2 weeks after 2 months of system power off.   If a drive has an error indicating it is at end of life we recommend not powering off the system for extended periods of time.
  • Proper environmental control procedures should still be in place to ensure systems are experiencing less than 40C at all times, even if the systems are powered down.
  • If a system is being retired and used for another activity in the future, the drives should be cleared with a format. This will help prevent SSD failure upon power up, even if the data is not needed. This can be performed with the command "chdrive -task format <drive-id>" to any drive once in a candidate state

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Document Information

Modified date:
22 June 2021

UID

ibm16382908