For the second time in a month I’ve had an SSD failure. Both times the bad drive was a Kingston 240 GB SSD. The first time the SSD was completely dead. I returned it to Kingston and received a warranty replacement.
With yesterday’s failure the drive was trashed but still functional. I tried booting from my Windows 7 disc and doing a repair but Windows repair didn’t recognize my system disc (the bad SSD).
So, I went back to my Carbonite Mirror Image backup to restore my system. The last time I had an SSD failure I was unable to boot from the Carbonite rescue disc (CD) and yesterday I had the same problem again. Fortunately, the last time, I was able to boot from the Mirror Image disk which is an external hard drive. This time around I tried booting from the external Mirror Image disk but was unable to make that work.
So, I got on the phone with Carbonite tech support. As before, I was quickly connected and after about 15 minutes with the tech support person she figured out a way to successfully boot the restore disc. It turns out that if you unplug the external Mirror Image hard disk when booting from the CD that allows the CD to boot. I’m not sure why that should be necessary but it makes all the difference.
At that point, I was able to take over the restore process. Three hours later my system was up and running. That’s not exactly speedy but I’ll take reliability over speed. It’s great having the security of a full system image to protect against failures like this one. It’s also great getting through to Carbonite tech support in less than five minutes. What’s not so great is Carbonite’s quirkiness. Booting into the restore software whether from CD or hard drive should not be something that requires a call to tech support. (I’m a knowledgeable PC user. I built this system from components.)
Another thing that’s not great is the flakiness of Carbonite’s InfoCenter. The InfoCenter is the dialog where you change your backup settings and monitor its status. As it happens, I tried to check my Mirror Image status yesterday morning. With all my recent problems I’ve been especially careful that way lately. But the InfoCenter was blank in the area where it’s supposed to display the Mirror Image status. I wrote about a similar problem previously. Happily, today, after yesterday’s restore, it’s displaying correctly. But the blank area yesterday made me a little nervous. I must have known an SSD failure was imminent.
One other thing that’s not great is two Kingston SSD failures in one month. Makes me feel like I’m walking on eggshells.