Although in this article we are going to focus on SSDs, be aware that for example the same thing happens to USB drives since they use the same type of memory in most cases. Likewise, this affects both SSDs that we connect internally to the PC and external SSDs connected through a USB interface, so in general you need to take this information into account for all devices with NAND Flash memory. .
Data from your SSD doesn’t last forever … but almost
Although generally a mechanical hard drive is vacuum sealed and it is impossible for dust to get inside, moving parts are more sensitive than solid state drives to environmental conditions such as temperature or humidity, without talk about electromagnetic sources that can damage its components. In an SSD, this doesn’t happen, but that doesn’t mean it’s immune to the passage of time.
A while ago, a JEDEC report was revealed which exposed the worst possible scenario: an SSD on the verge of reaching the end of its useful life in which data was recorded at a low temperature of 20 ° C and then stored. at a high temperature (55 ° C), the worst possible scenario which is also contrary to the usual (no one keeps anything at 55 ° C in a drawer unless you live in the desert). In this case, the data of the SSD was inaccessible seven days after it was disconnected, which triggered alarms.
The reality is that if you keep the SSD in a cool, dry place with little humidity, where the temperature does not vary much in winter or summer and away from electromagnetic sources (magnets, motors, etc.) the data that your SSD or pen contains driving can last for many years (we are talking about over 100 years). We are of course talking about ideal conditions which are then very difficult to fulfill, but in general if you are a little careful it is likely that you will never find yourself in a position to connect an SSD that has been in a drawer for years and that the data is lost. Extremely difficult.
This does not mean, of course and as JEDEC has already demonstrated, that data cannot be lost. If the stored SSD was near the end of its useful life, experienced temperature changes or extreme temperatures (both hot and cold), or was near electromagnetic sources, data retention time may be significantly reduced and cause data loss. In any case, as we said before, as long as you have a minimum of care, you shouldn’t have any problems.
What precautions should you take to avoid losing data?
Unlike hard drives, SSDs are not hermetically sealed, so it’s always a good idea to keep them in a closed place where dust doesn’t get in, or at least as little as possible. A good idea would be to keep your SSDs or USB drives in a cardboard box that lets in a little sweat in case moisture gets in and leaks out, and in turn in a cupboard or drawer for avoid a lot of dust.
Likewise, keep your devices away from electromagnetic sources and we are no longer talking only of motors such as that of the washing machine or refrigerator, but in general of any other electrical device. Finally, as we mentioned earlier, it would also be advisable to store them in a place where there is not a lot of humidity and, at the same time, there are not large variations in temperature. .