Bad Luck with SSDs

I've had bad luck with SSDs.

My first SSD was a 60 gigabyte model from Vertex. I bought a Vertex
2 60G SSD in February and it failed on me by April. Thankfully, it
was a pretty quickly diagnosed issue and I got a replacement part
from Vertex without much sweat. It's been fine ever since and
embedded in my rejuvenated Thinkpad T43.

In September, on a whim*, I decided to pick up a 512GB SSD. While I
try to keep firmly on top of all technology trends in the US,
pricing tends to something I'm less able to keep track of. When I
noticed I could have a larger SSD than my current hard drive for a
perfectly reasonable $200, I jumped at the chance. Unfortunately,
this device was not what it seemed.

I unwrapped it from the box, it's antistatic envelope still taped
shut. Aside from a fleeting thought about how incredibly light it
was, nothing seemed amiss. Shaking with excitement, the first thing I
did was find my nicest enclosure, USB 3.0 no less, and plugged it in.
This was my first indication that not all was alright.


I had definitely purchased a Crucial 512GB drive, not 16GB.
Perhaps, this was just some lone partition that was, for some
reason, formatted NTFS. Nope, even worse, the device wasn't
identifying itself as a Crucial part at all, but rather a Samsung
UM410 SSD. The Samsung UM410 is apparently a discontinued model
from 2009. At this point, I was deeply concerned, but still hopeful
that I was being dumb and missing something obvious. I thought I
might try a different enclosure just for good measure. At this
point, I noticed how wobbly the SATA connector became and had a big
sad. It seemed quite clear at this point that someone had taken
this device, removed its internals, and replaced them with this
ancient SSD. I had heard of such fraudulent flash drives before,
but only in the context of USB thumb drives sold on eBay or
Craigslist, not from a major electronics outlet** on Long Island.

But how? Crucial claims that the product could not have left the
warehouse in this way. Similarly, the electronics outlet is sure that
the device, theoretically sealed, could not have been tampered with
like this. I could use a Sherlock or, in a pinch, a Jonathan Creek to
help solve the puzzle.

At this point, I'm just a little bummed. I had grand plans of instant
boot times and lots of free space. Maybe I'd even take the
opportunity to totally rebuild my OS.

* Well, technically, I've been thinking about getting an SSD for quite
a long time. But this is what "whim" means to me.

** Unnamed until, well, I get a refund.