Author Topic: SSD disks seem to accelerate motherboard failure on computers  (Read 3859 times)

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Offline Solares

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I work in IT - we upgrade Windows and Mac computers.

I am not an electronics expert.

However, I have noticed very interesting trend.

We get in old systems to upgrade to SSD. Previously, they would have been using spinning mechanical hard disks. So, it might be an Windows desktop PC or an iMac for example. The systems would be performing terribly slow. We put in a new SSD and the system is given a new lease of life. Where once the operating system and applications would run painfully slowly - after the SSD upgrade, they would run really fast.

However, anywhere from 3 to 6 months later, the motherboard would just fail on these systems. Not all of them, but about 30 per cent of them.

My hypothesis: It's as if the system was used to operating at a slow speed all it's life. With an SSD the electronic components get a shock, can no longer handle the speed and the motherboard fails because of overstress.

Sorry for being over simplistic here. But does anybody have any theories on why this happens?

(But please don't state the bleeding obvious by saying "they're old systems anyway")



 

Online Manul

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Re: SSD disks seem to accelerate motherboard failure on computers
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2021, 03:26:01 pm »
How the motherboards fail? Have you tried to pinpoint what exactly fails? Because just to say that it "fails" is very abstract.
 

Offline Monkeh

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Re: SSD disks seem to accelerate motherboard failure on computers
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2021, 03:28:14 pm »
(But please don't state the bleeding obvious by saying "they're old systems anyway")

I'm not sorry, I'm going to.

How old are these machines? Of what sort of quality are they? (and don't say 'oh, well some are Macs' - they're not special.)
 

Offline bdunham7

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Re: SSD disks seem to accelerate motherboard failure on computers
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2021, 03:35:57 pm »
I've converted enough (mostly laptops) systems to know that I don't have a 30% failure rate with quite a high confidence interval.  Actually, I've never had one over maybe a dozen such conversions as well as custom builds.  What OS ends up on these systems and how does the motherboard 'fail'?  Other than the capacitor plague and an occasional physical mishap, I haven't seen many failed motherboards.  Of course, I don't work on very many Apple products.
A 3.5 digit 4.5 digit 5 digit 5.5 digit 6.5 digit 7.5 digit DMM is good enough for most people.
 

Offline kripton2035

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Re: SSD disks seem to accelerate motherboard failure on computers
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2021, 03:35:58 pm »
I do the same job, but mainly on macs.I installed ssd in macs computers for 10 years or so. 1 to 10 per week.
my 2 co-workers do almost the same amount of installations.
only a few ssd failed ( max 5 I can remember) and no motherboard died (except 2011 imac with known graphic card problems)
I used mainly samsung ssd may be it's the reason ?
 

Offline Solares

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Re: SSD disks seem to accelerate motherboard failure on computers
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2021, 04:29:09 pm »


This particularly affects iMacs which are between 2010-2012.

We will not take on any systems below 2010.

The Windows systems would be typically  7-8 years. These are branded systems like HP.

SSD brands we would use would be WD Blue and SanDisk. BTW, just to re-emphasize the SSDs would be fine.

We often do not have time to pinpoint exact failure of motherboard.

And thanks kripton for bringing up the issue of iMac 2011 - yes, this graphics chips on these seem to be a big problem.
 

Offline Monkeh

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Re: SSD disks seem to accelerate motherboard failure on computers
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2021, 04:37:18 pm »
This particularly affects iMacs which are between 2010-2012.

Thermally abused fashion statements with unreliable MXM cards, in other words.

There's also the distinct possibility you're inducing the failures with poor handling. Do you take ESD precautions at all?
« Last Edit: June 12, 2021, 04:42:17 pm by Monkeh »
 
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Offline ocset

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Re: SSD disks seem to accelerate motherboard failure on computers
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2021, 04:43:27 pm »
Get a DC current clamp, splice into the laptop power supply cable......note dc current in when with HDD and then with SSD.
Compare.
Its likely its using too much power with ssd
Laptops are crammed like mad inside, and cooling is at a critical point....a slight increase in power, and bang goes the motherboard.

Also, you can do the same test with  a thermal cam

Use a thermal cam with max temp hold...otherwise your shaking hand will invalidate the reading...obviosuly you need to take it apart for thermal cam, and point at the motherboard or its heatsink.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2021, 04:46:04 pm by treez »
 

Offline Monkeh

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Re: SSD disks seem to accelerate motherboard failure on computers
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2021, 04:44:22 pm »
Get a DC current clamp, splice into the power suppply cable......note dc current in when with HDD and then with SSD.
Compare.
Its likely its using too much power with ssd

Rubbish, treez. The average power consumption of an SSD is massively lower than an HDD.
 
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Offline ocset

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Re: SSD disks seem to accelerate motherboard failure on computers
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2021, 04:45:27 pm »
yes but the motherboard running it with the increased speed, may overheat.
Good point though...so if the hdd is pulling more current, then you wont tell by scoping the dc current in....so you need to use thermal cam  on the motherboard.

I seriously believe that laptops were never meant to be...theres not enough room inside for cooling......but their convenience means that they get sold anyway
« Last Edit: June 12, 2021, 04:49:22 pm by treez »
 

Offline ucanel

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Re: SSD disks seem to accelerate motherboard failure on computers
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2021, 04:48:31 pm »
Spurious correlation:

 
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Offline Monkeh

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Re: SSD disks seem to accelerate motherboard failure on computers
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2021, 04:50:12 pm »
yes but the motherboard running it with the increased speed, may overheat.
Good point though...so if the hdd is pulling more current, then you wont tell by scoping the dc current in....so you need to use thermal cam  on the motherboard.

It's spending far more time waiting on the user than anything else. You're not going to overheat a ten year old computer by putting a slow (yes, slow) SSD in it.
 

Offline ocset

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Re: SSD disks seem to accelerate motherboard failure on computers
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2021, 04:53:16 pm »
Are you using ESD precautions when you open up the computer.?
 

Offline Solares

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Re: SSD disks seem to accelerate motherboard failure on computers
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2021, 05:12:44 pm »

Yes, ESD wrist strap and ESD mat always used.

But, these failures rarely happen immediately.

It's usually anywhere between 1 month and 3 months after SSD installation.

Maybe it is a spurious correlation, but it just seems something happens to old motherboards after an SSD has been installed.
 

Offline Monkeh

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Re: SSD disks seem to accelerate motherboard failure on computers
« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2021, 05:16:10 pm »
ESD failures are not always immediate. Often far from it.

How many machines of this age do you not open and upgrade, and then monitor for the next year?
« Last Edit: June 12, 2021, 05:22:10 pm by Monkeh »
 
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Offline bdunham7

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Re: SSD disks seem to accelerate motherboard failure on computers
« Reply #15 on: June 12, 2021, 05:23:33 pm »
This particularly affects iMacs which are between 2010-2012.

There might be a specific issue with the upgrade, but I doubt there's a general issue of overworking the MB due to the increased performance.  All of the applications that I can think of that use a lot of CPU or GPU--HEVC encoding, web browsers with 100 tabs open--would not be significantly affected (powerwise) by drive performance. 

Quote
We often do not have time to pinpoint exact failure of motherboard.

That would be the place to start if nobody else has observed a similar correlation.  Even if your failure rates are abnormally high compared to a baseline of unimproved systems--not a foregone conclusion b/t/w--the cause could be any number of issues.

Quote
Maybe it is a spurious correlation, but it just seems something happens to old motherboards after an SSD has been installed.

Here's a thought.  Were these systems in use right up to the time of upgrade or have they been taken out of service some time back, left in a closet and now you are resurrecting them?
« Last Edit: June 12, 2021, 05:25:25 pm by bdunham7 »
A 3.5 digit 4.5 digit 5 digit 5.5 digit 6.5 digit 7.5 digit DMM is good enough for most people.
 

Offline JustMeHere

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Re: SSD disks seem to accelerate motherboard failure on computers
« Reply #16 on: June 12, 2021, 05:29:25 pm »
Unless you're using defective SSDs then absoutely no way possible.

When you say "terribly slow" it could be the systems were already in a pre-failure state.


« Last Edit: June 12, 2021, 05:36:20 pm by JustMeHere »
 

Offline Gyro

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Re: SSD disks seem to accelerate motherboard failure on computers
« Reply #17 on: June 12, 2021, 05:30:20 pm »
Get a DC current clamp, splice into the power suppply cable......note dc current in when with HDD and then with SSD.
Compare.
Its likely its using too much power with ssd

Rubbish, treez. The average power consumption of an SSD is massively lower than an HDD.

treez?  :o  What gives? treez = ocset?
« Last Edit: June 12, 2021, 05:35:55 pm by Gyro »
Chris

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Offline Monkeh

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Re: SSD disks seem to accelerate motherboard failure on computers
« Reply #18 on: June 12, 2021, 05:39:16 pm »
Get a DC current clamp, splice into the power suppply cable......note dc current in when with HDD and then with SSD.
Compare.
Its likely its using too much power with ssd

Rubbish, treez. The average power consumption of an SSD is massively lower than an HDD.

treez?  :o  What gives? treez = ocset?

It appears he's just changed his name. Because his posting habits are really difficult to identify. ::)

Maybe he works for Tesco now.
 
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Offline Gyro

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Re: SSD disks seem to accelerate motherboard failure on computers
« Reply #19 on: June 12, 2021, 05:40:34 pm »
Sigh  ::)
Chris

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Online Cerebus

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Re: SSD disks seem to accelerate motherboard failure on computers
« Reply #20 on: June 12, 2021, 05:46:45 pm »
Maybe it is a spurious correlation, but it just seems something happens to old motherboards after an SSD has been installed.

Perhaps it does, but William of Occam would probably side with an explanation of "machines are more likely to fail after someone has partially disassembled and reassembled them".  Or as BD139 (who is on a break so isn't here to comment) would have put it "If you monkey around with systems they break".

The only way to be confident that your hypothesis is true would be to do a controlled experiment. Upgrade to SSDs in some machines (group "monkey involved type S"), remove and reinstall the HDDs in some of them (group "monkey involved type H"), and leave some alone (group "no monkey involved in process").  My hypothesis is that you would see higher failure rates in both the groups with "monkey involved" and normal failure rates in the "no monkey involved in process" group. Of course this all falls apart if your sample size is too small compared to the normal failure rates of machines anyway - as is probably already be the case for your anecdotal analysis. You'd need thousands of machines to get a reliable result in a reasonable period of time.
Anybody got a syringe I can use to squeeze the magic smoke back into this?
 
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Offline Solares

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Re: SSD disks seem to accelerate motherboard failure on computers
« Reply #21 on: June 12, 2021, 05:57:36 pm »

>>Here's a thought.  Were these systems in use right up to the time of upgrade or have they >>been taken out of service some time back, left in a closet and now you are resurrecting them?

They would be used right up to time of upgrade.

However, as anybody who deals with end-users knows, they can lie. And some are very good at it!
So, what if they had been in storage?

And thanks Cerebus for your comment the hard disk upgrade process is actually a very unobtrusive procedure. For example, with old iMacs, it just a case of removing glass screen, disconnecting the screen and power connector to the LCD and then have direct access to the disk bay. No need to remove or alter any other components.
 

Offline jmelson

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Re: SSD disks seem to accelerate motherboard failure on computers
« Reply #22 on: June 12, 2021, 06:04:56 pm »
Hmmm, I really doubt it.  There are good motherboards, and crummy ones.  I have been using used Dell Optiplex systems from eBay for well over a decade.  I have one on my web server, one on my main desktop, and a few others here and there.  Most have SSDs in them, and have been running for anywhere from15 years down to just a few years.  Other that one where I blew up the parallel port with a 12V wire touching, none of them have died.  I have seen a few power supplies go bad.

The Optiplex is Dell's commercial line of computers.  If you look inside one, you can't SEE anything that looks different from their consumer line, but there IS something different about them.  This machine I'm typing on was bought used and has been running for 9 years straight.  I just replaced the SSD as I was afraid it was going to suffer the "wear out" problem sometime, and also I needed a bigger one.

Dell did get hit with the capacitor plague about 15 years ago, and that did cause a lot of motherboards to crap out.

Jon
 

Offline Solares

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Re: SSD disks seem to accelerate motherboard failure on computers
« Reply #23 on: June 12, 2021, 06:28:57 pm »
Yes, my second computer is also an Optiplex - great workhorse computer. Always starts - never any surprises with it.

If I had to visit the international space station for one year and could only take one computer, it would probably be an Optiplex.

I would certainly not take an iMac. @Monkeh knows what I'm talking about!
 

Offline james_s

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Re: SSD disks seem to accelerate motherboard failure on computers
« Reply #24 on: June 12, 2021, 06:36:52 pm »
Aren't Macs of that era known for having BGA soldering issues? I suspect if there is any cause-effect relation going on here, it's that simply disturbing an old system internally and putting some mechanical stress on the board (plugging/unplugging cables) is causing cracks in already weak solder joints that results in a failure after some number of thermal cycles. There is no reason that a faster disk would make the motherboard fail.
 


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