Back in 2012, I wrote a post titled Looking at External Disk Performance using USB 3.0 and eSATA with SSD, where I tested a number of external drive caddy’s with SSD’s that I had replaced and just had sitting around. Ultimately I started to use those SSD’s for storing information that I didn’t really need to have on my laptops and when they were full, they ended up in my desk drawer, where they have sat, unplugged and “safe” for the last 7-8 years. Or so I thought. With cheer competitions season in full swing, one of the things I love to do is shoot photos of my kids and their teammates competing, and storing RAW files that are 25-35MB per photo when you shoot 1000+ photos in a weekend across four different teams starts to take up a lot of space, so I figured I would pull out the old SSD’s and see what was on them that was worth keeping, delete what wasn’t and I could then move last years RAW files over to them and archive them for safe keeping. WRONG!!! Of the four SSD’s I had stored data on, 100% of them had data loss due to a phenomenon known as bit rot. One of them wouldn’t even show up in Disk Manager in Windows and had to be low level formatted and reset using diskpart’s clean command due to partition table corruption.
This is a nasty scenario. Read on to learn more about how you can detect the issue and keep in mind the 3-2-1 rule: 3 copies of your data in at least 2 storage media, at least 1 of which is offsite.