So I've been really struggling with my boot SSD lately. And it's been a persistent issue for almost over a year now. This gets a little long, so I apologize for that in advance.The short story
: I have a 970 EVO 2 TB SSD that I use as my boot drive. It started showing an increasing number of "Media and Data Integrity Errors", so I RMA'd the drive to Samsung and they replaced it. Now the replacement is showing the same behavior and degrading slowly on me, and I'm not sure why.The long story
: I'm running 2 x 2TB 970 EVO drives on Windows 10, both at the latest firmware. They're on an ASUS ROG Maximus X Formula, both connected directly to the motherboard. My boot drive is one of them, and it's connected to the motherboard via the vertical connector that stands straight up and down - Initially this drive had no heatsink. The second drive is under the motherboard's heatsink shield. I use it as a secondary drive for my Steam Library.
Both are running via PCIe 4x connection.
The secondary drive is fine. It's been in the system for a little under two years, and has had no problems.
The boot drive is another story.
After I built the system initially, it was relatively stable for about a year. Then one day when I was running a routine backup, the backup failed with a Cyclic Redundancy Check error. This prompted me to look deeper into the health of the drive. A standard chkdsk, sfc /scannow, etc., didn't reveal anything untoward at all.
However, when I dug into the S.M.A.R.T. values for the drive via Crystal Disk Info, I found that the value "media and data integrity errors" had a value of 4. This is in contrast to the non-boot nVME SSD I have that read 0 for that value.
I kept an eye on it for weeks, and that number slowly crept upward to 6. At that point I contacted Samsung, and replaced the drive via RMA. After replacement, I added a heatsink to the drive just to be safe.
After cloning the drive and replacing it (Using Samsung data migration assistant), all was fine until a few weeks ago. Suddenly the "Media and Data Integrity Errors" has crept up to 1 again, from 0. Then it crept up to 3. I fear it's going to continue increasing until the drive is unusable.
Checking the Windows Event Viewer, I see that there's a log that indicates the drive had a "Bad Block" just about the same time this happened. It seems to be happening again, despite having replaced the drive.
Is this something to worry about with regard to the drive degrading? Should I consider this drive failing at this point?
I'm not sure if I just got unlucky with two drives that were both bad, or if there's some other issue that might be causing it - Like a bad m.2 slot on the motherboard. Or if this could even be software related.The Plea:
Does anyone have any insight as to what might be happening, if it's something to be concerned over, and/or what measures to take to assess the situation more deeply? Should I be replacing this SSD ASAP? Should I stop using this m.2 slot altogether? Is there any way to know why
this keeps happening repeatedly?
Thanks very much in advance.