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Cryptocurrency Mining Will Void Your SSD Warranty, Manufacturer Galax Warns


SSD designer Galax has warned users on its Chinese website that mining cryptocurrency with the company’s Solid State Drives (SSDs) will void their warranty with that product. This comes as no surprise with miners getting prepared to start mining the new Chia cryptocurrency which focuses on storage to mine coins rather than requiring the best mining GPUs.

“If users use our SSDs for mining/farming and other abnormal operations, the data writing volume is much higher than the standard for daily use, and the SSD will slow down or get damaged due to excessive data writing volume. Due to the tests carried out, the damages are qualitative according to the test results, and that is why according to the quality assurance standards of our SSDs, we have the right to refuse to provide warranty services. The right of final interpretation belongs to the company, " Galax published a note on their website.
Chia is a new cryptocurrency that isn't even available to trade just yet, but it's already gaining in popularity. The main attraction for this new crypto is the way you can mine the cryptocurrency. Chia relies on a 'proof of time and space' algorithm to mine the currency on hard drives and SSDs, so there's no need to optimize your GPU for mining.

The makers of Chia designed it to be mined this way so mining the cryptocurrency is more accessible to the end-user and won't penalize the customer with big electricity bills or the purchasing of single-use hardware (i.e., ASICs). But, on the negative side of things, this mining technique could severely affect storage supply and demand. If Chia gets popular at all, we will probably see the same shortages we're seeing on GPUs applied to hard drives and SSDs as well. At present, Chia already has over 950 petabytes of storage, consisting of 101.4GiB plots. That's a lot of hard drives and SSDs, and that space remains occupied as long as a miner wants to try to harvest Chia. 

Given how much data write is required to design a Chia plot, it's no surprise that Galax is already preventing users from using their warranty on its SSDs when it comes to mining workloads. If Chia is demanding enough on write performance, we could see all other SSD manufacturers following suit.

HP Issues Advisory Informing Users to Expect SSD Failure around October 2020

Computer enterprise company HP (Hewlett Packard Enterprise) warns its customers about a bug that it has recently found in its SSD (Solid State Drives). The company HP has made a new firmware patch to prevent some of its hard drives from crashing after 40,000 hours of consumer use. In a firmware incident last week, HP informed its consumers about a bug in some of its hard drives that will cause them to stop working after 40,000 hours of use, which is around four years and 200 days. SAS SSDs (Serial-Attached SCSI solid-state drives) is the model of the hard drives that are likely to be affected by this firmware bug.

According to HP, the hard disks manufactured during that period will crash around October this year, and these will be among the earliest failures. To solve this issue, HP has released some firmware updates to fix this bug last week. It has asked the companies to update to the latest firmware updates, and if they fail to do so, the companies might risk losing both the SSD and the data. If the SSD crashes, users can't restore their data, says HP in its security advisory.

This firmware bug incident is similar to another hard drive crash incident that happened in November last year. In the latter event, the HPE SAS SSDs crashed after nearly three years and 270 days of use. This time, however, this bug will affect far fewer SSDs than it did last year. According to HP, the company learned about this issue from a different SSD company that uses HP's SSDs, similar to last year. The list of SAS SSD models affected by the bug is available on HP's customer support website.

"This HPD8 firmware is considered a critical fix and is required to address the issue detailed below. HPE strongly recommends the immediate application of this crucial fixture. Neglecting to update to SSD Firmware Version HPD8 will result in drive failure and data loss at 32,768 hours of operation and require restoration of data from the backup in non-fault tolerance, such as RAID 0 and fault tolerance RAID mode if more drives fail than what is supported by the fault tolerance RAID mode logical drive," reads HP's notification.