Is it safe to buy used SSD ? Many people may want to know this question. Buying a used SSD is risky. This post from MiniTool will tell you the reasons and show you how to buy a used SSD safely.

Is It Safe to Buy Used SSD?

Nowadays, many people may want to upgrade their PCs from HDDs to SSDs, or from a slower SSD to a faster SSD, or they just want to get an external SSD. However, due to the budget issue, they may consider a used or refurbished SSD. Is it safe to buy used SSD? In most cases, the answer is NO.

Why I Don’t Recommend You Buy Used SSD

Why I don’t recommend you buy refurbished SSDs? The reasons are as follows.

#1. SSDs have limited write cycles

As we all know, SSDs use flash memory chips to store data. Every time data is written and modified to a flash memory cell, the voltage state of the electrons is changed. Then, the old data is erased and new data is written.

However, every change of state will cause the loss of isolation silicon oxide, shortening the lifespan of SSDs. Therefore, SSDs usually have limited write cycles. Due to this point, many manufacturers will offer their warranties for an SSD in TBW (Terabytes Written), indicating how much data a drive can write over its lifespan.

For example, the Samsung 860 EVO SATA 500GB SSD’s warranty is 5 years or 300TBW, meaning that this SSD can write 300 TB before it needs to be replaced.

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#2. Reduced Performance

Why may a used SSD have a reduced performance? The biggest reason is that you don’t know what the SSD has been used to do. For example, some SSDs may have been used to mine the Chia cryptocurrency and then miners may resell these used SSDs to cover their losses after Chia Coin’s value has plummeted.

However, if an SSD has an excessive workload for a long time, its bad blocks will increase. The bad blocks can’t be used to store data due to the risk of data loss. It means that blocks available on the SDD will decrease, causing an increase in the number of garbage collections (GC).

At the same time, some manufacturers may use OP capacity to replace the bad blocks, affecting the efficiency of garbage collection. If the GC doesn’t work normally, the SSD performance will drop.

GC (Garbage Collection): SSDs write data in the unit of page and erase data in the unit of block. A block consists of many pages. If a page of data is deleted or changed, the SSD needs to copy the valid data on the block to another block and then erase the original block.

OP ( Over-Provisioning ): It refers to space reserved for WL (Wear Leveling), GC, and bad blocks.

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#3. Other Factors

Does buying a refurbished SSD help you save money indeed? How about the after-sales service of the used SSD? You should consider these questions.

How to Buy a Used SSD Safely

If your budget is limited, you may need to buy a used SSD. If so, how to buy a refurbished SSD safely? Here are some points you should pay attention to.

#1. Reliable Source

You can buy a used SSD on eBay, Amazon, OLX, or Newegg, but please choose a reliable store. In general, the manufacturers will not sell used or refurbished SSDs in their official stores, but some of them may certify refurbished SSDs. If so, you can buy these certificated refurbished SSDs from a reliable store.

As for how to find a reliable store, you can view its ratings and user reviews. This can avoid many unscrupulous merchants. Of course, some people may buy used SSDs from friends. In this case, they just need to make sure the price is OK and the SSD lifespan hasn’t run out.

#2. Low Price

If the used SSD’s price is not low enough, buying a used SSD is not recommended. However, I have searched for used SSDs or refurbished SSDs on Amazon, eBay, and Newegg, but find that the used or refurbished SSDs are usually more expensive than the new SSDs of the same model, or they are just a few dollars cheaper.

In this case, I don’t recommend you buy a used SSD except that you find a cheap enough used SSD.

#3. Check S.M.A.R.T Information

If both the SSD source and price are OK, you can then check the SSD quality and lifespan. You need to find the S.M.A.R.T (Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology) information using CrystalDiskInfo or other similar tools.

CrystalDiskInfo is an open-source program. You just need to download and install it. Once it launches, it will list the S.M.A.R.T information of your hard drive.

If you have multiple drives connected to your PC, click Disk to select the one whose S.M.A.R.T information you want to see.