I have been using 3 SSD drives for about 6 weeks now and have a mixed bag of feelings... For previosu stories see http://communities.intel.com/thread/23623
I have two laptops having 80GB and 160GB drives installed, both running Windows XP, and one desktop 320GB with Vista on it. The drives are about 60 - 70 % full, with lots of daily activity going on. I had the "Toolbox Optimization utility", aka TRIM guy, scheduled to run twice a week. The laptops got very fast, not doubt about it!
Here is what has happened to me:
1. System #1, 160GB, lots of code installs and data movement, suddendly got slow, XP froze. Multiple boot attempts got through to various stages of the system being loaded. After about 3 of them decided to boot standalone Acronis True Image and was able to pull a backup image off the SDD drive. Then tried to boot the system a few times, ended up with "No system disk found".
Replaced the SDD with a regular drive, restored the backup image, was back in business in about 3 hrs, sweating and swearing a lot. Connected the SSD drive over USB, the system would not even detect it, looked like fried electronically. Checked the restored drive for fragmentation: the picture showed sectors used all the way up to the drives capacity, with lots of holes in between. So... did it run out of free sectors while it was on SSD?
Luckily still within 30-day "no questions asked" return policy from Amazon, got the drive replaced the next day. Repeated the SSD installation procedure, booted off it and never had any problems since then (3 weeks). I am very careful now to run the TRIM utility before and after any task involving large amounts of data. Have it set to run 3 times a week automatically. Reasonably happy.
2. System #2: 80GB, medium activity. System got slower, reported booting error, repeated boot got me through. Remembering the lesson from system #1, fired up TRIM utility (set to run twice a week anyway), the moment it started spinning, even before getting to 1% checked, POOF! The system froze and I got the "blue screen of death". "No system disk" on boot attempt. Found the original disk, replaced, booted OK, except data was a month old as I was not keeping up with backups (ever heard of a failing SDD drive?!, nah... right...). Connected the SSD drive via USB: seems to work electronically, data recovery utilities did not find a single file on it, it is totally GONE! Lesson learned: keep current backup! I am about to exercise the 5 years warranty rights from Intel and give it another try... Totally not happy.
3. My system #3, desktop using a 320GB SSD: running Vista happily for 6 weeks now. I dilligently run the TRIM utility and backups twice a week. Very happy with performance, so-so happy otherwise because I constantly need to watch what I am doing.
Anyway, I wanted to share my experience with you all and ask the big question: should people be using SSD drives with systems which do not have an automatic TRIM capability? I think this is quite dangerous, despite Intel not saying anything about such dangers of the drives going completely kaputt when they run out of free sectors.