I recently installed an OCZ 128GB Petrol series SSD into a Dell Vostro 1720 laptop after the stock drive failed.
After two months of light usage (web/email), HDSentinel reports the health of the drive as 75% with 25 bad sectors found. In addition, the system has been unstable (slow boot times, apps taking too long to load, etc).
Is the HDSentinel health accurate, and if so, is it normal? I have another laptop which is 2 years old, with a Samsung SSD, that I use daily. My HDSentinel reports a 96% with no bad sectors and a warning about "#177 Wear Leveling Count".
If you are using XP, it is normal to get a slow down with use. This is because NAND flash only does 1 to 0 writes and 0 to 1 always need a much slower erase. As FAT leaves old data on the SSD and only place a $ sign on the file header, the drive gradually gets full of mixed 1's and 0's.
Windows 7 has TRIM capability which is a garbage collection operation to return free space to 1's again. Writing 1's to 0's is always faster.
In case you are using XP, you can do a manual 0 to 1 operation by using a secure erase program to free space with an all 11111111 data pattern. I use an older version of Eraser program to do this. Newer version of Eraser doesn't allow user defined data pattern. Of course after a secure erase, file recover doesn't work anymore.
Since flash makers like Samsung, Crucial (Micron) keep the best chips to themselves, getting a Samsung or Crucial SSD is not a bad idea.
Generally, the SSD controller has row, block replacement strategies. When defects overwhelms replacement, then you get a major slow down. Is the SSD almost full? This will make garbage collection go longer and longer. Does your drive support TRIM?
The drive supports TRIM and is about 25% full. The drive has a manufacturing defect for sure. OCZ issued me a RMA without question.