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Old Jul 11, 2011, 12:12 PM   #1
Philflow
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Intel 320 Series SSDs Affected by Firmware Bug That Causes Data Loss

Intel 320-Series SSDs Affected by Firmware Bug That Causes Data Loss
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A series of consumers who have bought Intel 320-series solid state drives have reported that the units are affected by a strange firmware issue that causes these SSDs to drop in capacity to just 8MB and lose all the data that is stored on them.

320-series SSD owners who are affected by these issues started a thread on Intel's official support forums to complain about the problems, but no official response has been provided at this time.

These problems were first spotted by the PC Review publication, which wrote:

“Be wary of the new Intel SSD 320 series. Currently, there's a bug in the controller that can cause the device to revert to 8MB during a power failure. AFAIK they have not yet publicly announced it, and won't have a firmware fix ready for release until the end of July.”

According to an Intel representative, these issues can be triggered by power failures as the SSD tries to reconnect with the SATA port instead of starting a proper shutdown.

So far, there is still no clear solution for this problem, but some users have reported that drive space can be restored by performing a secure erase with the help of Intel's SSD Toolbox utility.

A new firmware that is supposed to resolve these issues is expected by the end of the month, but Intel hasn't made any official statements in this regard.

Intel's 320 SSD Series is comprised of six models with capacities ranging from 40GB to 600GB and all these drives use the SATA 3Gbps interface.

Their performance varies according to drive capacity, but the fastest SSDs are able to reach sequential read and write speeds of 270MB/s and 220MB/s, respectively, as well as 39,500 input/output operations per second (IOPS) random reads and 23,000 IOPS random writes.

Since the second half of May, the drives are backed up by one of the largest warranties in the industry which spans over no less than five years.
http://news.softpedia.com/news/Intel...s-210809.shtml
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Old Jul 11, 2011, 12:44 PM   #2
Eddyisgreat
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fml

just put this kitty into a server box running win 2k8 dc too

thx 4 the heads up.
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Old Jul 11, 2011, 01:38 PM   #3
bozz2006
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This is me. I actually had two drives that were affected in this way before I had had enough and got a Vertex 3. Mine weren't caused by a power failure though, I don't believe. Both failures happened after opening my laptop from a sleep state. The system would then hang, freeze, and icons would start disappearing from the desktop.
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Old Jul 11, 2011, 04:22 PM   #4
eC1990ho
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This is disturbing
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Old Jul 11, 2011, 04:27 PM   #5
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Crap, and I was going to buy the 320 series drive for my MBP when my optical drive caddy came in.
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Old Jul 11, 2011, 04:31 PM   #6
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Is this problem related to a particular way of treating the SSD (ie. power-cycling)? And, how susceptible will normal usage be affected by this bug (regular bootup, sleep, proper shutdown etc.)?
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Old Jul 11, 2011, 04:36 PM   #7
dmarch
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I have a 120GB 320 Series that suffered this failure in my 2010 mbp. I had left the computer plugged in and turned on overnight to perform a Time Machine back up after upgrading to 10.7. I'm not really sure if I will use the replacement or not.
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Old Jul 11, 2011, 04:54 PM   #8
riptideMBP
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That's an interesting issue. At least with an optibay, internal backup takes less than 2 minutes
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Old Jul 12, 2011, 02:14 AM   #9
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Is there a way of finding out what firmware version you have on your mac? I can't see anything obvious in system profiler.
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Old Jul 12, 2011, 02:48 AM   #10
blunti
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wow... i thought these are the most reliable ssd's out there... guess not anymore. or at least until the fw update


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Old Jul 12, 2011, 02:55 AM   #11
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Found this thread:
http://communities.intel.com/message/127052

Last edited by Jiten; Jul 12, 2011 at 03:05 AM.
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Old Jul 12, 2011, 02:56 AM   #12
Locodice
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This thread just made my day!

All those Intel fanboys who love bragging on here about how "reliable" and "reputable" intel are with SSD's

roflmao
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Old Jul 12, 2011, 03:09 AM   #13
Philflow
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^ I do agree, many people claimed that this was the most reliable SSD without having real evidence.

Intel acknowledges the problem now:
Quote:
Intel is aware of the customer sightings on Intel SSD 320 Series. If you experience any issue with your Intel SSD, please contact your Intel representative or Intel customer support (via web: Laptop, Notebook, Desktop, Server and Embedded Processor Technology - Intel or phone: Phone Support) . We will provide an update when we have more information.

Alan
Intel's NVM Solutions Group
SSD power loss report updates: Intel Communities
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Old Jul 12, 2011, 03:31 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Locodice View Post
This thread just made my day!

All those Intel fanboys who love bragging on here about how "reliable" and "reputable" intel are with SSD's

roflmao
Bet they'll still claim an Intel 320 is better than a Crucial C300!
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Old Jul 12, 2011, 06:57 AM   #15
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thank you.
Just before I was about to buy my first SSD
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Old Jul 12, 2011, 07:21 AM   #16
Philflow
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Originally Posted by yusukeaoki View Post
thank you.
Just before I was about to buy my first SSD
You had rather find out after you bought the SSD?
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Old Jul 12, 2011, 09:06 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Philflow View Post
You had rather find out after you bought the SSD?
nah I was really excited to get one until now
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Old Jul 12, 2011, 09:09 AM   #18
Philflow
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Originally Posted by yusukeaoki View Post
nah I was really excited to get one until now
It's only Intel 320 that's affected.

Kingston V+ 100, Samsung 470, Crucial M4 (firmware 2) still run fantastic on MBP.

So does Seagate XT by the way...
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Old Jul 12, 2011, 09:36 AM   #19
eC1990ho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philflow View Post
It's only Intel 320 that's affected.

Kingston V+ 100, Samsung 470, Crucial M4 (firmware 2) still run fantastic on MBP.

So does Seagate XT by the way...
Is the M4 stable if put in the optical bay?
I can only find articles where they test it in the main bay
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Old Jul 12, 2011, 02:46 PM   #20
Philflow
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Too bad this thread got moved. Many MBP owners have or are considering this SSD and would like to be aware of what's going on.
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Is the M4 stable if put in the optical bay?
I can only find articles where they test it in the main bay
The Crucial M4 is fully stable in MBP 2011.

I don't how the optibay would affect that.
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Old Jul 12, 2011, 05:05 PM   #21
dmarch
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My replacement arrives from Intel tomorrow. I think it will stay in the box until a new firmware version is released.
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Old Jul 12, 2011, 05:48 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philflow View Post
You had rather find out after you bought the SSD?
I know, I found out just today, a week after I ordered it from Best Buy. I wonder if this is the reason the order hasn't shipped yet?

Looks like Intel isn't the only one having issues.

Quote:
A few days ago, we reported that solid state drives based on the SandForce SF-2000 controllers are facing some severe problems that may range from Windows blue screens to the BIOS' inability to detect the SSD and recently OCZ has confirmed that Vertex 3 and Agility 3 models are affected by these issues.

This information was posted on the company's official forums by Eric Ryder, forum support manager at OCZ.

“OCZ is aware of firmware issues that have been reported in the field that are potentially causing bluescreens on all SF2000 based drives, this issue affects a very small percentage of Vertex 3 and Agility 3 SSDs, and currently less than 1% of all our customers are affected,” said Ryder.

However, he was quick to point out that OCZ doesn't suffer from the same problems that made Corsair recall its 120GB Force 3 SSDs, and that these issues can be fixed with a simple firmware update.

“This hard to replicate issue is a completely different issue than what some other drive manufacturers are experiencing, which may have similar symptoms but is caused by a hardware issue.

“Unlike other brands OCZ does not use a reference design, and we design and manufacture our SSDs in-house, and are NOT affected by the hardware problems which are unique to other drive vendors.”

OCZ is currently working with SandForce to develop a new firmware version that could solve these problems, but nobody knows at this point in time how long it will take until this arrives.

As a result, users who are facing any blue screen issues with their Vertex 3 and Agility 3 SSDs are encouraged to contact the company's customer service team for immediate support (link here).

The 120GB Corsair Force 3 SSDs which were recalled earlier this week suffered not only from firmware issues, but also had a defective PCB design.
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Last edited by benthewraith; Jul 12, 2011 at 06:07 PM.
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Old Jul 13, 2011, 12:47 AM   #23
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I really hope people took backups...

A very unsettling bug though. And in light of Intel having a far more thorough quality control and testing on their new units, you can wonder what kind of issues the other manufacturers have.
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Old Oct 24, 2011, 06:18 AM   #24
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Has Intel rectified this problem yet?
I'm planning to get one for my 2010 MacBook Pro (6,2), or something as reliable as Intel SSDs are supposed to be.
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