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Intel Bug Causes Failed SSDs Turn 600GB to 8MB

By - Source: Engadget | B 48 comments

It may be solid state, but you should still make backups!

Intel's SSD 320 series offer some great storage solutions for enthusiasts. For those with the budget, getting 600GB in solid state is quite impressive – of course, that is until it fails and reports itself as a cry-worthy 8MB.

A bug that afflicts the entire 320 line can cause an SSD to revert to 8MB following a crash or power failure. The Register quotes a couple of users from the PC Review forum:

"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," wrote one user. "AFAIK they have not yet publicly announced it, and won't have a firmware fix ready for release until the end of July."

Another posted, "I just had this happen to me. Had the 600G model for a month. Then the drive crashed and now DISKPART shows 8MB for that drive. SMART attributes are gone... The drive worked great for a month!"

Fortunately, Intel did eventually acknowledge that it is aware of these "customer sightings" on the 320 SSD series. Intel isn't yet revealing more about the nature of the bug, or when a fix is coming.

If you have a 320 SSD, we recommend that you backup all of your data ASAP.

Discuss
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Top Comments
  • 24 Hide
    Netherscourge , July 14, 2011 2:13 PM
    ...and the paid beta testing continues!
  • 12 Hide
    wiyosaya , July 14, 2011 2:36 PM
    Haha! I guess this is rather embarrassing to the behemoth, Intel. ;) 
  • 10 Hide
    drwho1 , July 14, 2011 6:14 PM
    just another reason to keep waiting for SSD's to mature.... and drop the prices
Other Comments
  • -9 Hide
    f-gomes , July 14, 2011 1:49 PM
    Oh no, Tom's. You didn't just quote TheRegister, did you?
  • -7 Hide
    belardo , July 14, 2011 1:59 PM
    Noooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!
  • 4 Hide
    nearly nil , July 14, 2011 2:00 PM
    Don't get too excited about this folks. The error is caused by extreme power cycling. Yes, it should be fixed to avoid this bug, but it sounds like normal use will not sink the boat. We are, essentially, early adopters of SSDs right now, so it's not too surprising that these bugs are coming up. That said, power cycling seems like a very routine Quality Control test, so why didn't Intel find this error prerelease?
  • 24 Hide
    Netherscourge , July 14, 2011 2:13 PM
    ...and the paid beta testing continues!
  • 6 Hide
    lethal decipher , July 14, 2011 2:22 PM
    I remember Western Digital spinners failing and showing up as 8MB failures...
  • 8 Hide
    nearly nil , July 14, 2011 2:29 PM
    lol related stories: Best SSDs for the money. Guess what gets big recommendation?
  • -5 Hide
    hakkafusion , July 14, 2011 2:33 PM
    i'm surprised with the amount of defective sandforce drives that just drop dead vs intel drives, the sandforce drives don't get a cover story but intel do
  • 12 Hide
    wiyosaya , July 14, 2011 2:36 PM
    Haha! I guess this is rather embarrassing to the behemoth, Intel. ;) 
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , July 14, 2011 3:16 PM
    After all,it's intel we are talking about,here, no surprises.
    A bug here and there once in a while.
    Cpu bugs,chipsets bugs,not news here.
    but i want my data back ,i use them as a backup drive on an external case.
    :-(
  • 1 Hide
    borisof007 , July 14, 2011 4:03 PM
    Anyone remember the Sandy Bridge fiasco? Cmon people: http://www.tomshardware.com/news/sandy-bridge-cougar-point-chipset-sandy-bridge-recall,12123.html
  • -1 Hide
    lethal decipher , July 14, 2011 4:12 PM
    borisof007Anyone remember the Sandy Bridge fiasco? Cmon people: http://www.tomshardware.com/news/s [...] 12123.html


    Not to get off subject but that isn't a common scenario! :D 
  • 0 Hide
    eklipz330 , July 14, 2011 4:21 PM
    damn that blows for intel, they probably haven't announced it so their stocks don't drop lol
  • 3 Hide
    reggieray , July 14, 2011 4:29 PM
    I can hear greedy lawyers rubbing their hands together now.
  • -5 Hide
    DjEaZy , July 14, 2011 4:38 PM
    ... sandforce rox... or the bug is jet to come...? wee will see...!
  • 2 Hide
    hellwig , July 14, 2011 4:44 PM
    Assuming you don't try to modify the drive in any way, I would assume the data is recoverable (perhaps re-flashing or replacing the controller). Maybe Intel would be so kind as to offer recovery services to the affected customers (and apparently, this isn't wide-spread, so it couldn't be that many people).

    Still, don't know why you'd treat an SSD any different from other storage, i.e., MAKE BACKUPS!
  • -4 Hide
    lethal decipher , July 14, 2011 5:18 PM
    hellwig...Still, don't know why you'd treat an SSD any different from other storage, i.e., MAKE BACKUPS!


    SSDs will outlast humans and most importantly roaches!
  • -1 Hide
    Yuka , July 14, 2011 5:35 PM
    So much for a billion dollar R&D company, huh.

    Cheers!
  • 4 Hide
    xrodney , July 14, 2011 5:42 PM
    nearly nilDon't get too excited about this folks. The error is caused by extreme power cycling. Yes, it should be fixed to avoid this bug, but it sounds like normal use will not sink the boat. We are, essentially, early adopters of SSDs right now, so it's not too surprising that these bugs are coming up. That said, power cycling seems like a very routine Quality Control test, so why didn't Intel find this error prerelease?

    Well SSD is already after early adopt stage being on market for 4 years.
  • 8 Hide
    darkphox , July 14, 2011 5:42 PM
    This happened to my wife's 120GB last night. Trust me, there is nothing excessive about her 'power cycling'. She turns it on during the day, and off at night. While it may not be widespread, it is a B.S. problem that Intel needs to fix.

    Hoping my 160gb lasts until the supposed firmware update...my wife's lasted a little over a month. Feeling like mine is on borrowed time right now...
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