Crucial has recently offered a firmware update 0309 for its Crucial m4 SSD series drives. The update is in response to issues brought to Crucial's attention for BSOD occurrences with the SSD, causing the system to require a restart. Based on Crucial's review, the issue was related to a few drives and only affected the system after 5,000 hours of actual "on-time" use. Following the initial reboot, the system then requires subsequent restarts after each additional hour of use.
Crucial stated that the firmware "Corrects a condition where an incorrect response to a SMART counter will cause the m4 drive to become unresponsive after 5184 hours of Power-on time. The drive will recover after a power cycle, however, this failure will repeat once per hour after reaching this point. The condition will allow the end user to successfully update firmware, and poses no risk to user or system data stored on the drive".
Crucial highly recommends end users update to firmware 0309 for all drives out in the market. Though Crucial states that it has no effect on the data saved on the drive but the failure mode can become repetitive, and pose a nuisance to the end user. Even if you haven't experienced the issue on your drive, Crucial still recommends this update to prevent the possibility in the future.
I'm happy they fixed it, but how strange.
ps. For those other M4 users who are planning on updating the firmware, the install requires a blank CD and the ability to burn an ISO. Unfortunately, no USB pen drive option. Also, use a CD, not a DVD. I used a blank DVD at first and ran into some issues.
We went through swapping all sorts of troubleshooting with Intel - ended up swapping board, ram, backplane, cpu and power supply. Drives would test fine (because of that damn hour...)
Our business was essentially offline for a week (we're IT support, doesn't look good when our clients can't call us) until Crucial found and fixed the issue.
I am just very glad we didn't have the same system running on any of our client sites - it would have meant a lost client due to the time outage, regardless of whether it was our fault or not.
IF counter>5000 AND warranty=-1 THEN FAIL
Crucial made note of the issue around the first part of January on their forum and provided the firmware update a week or so ago, so in that sense it is old news. Crucial kept the firmware update kind of quite (meaning no Press Releases or such), so unless you were looking for it, you might have missed it, so in that sense it is new news for some.