Intel Preps Firmware Upgrade to Address SSD 320 Bug

Intel Preps Firmware Upgrade to Address SSD 320 Bug

We have some semi-good news for Intel 320 Series solid state drive owners who might be suffering from the notorious 8MB bug. No, we don't have a fix, and neither does Intel. However, the Santa Clara chip maker is fully aware of the problem and is promising a new firmware update that will supposedly stomp out the annoying bug for good.

"Intel has been investigating the ‘Bad Context 13x Error’ as seen on select Intel® SSD 320 Series drives," Intel said in a statement. "This was previously noted in the Intel community post as 'SSD Power Loss.' To summarize the error: In certain circumstances, after an unexpected power loss, a small percentage of SSDs may experience this error on the next attempt to boot the system. In this situation, the system’s BIOS reports an SSD as an 8MB capacity drive."


Intel said it's been able to reproduce the 'Bad Context 13x Error' and said that it's fixable. As it stands, Intel is in the processing of validating the new firmware, though stopped short of announcing when it will be made available to the public.

In the meantime, Intel is continuing to ship its 320 Series and recommends performing regular backups, as users should be doing anyway. In addition, Intel says to avoid unplugging the SSD while the system is powered on, whenever possible, to reduce the risk of initiating the bug.
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"Ouch man, would have hated to be one of those unfortunate folks who got that error. Thats one of the things which makes me stick to spinning hard drives and no adopt an SSD for the OS. Although intel smart response is more trustworthy to me."

"-Optimus

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OptimusPrimeTime:
intel smart response is more trustworthy to me

It works well here for me so far. This PC is really snappy-fast with it enabled, though the other system components may have something to do with that too. Smile

omegadraco:
Personally I think Intel should be replacing drives that exhibit this error as defective and giving their customers the next size up to compensate for the problem.

That's the sort of thing that Intel has done in the past. But they're still aching from that B2 Stepping problem with the initial Sandy Bridge motherboards I'll bet. (that had to have cost them a crapload of cash to fix) I sent in a Pentium-Pro motherboard to them for repair once, and they in turn, sent me back a brand new one with their best CPU in it, and all of the memory slots filled. Even when they didn't give me extra stuff, their RMA process is fast and easy to do, without a lot of hoops to jump through.

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"One question about Intel SR, what if one day you turn on your PC and you find that it doesn't boot. Then it turns out that the SSD has malfunction and dies. Can  I boot from the Hard Disk drive if I set it to boot priority or once that the two drive have been set to Raid 1, its done for?"

-Optimus

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Yes, I can disable SR at any time and still use the 1TB drive at will. It's just not as fast as it is with the SSD in the mix. And it's not a BIOS function either. It's controlled by Intel's software, IF the BIOS is properly configured.

I unplugged my SSD just to see if the system would still boot, and it does. What I'm gonna try later on tonight is to RAID 2 of these 1TB drives together and then boot into the OS and turn on the SSD with them both.

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realneil:

Yes, I can disable SR at any time and still use the 1TB drive at will. It's just not as fast as it is with the SSD in the mix. And it's not a BIOS function either. It's controlled by Intel's software, IF the BIOS is properly configured.

"Great, I also read  that its not necessary to do a fresh windows Install. I can't remember which site had a guide, I'll have to do some Googleling. I'm planning on getting a new hard drive, possibly either a WD Velociraptor 600GB, or a 300GB version(Also SATA 6.0Gbp/s)  that's coming out soon, and move everything from my current set up when the time comes to upgrade.(hint: around September) 

-Optimus

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OptimusPrimeTime:
I also read  that its not necessary to do a fresh windows Install.

Nope, it doesn't change the system disk in any way. If it's on, then the Intel software 'speeds-up' the system drive with the SSD once Windows is booted up. if it's off the system drive works as normal.

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Personally I believe SSD space is far to precious to be using it as a storage drive anyways. So anything on it should easily be replaced. Though I think Intel should be replacing drives that exhibit this error as defective and giving their customers the next size up to compensate for the problem. Hopefully they will have the firmware figured out soon for those folks experiencing this problem.

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