Updated - 320 Series firmware fix due within two weeks


— 9:44 AM on August 17, 2011

We dropped Intel's 320 Series SSD from the current iteration of our current system guide because of a nasty firmware bug that can reduce the drive's total contents to just 8MB. Intel has something of a history with dodgy SSD firmware, and this "Bad Context 13x Error" has been an issue for more than a month now. Finally, it looks like a fix is on the way.

An official post on Intel's community forum says a firmware update to address the problem is in final validation testing. Intel expects to release the update within the next two weeks. Although the firmware can be applied without secure-erasing a drive, that's still the only way to restore an 8MB 320 Series SSD to its original capacity. Data loss is inevitable if you've been hit by the bug, it seems. Bummer.

Intel spent a lot of time talking up the reliability of its 320 Series SSDs when the drives were first released, and the firm was so confident that it upped the warranty coverage from three to five years. Now this. Let's hope the validation testing Intel is doing at least ensures the firmware update doesn't end up bricking existing drives.

Update: Well, that was quick. Intel just let us know that the new firmware, version 4PC10362, is out. The update is only available as an ISO, which you'll need to burn to disc to apply. Finally, something to do with your optical drive.

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