Intel's 34-nm solid-state drives won't stay in limbo much longer. The folks at eWeek have learned from Intel spokesman Dan Snyder that the firmware fix should be ready by the end of this week. No, really; there's a quote and everything:
"The good news is that we've already found the fix. We're in the process of validating now, and it should be ready to distribute by the end of the week."
As we wrote last week, Intel uncovered a showstopper bug that led it to halt shipments of new 34-nm SSDs. The bug renders an SSD's contents inaccessible if the user happens to set a BIOS drive password, then either disable or change that password. If you managed to get one of the first drives and can still access your data, you should be fine. Just stay away from the BIOS drive password setting and keep your eyes peeled for an update on this page.
Once the new firmware goes out, Intel should finally be able to resume shipments. As we saw in our review, the second-gen X25-M SSD provides better performance at a lower per-gigabyte cost than 50-nm X25-Ms.