Fixed TRIM firmware for 34-nm Intel SSDs goes live

At long last, you can now patch TRIM support into second-generation Intel X25-M and X18-M solid-state drives without risking data corruption. Intel has put new 2CV102HD firmware for the drives up on its download site.

The update description in the release notes reads, "This firmware revision has several continuous improvement optimizations intended to provide the best possible user experience with the Intel SSD." Specifically, the update should get rid of that pesky bricking problem that caused Intel to pull the original TRIM firmware in late October.

As we previously noted, the October firmware (revision 2CV102HA) was supposed to improve performance by taking advantage of Windows 7’s TRIM functionality. TRIM clears flash pages instead of marking them as available when users delete data, thereby circumventing the dreaded block-rewrite penalty.

Intel’s second-gen, 34-nm X25-M SSDs did very well in our tests with the pre-TRIM firmware, but their short history has been troubled. Before this latest issue cropped up, Intel had to halt shipments because of another data corruption problem, that time tied to BIOS password settings.

Comments closed
    • UberGerbil
    • 13 years ago

    with cheese

    • UberGerbil
    • 13 years ago

    Given Intel’s success with rolling out new fab processes (something which isn’t particularly easy, just ask TSMC) I’d say their process management in that part of their business is quite good indeed. In other parts, perhaps, not so much. Which of course was my point.

    And, as Fox points out, the companies you list have had epic failures of “business process management” in the past (Oracle’s management of their sales force got them sued by the SEC, for example, and I wouldn’t want to use IBM’s — now former — disk drive division as an example of “process management” either).

    • 5150
    • 13 years ago

    Tacos?

    • Flying Fox
    • 13 years ago

    Those companies you listed made mistakes aplenty themselves. Your point?

    • Sahrin
    • 13 years ago

    That’s incorrect. Failure to execute has nothing to do with homogeneity, it has to do with mismanagement of business processes. Intel has a history of mismanagement (See: Prescott, Tejas, PIII Cu-mine, Williamette). There are companies that consistently execute (Toyota, Cisco, Exxon, Oracle, IBM). If you are capable of doing something right once, you have to be able to do it again – otherwise you should give the investors back their money.

    • UberGerbil
    • 13 years ago

    Intel is a big company. The quality and experience of the various divisions (and groups within those divisions) can vary widely. Microsoft is the same way, and so are many others. People talk about these companies like they are monolithic entities, but in reality some of their products are great and some of them suck and it’s silly to paint them all with the same brush.

    • 5150
    • 13 years ago

    Where is the Toobox? I’d like to get that back so I can force TRIM again.

    • Sahrin
    • 13 years ago

    Can’t wait for tomorrow’s headline: “TRIM firmware fix borks Intel SSD’s again.”

    It is absolutely hilarious to me that Intel can’t put out a decent firmware to save it’s life. AMD’s gotta be pissed as hell – ‘where was this incompetence when they were designing Nehalem?’

    • Flying Fox
    • 13 years ago

    The listing is there but they don’t have it in stock still. 🙁

    I was talking about the ThinkPad T400s, not your “mainstream” 14″ notebook. 😉

    • Flying Fox
    • 13 years ago

    Have a link to back that up?

    • CheetoPet
    • 13 years ago

    Looks like they are still having performance issues with it as well.

    • Machupo
    • 13 years ago

    Trust me.

    Oh wait, wrong mega-company.

    • wagsbags
    • 13 years ago

    Google shopping search
    §[<http://www.macmall.com/p/5827300?dpno=7942110&source=mwbfroogle<]§ For a mainstream laptop (14"-15") I don't think a 1.8" would make a huge difference in size/weight. But to for a 2.5" SSD it's > $400 for 160GB, far less than a mechanical drive. Really I just want SSDs to be cheaper :(

    • Spotpuff
    • 13 years ago

    This time it will totally not brick your drive or corrupt your data. Seriously.

    • Flying Fox
    • 13 years ago

    AFAIK both the 160GB and 80GB are using all 10 channels of the controller. Only Kingston’s 40GB model uses half of them.

    • Flying Fox
    • 13 years ago

    For me, portability matters more. Having an extra drive bay is going to make the form factor larger plus system power consumption will be larger. But I can see how such a configuration will be desirable for other people.

    Still, where are those X18 G2’s?!?!

    • HiggsBoson
    • 13 years ago

    <pessimist>I’ll wait a few months for the next issue to rear its ugly head. Anyone care to take bets on a time frame? (a) Next 1-2 days. (b) Next week. (c) Next month. (d) Next quarter.</pessimist>

    • Grated
    • 13 years ago

    Already bricked to much with new/beta drivers/BIOS’es/firmwares 😛
    I’ll wait a few days to see if anyone has issues 😉

    • Anonymous Coward
    • 13 years ago

    Go software RAID!

    • Bauxite
    • 13 years ago

    I believe if you have the 160gb version this increases writes somewhat, due to the extra channels those have. That benefit should work regardless of OS or trim support, its a low level firmware optimization.

    • kc77
    • 13 years ago

    It won’t work in RAID configurations, but I’m not sure why you would need the firmware update in the first place if your drives are in RAID. The only RAID cards that I know of that at some time will support TRIM are coming from Adaptec, which means you are looking at enterprise for the most part and in that case is it worth it? I would think the risk would far outweigh the performance benefit.

    • wagsbags
    • 13 years ago

    I’d really like to see some laptops with a 1.8″ drive bay in addition to the 2.5″. That would allow laptops to have an uber fast flash boot and program drive while still having a relatively large amount of storage space on a 2.5″ mechanical drive.

    • Prodeous
    • 13 years ago

    Now I hope that Kingston will be able to release one for the 40GB boot drive 🙂

    • Flying Fox
    • 13 years ago

    Where on earth can you find those X18-M G2’s? Even on newegg they only had the G1 and the item has been de-activated.

    Sure Intel has the product codes and spec pages, but I hardly see anybody carrying those at all. A T400s with one such unit will be a great combo. 😡

    • sotti
    • 13 years ago

    obvious brag post,

    But is there any benefit for raid configs?
    I know trim doesn’t work, but any other benefit?

    • loophole
    • 13 years ago

    It’s in the works. Christoph Hellwig’s patches for it just got posted a few weeks ago:

    §[<http://patchwork.ozlabs.org/patch/38640/<]§

    • Machupo
    • 13 years ago

    couldn’t get past the ridiculous choice of cursive script, but saw what you were mentioning in the firmware update tool guidelines doc. For everyone that hasn’t seen it and has RAID w/ X25-M’s:

    2.0
    Known Issues
    2.1
    RAID Platforms
    The Firmware Update Tool does not support updating SSDs in systems using RAID. For RAID systems only, use the following instructions:
    1.
    Back up your data before performing the following steps
    2.
    Perform setup as described in Section 3.1
    3.
    Burn the ISO image to a CD-R
    Note: The RAID must be disabled by using BIOS in order to update the drives. Do not use the Intel Matrix Storage Manager or any other software based RAID manager to disable the RAID option.
    4.
    Using BIOS, turn off RAID by enabling “Legacy” or “Compatibility” mode, save and reboot
    5.
    Run the Firmware Update Tool
    6.
    Verify firmware update
    7.
    Using BIOS, re-enable RAID for both drives, save and reboot

    • Dirge
    • 13 years ago

    That would be frieking awesome if it were true.

    • indeego
    • 13 years ago

    RTFRM.
    Take er out of raid, flash, put er back ing{<.<}g

    • Rza79
    • 13 years ago

    Just flashed mine.
    No troubles so far but i didn’t have problems with 102HA either (since i’m running XP).

    • 5150
    • 13 years ago

    I think that is more dependent on the drivers of your RAID card, not the SSD.

    • blubje
    • 13 years ago

    their page makes it sound like it works for linux too… is this true? I didn’t know there was a TRIM for linux. it would definitely be a reason for me to buy one…

    • Machupo
    • 13 years ago

    any word on if this works in RAID arrangements?

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