Intel promises firmware fix for 8MB SSD bug

After acknowledging the issue earlier this month, Intel has now promised a firmware fix for the 320 Series SSD bug that apparently causes some drives to wipe themselves after a power loss. Here’s what the company posted on the Intel Support Community site yesterday afternoon:

Intel has reproduced ‘Bad Context 13x Error’ utilizing strenuous testing methods. This ‘Bad Context 13x Error’ can be addressed via a firmware update and Intel is in the process of validating the firmware update. A future update will define the schedule to deliver the firmware fix.

The Intel SSD 320 Series continues to be shipped and is available for purchase. If you experience this error with your Intel SSD, please contact your Intel representative or Intel customer support (via web: www.intel.com or phone: www.intel.com/p/en_US/support/contact/phone) .

For those with Intel SSD 320 series SSDs who are concerned but currently unaffected, Intel advises the following actions:

  • As with any storage device, backup your data regularly
  • When shutting down your system, follow your system’s standard shutdown process
  • Minimize unplugging the SSD while your system is powered

Intel takes these issues seriously. Please watch for further updates on this site.

The chipmaker downplays the problem somewhat, saying it occurs only in “certain circumstances” and affects a “small percentage of SSDs.” Still, Intel has confirmed what users have been alleging: that their drives report an 8MB capacity after the bug rears its head. For now, affected users have no recourse but to get in touch with Intel or to attempt getting drives back in working order themselves.

Comments closed
    • indeego
    • 8 years ago

    Can’t wait for this. Have backups but what a hassle regardless.

    On another note, has there ever been a rock-solid SSD with no firmware updates and very low failure rates (Patriot? Crucial C400? Intel X series?)

      • xeridea
      • 8 years ago

      OCZ Vertex2

      • Squuiid
      • 8 years ago

      Yes, Intel’s 510 series has been rock solid and offers excellent performance.

        • indeego
        • 8 years ago

        [url=http://i.imgur.com/RdDVv.jpg<]Yeah... I know....but it's early yet...[/url<]

    • madseven7
    • 8 years ago

    Wouldn’t they “utilize strenuous testing” before shipping a final retail product. What a joke for a multi billion dollar company.

      • gbcrush
      • 8 years ago

      Please tell me you work in a tech field that produces and ships products for hundreds of customers. Please! 🙂

        • Meadows
        • 8 years ago

        Irrelevant. This is rubbish.

          • gbcrush
          • 8 years ago

          Is it? I’m not trying to fight you (much) here, But…

          Well, I suppose my first question is: Did you mean my comment was rubbish? (It was). Or did you mean the 320 series SSDs/product quality were rubbish (I’m inclined to also say they are).

          That being said, I’m so tired of the snarky “You think they would’ve done X before they got caught with their pants down” type comments. Sure, sometimes its pretty clear cut. He really should have deleted those text messages before his wife found them. Other times, it’s just inane, like saying someone who got pregnant obviously didn’t use birth control.

          It’s called a failure, plain and simple. You would think that people on the internet would be familiar with the concept by now.

            • phez
            • 8 years ago

            A bug like this shouldn’t have appeared in the first place, especially from a company that markets and sells based on supposed quality and reliability.

            Put it this way – I’m sure you wouldn’t be so calm about the matter if it were you who woke up one day to find your SSD wiped of all data.

            • gbcrush
            • 8 years ago

            When did I disagree with the idea that a bug like this shouldn’t have happened in the first place?

            Heck yes, Intel’s “strenuous testing” should have caught this.

            Heck yes, its possible Intels QA department said “Its just like the 25ms we’re so familiar with it. If it looks like a rectangle, ship it.” I’ve worked at that sort of company too.

            I’m just saying it’s likely that mad7 knows as much about the 320’s QA process as I know about mad7’s familiarity with Intel practices.

            And for the record, you’re right. I wouldn’t be this calm if I had already bought a 320, or worse if I had lost my data. I fully acknowledge that my judgement has some grounding in the fact that I am currently unaffected by the situation.

            • xeridea
            • 8 years ago

            This isn’t a minor stalling or slowdown bug, this is just about as big of a bug as you could possibly have, data loss. I can guarantee the absolute worst thing you can tell a customer is oops, we lost all your data. This isn’t a rare bug, it is a super common bug that happens on power failure…. the only way to miss it was to never test power failure, which you would think to be an extremely important thing to test on a flash device that can be subject to failures on random power outages (like flash drives have been for years). Intel is a huge company, but has been shipping a lot of buggy products recently. In other news, Apple, another sizable company with insane AppleTax also ships buggy products, you would think their job would be easier since they only have to test it on like 3 configurations.

            • GTVic
            • 8 years ago

            Way over the top reactions.

            A “big of a bug as you could possibly have” would affect [b<]every customer[/b<]. Since this clearly did not affect every customer, your analysis is complete BS. Ditto for the OP. The person that originally tested/documented the problem spent several hours power cycling the device. Other people have seen multiple drives fail at various stages. Many others have obviously had no problems whatsoever. So there are a wide range of results with this product. You also need to take into account that the drive is interacting with other equipment that may have bugs of their own such as a shut down or sleep function that is not following the proper procedure or timing, both of which Intel may not have anticipated. This is an ongoing problem in the PC industry and unless you are intimately familiar with exactly what is going on here you are basically blowing hot air.

            • xeridea
            • 8 years ago

            Ok I guess losing all your customers data isn’t that significant. It does effect everyone giving them the possibility of losing (or making them jump through hoops/pay someone to get back) all their data. Other equipment has 0 effect on it, its a bug with unexpected power loss (blackout, brownout, computer freezes, hard reset, etc). I guess you haven’t had the joys of spending days/weeks/months recovering all your lost data, or having some data lost permanently.

            • NeelyCam
            • 8 years ago

            [quote<]Other times, it's just inane, like saying someone who got pregnant obviously didn't use birth control.[/quote<] I kind of hope you are in the 1% that will realize birth control pills aren't 100% (like I did)

      • NeelyCam
      • 8 years ago

      You can’t possibly imagine every single usage model so you could test for it. For instance, I tend to shut down my PCs by using Windows “shut down” function instead of, say, unplugging the PC. And I don’t usually disconnect my SSDs while the computer is running.

        • Meadows
        • 8 years ago

        You don’t test car crash tolerance by softly driving around the suburbs either. Why would you test a piece of electronics with best-case scenarios?

      • egon
      • 8 years ago

      They knew what to look for here based on the customer feedback, whereas the extent of “strenuous testing” required to always catch all flaws prior to shipment may be unrealistic. If you want your stock portfolio to be lucrative while having a steady stream of shiny new things to buy, you have to accept the chance of flaws is going to be greater than zero. Perhaps more deserving of criticism is marketing’s lack of acknowledgement of this reality.

      • ClickClick5
      • 8 years ago

      Hello Phenom.

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