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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific with Macbook Pro 2011
I put this drive into my new 15" Macbook Pro (early 2011 edition, i7 Sandy Bridge processor) to replace the stock 500GB drive. The user replacement, which does not void the Apple warranty, took all of about 15 minutes and that was mostly because of having to remove and then replace 10 screws on the back of the Macbook Pro to get access to the drive bay. Restored from...
Published on June 3, 2011 by Charles W. Houseworth

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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars SSD - five, FIRMWARE - zero!
So this would be a fantastic product if Intel's responsiveness, attitude, and sensitivity regarding Customer Support issues would change. Customers have been reporting these issues on the Intel Series 320 for months now...

I just had mine Blue Screen, S.M.A.R.T. error (imminent failure), reboot to Win7, "SMART 8B End-to-End Error Detection Count" in red in...
Published on September 3, 2011 by Alphastar


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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific with Macbook Pro 2011, June 3, 2011
By 
Charles W. Houseworth (Raleigh, North Carolina) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Intel 320 Series 160 GB SATA 3.0 Gb-s 2.5-Inch Solid-State Drive (Personal Computers)
I put this drive into my new 15" Macbook Pro (early 2011 edition, i7 Sandy Bridge processor) to replace the stock 500GB drive. The user replacement, which does not void the Apple warranty, took all of about 15 minutes and that was mostly because of having to remove and then replace 10 screws on the back of the Macbook Pro to get access to the drive bay. Restored from Time Machine, and I was in business. I had read a lot about these Intel SSD drives, but I was still surprised by how huge the change is in boot times, application loads, etc. My OSX system boots in 13 seconds. My Windows 7 VM session running under Parallels boots in about 20 seconds. Large applications, even Photoshop CS5, open and load in a few seconds. The computer is wonderfully responsive and it even seems to run a little cooler as well. Bottom line, I love this drive. It changes the entire computing experience. Granted, I have had it in for only a day or so, but thus far I am extremely impressed.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars SSD - five, FIRMWARE - zero!, September 3, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Intel 320 Series 160 GB SATA 3.0 Gb-s 2.5-Inch Solid-State Drive (Personal Computers)
So this would be a fantastic product if Intel's responsiveness, attitude, and sensitivity regarding Customer Support issues would change. Customers have been reporting these issues on the Intel Series 320 for months now...

I just had mine Blue Screen, S.M.A.R.T. error (imminent failure), reboot to Win7, "SMART 8B End-to-End Error Detection Count" in red in Intel Toolbox, freeze, then DIE. Current output from Linux hdparm v9.37 is:

Model Number: INTEL SSDSA2CW160G3
Serial Number: BAD_CTX 0000013F
Firmware Revision: 4PC10302

Intel has released, and re-released, a firmware fix that seems to have mixed reviews. Unfortunately, if you ALREADY HAVE the problem (as I have, above) your only recourse is to send it back to Intel (via RMA) or initiate an ATA Secure Erase to recover read/write ability and LOSE ALL OF YOUR DATA (direct quote):

"What should I do if I have already experienced this issue?

If you have already experienced a drive failure or encounter this problem before the firmware update was released, please contact your Intel representative or Intel customer support (via web<...>or phone:<...>) for an SSD replacement. An alternative option is to use the Intel ® SSD Toolbox or similar tools to perform a secure erase in order to restore the SSD to an operational state; all data will be erased. After secure erase, update your SSD with the new firmware. The firmware update will not recover user data.

Background:

For users unfamiliar with the issue, an Intel SSD 320 Series drive may exhibit a drive capacity of 8MB and an electronic serial # field containing a message of "BAD_CTX 0000013x" due to an unexpected power loss under specific conditions. Once this error occurs, no data on the SSD can be accessed and the user cannot write to or read from the SSD."

There is no way to "force" an update to the latest firmware in an attempt to recover your data, and there is NO LINUX FIRMWARE UPDATER. The Intel firmware update CD at<...> ONLY WORKS if you have NOT been ALREADY AFFECTED. Sadly, the latest 1.92 firmware was released the day before mine failed...I guess I should have been Googling to make sure that my drive wouldn't randomly fail and stop me from getting to my data because I didn't update the firmware!

I know that backups are essential, however, the idea of purchasing a storage product that Intel markets on the one hand as "reliable" and that has a 5-year warranty, but can unpredictably fail and permanently lose data due to unspecified "specific conditions" is RIDICULOUS, and makes the product practically USELESS (because I can NEVER rely on it to work, due to circumstances beyond my control).

Search "Is 320 firmware buggy", "Intel 8MB" or "BAD_CTX" or "Bad Context 13x Error" on<...> and consider carefully *before* you buy this drive.

A.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent but REMEMBER to update your firmware! Warraty notice included., September 6, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Intel 320 Series 160 GB SATA 3.0 Gb-s 2.5-Inch Solid-State Drive (Personal Computers)
This SSD is extraordinary fast! If you use it, you're not going to get back to HDD.
However,there are few things that you might want to be aware of.
Currently some people have reported their Intel SSD suddenly loses all its storage capacity (remaining only 8MB),
Intel has update the SSD firmware to version FW 0362 to fix this problem, and it will be fine then.
Download site:
[...]

Instructions:
1. Always remember to back up your system first, I went through it smoothly, but who knows its going to crash or not.
2. Download the firmware and burn it into a CD or DVDrom.
3. Restart and boot it using CD or DVDrom.
4. Press "Y" for yes a couple times.
5. Wait for instructions to tell you to restart, and it'll be finish.

Another thing to be mentioned is the warranty, this version of SSD has Intel's lifetime warranty (meaning that you could always change a new one if its broken), as long as your "Media Wearout Indicator" does not falls to "1".
The Media wearout indicator is a indicator that tells you how many percent of the memory is OK. So if you're using torrent stuff like crazy, your wearout indicator might decrease fast, and if you break down at "1", it's basically out of Intel's warranty.
So try to use it as a system drive so that you're not overloading it lots of write/erase process. Using it as a system drive is basically just reading, and it will not let the wearout indicator drop. You can monitor this number by using the Intel SSD toolbox.
Download site:
[...]
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Died after 2 months, July 20, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Intel 320 Series 160 GB SATA 3.0 Gb-s 2.5-Inch Solid-State Drive (Personal Computers)
i had the drive in my mac pro for two months, restarted the computer last week and the drive registered as being unformatted and 8.4MB, after talking to intel i was told this is caused by the memory on the SATA controller being corrupted. because the SATA controller chooses where data will be written based on a very complex algorithm to evenly use the drive and prevent one section from wearing too fast it is completely impossible to recover any data without the map which was corrupted. from online research it appears many people have had this problem, some even multiple times. i highly suggest staying away from this drive, your data is not safe.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Huge boost in speed, May 16, 2011
By 
Joelog (Seattle, WA USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Intel 320 Series 160 GB SATA 3.0 Gb-s 2.5-Inch Solid-State Drive (Personal Computers)
Put this in my 2008 White MacBook. Installation was incredibly simple. Just restored from a Time Machine backup.

It took only 4 minutes to create thumbnails for my 25+ gigs of iMovies videos (previously took over 30 minutes). Boots up in about 25 seconds.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Died after 3 weeks, May 24, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Intel 320 Series 160 GB SATA 3.0 Gb-s 2.5-Inch Solid-State Drive (Personal Computers)
Bought this drive in early May. Had the drive installed for about 3 weeks in a 2010 Macbook Pro. I suspended my laptop when leaving for lunch today by closing the lid. I came back, opened the lid to the laptop and was prompted with a mac crash screen that told me to hold down the power key because something had failed. I did so and rebooted to a different partition. Disk Utility reported the drive has being only 8.4MB. I've seen other users say this means the drive has failed. I haven't been able to get any data off it. RMA'ed to amazon. Hopefully the next one will be better.

When the drive was working, everything was very fast, much much faster than a normal hard drive.

UPDATE:

My replacement drive has also died. Two drives in a row exhibiting the same issues. Unfortunately, it's outside of the 30 days so Amazon won't budge on taking it back. I now have to contact Intel to try and get a refund.

I recommend everyone STAY AWAY FROM THIS PRODUCT until Intel has figured out their bugs.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Died 3 days after first use., September 18, 2011
By 
ASB (Boston, MA United States) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Intel 320 Series 160 GB SATA 3.0 Gb-s 2.5-Inch Solid-State Drive (Personal Computers)
Very frustrating. Spent hours installing applications and transferring docs from my previous factory installed HD in my macbook pro then after 3 days of using this drive it froze. Upon reboot the machine didn't recognize a start-up disk. Using disk utility from an install disc no drive was detected. Tried removing the hard drive from the computer and using a usb to sata cable and still no detectable drive to erase/initialize. It completely died. If a replacement drive fairs better I'll update this comment.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost as friendly as claimed, December 4, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Intel 320 Series 160 GB SATA 3.0 Gb-s 2.5-Inch Solid-State Drive (Personal Computers)
I installed this as an upgrade in my Toshiba Satellite A665. I bought a 2.5" SATA-to-USB2 case for $5 at MicroCenter, but it was tricky to do the migration because the Intel software wouldn't recognize the SSD on the USB interface to even allow me to install the migration utilities, and Windows 7 blue-screened during boots (on old disk) from USB interface. I ended up downloading the offline ISO and switching disks (so SSD was internal) before migrating.

Once past that hurdle, the transition was painless and I have had no problems since then (about 3 months). The system is not as peppy as I'd hoped, but it is faster and I no longer see pauses where the hard drive obviously is thrashing. Overall, an improvement but I'm uncertain whether it really was worth the cost or not.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Brick, December 16, 2012
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Intel 320 Series 160 GB SATA 3.0 Gb-s 2.5-Inch Solid-State Drive (Personal Computers)
Bricked after 10 months. Was running along very smoothly, great hard drive, for 10 months. Then one day it just died in the middle of browsing. Blue screen, then "no os found" on reboot. BIOS could still see it but even trying to re-install fresh copy of windows (after trying everything else), it showed up as 8MB, too small to install.

I did notice the fan had been running higher than normal the couple days leading up to failure, but don't know if that had anything to do with it. I wasn't doing anything unusual, it just died.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Worked beautifully. For about one month. (Two of them), September 16, 2012
By 
Fletcher "FEK" (Los Angeles, California) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Intel 320 Series 160 GB SATA 3.0 Gb-s 2.5-Inch Solid-State Drive (Personal Computers)
I received one of these drives (this exact size and model) with my new high-end HP laptop as the primary partition. It ran BEAUTIFULLY-- boot times (with no USB devices attached) were like four or five seconds. The trade off: the drive bricked and lost all of my data within 3 weeks. The fabled "Intel 320 SSD 8MB" bug had struck again. First off, Google that phrase. Secondly, note the number of articles that mention Intel had released a firmware to fix this problem: it absolutely did not fix the problem (my drive shipped with the most up-to-date firmware).

HP had trouble getting me a replacement drive (it took about a month)-- though during that time, I was able to get the drive working again (rather trivial, except for the part where there is a 0% chance of recovering data). I finally received a replacement drive and then swapped them out.

Less the one month later, exact same Intel 320 SSD drive-- 8MB brick. I don't know why I've been selected by the cosmos to receive such treatment, but I can't imagine that I'm doing something weird by, y'know, having the drive in my laptop and, y'know, using my laptop.
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