20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
SSD - five, FIRMWARE - zero!,
Amazon 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.
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.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 5, 2011 9:53:29 PM PDT
Anthony Lawson says:
Did you update the drive firmware at all before it failed?
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 6, 2011 7:36:50 PM PDT
Yes, when I bought it in May - BEFORE I installed any other software (after the O/S). At the time, there was no other firmware update available.
The next release is the one that supposedly "fixed" the BAD_CTX 13x issue (version 1.90), which was subsequently updated to the current version (1.92).
As I said, my issue is with the general lack of regard for the fact that this BUG has been unacknowledged for MONTHS (search the Intel sites), and that when it surfaces ALL DATA is lost, apparently without recourse or remorse.
You cannot even "force" the firmware and take your chances - the update CD will NOT allow you to apply it to a defective drive. The ONLY options seem to be what I outlined previously.
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