Customer Reviews: Crucial m4 512GB 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive SATA 6Gb/s with Data Transfer Kit CT512M4SSD2CCA
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on May 31, 2011
If I could give this item 4.5 stars I would. Performance wise, it functions terrifically. It's ridiculously fast, and it's substantially lighter than a spinning HDD. I can actually feel the weight difference in my lenovo X220 laptop (your mileage may vary). My only complaint is that installation was not as smooth as it could be. My laptop can only accept 7mm high drives in the slot. The crucial drive can be modified to fit by removing the black plastic spacer band. I wish they had put this on the outside of the case like the Intel X25m. It was simple to unscrew the case and remove the spacer, but then the screws are too long. I shortened mine by cutting them with wire cutters. The screw metal was soft and this was easy to do, but it probably ruined any chance of returning the drive and it probably voided my warranty.

The included Apricorn drive imaging software worked well. I have read horror stories of corrupted drives from other users who have used it. Maybe this latest version works better. I did have problems with some corrupted files on the SSD after I booted it. I simply ran a chkdsk and repaired or deleted the corrupt files. I was using the live version of Apricorn's imaging software and not the bootable CD. In hindsight I probably should have booted from the live CD to guarantee no locked files or changed files.

Once I removed the spacer the drive fit fine. It booted on the first try, however then the real work began. Thinkpads run a lot of proprietary system software. Here is the list of changes I made.
* Turned off the airbag service and software (why lock the drive when it drops, nothing is moving)
* Turned off the automatic defrag service
* Turned off the drive sleep service in power management

Things were working well but, Windows 7 would lock up for a minute or so shortly after logging in. Event Viewer logs show an iaStor error that said "The device, \Device\Ide\iaStor0, did not respond within the timeout period." After much forum searching I had to make a registry key entry HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\iaStor\Parameters\Port0
under which I had to make the following three DWORD values:
DIPM = 0
LPM = 0

This fixed the freezing. I was disappointed that Crucial's documentation and website had no helpful information for all the issues I had with installing the M4. Thus the four star rating. Other than that it's been a pleasurable world of 25 second boot times.
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on March 9, 2012
I bought a Dell L1701 with 16G memory, Intel I7 processor, and two 512G drives in late 2010, a decent machine. Looking for a way to make it faster, I bought the M4 512 SSD with the transfer cable and software. Installation was straight forward and flawless. I was up and running in under two hours.

There is one catch - the M4 series of SSDs need to have their firmware updated or after approximately 5000 hours the drive will go into a "self-heal" mode and shut down every hour as reported by others. Crucial has the firmware on their support site with instructions to download a ZIP file, extract an ISO file, and burn the image to a CD to have the updated firmware on a bootable drive. So you better have a CD/DVD drive (there are ways to create a boot drive on thumb drives, but they can get very complicated). A straight-forward and simple process IF YOU REALIZE Windows 7 has a built-in disk image copy program (Crucial fails to mention this in their update process). It must be an imaged copy or it will not work.

So what does all this mean? - A lightning-fast improvement in boot times and loading of applications.
Some numbers: (number of seconds between power ON in using old drive vs. SSD drive):
* "Starting Windows" splash: 10 / 10
* Windows "Welcome" splash: 40 / 19
* Windows "Boot Music": 79 / 23
* Toolbars across desktop's screen: 110 / 24
* Start-Excel 2010 to new spreadsheet: 42 / 6
* Start Word 2010 to new document: 36 / 6
* Open 50 MByte spreadsheet: 55 / 12
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on October 17, 2011
This was my first experience with an SSD. I was nervous about upgrading to an SSD because of so many stability problems reported on different websites and blogs. After reading many different reviews and user comments, I chose the Crucial M4 over the Intel 510 Series which was originally my first choice. My primary requirement for the SSD was stability over performance. I figured the performance difference between an OCZ Vertex 3, or a Crucial M4, or an Intel 510 would be virtually unnoticeable in a real world environment. However, a drive that often crashes would definitely be noticeable. The Intel has the highest stability ratings but the price ($280) was a big pill to swallow for the 120GB. I paid $198 for the M4 on Amazon in September 2011.

Very happy and impressed with the M4 so far. It's been nine months and no stability issues at all - knock on wood. The speed is amazing. Boot times on Windows 7 Pro are less than 15 seconds with all background applications loaded, ready to go. I run all the typical applications including antivirus, some hardware monitoring apps, IM apps and others . About 12 total apps appear on my taskbar.

I use this computer daily for internet, spreadsheets, Word docs, edit HD home videos, import and convert old MiniDV home videos , edit photos, play Blu-Ray movies, edit music files, etc. I also use standby regularly - although there's no reason to continue using standby since boot times are so fast. Applications like Word and Excel pop open as if they were minimized.

This drive is personally my most significant and fun component upgrade since I jumped from a single core Pentium to a Core-2-Duo about 4 years ago or so, which is my typical upgrade interval for tech products. I recently upgraded the said Core-2-Duo to a Core i5, and the speed increase was noticeable, but when I upgraded the Caviar Black SATA drive to this M4 SSD, I was giddy. Like Chris Matthews, I felt a thrill go up my leg. Installing Windows was almost fun. I didn't walk away from the Windows install process like I normally do. I think the install was done in ten minutes or so. I typically buy Corsair memory, but I'm now a Crucial fan.

I recommend getting a bay converter for this drive. I got the SILVERSTONE SDP08 3.5 to 2 X 2.5-Inch Bay Converter. I tried to avoid buying a bay converter by using spare parts to build a bed, and I was actually able to concoct one, but ultimately I was unhappy with my creation mostly because I couldn't sit it behind the case's front cooling fan where it can receive inbound airflow to keep the drive cool, so I ended up ordering the Silverstone bay converter a few weeks later and now both my drives, including my 2Tb Caviar Black SATA drive, sit nicely next to the front fan.

Here's my specs:
Windows 7 Pro
Board: ASUS P8Z68-V LX
CPU: Core i5 2500k running stock clock speed.
CPU cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus.
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 16GB running at 1600MHz stock speed.
GPU: ASUS ENGTX560 DCII - GeForce GTX 560 running stock speed.
SSD: Crucial M4 128GB running on the 6Gb bus.
SATA drive: WD Caviar Black 2Tb SATA III running on the 6Gb bus.
PSU: Cooler Master Real Power Pro 750W.
Blu-Ray drive: Samsung combo drive SH-B123L/RSBP.
Case: Thermaltake V4 Black.
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on June 13, 2012
FOR MACBOOK PRO USERS: If you have a 2011 MacBook Pro, you would be better off choosing a Samsung or Intel SSD. I upgraded my MacBook to the 256gb version of the M4 SSD two months ago. Since then, I have been experiencing periodic freezes and hangs (the infamous "beach ball") on my MacBook, sometimes as many as a dozen a day. My MacBook will become completely locked and stay that way for as long as a minute or two when doing very simple things, like looking for a file in Finder, etc. My SSD arrived with firmware version 0309 installed. After getting fed up with the hangs, I went searching for a solution to what appears to be a common problem with MacBooks (just check out Crucial's M4 forums). I found that Crucial/Micron had released an updated version of the firmware, version 000f. So I installed the new firmware and bad became significantly worse. The new version of the firmware practically turned my MacBook into a brushed aluminum paperweight. It literally took 15 minutes to boot. Firmware 000f = 000FAIL! Shame on Crucial for releasing such a bad update. And shame on me for not reading ALL the entries in the Crucial forums. Other MacBook Pro users have experienced the same problems and reported them to Crucial. THIS IS A KNOWN ISSUE WITH MACBOOK PROS. Fortunately, someone posted a link to the older version of the firmware. So I downgraded my firmware back to 0309 to at least make my MacBook functional. When you spend the money to UPGRADE to an SSD, you expect an upgrade in performance... NOT a rash of problems. Until Crucial/Micron gets this issue resolved, do yourself a favor and buy something else.
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on October 23, 2011
The data transfer cable and software are idiot proof. Cloning would not take place initially until I did a chkdisk. After that, the cloning worked as expeted. Installed the unit and booted up the computer and all worked just as expected.
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on September 1, 2012
I purchased this drive in the hopes that it would speed up the read/write processes on my desktop computer. I purchased the drive and data transfer kit from Amazon. The data transfer from my boot drive to the Crucial drive went smoothly. I then changed the relevant parameters on my computer as recommended by the Crucial website. In other words, I did everything recommended by the company to insure a successful migration to the Crucial drive. After installing the drive, it seemed to work very well. Read/write times were blazingly fast. Boot up time was about 5 times faster. Everything on the computer seemed to work better. I was a happy camper.
After a couple of weeks, my computer started to freeze up on occasion. Then it was freezing up on a regular basis. Then the computer wouldn't boot up any more. I contacted technical support on numerous occasions. Each time the wait time was extremely short - often just a few seconds - which was excellent. The technical support staff were always friendly and tried to be helpful. We ran through all of the adjustments and settings and changes they asked me to make, but the drive simply would not work again. I replaced the Crucial drive with my old boot drive. The old drive is much slower, but at least it is very reliable.
I think the solid state drive is not yet ready for prime time. Looking at the Crucial forum and other helpful sites, it is pretty clear that there are a lot of hardware compatibility issues with the solid state drives. There are too many bugs for me to recommend this product. I would give it one star except for the fact that customer service was very responsive. That gave the product an additional star.
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on September 5, 2012
I'm running Windows 7.

The installation was super easy. The GIG IV Transfer software was great--it transferred all 3 partitions painlessly.
The drive was pretty fast, though not super-fast. It was much much faster than my laptop's hard drive.

I used it a little, put the laptop to sleep (after disabling hibernate). I woke it up and the system froze. After a reboot, everything was fine. I put it to sleep, woke it up, and it was fine. I put it to sleep for the night.

The next afternoon when I woke it up it BSOD. I rebooted and got a NO BOOT DISK ERROR. Repeat. Same result. Uninstall drive and send it back.

I should give it 0 stars for being completely useless, but 1 star is appropriate for a drive that fails so aggressively, not only within the return period, but before I could make any changes I'd have to recover.

I was running the latest firmware (000F) as reported by CrystalDiskInfo.
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on July 29, 2012
A week after I've installed windows7 OS and few others programs, I started to get repair windows or start windows normally" either option was giving me a blue screen with a bunch of codes like 0x00000f4 BSOD error. I've tried everything. Nothing worked, I couldn't even reinstall windows7. My PC got completely useless. When I google "Crucial SSD, blue screen" (from my old machine) I got interesting articles about this issue one such article titled "BSOD bug hits Crucial m4 SSDs" is really worth reading (you most likely can read that article when you google that line. I return the SSD to Crucial - Waiting for the replacement, their replacement policy states that the replacement could be new or refurbished. Great!!
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on April 5, 2012
I bought this to replace a 250GB drive on an early-2009 MacBook Pro 17". I don't trust hard drives to last much longer than three years. The SSD has been a perfect replacement.

I plugged the drive in, formatted it and used Carbon Copy Cloner to clone my hard drive to the SSD. This took about 3.5 hours. Be sure to turn off Time Machine and shut down all applications first. The cloning program they include with the SSD doesn't run on Mac OS X Lion, so I recommend using Carbon Copy Cloner.

The next morning I shut down the laptop and unplugged it to install the SSD. I watched a YouTube video on how to replace it, but it is really easy. You DO NOT have to remove the battery (at least on the 17" model). Just take the bottom panel off of the Mac, unscrew the two screws on the black bar holding down the hard drive and lift the old one out. Then plug the SSD in and put the back panel back on.

My machine booted right up. Only DropBox got confused and didn't think it had been logged in, but after logging in all my DropBox info was there. All the other programs acted like nothing had changed.

I had no problems and now the machine is quieter and faster. Definitely recommended.
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on December 12, 2012
I wanted to upgrade to a SSD, and was thinking about buying a new computer. Glad I did this first!. First, changing out the hard drive was a breeze. Just be careful with the little screws, not to drop them. The the cloning software and transferring of data was also a breeze! Simply follow the instructions and you will not have a problem. After data was transferred, and the computer is restarted, I was blown away by the speed. I have a HP Pavilion dv6. I5 processor, first generation. And It has made this faster than my wife's new HP i5 - 3rd generation processor. Internet speed is also dramatically improved. WARNING!!! I am still running Windows 7 Pro.I tried to upgrade to Windows 8, and it cut my internet speed to less than half. It also slowed down my computer in general. I reinstalled previous Windows, using my old hard drive, and everything is good again!
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