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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
LPMSTATE = 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.
105 helpful votes
106 helpful votes
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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.
7 helpful votes
8 helpful votes
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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.
35 helpful votes
36 helpful votes
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on December 16, 2015
PROS:
* Same performance encrypted vs decrypted.

CONS:
* Warranty is only 3 years.
* Failed hard 2.5 months after warranty.
* Warranty page gives java errors.

NARRATIVE:
I liked this because it was mid-priced, decent performance. I used this as a secondary drive, so some bulk installers for work, a couple of games, and a 45M truecrypt volume. Free space ranged from 10-50%. Twice, I did a wipe and reload just so long-duration archives would not overly affect wear leveling. 11 weeks after the warranty, it started hanging on boot, crashing, etc. I thought it was my M.2 socket for my primary drive.

I got home from my week of travel, and decided I would replace both of my SSDs with a single 1TB drive. I ordered it, cloned my M.2 to the new drive, then connected the Crucial drive to my USB3-to-SATA adapter. All of the data copied fine, including the payload inside of the 45M encrypted container.

During the copy, I noticed this drive making noise. Yes. This drive. Not the USB3 adapter. Not the laptop. This device made a faint buzz/squeal noise as data copied. Larger files were less noisy. Weird. I didn't notice that before. Once I was done, I went on to other things, then noticed the drive was making noise again. I un-plugged it. A couple of hours later, I plugged it back in, and nothing. It doesn't show up. I tried two controllers, two ports, and same thing. It buzzes for 2 seconds faintly on power up, then goes silent. Nothing shows up from device detection.

At the beginning of the year, SMART said I had 98% life left. A couple of months ago, it said 97%. I was happy with this. Until it failed.

This shakes my confidence in Crucial/Micron overall. I originally bought it because it was the second highest reliability for an SSD at the time, bested only by Intel which was much more expensive.

Unfortunately, I'm still cheap, so I went with a SanDisk Ultra II instead of a Samsung EVO as my 1TB replacement.

Since this was originally 00FH firmware, I thought maybe there would be a recall on it, even though I had loaded 070H in 2013. To request a return, you have to have the "Material Number", which was only on the original box. This is 132304 for the CT512M4SSD2. Then, I put in my serial number from the sticker on the drive, and I get a "Java Null Pointer Exception." If I remove a character, it says invalid. I tried both Chrome and FireFox ESR. Java is 8. Nothing like a manufacturer whose RMA system doesn't work.

Also, searching for the Material Number, it seems like a large number of us who bought these in mid to late 2012 are having sudden failures. Unfortunately, I have several other Crucial drives, and I really do not like that now I have to track their age and replace them preemptively. They should survive through their wear indicators.

A couple of hours later, it worked when I tried plugging it in again. I'm hesitant to consider it "good".

PREVIOUS REVIEW:
SUMMARY: This is a decent SSD now that firmware problems are resolved. The kit comes with a great USB to SATA bridge and easy to use, great functioning software.

DETAILS: I got one of these for my new system. The system isn't here yet, so I'm using it on my old system, a Thinkpad T61p.

This came with an Apricorn SATA-Wire 2.5. This works great with SSD and SATA disks of any vintage I could throw at it.

The software is simple, clean, and can be used booted from a CD, or from running Windows.

The software has a performance test button. This is great. It also copied my system recovery partition on a Thinkpad.

I use TrueCrypt system encryption on Windows 7, and the SATA-WIRE cloned my disk from inside running Windows 7 in several hours. I was nice and had nothing running, nothing extra mounted, etc. I just let it run overnight.

This morning, I swapped the disk, and skipped preboot authorization (copy was not encrypted). Everything boots up properly. Then, I use TrueCrypt to decrypt, and it takes 1 second to reset the pointers. I tell it no, don't reboot, and then tell it to encrypt the whole drive. Test, reboot, etc... all works.

The hardware is just a decent USB to SATA bridge. Everything you'd expect, and very low power consumption. Even my 3-platter 2.5" disks would spin up from it.

The only drawback is that there isn't a USB 3.0 version of this device. It runs at 27.8MB/sec (about as much as you can get out of USB2 considering protocol overhead).

As for the drive, it's what you'd expect from a current generation, consumer grade SATA SSD. I picked this one because it was rated as having the lowest return rates by a certain retailer, and was half the cost of Intel. This might not be the best reason, as the return rates for Intel were apparently due to a temporary firmware issue, and Intel was on track for being on top again. That's fine though, I'm okay with #2, considering it's still less than half of the return rates of the next brand (Corsair).

The cost of Intel is probably due to the higher Total Writes. The M4 is rated for 72TB of 4k random writes. The Intel 710 is rated for 500TB of 4k random writes. If you're running a database, or a high-write random workload, then the Intel 710 is less than 2x the cost of this. Go there. But, if your workload is 90% read, and your writes are large blocks (downloads, a few documents, normal desktop/laptop workloads), then this drive should last way past its 3 year warranty.

If you want to track the wear on your device, you can use smartmon tools to track total writes, and under 0xE4, the percentage of wear (divide by 1024).

The performance is tested out by HW reviewers at:
* 415MB/sec or 40kiops sequential read
* 260MB/sec or 50kiops sequential write

All of the performance tests I've been able to find shows the m4 to be in the top 4 for all read tests, but quite a way down in the write tests.
* Random 4k Read 78.6MB/sec (#2 to OCZ Vertex 4)
* Random 4k Write 181MB/sec (Bottom 5 out of 20 drives)
* Sequential 128K Read 417MB/sec (#1 out of 20 drives, including Intel 510, but not Intel 710)
* Sequential 128k Write 205MB/sec (Bottom 3 out of 20 drives)
* Incompressible read/write - no change in perf, which pushes it higher in the rankings vs many others

The HW specs for this device are:
* Exact same device as Micron RealSSD C400 (parent company)
* Marvell 88SS9174-BLD2 (vs the BKK2 at 3gbit in Intel 510)
** SATA III 6gbit/sec host-side interface
** SSD 8 channel controller (vs 10-chan for intel)
* 2x 32GByte Micron 25nm MLC NAND chips per channel (29F256G08CFAAB-12)
** Endurance: 72TB (40GB/day for 5 years)
* 256MB internal cache RAM

The main thing to consider here is that there is no spare area. If you fill your drive to 99%, the time to failure will be much less than if it were half full. This is where Intel wins out. Their spare area is roughly half of the drive's actual capacity, plus 2 extra SSD channels.

Refs: ownership, anandtech, linuxlookup, crucial,
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon November 8, 2012
My wife's Macbook, a good six years old, is getting rather long of tooth and takes quite a bit of time to boot, open an application, do just about anything. Sadly, it is maxed out at 2gigs of RAM, so not much I could do there. This was a last ditch effort to keep it alive rather than run out and buy a completely new one. Well, sonofagun, replacing the hard drive with an SSD was the best thing I ever did to her Macbook. It boots quickly, apps open really, really quickly, web pages are now almost instant, and the overall feel of the computer is that it is faster than currently shipping product that uses a hard drive instead of an SSD. We are really thrilled with it. The transfer kit software had nothing useful for Macs other than instructions for using the Mac's built in software which I wouldn't have found without assistance. Using the cable, I hooked up the new drive to a USB port, duplicated the internal drive, switched the drives (be sure to follow instructions on blessing the new drive), and voila! One fast computer! Two thumbs up. I have a couple of Crucial SSDs and they have been robust, solid, and wonderful.
1 helpful vote
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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.
6 helpful votes
7 helpful votes
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on January 9, 2013
The software didn't work however the transfer kit (cable) made cloning that much easier.

I wouldn't recommend using Apple's built in cloning software. Use Carbon Copy Cloner. Instead of 10-15 hour clone (that failed), I downloaded Carbon Copy to Clone my drive over. This was about 2 hours for 90 gb worth of data.

The actual install was literally under 10 minutes with all the tools handy. Boot up and program load including internet speeds is extremely faster.

If you're stuck between having a computer that is running slow but don't have $1500-3000 to leisurely replace your beloved Macbook, upgrade the hdd. I have never been this happy with my computer's performance since the first time I switched over to Mac.

Also, runs cooler and quieter.
1 helpful vote
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on September 29, 2012
Crucial makes fantastic Solid State Drives. This is my second one, and each performs flawlessly. Just like they advertise, all the specs are spot on.

With this purchase, I opted for the SSD and Transfer Kit. This is useful because it gave me the USB to SATA cable, in order to connect an external SATA drive via USB. It also comes with a software program to Clone, or copy, your existing drive to the new one.

I had an issue with the cloning software. It took roughly 2 hours to copy the files, as others stated, but then it went into copying bad sectors of the hard drive. Time was estimated at over 500 hours to complete. This was odd, since my Sony Vaio notebook is virtually new. At this point, I opted to abort the process, and used Acronis True Image Home software. They have a Disc Cloning utility, which completed the task in approx. 2 hours, without a hiccup. The Acronis program did the task with no issues, and no odd questions being asked. The Crucial cloning software asked me questions I did not know the answers to....so I simply set it to automatic. I recommend reading through the reviews if you are unsure about cloning your drive.

Excellent SSD by Crucial, once again. I highly recommend them. They get the highest reviews for good reason.
3 helpful votes
4 helpful votes
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on July 9, 2013
I ordered the Crucial m4 SSD drive back in March, 2013. The device has performed flawlessly from day 1!

Disk Copy: I purchased with the usb/sata cable to image my existing 500GB SATA drive. The cable and software performed exactly as expected. After about several hours I had a mirror image of my original drive on the new m4 SSD drive. NOTE: Do this step with expectation that your laptop will be offline for several hours.

Installation: After uninstalling my original SATA drive, removing the installation carriage, installing the installation carriage onto the SSD drive, the SSD drive installed easily into my Lenovo W520 laptop.

Initial Boot: Initial boot with the drive took a few minutes as Windows7 automatically loaded new drivers for the SSD Drive (w/out issue). Once complete, everything came up exactly as before.

Performance: The performance with my new SSD drive is phenomenal! Worth the investment. Single best performance investment I have ever made!!

Reliability: After using the new SSD drive daily for over 4 months now, I have not encountered a single issue.

Firmware: Several reviews make mention of firmware issues. I used the firmware the SSD drive shipped with, without issue.

MISC: For Lenovo laptop users, you may want to consider uninstalling the Active Protection System as it doesn't really pertain to SSD Drives.

I recommend without hesitation.
1 helpful vote
2 helpful votes
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on March 23, 2013
Call me jaded, but my Fujitsu Lifebook NH751 laptop with 2 GHz i7, 8 Gb DDR3 RAM, GeForce M525 video, and 640-Gb 5400RPM drive never quite seemed to get out of its own way...

Finally bit the bullet and ordered an m4. Dropped it into the empty second drive slot, cloned the spinny-drive, and restarted with a switch in the boot drive. My startup time with Windows 7 Pro 64-bit went from around 45 seconds to under 15; applications jumped onto the screen with a nimbleness that was gratifying to say the least.

I started having some minor problems with some of my software, and my anti-virus heuristic scanning software started seeing a possible rootkit, which is not so great. I think that the cloning software I used, for whatever reason, installed some sort of hook into the boot record (I'm not going to name the software for a number of reasons: I'm not sure it's the culprit; I'm not sure that the heuristic detection was actually any sort of malware manifestation; and the manufacturer of the software contacted me instantly when I wrote with my concerns assuring me that their software was stable). If I were interested enough I would have redone the whole process, using another disk-cloning software,

Even with these little problems, I liked the SSD concept enough so that I bought an OCZ Vector 512 Gb SSD and did a ground-up reinstall of Windows 7. Now the m4 is happily speeding away as my second half-TB drive in the laptop, making a lovely terrabyte of monster-fast nerd-vana. The OCZ is a little faster with maybe some better features, but the Crucial m4 is a LOT cheaper, so me likey! I felt I had to, in good conscience, take away one point (really more like one-third of a point!) because the whole experience wasn't fairytale-perfect, but in all honesty I can't say that the Crucial drive was at fault. It's a decent unit at a reasonable price; it's been running 24/7 for weeks now with no problems experienced.
1 helpful vote
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