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br0adband
Beginner
1,244 Views

Firmware failure

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I have a ThinkPad W540 with an Intel Pro 5400s Series 256GB in it. Until recently I haven't had any issues whatsoever but today I was alerted to the fact that the drive's firmware - L10P - had some kind of bug that could render the entire drive completely corrupt or "bricked" as the saying goes.

 

I went to Intel's website, found the necessary firmware update (3.06) and got the necessary files. After extraction I read the instructions carefully and then created a CD-RW (yes, some of us still use those things) and burned the ISO (issdfut_64_3.0.6.iso) to the CD-RW, verified the burn was 100% successful, and then I rebooted my laptop from the CD-RW.

 

The computer booted up, provided me with the chance to tap Enter a few times, then choose "y" when prompted, and then the next screen showed necessary info about the drive, model, etc, and...

 

Well, then at that point it just rebooted my laptop and upon the reboot it took almost 7 minutes for the "ThinkPad" logo to appear, and another 3 minutes for it to disappear after which all I had was a blinking underscore cursor.

 

I let it sit like that for about 11 minutes then I held the power button until the laptop shut off. I then turned it back on, same extremely long delays, no real change noted. I attempted to boot from a USB stick (Ubuntu 18.04) and it wouldn't. I then decided to remove the SSD from the laptop and after it was out, the laptop booted to the Ubuntu USB stick without any issues.

 

I believe the firmware update failed, and now I have a dead SSD which had a great deal of data on it that I can never replace, unfortunately. I do have some backups of some of the data, sure, but the vast majority of it (pictures, videos of family and friends) are apparently now gone as the SSD is "bricked" it seems.

 

I really am a bit angry about this, and I know I'll catch flack over it in some respects because the SSD was in the ThinkPad W540 upon purchase, but the firmware update I just attempted on this Intel hardware was an Intel firmware updater and now it's dead.

 

I can't seem to contact anyone at Intel other than calling and I can't do that today, too busy scrambling to figure out what I've lost.

 

Is there any possible way to recover this drive's contents at all, or possibly get the firmware installed properly as I'm at a bit of a loss here.

 

I really need to figure out what to do because now my laptop is going to have to run from a USB stick as I don't have another SSD or hard drive to work with at the present time. I'm in a bad position here and I need some assistance fast.

 

I can provide all the necessary info on the drive label, pictures if necessary, and the info about the W540 as well if needed.

 

I appreciate any and all help, really.

 

Thanks for your time,

bb

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1 Solution
Santiago_A_Intel
Employee
513 Views

Hi br0adband,

 

Greetings from Intel® SSD support group.

 

We have been given a high priority on this issue and after touching base again with the Engineering Team; they have informed us that it’s not possible to flash your SSD with our generic firmware version due to the fact that your drive is an OEM drive.

 

OEM drives are indeed Intel drives, but they were modified with a special firmware from the OEM like Lenovo*, Dell*, HP*, etc. This modification at firmware level makes impossible to flash it back with one of our generic firmware versions. That’s the reason why we can try to troubleshoot the drive in case any issue is detected, but if the drive is inaccessible or damaged in a level that makes it unrecoverable, we always recommend contacting the OEM for replacement or firmware update if available.

 

We understand you had important data in your drive, and you want to recover it by flashing the drive with our firmware version, but as explained, this is something not possible to perform.

 

We appreciate your understanding.

 

Have a nice day.

 

Best regards,

 

Santiago A.

Intel® Customer Support Technician

Under Contract to Intel Corporation

View solution in original post

11 Replies
JosafathB_Intel
Moderator
513 Views
Hello br0adband, Thank you for contacting Intel® Memory & Storage Support. As we understand, you need assistance with your Intel® SSD Pro 5400s Series. If we infer correctly we will appreciate if you can provide us with the following information: Please provide us with your SSD markings (SA and serial number) in order to get more information about your product. We will be looking forward to your reply. Best regards, Josh B. Intel® Customer Support Technician Under Contract to Intel Corporation
br0adband
Beginner
513 Views
Hello Josh, My thanks for taking the time to respond to my inquiry. As stated in the post at the Community forums, I have an Intel SSD Pro Series 5400s 256GB SSD that is now "bricked" because of a failed firmware update - ironically, the reason I was updating the firmware was because of an issue that Intel announced for that series of SSD related to the drive being rendered corrupt and "bricked" by some bug of some kind. Anyway, I'm attaching a picture of my now dead and useless drive and I really did want to get the data from it. I don't know if or how Intel will help me with this issue but I am absolutely hoping someone will. The info on the label that you asked for is as follows (and it's in the picture as well, of course): Intel SSD Pro 5400s Series Model: SSDSC2KF256H6L 2.5" 6Gb/s SATA SSD 256G 5V 0.6A SA: J28500-101 And on the bottom is a label with the following info: ISN: CVLT638504VU256HGN which I presume is the (I)ntel (S)erial (N)umber As stated in the Community forum post, I used the Intel SSD Firmware Update Tool ISO, version 3.06 which appears to be the latest. I burned the ISO to a CD-RW, verified the burn, rebooted the laptop from the optical disc, got into the process, and when I typed "y" for Yes then it just kinda hung on the next screen for about 10-12 seconds then the laptop rebooted and the SSD was no longer being detected at that point. I have some SATA to USB 3.0 adapters and I attempted to use one of those as well but again, there's no drive detected; the SCSI-style controller chip inside the adapter is detected, but not the SSD itself. Now, I know I may not get any help with this at all and that's damned unfortunate because I used Intel's own firmware update tool to update Intel's own SSD that Intel manufactured and it failed, and now I have nothing but a dead SSD and a lot of lost data that I could rant and rave about for a long time with a lot of emails back and forth. If I can send this off and have the firmware flashed properly and have this drive returned to me so be it, that's fine with me, but again I'm going to presume the data I had on the drive is gone forever sadly. If you folks can offer a replacement so I can get back to using my laptop that works for me as well, at this point I'm stuck using a USB stick with Ubuntu on it unless I can find a cheap hard drive on craigslist soon. I need some help with this and I could really use it so if you're at all capable of assistng me resolve this issue please do it, I'll be eternally grateful. Thanks for your time, and have fun, always... Paul Hurlbut
JosafathB_Intel
Moderator
513 Views
Hello br0adband, Thank you for your reply. As we understand your SSD is not recognized in your BIOS, based on this information the best option will be to replace the drive. In order to do this, we advise you to contact your OEM (original equipment manufacturer) Lenovo*due that this drive is a Lenovo* SSD and the firmware and other features were modified by them to work with their equipment. If you want to recover the data on your drive we recommend you to contact a data recovery company. Examples of these companies are: Data-Destruction.com (http://data-destruction.com/hard-drive-destruction/) DataKillers.com (https://datakillers.com/solid_state_media_destruction/) DataSecurityInc.com (http://www.datasecurityinc.com/degausser/solidstatedestruction.html) SemShred.com (https://www.semshred.com/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/2480) *Links to third party sites and references to third-party trademarks are provided for convenience and illustrative purposes only. Unless explicitly stated, Intel® is not responsible for the contents of such links, and no third party endorsement of Intel® or any of its products is implied. We hope you find this information helpful. If you have future questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We will be more than happy to help you in any way we can. Have a nice day. Best regards, Josh B. Intel® Customer Support Technician Under Contract to Intel Corporation
br0adband
Beginner
513 Views
Well that's useless because the laptop is out of warranty, and the firmware update from Intel was what wrecked things and now I'm left without data that can't be replaced. Lenovo won't do anything because I didn't apply their release of the firmware - their firmware wouldn't work at all, it doesn't create or have an ISO, it's a Windows-based firmware installer and it kept crashing on my laptop before it ever actually ran. I find it hilarious that your email ends (with the scripted content) saying contact us and we'll help you any way we can. Right now because of this issue you and Intel CAN help me fix the issue but you WON'T, and that's where the problem is. There's no reason Intel can't help me resolve a problem caused with their own firmware update tool with their own hardware. But, it won't happen for the reasons I just stated, and the idea that the firmware is different is insanity. Not a happy customer, not at all.
Santiago_A_Intel
Employee
513 Views

Hi br0adband,

 

Thank you for your reply to Intel® SSD support group.

 

We understand there must be some frustration for the whole situation, however the solutions we can provide are limited due to the particular situation; please bear in mind, the products are manufactured by Intel®; however, as OEM products, Intel® provides generic versions of hardware, software and drivers. Your computer manufacturer is responsible for altered features, customization incorporated, or other changes made. Your product has been altered by the OEM, in this case Lenovo*.

 

OEM companies manufacture, sell, and support their computer systems based on Intel® technology. If you are experiencing issues with, or have questions about your computer system, the system manufacturer is the best source of support.

 

As a last resort, you may try to update the firmware on your SSD using the tool provided by the OEM.

 

We have found on the manufacturer's support website, the following link: https://pcsupport.lenovo.com/cr/en/products/laptops-and-netbooks/thinkpad-w-series-laptops/thinkpad-...  for updated system BIOS, firmware, drivers, and solutions to common problems.

 

Please let us know if you might need further assistance.

 

Best regards,

 

Santiago A.

Intel® Customer Support Technician

Under Contract to Intel Corporation

 

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br0adband
Beginner
513 Views
I made it perfectly clear that the SSD is no longer detected by any of 4 different computers (I only mentioned 2 laptops but I have since attempted to get the SSD recognized on 4 different machines, a variety of SATA controllers from SATA I, II, and III, and also eSATA I and even the aforementioned SATA to USB 3.0 and the drive is simply not seen so your suggestion of just using Lenovo's version of the firmware update tool is effectively useless. I'm not asking for a new drive here, I'm asking that someone at Intel - because I know for a fact it can be done - can simply flash the firmware properly on the drive because you folks manufactured it and you folks have the necessary hardware to do board-level chip programming, not Intel. I understand your point about the OEM aspect of the drive, I really do, I've worked with computers since the 1970s and had decades of experience before people even started calling computer work "I.T." so I'm not unfamiliar with this issue. My point is this: The laptop is out of warranty, yes, absolutely, this is a known fact and I will not dispute that. Having said that, the issue with the firmware that was attempting to alleviate - the data corruption possibility caused by the factory firmware L10P - existed *after* the warranty on my laptop ran out (in Oct 2017, it was purchased in Oct 2014 and came with 3 years of warranty). The firmware update was pushed out by Intel in early 2018, and customers of any and all kinds, whether in retail channels or OEM or Enterprise clients, were told "Hey, if you have the 5400s series SSD, you should apply this firmware to stave off a potential bug that we've discovered that could render the SSD totally useless." See how ironic that is? My drive, an OEM model as I capitulated to, was out of warranty when the firmware update was released both by Intel at its own site and also when it was distributed to OEMs for release with their support methods. My drive was outside the laptop warranty *but the firmware update that has killed it was also released after the laptop warranty period.* It wasn't Lenovo that created the firmware, it was Intel, and Intel manufactured the SSD regardless of who I purchased it from and Intel was also who created the firmware update tool that did render my SSD totally dead to me along with the loss of some rather important data. I know you can't guarantee any given SSD will work for any given period of time, but when the firmware update designed to prevent the drive from being rendered dead by that corruption bug ends up killing the SSD during the update process, you have to stop for a second and be honest enough to say "OK, that's pretty lame that this happened..." and then see about helping me resolve it. *Again, I am not asking for a new SSD because I'm confident this one still works but the firmware is corrupt, not the SSD itself, not the storage media, the cells, etc. The firmware is, and that can easily be flashed by Intel considering they do this stuff constantly with every SSD they manufacture.* I'll pay shipping both ways if I need to, but I know for a fact that my situation can easily be resolved, and there is a very good chance that by just flashing the proper firmware to the controller *my data will still be there without any issues.* So please consider what I'm asking, just for some assistance, not a new SSD, I ain't looking for freebies, and I will pay shipping both ways if necessary. I'm not asking for the impossible here, I truly am not and I'm confident you understand this. Lenovo cannot help me in this situation; they did not manufacture the drive, and they cannot flash firmware directly onto an SSD at board level - that's what Intel does and that's what I need help with. I know you'll read this and think "This guy isn't going to give up..." and you're right - after I send this email to you I will wait for a reply, and depending on how that goes, the next step means escalation and contacting the senior assistant to Andy Bryant who happens to be your CEO. It's not a threat, and I hope I don't have to resort to this but I will, and in the long run I'll get my drive issue resolved either way. This is an easy fix for a customer that's been using Intel computer products since the Intel 4004 CPU, please understand that I'm in a bind and you - and Intel - actually can help resolve my issue rather simply as long as you don't fall back on the scripts and just "No, sorry, you're outta luck..." responses. Your techs can even look at the status of the drive and see that it's barely been used, like 200GB of writes to the drive since it was new, seriously. It's not some worn out SSD and I'm just looking for a free one, that's not the case here, I just need to get the proper firmware flashed on it so it's revived and that's it, it's really that simple. I thank you for your time and I hope to hear back from you very soon. My offer to pay shipping is serious, both ways, for a rather trivial resolution that'll make me a very happy customer for many more years to come. Have fun, always... Paul Hurlbut
Santiago_A_Intel
Employee
513 Views

Hi br0adband,

 

Thank you for your reply to Intel® SSD support group.

 

This particular case exceeds our support capabilities and privileges; therefore, your request is being escalated to our upper levels of support.

 

As soon as we get their return, we will be getting back to you with their answer.

 

Best regards,

 

Santiago A.

Intel® Customer Support Technician

Under Contract to Intel Corporation

Santiago_A_Intel
Employee
513 Views

Hi br0adband,

 

Greetings from Intel® SSD support group.

 

We have received the input from our upper support level, after checking on the issue’s details, we have to confirm some facts with you:

 

·        When you were running the Firmware Update Tool (FUT) to perform the SSD upgrade, we want to confirm exactly if the tool indeed, offered you the possibility to perform the firmware (FW) update by commanding you to click on "yes" when FUT was running. This is not clear enough as you’ve said that "tap Enter a few times, then choose "y" when prompted, and then the next screen showed necessary info about the drive, model, etc, and... Well, then at that point it just rebooted my laptop".

 

·        Based on the FUT User Guide, if there is no FW available, then there is no Yes/No question to proceed; please refer to the following link to download the Intel® Solid State Drive Firmware Update Tool User Guide: https://www.intel.com/content/dam/support/us/en/documents/memory-and-storage/Intel_SSD_FUT_User_Guid... please go to Page 11, Point 2.4 where it describes in full detail, the FW upgrade process as per the validated procedure, procedure ends on page 15.

 

·        We're trying to confirm if this is a tool issue (where the tool stated there was a FW available and tried/failed) or upon typical system reboot something happened (nothing to do with FW update attempted).

 

·        Additionally, please confirm if the drive is not visible in BIOS. You’ve mentioned your SSD  cannot boot, but can you access BIOS and check if the SSD is visible? By your previous comments, we’ve concluded that the SSD is not visible in BIOS, but it is not 100% clear to our upper support group if this is true or false.

 

·        In order to continue with the troubleshooting, we require confirming this information to isolate what the root cause may be.

 

·        As a reminder, the FUT has the following disclaimer just before starting with the FW update:

 

o   "As Intel provides no warranty for the data on your drive, you are advised to backup your data BEFORE updating the drive firmware with this utility."

 

Best regards,

 

Santiago A.

Intel® Customer Support Technician

Under Contract to Intel Corporation

Santiago_A_Intel
Employee
514 Views

Hi br0adband,

 

Greetings from Intel® SSD support group.

 

We have been given a high priority on this issue and after touching base again with the Engineering Team; they have informed us that it’s not possible to flash your SSD with our generic firmware version due to the fact that your drive is an OEM drive.

 

OEM drives are indeed Intel drives, but they were modified with a special firmware from the OEM like Lenovo*, Dell*, HP*, etc. This modification at firmware level makes impossible to flash it back with one of our generic firmware versions. That’s the reason why we can try to troubleshoot the drive in case any issue is detected, but if the drive is inaccessible or damaged in a level that makes it unrecoverable, we always recommend contacting the OEM for replacement or firmware update if available.

 

We understand you had important data in your drive, and you want to recover it by flashing the drive with our firmware version, but as explained, this is something not possible to perform.

 

We appreciate your understanding.

 

Have a nice day.

 

Best regards,

 

Santiago A.

Intel® Customer Support Technician

Under Contract to Intel Corporation

View solution in original post

JosafathB_Intel
Moderator
513 Views
Hello br0adband, Thank you for having contacted Intel® Memory & Storage Support. This is just a friendly reminder that your case remains open. Should you need our technical assistance please do not hesitate to contact us back. Best regards, Josh B. Intel® Customer Support Technician Under Contract to Intel Corporation
Santiago_A_Intel
Employee
513 Views

Hi br0adband,

 

Greetings from Intel® SSD Support Group.

 

This is to let you know this case is being closed.

 

Please feel free to get back to Intel® communities, whenever you might feel necessary.

 

Have a nice day.

 

Santiago A.

Intel® Customer Support Technician

Under Contract to Intel Corporation

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