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Alan_F_Intel
Employee
4,389 Views

Update from Intel's NAND Solutions Group - Firmware issue

To 34nm (G2) Intel® X25-M Solid-State Drive consumers,

• Intel has confirmed an issue with the firmware update process for 34nm (G2) Intel® X25-M SSDs (80GB and 160GB). This predominantly affected Windows* 7 (64bit) users during or immediately after the upgrade process to 02HA firmware using the firmware update tool (version 1.3). Intel plans to release a fix for this issue by the end of November 2009.

• Please see below to decide what you should do:

If you have not upgraded to 02HA but using 02G2 or 02G9 – then use new tool when available to upgrade to new firmware to get Trim support and better sequential write performance (160GB)

If you have successfully upgraded to 02HA - then continue using the SSD, there are no known issues.

If you have received a SSD with 02HA pre installed – then continue using the SSD, there are no known issues.

If you have unsuccessfully upgraded to 02HA - then contact Intel Customer Support for instructions on how to recover the SSD via secure erase or return SSD to Intel for replacement or refund.

*Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.

Alan

NAND Solutions Group

Intel Corporation

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24 Replies
idata
Community Manager
151 Views

Intel plans to release a fix for this issue by the end of November 2009.

Does this mean that Intel will release a revised 02HA firmware which can only be applied by those who still have 02G2 or 02G9, or will the new firmware be offered to anyone including those who successfully upgraded to 02HA?

 

I am asking because while I successfully upgraded to 02HA, I was told by Intel support staff that I should not replace the Intel MSM drivers with the Microsoft ones, since, with the current 02HA firmware, it might trash my SSD if TRIM is passed to the drive (Win7 x64). Also, the raw amount of data written to the SSD is inplausibly high, according to SMART (numerous gigabytes each day, even when virtually nothing is written to the drive) - could that mean the lifespan of the drive is shortened significantly, or will the drive produce SMART errors once the calculated lifespan (based on raw writes) is exceeded?

 

If so, I'd expect that either Intel will offer a new firmware open to anyone including those who successfully flashed 02HA which also fixes the "raw writes" problem, or will at least offer to replace those 02HA drives who exhibit no direct failure but still suffer from a severly shortened lifespan or SMART errors.

DZand
Valued Contributor I
151 Views

@ derkurt:

As far as I understood the start post, it is not the Firmware version 02HA, which is faulty, but the installer version of the flash tool.

idata
Community Manager
151 Views

[Quote]

If you have not upgraded to 02HA but using 02G2 or 02G9 – then use new tool when available to upgrade to new firmware to get Trim support and better sequential write performance (160GB)

[/Quote]

Why do you specify 160GB? I've got a new (still in sealed package) 80GB. Is there an additional problem with the 80GB?

Kenneth Tan

idata
Community Manager
151 Views

The firmware is for 80GB and 160GB drives, but only the 160 GB drive will have better sequencial speed after the upgrade.

Because the 160 GB drive has 2 times the number of chips of the 80GB, they could increase its sequencial speed a bit in the new firmware.

idata
Community Manager
151 Views

derkurt,

When did the Intel support line say this to you? If it was early on it may have been before they realised that it was the loader program that was causing the incorrect firmware installation, and not the firmware itself.

It is clear now that the 'new firmware' is not a new firmware at all, just a firmware + a corrected installer. So if you have successfully upgraded to 02HA you should have no further problems, and you should be able to reinstall the Microsoft drivers to successfully use TRIM.

idata
Community Manager
151 Views

I am not so sure about that. If the installer was bad, why have some of us been able to upgrade the firmware? Maybe some compatility issue, but maybe something else is not right with the 02HA firmware.

idata
Community Manager
151 Views

afrosty, thanks for keeping us informed and providing an ETA. Very much appreciated!

idata
Community Manager
151 Views

afrosty, thanks for keeping us informed and providing an ETA. Very much appreciated!

 

Just click the "Announcement" link at the top of this forum's index.<!-- [DocumentBodyEnd:cd5fa88f-c2f9-4ece-af5d-5009e9ee0fd6] --><!-- BEGIN attachments --><!-- END attachments -->
idata
Community Manager
151 Views

So your point exactly is ?

That I should not thank afrosty because the information is also accessible in another way and not only at the top of the thread that he created?

idata
Community Manager
151 Views

Based on the two updates from the NAND solutions group (firmware, updater and Toolbox), a couple of things become clear:

1) I have not seen any posts on this forum, or anywhere else, about the loss of Windows Restore points, so some users must have brought it to Microsof'ts attention. There has probably been alot of back and forth between Microsoft and Intel on this issue, hence, a long delay.

2) Someone at Intel surely didn't do a thorough job of testing their releases. These are not uncommon or isolated operating systems. 64 bit Win7 and Vista are mainstream, and most users probably use Restore points, as they are on by default.

Intel could not or did not find the problems before release, but it only took the users a few hours to trip over the issues.

So, I've learned two things from this. One is to never install new firmware, when first released, but give it a few days or weeks to prove itself. And two, it looks like Intel should institue a BETA testing program with the users, as they are real good at finding problems.

idata
Community Manager
151 Views

So your point exactly is ?

That I should not thank afrosty because the information is also accessible in another way and not only at the top of the thread that he created?

 

No, I was pointing out the link to you, or anyone else who had not noticed it at the top of the page. I hadn't noticed it for several days.
idata
Community Manager
151 Views

Anyone contacted Intel Customer Support for instructions on how to recover the SSD via secure erase?

Will this procedure fix SMART end to end errors?

idata
Community Manager
151 Views

The issue is with Windows 7 64-bit and I upgraded the firmware to 3 SSD's using Windows 7 64-bit. Now, that strikes me as quite remarkable!

idata
Community Manager
151 Views

Well, I didn't contact Intel Customer Support for details on how to recover the SSD via secure erase, but I'm pretty sure it's still done with "HHDErase 3.3".

I tried to secure erase my broken SSD with this tool a couple of times now but it just hangs around and does nothing...

Do you think the new firmware could fix this problem so I can do a proper erase after flashing?

idata
Community Manager
151 Views

I'm also interested in fixing the end to end errors. HD Tune reported some damaged blocks on my SSD after a failed firmware update, which I was able to recover from, somehow. I decided to upgrade my motherboard to one with AHCI and ran HDDErase at ambizytl's suggestion rather than using the Win7 disk to reformat. HD Tune no longer reported damaged blocks but today Win7 gave the hard disk failing warning. I found that the SSD has 172 end to end errors. Is it RMA time for me?

idata
Community Manager
151 Views

I fear it is but I suggest to wait for the new version of the Tool to see if it can help in fixing your errors.

idata
Community Manager
151 Views

You can try one more thing, run HDDerase again and then format the drive in Windows 7.

idata
Community Manager
151 Views

HDDerase did not fix SMART error problem for me

idata
Community Manager
151 Views

AFAIK there is nothing that an end user can do to change S.M.A.R.T data.