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Update on "Bad Context 13x Error"

Intel has been investigating the 'Bad Context 13x Error' as seen on select Intel® SSD 320 Series drives. This was previously noted in the Intel community post as "SSD Power Loss". To summarize the error: In certain circumstances, after an unexpected power loss, a small percentage of SSDs may experience this error on the next attempt to boot the system. In this situation, the system's BIOS reports an SSD as an 8MB capacity drive.

Intel has reproduced 'Bad Context 13x Error' utilizing strenuous testing methods. This 'Bad Context 13x Error' can be addressed via a firmware update and Intel is in the process of validating the firmware update. A future update will define the schedule to deliver the firmware fix.

The Intel SSD 320 Series continues to be shipped and is available for purchase. If you experience this error with your Intel SSD, please contact your Intel representative or Intel customer support (via web: http://www.intel.com/ www.intel.com or phone: http://www.intel.com/p/en_US/support/contact/phone www.intel.com/p/en_US/support/contact/phone) .

For those with Intel SSD 320 series SSDs who are concerned but currently unaffected, Intel advises the following actions:

  • As with any storage device, backup your data regularly

     

  • When shutting down your system, follow your system's standard shutdown process

     

  • Minimize unplugging the SSD while your system is powered

     

Intel takes these issues seriously. Please watch for further updates on this site.

Rgds,

Alan

Intel's NVM Solutions Group

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Community Manager
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This is exactly what everybody was asking for, thank you. I look forward to the schedule being posted.

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Community Manager
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Agreed. Finally Intel has responded with an informative post about the 8MB bug. Better late than never, I suppose.

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Community Manager
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"Better late than never"?

Are you serious? Intel has reproduced a rare issue that affects a minority of users, has debugged it and isolated a problem, generated a fix, and is in the process of testing it. Not too shabby for a few weeks.

My thanks, at least, go to the Intel engineers for handling this efficiently.

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Community Manager
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The first report of the bug was more than 2 months ago, as you can see if you follow the link in the "Is 320 firmware buggy?" thread. And it is easy to reproduce. Just power cycle the drive many times. Which would have been an obvious thing to test internally on a new product that just had power-fail protection capacitors added to it, and has a datasheet that says it is rated for 50,000 power cycles.

Yes, I am serious.

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Community Manager
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Thank you, intel engineers. It's relieving to hear that I may put my worries to rest.

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Community Manager
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Alan,

Thank you very much.

Will it be possible to apply the upcoming firmware fix to drives that are already suffering from this issue (thus restoring their capacity), or was it designed only to prevent it from happening in the first place (in which case all currently affected drives would have to be exchanged through RMA)?

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Community Manager
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1. Are the "old" generations of the Intel SSD affected too (I have seen some reports for G1 and G2 about "8MB bug") or it's related to the other hardware problem?

2. New upcoming firmware will fix SSD with data loss or will restore capacity with user data on it?

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Community Manager
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Hello,

I recovered my SSD by formatting it via secure erase tool.

However SMART attribute B8 is reporting an error now and I get a warning now everytime I startup my laptop: 1720 smart hard drive detects imminent failure failing attribute id b8.

Will this firmware update also fix this issue or should I rather RMA the SDD?

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Community Manager
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Just received my Intel 320 series 80GB SSD.

Packing Date: 24 May 2011

Batch # : CNCV15010B

Version # : G24397-601

S/N: CVPR1180028K080BGN

I will wait 2-3 weeks for the new firmware, before installing and using it.

Thank's foor all the forum info.

.

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Community Manager
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Do you know if I will be able to get my data back on a drive that has this issue with the firmware fix?

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Community Manager
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Great.

I have the same problem with the Intel X25-M G1 160GB model that had the same error. Do you plan to issue a firmware for these devices so I can revive the device again?

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Community Manager
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Phew. I am relieved.

Though my 120GB 320Series model is fine so far (knock on a tree) it is nice to know fix is coming

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Community Manager
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Well said. My thoughts exactly.

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Community Manager
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It would be good not to produce this issue at all. Issue must be "isolated" on the developing stage of the product, not when it manufactured and sold out. This time it can be fixed with new firmware, not so crazy like for the P67 users, who used RMA to get the new motherboard/chipset revisons. Yes it's all free of charge, but WTF?

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Community Manager
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Guest wrote:

I recovered my SSD by formatting it via secure erase tool.

However SMART attribute B8 is reporting an error now and I get a warning now everytime I startup my laptop: 1720 smart hard drive detects imminent failure failing attribute id b8.

Will this firmware update also fix this issue or should I rather RMA the SDD?

Your drive has other problems. Attribute 0xB8 is End-to-End Error, which indicates the drive internally has a problem with data transition between the on-board cache and the actual NAND cells. If the overall SMART health is failing, that indicates the normalised value (VALUE) has exceeded the alerting threshold (THRESH). Secure Erase did not cause this problem; there's nothing you can do about it other than get a replacement drive. Please file an RMA.

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Community Manager
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Is there information on which batches/serial # s are affected by the bug?

I'm receiving shipment on a 160GB 320 and would obviuosly rather wait for the new firmware before installing an OS.

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Community Manager
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Hi everyone,

I bought an Intel 320 120Gb less than a week ago.

Ran the firmware update tool and was told it had the latest version of firmware.

I wasn't aware of the "BIOS Password Issue" (http://www.intel.com/support/ssdc/hpssd/sb/CS-030724.htm http://www.intel.com/support/ssdc/hpssd/sb/CS-030724.htm) but read about the power issue elsewhere.

I enabled password on the drive, rebooted a couple of times (asking me for password each time) and proceed to install Windows 7 onto it.

Halfway through the installation (~20+%), i decided i should perform a secure erase on the drive first (to replace the hardware based encryption key),

hence i powered off the notebook.

---

Each Intel SSD 320 Series has a unique key when it

leaves the factory. The user can simply start using the SSD and data is encrypted with that unique key. However, if the user prefers a new key, one can be generated by executing a Secure Erase or Enhanced Secure Erase on the SSD.

Source: http://download.intel.com/design/flash/nand/325201.pdf http://download.intel.com/design/flash/nand/325201.pdf

---

I put the drive into an external USB3.0 enclosure (using VIA VL700 chipset)

(http://www.hornettek.com/pcaccessory/index.php/25q-hdd-enclosure/usb-30/panther http://www.hornettek.com/pcaccessory/index.php/25q-hdd-enclosure/usb-30/panther)

and connected it to another Windows 7 machine so that i could run Intel's SSD Toolkit on it.

It could not detect the drive and then i realized it was password protected.

Disconnected the USB enclosure, took the drive out from the enclosure.

Put the drive back onto the machine (which i enabled the password on, and was installing Windows 7).

Powered it up, asked for password, keyed it in...it didn't recognize my password anymore!

I've attempted this many times and it doesn't work on either notebooks i had.

Connected the drive to a PC, ran SSD Toolkit, drive is detected but unable to perform a Secure Erase (as drive was password locked).

Full LBA was detected.

I exported the SMART attributes and i could put it up somewhere if anyone wants to take a look.

So, my conclusion at this time, ATA password on the 320 Series 120Gb drive was corrupted due to sudden power-loss.

I didn't thought it would be this serious as Intel has enchanced protection against it (http://download.intel.com/design/flash/nand/325207.pdf http://download.intel.com/design/flash/nand/325207.pdf)

Now i'm stuck with the drive bought just a few days back.

Hope Intel will look into this issue too and let all of us know if the new firmware will fix this or would i need to RMA the drive?

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Community Manager
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The firmware update process ought to be interesting. From the "BIOS password issue" document:

If you have not enabled a BIOS drive password, do not be enable the BIOS drive password.

I'm not sure exactly what that means. But the firmware update procedure that I reviewed directs that the drive password be turned off:

DRIVE PASSWORD The Firmware Update Tool will not run correctly if your Drive Password is set. Make sure that your Drive Password is turned off (in your BIOS Settings) before beginning the firmware update process. After the firmware update has completed successfully, turn the drive password on again.

The BIOS password issue document recommends:

If a BIOS drive password has been enabled, do not change or remove it and contact http://www.intel.com/support/feedback.htm Intel® Customer Support for more information.

So since I already have a BIOS password, the firmware update will be a special procedure at minimum.

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Community Manager
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Took a while we have already thrown away disks...

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