Not too long ago Intel officially recognized that its SSD 320 is impacted by a bug that results in the drive's capacity being limited to 8MB. Today Intel announced that it has found the root cause of the problem, developed a firmware fix and is currently validating the firmware. As soon as the update is through Intel's validation it'll be released to end users.

Validation testing is an important process of any software/hardware release. It includes regression testing to make sure that no previously fixed bugs are re-introduced with the new firmware, as well as compatibility and performance testing to ensure that nothing new is broken with the release. Obviously  validation is only as good as the test plan itself. Clearly the Intel SSD 320 made its way through initial validation without ever discovering this bug, however now that it's been found Intel has probably modified its SSD validation to include bugs of this nature. 

You can always increase the scope of your validation by testing more scenarios on more hardware in parallel. Unfortunately this does increase developments costs and as we mentioned in our last SSD article, there's not a ton to be made in consumer SSDs to begin with. 

Source: Intel Communities

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  • imaheadcase - Monday, August 15, 2011 - link

    This is sort of on topic..but did Crucial ever address the way the M4 does garbage collection that you posted about in the review awhile back?

    Did they fix it with a firmware or what? I been thinking of the M4 or intel drive but never saw a followup about it.
  • damianrobertjones - Monday, August 15, 2011 - link

    Have a quick look on the Crucial support forum and you'll find people having other 'serious' issues with their drives. If the laptop/computer boots too fast the M4 simply isn't ready which leads to a black screen. Soft reset, boots.

    I've experienced the same issue on a Probook 6460b.
  • imaheadcase - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - link

    None of the reviews or people i know have such issues.
  • sstouffer - Monday, August 15, 2011 - link

    I'm hearing about 2nd gen Sandforce SSDs getting firmware to fix their BSOD issues but the 1st gen are still having resume-from-S3 Sleep issues, I hope they still end up fixing that.
  • icrf - Monday, August 15, 2011 - link

    I had that issue with the 60G Vertex 2 I had in my desktop. The problem went away when I moved the SSD to my laptop (it sleeps just fine). I replaced it with a 120G Vertex 3 in the same desktop, and I had BSOD issues. The beta firmware cleared that up.

    So whatever problems Sandforce has, my desktop hardware is a victim of all of it. It's a five year old Abit AB9Pro with an Intel E6600 in it.

    I have a 160G Intel 320 in my desktop at work (HP Z400). Haven't hit this bug yet, thankfully, but will probably apply the update once it's released.
  • sstouffer - Monday, August 15, 2011 - link

    I have the issue with my Corsair F40, and I've tried it in my Gigabyte EP35-DS3L/E8400 main system, Gigabyte G31-based HTPC and Dell Vostro 1400 laptop. All experience the same problem. Corsair doesn't seem as firmware-happy compared to OCZ. Still waiting for a fix.
  • czesiu - Monday, August 15, 2011 - link

    Are there any other known problems with Intel 320 SSDs?
  • Beenthere - Monday, August 15, 2011 - link

    Neither Intel nor any other SSD supplier is giving away SSDs. They obviously are making a good profit or they would not bother to even sell them. The lack of reliability, compatibility issues, operational problems, etc. suggest a rush-to-market mentality which has been quite profitable for O/S companies, software companies, mobo companies and others.

    Let's hope Intel and all the rest of the SSD companies get their defective products sorted out soon.
  • Coup27 - Monday, August 15, 2011 - link

    I am sorry if this gets on anybodies goat but I cannot help but feel this is another subtle prod at Intel. OCZ have been dishing out all kinds of shit over the last few years and AT is normally weeks, pushing months behind on reporting the issue. The current SF BSOD bug has been around ages and AT didn't even update their reviews of the OCZ drives with the issue and it was only addressed in the new article this week. Yet here we have an article on the same day of the Intel announcement.

    Due to the volatile nature of SSDs, maybe these are the first of a new 'finger on the pulse' style of reporting, which if it is then I welcome that. We'll see.
  • KITH - Monday, August 15, 2011 - link

    Personally, I had not heard about this issue with Intel drives until now. I know they did have some isolated problems with their original drives with this type of issue, though.

    This article doesn't seem to be putting the focus on there having been a problem but rather on the fact that they have a solution and that that solution should be available to the public soon.

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