I am disappointed in Intel about this. From that 'JW' post about the problem, dated May 17, it seems Intel has known about this random data loss issue for more than a month. A heads-up would have been nice: "Hey guys, we have recently become aware of a random data loss problem with Intel 320 SSDs and we are working on a fix. In the meantime, be sure to have your data backed up at all times and try to minimize power cycles."
Can you give more information about what happened just before the drives failed with this "8MB bug"? Maybe it can help others to reduce the chances of having the same problem?
Were the drives powered off just before the failure? Was it a "safe" or "unsafe" shutdown? Were they in a computer that went to sleep or hibernation?
Had the 8MB issue happen to me as well with my 160 GB 320. On Monday, I cloned the drive using the Intel Data Migration Software and installed the SSD in my new laptop. Monday night there was a software problem and I had to hold down the power button to cause the system to reboot. On reboot, drive was not recognized. Went though various procedures to try to get it to work. Nothing. Restarted the computer about 30-40 times. Eventually, the computer booted from the SSD. It ran fine for a while, and then I hibernated the computer. Took computer out of hibernation, drive not recognized.
After that I put in the original drive (a HDD) that laptop shipped with, machine booted right up. Attached the SSD to the laptop over USB 3.0 with the adapter the drive came with (Retail Box). Drive didn't show in "Computer". Right clicked on Computer --> Manage --> Disk Management. Drive shows as unformatted, no partition table, with an 8MB capacity. The original vendor is replacing the SSD, because I bought it less than 30 days ago.
I bought the 320 because of the proven track record of Intel SSDs. My machine supports SATA 6Gb/sec and I could have purchased a faster SSD. I choose the 320 because it is supposed to be more reliable. Dying within the first 24hours of use is not reliability. If the replacement unit fails quickly, I will need to get a refund and buy a different product. I understand taking time to fix an issue; however, it would be nice to know an issue exists so people who own the drives can take precautions.
I use OSX and have the SSD in a 2010 Macbook Pro. The first time I had the device, I enabled the TRIM hack in snow leopard and was able to use the device for about 3 weeks. I usually just close the lid on the laptop and let it sleep when I don't use the machine and open it to resume when I do use it.
The second failure just happened last night and also manifested upon resume of the laptop from a sleep state and not a full power down.
Both times, when I open the lid of the laptop, the machine appears to resume but when I try to open an application, the machine freezes and becomes unresponsive. I get the dreaded eternal beach ball. I suppose that's the same as the windows hourglass.
I do a hard power down and upon boot up immediately following that, the device no longer mounts and booting into another hard drive I'm able to open disk utility and the SSD now shows with 8.4MB of space.
Mine went from 8MB bug to working to bugged again. The first thing I did when it started working after being bugged was to use the Lenovo toolbox to run a system scan. One of the things it checks are the smart values. It said everything was fine. I did not look at the values myself. Now that the drive is back to the 8MB bugged state dead again, it is not recognized over USB 3.0 by the Intel SSD Toolbox or any other tools on my system.
Also, if I ask Windows to "initilize the drive" it stops reporting a size at all.
The technology still has unresolved bugs in it that's why they are not releasing larger capacity drives, and sadly for us enthusiasts we went out and bought whatever Intel threw at us, and obviously they only care enough to RMA the drives knowing that that's not the real solution to the problems, but in the public's eye looks like they've done the right thing.
Keep your $$ and spend it when more solid drives are released and all this bull%$#@ is worked out.
I used all these utilities, toolbox just doesn't work with my EVGA Nforce 780i all the options are grayed out and when I want to check a drive all it does is refresh the interface...go figure.
That crystal disk shows a bunch of values on the 80G drive but serial # is BAD_something, ...more Intel Bull@#$% and that's on the 120G and 80G drives I got, they went bad within 2-3 days.
Well, I managed to recover my 120Gb G3 disk(but not data) after BAD_CTX 8Mb falure using regular Intel SSD toolbox, wich I've installed on old disk in different PC (i use laptop). First time I tried to make secure erase using it there was a message stating "power cycle your SSD while Toolbox is running". I thought WTF, is it safe? But I do it as requested, and after short process disk was found by system again with normal serial number and former capacity. I made a full format and run disk Toolkit SSD utilities, not a single problem.
It will be extremly helpful if INTEL respond and explain possible causes of all this, I can't live with the fact, that ALL my documents can suddenly dissapear, because I use INTEL SSD instead of GOOD ones. And I can't RMA it now, because it is considered fine by all tests.
Also, can it be hardware/integrated RAID problem? New ones from adaptec and AFAIK AMD LOVE to power off disks for "green" hype and can fool intel firmware somehow. Making disk react to power cycles is stupidest engineering idea ever.
I figured it's during the power cycle some sort of voltage loss occurs and the drive gets scrambled, but I don't see how that can be our problem anyway, the bottomline is this, if you're lucky and the intel drive "likes" your system's configuration it will work for you, if not you will spend hours trying to make it work.
And it's not that they haven't figured it out yet, this technology was available for years even since WWII, it's just that it was not released to the public until these last 2-3 years...it's all politics trust me.
I wanted to buy myself an Intel 320 (120GB) today, but after reading this thread, I'm really hesitating. Are these cases of buggy 320s only outliners or is it a real common occurence? Would you recommend waiting to buy one of these until the problem is solved (through a new firmware)?
I would wait. I have plenty of SSDs, including an OCZ Vertex 2, a couple with the Indilinx controller, and even a couple of Intel X25-V 40GB SSDs on various notebook PCs and those of various family members. But they have all required firmware updates, including semi-emergency ones, even late in their lifespans. For my main PC, I use a Samsung spinning drive. It is very reliable, and I don't boot it up much anyway but leave it on 24/7. If you have Superfetch enabled, you get fast enough access times (Win7 for me), and the SSD won't gain you much except an occassional emergency reformatting.
Someday, but not now.