1. With buying a new Intel 320 SSD today, I guess it is still very likely to get it with an "old" firmware version installed.
2. Dowload and install the latest Intel SSD Toolbox 3.0. It contains the latest 320 SSD firmware. See: http://www.intel.com/go/ssdtoolbox/.
3. With the use of Toolbox 3.0, first apply the latest firmware (4PC10362) before doing anything else with your new SSD drive.
4. As you can read on this forum, after the installation of the new firmware you still have no garantee that you 320 SDD will operate "bug free"
5. Unfortunately Intel is ignoring any request for comment and/or a reliablity status update, after the Sept-1st release of the latest firmware.
6. I do not know of any existing reliability test for a new Intel 320 series SSD.
Thanks for the helpful but somewhat discouraging answer.
One more question:
What can I do do minimize the risk of a future crash?
The crashes are said to occur due to an unexpected power loss, so what can the user do? Turn off the hibernate function and never pull the power cord (but what to do if the computer freezes?).
Can running the os on a RAID 1 array be useful, or can a disk crash affect both SSDs simultaneously?
The firmware v0362 was specificly issued to avoid the "Bad Context 13x Error / 8MB bug" after a sudden unexpected power loss!
After applying firmware v0362 the "Bad Context 13x Error" reoccured under several different circumstances. But I think nobody right now has a clear summarizing view of these cicumstances.
If you run two SSD's in a Raid1, so each SSD contains exactly the same content ( SSD's are each other data mirrors) that certainly should be of help. Following this forum closely during the past few month's, I have seen no indication of SSD "Bad Context 13x Error" sympathy sickness. So IMHO if one SSD fails there is a very great change that the other SSD does keep working. Perhaps other forum members have an opinion about this too.
Yes, I will use a HDD as backup, already am.
But, as a poster complained on another SDD forum:
"My SDD failed too, it's all very well to say that this is new technology etc, but is this a reasonable excuse for people like me going without their PC while the suspect drive is returned to the suppliers? Even when it's back I'll have the heartache of re-installing the OS and programs and then all the software updates. Surely as the manufacturer you should only sell a product when it's reliable and stable, otherwise you are going to alienate a proportion of your customer base, plus word of mouth will play its part too. I have many friends who now won't go near an SSD drive. Would a car manufacturer release a car where it is unusable after a short period of time? Then expect the customer to put it right, e.g. saying 'this is a totally new engine so you'd better fit two and a spare of the old type just in case'. I don't think so."
- If buying a 320 today, can it still have the faulty firmware?
Yes. The latest firmware still has the issue. I have not heard of anything that would fix the issue. It's possible there is a hardware component to it as well, but again, I have not heard of any fix.
- What firmware should it have?
v0362, which was said to fix the issue, but does not fix affected drives.
- Is the new, "faultproof" firmware really faultproof?
My 320 was affected, and the firmware did not fix it.
- Can I check the reliability of the 320 before I install the OS?
I don't know how you would do that.
If you have an Intel 320, I highly recommend a continuous backup system like Apple's Time Machine with an external HDD. I just had mine brick again due to a crash and it was relatively painless to restore.
Note that you do not have to lose power. If your computer freezes to the point where it becomes unresponsive and you have to hit the power button, it will brick the 320.
I looked into replacing the 320 after this latest problem, and the OCZ Vertex 4 looks promising. It does not have the Sandforce controller that caused a lot of crashes and freezes. You might consider it.
I can confirm. My SSD 320 600GB just died over the weekend in my Mac Mini 2011, after 9 months of use, without a power failure being involved as far as I know (but I was away, could've happened). I had the latest firmware, treated the drive and machine well. No way to recover data, as far as anyone knows.
Intel will replace it but they cannot replace the data (I have somewhat recent backups) or the 2 days it will
take to get my Mac and Windows partitions reinstalled and configured properly. A big pain, cannot trust these drives, or any ssd really.
Which versions of the 320 are reliable? Zero.
I have had the same experience as everyone else, thank god i did not pay full retail for the 600GB... I will NEVER buy another intel drive again. The only intel product I will have is the processors due to lack of options/competition. What a joke how crappy customer service for this product is. A full year and a bit later and no fix, no acknowledgment that the problem even still exists just the "replace the drive" until that one fails and go through this all over again. I bought an OCX Vertex 4 512GB, has worked like a dream for months. I highly recommend them over the **** intel drive as several of my friends use them as well. The Intel SSD just sitting in-front of me as a paper weight...
Hello, I have Intel SSD 320 Series 40GB. I've been using it for more than a year now, and I have absolutely no problems with it.
I've read that some people experience problems with this SSD - it may become 8MB in size. In August 2011 there was a firmware update (4PC10362) intended to solve this problem, but it didn't solve it. Since then I've stopped being interested in this matter.
I'm running on stock firmware - 4PC10302.
My questions is is there a new firmware that really prevents the "8MB bug" from happening or I'd better stay with the stock firmware and not pull the devil's tail?