I've been using two of 320 drives for about 8 months or so with no problem, but I'm still doing weekly backups just in case. Despite my skepticism my next SSD will probably still be a 320 - the number of complaints in this forum really isn't that many compared to other manufacturers. Of course it may very well be the case that other manufacturers drives are more reliable, but they push a lot more volume so there are more people with problems, or maybe the kind of person who buys intel drives are less prone to posting complaints on a forum... but I would like to think that the firmware bug is mostly gone and those with problem either got a lemon or are very unlucky.
I bought 3 Intel SSD 320 Series 300GB drives in November 2011. Since then we have had the 8 MB issue 4 times all within weeks of using the drives.
Hard Drive 1: Did a clean install on the laptop in December 2012. Upgraded to latest firmware in January after Drive 2 died. Has not had any issues.
Hard Drive 2: Used the Intel Data migration utility in December 2012. Drive died with 8MB issue in January. Discovered all the threads about the issue and the need for the new firmware. Intel Support replaced the drive.
Hard Drive 2b (1st replacement drive): Made sure the replacement drive was at the latest firmware. It was. Used the Intel Data migration utility in February 2012. Drive died with the 8MB issue in March. Called Intel support in April and they replaced the drive again. No explanation as to why. Can’t reassure me that it won’t happen again. They say they are still not sure what is causing the issue. I asked if they would replace with a model where this issue does not occur. They said no.
Hard Drive 2c (2nd replacement drive): Replacement drive was at the latest firmware. Used the Intel data migration utility again in April 2012. And again the drive died in June 2012 with the 8 MB issue. Called Intel Support again in July. They are replacing it again. Will not provide an alternative product.
Hard Drive 3: didn’t start using this until May 2012. Use the data migration utility on it and it too dies within weeks with the 8MB issue. Reported along with Hard Drive 2c. Intel is replacing.
That’s 4 drives all in the same model Laptops, Dell XPS 17 running 64-bit Windows 7 Ultimate. These are heavy usage business (not gaming) machines used for software development. Only difference from the single drive that is still working is the use of the data migration utility.
These 3 drives were tests to see how much the SSDs improved productivity with the development team before getting drives for the rest of the team. The conclusion is that SSDs are the way to go. However, Intel will not provide an alternative replacement to the 320s. This is very disappointing. I cannot understand how Intel can even continue to provide these drives with this known flaw. I also cannot understand why they would not replace it with a different model. At this point I have no faith with them as a product or as a company standing behind there product. At least for SSDs, this is strike out for Intel at my company and all the companies we make recommendations to (100s of developers). Our plan is to sell the replacement drives on Craigslist and go with another manufacturer. Any suggestions?