12 Replies Latest reply on Oct 31, 2009 5:39 AM by klerk_xde

    80GB SSD Back from the DEAD

      Like many others, my Intel 80GB SSD was trashed yesterday by the firmware update. I am now back running Win7 64 on my SSD, as I write this post. In the hopes of helping someone else, here's my story:


      Yesterday, I installed the TRIM update on my SSD. The firmware update seemed to go fine as the Intel updater reported success with the update. On re-boot, my Win7 install booted OK, windows loaded the drivers (Intel AHCI 10 driver) for the updated SSD, and then told me to re-boot. On re-boot, again windows loaded fine and all looked well.


      I ran the new Intel Toolbox and that is when the trouble began. The first thing I did was run the Diagnostic Scan. I noticed that the read test was greyed out with a red warning to contact my sales rep. I hit the start button and only the Integrity test ran. It passed the test. but I was concerned that the Read test would not even run. Then I ran the SSD Management Tools (TRIM support) and the it ran to completion and reported success. Great!


      The system ran fine for about 5 minutes, then I got a warning message from Windows that my disk drive was failing and I should make a backup (SMART error). I looked around a bit to try and find the cause and then boom, blue screen.


      I re-booted the system and the BIOS reported no boot disk available. I booted to DOS and ran the Intel firmware updater again. It reported that the update was already done, but I noticed the drive serial number as BAD_CTX. Not good.


      I re-installed my old hard disk and put the SSD on another SATA port. After booting into Win7, the SSD showed a size of 8MB and reported errors when I tried to write to it.


      I booted into DOS and ran HDDErase 3.3 on the SSD. Then re-booted into Win7 off my old drive, and the SSD was back to 75 GB in size. I formatted the drive and ran some write tests and they all passed fine. I ran the Intel Toolbox, and this time the Read test would run and complete with no problem. I noticed the the SMART attributes were all good except the End to End Error Detection Count, which showed 48 raw errors. This number has not changed, so I believe these errors were logged the first time, when the drive went bad.


      I tried to install Win7 on the SSD, and it wouldn't allow me to install to the SSD because of the old SMART errors. SO, I tried to find a way to clear the SMART errors, with no luck. Finally, I installed a backup drive image I had of my previous SSD Win7 install and it installed and booted fine. I have now been running for several hours with no probs. The only legacy problem I have is the SMART errors, which I can't clear. However, Win7 is not reporting any problems or SMART errors with the drive.
      I'm not sure why the first install failed. It appears to be a problem which would not allow the Toolbox to run a read test on the drive. If I was doing another firmware update, I would make an image of the windows SSD install, then delete any partitions on the SSD, do the update, put the SSD on another windows system and test it there with the Toolbox, and if all passed, then re-install the image onto the SSD. If necessary, run HDDErase along the way.


      So ,if I can get rid of the old SMART errors, this drive should be as good as new. INTEL, how do I clear the SMART error cache?
        • 1. Re: 80GB SSD Back from the DEAD

          Update: The drive has now been running for 24 hours with no problems. Win7 did start to complain about SMART errors after a couple of hours. This was based on the old SMART errors the drive logged, when the drive was trashed. I just told windows not to report any SMART errors, and its been fine since then.

          • 2. Re: 80GB SSD Back from the DEAD

            What if you disable SMART in the BIOS? I wonder if that would clear the errors. I had no idea that SMART errors were stored in memory other than in Windows...

            • 3. Re: 80GB SSD Back from the DEAD

              That would not help. SMART errors are stored in the drives firmware. Diabling SMART in BIOS will only prevent BIOS from reporting a SMART error. SMART aware operating systems will still see the SMART errors.

              • 4. Re: 80GB SSD Back from the DEAD

                My BIOS does not have a "turn SMART on-off" switch. With AHCI, it is always on. Even with it off, Win7 would see it directly from the drive. I believe, if I update the drive firmware again, it may clear the SMART errors, but the INTEL package will not allow you to update the same firmware more than once. So, I am stuck until there is a new firmware release.

                • 5. Re: 80GB SSD Back from the DEAD

                  Unless someone can figure out if any command line switches work on the actual firmware update program iSSDFUT.exe that might force an update.... I did play with it a little to see if it would offer any help with switches like -?, -h, -help, /?, /h, etc.... no luck though. I'd venture to guess that there are some command line switches though. If you knew what they were you could just direct boot to a command prompt and manually run it.

                  • 6. Re: 80GB SSD Back from the DEAD

                    I dumped the strings in the issdfut.exe file, looking for some switches. I came across this string embedded in the exe:


                    What is your favorite color? Bring out your dead. HOOT.00


                    Maybe someone is having some fun with us!

                    • 7. Re: 80GB SSD Back from the DEAD

                      I'm glad this helped you, but unfortunately it did not help my drive.  I had the same symptom, but HDDErase just hung (I left it running for an hour) trying to erase the disk.   

                      • 8. Re: 80GB SSD Back from the DEAD

                        We're you in IDE legacy mode? Mine hung also before I switched to this mode.

                        • 9. Re: 80GB SSD Back from the DEAD

                          Yes I was.  HDDErase was able to ID the drive fine, but both the enhanced secure erase and the regular secure erase just sat there forever.  I read that a working drive is erased in under a minute.

                          • 10. Re: 80GB SSD Back from the DEAD

                            In your case i would RMA the disk. My intels had also the same behaviour (only smart errors) but i couldnt do anything about it. Also windows didnt install because of the smart error. After a day trying i RMAed both.


                            My question is were is INTEL to answers to our problems that all began with the trim update.

                            Will they release a new firmware soon that will be able to fix our problems? I payed 410 euros one month ago for my two X25 and now i must wait a month or so for replacements

                            • 11. Re: 80GB SSD Back from the DEAD

                              My SSD x25 E extreme  only reconice  8mg of full espace ...is not great news.....have notice some other peaple in the internet with same problem with diferent ssd from intel   ....did  send it back ..........still wayting ...........

                              Eduardo Niebla


                              • 12. Re: 80GB SSD Back from the DEAD

                                After the firmware update windows XP (SP3) starts OK en detected my 80GB SSD as new hardware.   Next day windows XP hangs on boot and after that windows reported corrupted registry files and even later the system reported a read error (no boot at all).  After turning off the smart functionality in the bios I succeeded by installing Windows 7 32 bits on 20 GB partition.  Now the system is running for few days.  Windows 7 is still reporting smart errors and Intel SSD toolbox is reporting smart error "B8 End to End Detection Count".  Intel SSD Toolbox function Fast Diagnostics scan reports no error.   Intel SSD Toolbox function Full Diagnostics reported a error on Data Integrity Scan.   I partition and formated the remaining 55 GB and Full Diagnostics reported NO ERRORS