back to article Intel: SSD 320 power loss bricking bug can be fixed

The bug making Intel SSD 320s shrink to 8MB bricks is close to being fixed, according to Intel. A posting on the Intel Support Community website states: Intel has been investigating the 'Bad Context 13x Error' as seen on select Intel® SSD 320 Series drives. This was previously noted in the Intel community post as "SSD Power …


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  1. Neill Mitchell

    There's that phrase again...

    "a small percentage"

    Top spin phrase of the moment for firmware cocks ups.

  2. Gil Grissum

    SSD, not for me.

    Just one more reason to not get an SSD for my PC besides price to storage size ratio.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Price to storage (and capacity) is the only real reason not to get an SSD.

      They are no more unreliable than your standard hard drives and I've had many of them turn into bricks.

      Don't bother claiming that with hard drives you can send them off for data recovery, Very very few people actually do that with an individual drive and in 28 years of using hard drives (and having them fail) I have never had to send one off. The only time I've had to use 3rd party data recovery is with a storage array failure and that was only because some idiot (me) screwed up the configs.

    2. ChrisC Silver badge

      Seagate SD15

      If you think firmware faults like this are a reason to avoid SSDs, I suggest you google the title of this comment...

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Oh how people's memories...

      ... are so darn short!

      Have we all forgotten the Seagate firmware bug fiasco in 2009?

      And whilst there is a risk of an SSD failing it's not like spinny drives have an illustrious safety record, a statistically significant number die within the first few weeks of life and take people's data with them, and once older they certainly cannot be trusted!

      Mine's the one with 3 fully functional Intel 320s in the pocket.

      1. Captain Scarlet


        Its possible for errors to occur on traditional hard drives, its just depends how well tested and programmed the software on the firmware is designed.

        As with everything it may work well inside an R&D department but as here it looks like powering off in a certain way was not tested as much as needed.

  3. Nexox Enigma

    Drama Much?

    """the bug makes it very volatile indeed and you lose data."""

    I've got to say, I've put dozens of Intel 320 drives through thousands of power fail tests (under heavy write load) and not seen a single sector of data lost, let alone the drive bricked. I'm eagerly awaiting a firmware fix, but I disagree that this issue makes them "very volatile" storage. If you were to pull power while writing to almost any other SSD, you'd find that they have a tendency to silently discard the last few MB of data written (and sync'd "durably" to the drive) before power failure - the Intel 320 doesn't do that at all.

    As far as current SSDs go, even with this firmware bug, the 320 is the drive I'd buy for personal use.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    hdd vs ssd

    I'll take my 80GB ssd as a boot and software drive with my 6TB of hdd space as a data drive. I back up my data because I can't afford to send out an hdd to be recovered and because there is always the possibility of my ssd dying prematurely.

    Firmware is like any other piece of code. Some is written/tested better than others. I'll write off certain SKUs or companies if I notice negative trends, but my ssd was well worth the money and made a large enough cut in my rendering time to justify using it.

    The price may very well be too much, but they use less electricity and should be edging out hdd's in reliability and performance. No hate for them here.

  5. deegee

    Still cautious

    I own a small company (game industry) that relies on multiple computers. Typically I replace a system every 5-7 years. In the past ~15 years I have had only 1 hard drive fail (dies after it warms up). I've never had to use a data recovery center ($500 last time I checked).

    There are also a few SSDs in the computers here as boot/OS drives, so far no failures.

    But I do have a difficult time trusting them, especially when looking around at the manufacturer's forums, and seeing some of the "sneaky" dealings that some manufacturer's have done.

    However, unlike many people, every computer here has its boot/OS drive cloned to a spare drive in the event of a failure. Hard drives are cheap (~$45 for a 500GB) and for anyone with a system worth $1000+, there is no reason not to have a drive specifically for system restoration. I prefer cloning vs raid because of garbage-in-garbage-out problems plus there is no reason to keep the clone powered and spinning.

    I still haven't taken the big jump and changed all of the systems over to SSD boot/OS drives due to the SSD price-per-GB and the number of cases of compatibility issues. Give it more time though...

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