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Intel's flash new SSDs hit by bugs

Don't alter a set BIOS password

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Intel's latest brace of solid state drives has been pulled from the market while a firmware bug gets fixed.

Once the firmware bug has been fixed, the drives will go back on sale by etailers and, no doubt, a firmware upgrade will be made available to existing customers.

Built on Intel's 34nm process, the generation 2 X25-M and X18-M were introduced just ten days ago. The new SSDs represent a partial upgrade of the previous 50nm process line and were announced with faster performance and price cuts.

According to a Daily Tech report, the bug prevents access to any data on the drive. It is set off by users setting a password in the BIOS for the drive and then either changing or disabling it.

Existing customers should not even think about altering or disabling an existing BIOS password they have set up.

When Intel first introduced the MLC (multi-level cell) X25 and X18 SSD range last year a firmware bug was subsequently identified that slowed the drives down and Intel had to issue a fix for that. This second episode of firmware bug-ery will raise questions about Intel's testing procedures.

Meanwhile, Intel spokespeople have confirmed that there will be a 34nm version of the SLC (single level cell) X25-E product, E meaning extreme, the old 50nm process ranges high-speed model. Its speed is now eclipsed by the new X25-M, with M meaning mainstream, and the, presumably faster, 34nm X25-E will arrive next year. It will be accompanied by a higher capacity X25-M model, one with 320GB capacity. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

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