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Intel pulls SSD update

Users claim it hoses Windows 7

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Intel has pulled the solid-state drive firmware update it released this week after an unspecified number of users claimed the software wasn't entirely compatible with Windows 7.

In a statement, the chip giant said: "We take all sightings and issues seriously and are working toward resolution. We have temporarily taken down the firmware update while we investigate."

It didn't specify what the problem or problems are. However, forum posters around the net have alleged that the update left their SSDs dead. Others claim that the update sooner or later forces Windows 7 to restart, after which the OS will not run.

The update was designed solely for the latest, 34nm generation of Intel's X25-M SSDs and not the earlier models. At this time, it's impossible to say whether the claimed drive deaths are due to users applying the update inappropriately or whether there's a serious flaw in Intel's code.

The update adds support for the Sata command Trim, an SSD-oriented option that helps the operating system write data to the drive in large chunks, allowing it to leverage Flash memory's high sequential write speeds rather than fall back on much slower random write speeds.

According to Intel, it ensures performance remains at "out-of-the-box levels" rather than gradually slowing, as is the case with many SSDs that don't support Trim.

Intel said the new software will bring a performance increase to PC users running Windows XP and Vista. Windows 7 supports Trim natively, but Intel has separately released a utility called SSD Optimizer, part of its SSD Toolbox suite, which adds Trim to the older operating systems. ®

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