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Intel replicates 'bricked SSD' bug, pledges fix

Says solution a 'high priority'

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Intel has once again promised a fix for the glitchy firmware update tool it released for its 34nm solid-state drives last month. But it still can't say when the new version will arrive.

The chip giant released new firmware for the drives on 26 October. The following day it pulled the software after a number of users running 64-bit Windows 7 systems alleged the software bricked their SSDs.

Yesterday, Alan Frost of Intel's NAND Solutions Group wrote: "Intel has replicated the issue on 34nm SSDs - X25-M - and is working on a fix."

He added: "Intel is pursuing the resolution of this as a high priority. Intel is seeking direct feedback on this issue from members of the [Intel Support Community]... asking them to send their drives directly to Intel to expedite the analysis of the issues. This action will enable us to more quickly generate a resolution for this issue."

The firmware update - version 02HA - 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.

Frost said that "no related issues have been reported by users who have successfully upgraded to 02HA firmware via the firmware upgrade tool", implying that it's not the firmware that's at fault but the loader software, which was released at version 1.3. ®

Thanks to reader Neil 7 for the tip.

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