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Intel reacts quickly to minimize fallout

A lot of excitement and demand has been built up for Intel's second generation SSDs which use 34nm NAND flash chips produced through a joint venture with Micron. There is a slight reduction in latency, but the big news at launch was the massive price cuts that Intel was introducing.

However, Intel has confirmed that it is delaying shipments of its new SSDs due to a data corruption issue affecting all of the new drives.

The problem occurs when a user sets a BIOS drive password on the new SSDs and then disables or changes the password. If the user powers off the computer, the drive will become inoperable and the data stored on it will remain inaccessible.

However, the problem will not occur if the user has not set a BIOS drive password. This erratum does not apply to computer, network or operating system passwords. Intel claims that the root cause has been identified and a new fix is currently under validation. The company expects to post an end user firmware update to fix this erratum in the next two weeks. It is not yet clear whether the new fix will be able to restore access to data on those drives, or if the firmware update would overwrite that data.
Intel is advising their SSD customers to not disable or change their BIOS drive password if they have already created a BIOS drive password.

The issue is reminiscent of Seagate's firmware problems, although on a much smaller scale.
Meanwhile, Intel has suspended all shipments of the new SSDs until the firmware fix is validated and installed on the drives. Online retailers like Newegg and ZipZoomFly have also pulled the new drives from their ordering systems.

Update: Data that has been locked out will not be recoverable, according to a email from a representative of Intel.

"The data on a user's drive is only at risk if they have enabled the BIOS
password, then disabled or changed it, rendering the SSD inoperable. The
data on those drives data is not recoverable. The firmware fix will prevent
the drive from becoming inoperable when using and modifying the BIOS

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RE: Problem? serious one?
By theslug on 7/30/2009 4:00:32 PM , Rating: 2
I can't speak for their current sound cards, but they have made some of the best portable media players, like the creative zen.

RE: Problem? serious one?
By Thrawn on 7/30/2009 10:25:38 PM , Rating: 2
I have to completely agree. In the past I had a Creative Nomad Jukebox 2 and it just wouldn't die. When the Battery did eventually die it cost about 5$ for a cell that was slightly smaller dimensions but lasted longer then the old one (so some crazy time like 26 hours at a fairly high volume) and the hard drive was the same except I got a old one from a laptop that was going to be thrown away and used that. So about 175$ for nearly 7 years of life out of a device. (Gave it to my girlfriend and it is still ticking)

RE: Problem? serious one?
By Ryanman on 7/31/2009 7:57:36 PM , Rating: 2
I have a vision M. It's been slammed onto concrete, thrown around, stored in my car at 120+ degrees, and still has had only one hard reset.
Meanwhile creative's software wouldn't ever sync it properly, or convert video to work on it, or work with their other software. Thank god it at least works with WMP.

"It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I'm okay with that." -- Microsoft COO Kevin Turner

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