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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 Targon on 7/31/2009 8:01:57 AM , Rating: 2
Problems....back when Windows XP was new, Creative pretty much refused to support the OS for their SB Live line of cards. Their claim was that you had to buy one of the NEW generation of cards to get support under Windows XP. The base drivers for Windows would work, but there would be horrible stuttering of sound in many games, and in general it just wasn't good.

Now, during that initial period, I got disgusted with the attitude(a one year old card not being supported on the new version of Windows). So, I went Turtle Beach at that point since they DID have some nice cards, and I had no trouble.

Then, Creative finally released some drivers a year or two later...and they were better, but still had a lot of problems.

Now, when Vista came out, this is where many people learned just how horrible a company Creative is. If you had an Audigy(first generation), many features were turned off in the drivers, and quality was toned way down. It became a big issue when someone hacked the drivers to turn on the features that Creative said were unsupported in Vista, and they all worked perfectly. The drivers COULD do it, but Creative just wanted to PUSH people into buying a new sound card by intentionally crippling the drivers in Vista. The person who hacked the drivers got all sorts of threats from Creative about it too, because they didn't want people who bought one of their previous generation of cards to know what they had done(intentionally breaking functionality under Vista just for sales purposes).

In addition to all of this, the quality and support from Creative Labs has left a LOT to be desired...basically, they want to force people to buy new products from them for every new OS. Windows 7 is based on Vista, and uses the same driver model, but I bet Creative will intentionally break their cards so you will be forced to buy a new card that isn't any better than your old card.

The funny thing is that they do this, in an era where integrated audio on motherboards has been getting better and better, to the point where I don't see a real need for a dedicated sound card in most cases. So, they are upsetting their existing customers, and driving many away when the built-in audio may be perfectly acceptable.

This sort of thing is why the market for sound cards is pretty much dead at this point, because there isn't much of a need. The majority of people don't have speakers that are high enough quality to show the difference in sound quality anyway, so if the speakers are not good, then the need for a really high quality sound card isn't there. If you have great speakers, then you may notice a difference, but it may still not be enough to worry about.

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