Intel pulls firmware for SSDs just a day after release

Users complain that the firmware upgrade could cause systems to crash

Intel has pulled a firmware upgrade it released on Monday for its X25-M consumer solid-state drives as users complained that the software caused crashes.

The company on Monday made available a software package called SSD Toolbox to monitor and manage the performance and health of X25-M SSDs on systems running the Windows 7 OS. The package included a firmware upgrade and software called SSD Optimizer that included diagnostic tools to help keep the Intel SSD running at high performance.

"We have been contacted by users with issues with the 34-nanometer Intel SSD firmware upgrade and are investigating. We take all sightings and issues seriously and are working toward resolution. We have temporarily taken down the firmware link while we investigate," an Intel spokesman said in an e-mail.

The spokesman declined to comment on when the company would issue updated firmware. Intel declined comment on potential problems users could face, but in a forum on the company's Web site, users said the firmware led to driver problems that crashed SSDs, making systems with the Windows 7 OS unusable.

"Upon rebooting into Windows 7, Windows began installing new drivers automatically. Don't know what it was installing, but it requested a reboot when it was done and poof!" wrote a poster who went by the name of Georgewillow. The system prevented a reinstall of Windows 7, citing problems detected by the disk monitoring function built into the hardware.

After installing the firmware, a poster named Shade saw an error message on rebooting a Windows 7 system that read "A disk read error has occurred. Press CTRL-ALT-DELETE to reboot." Though the SSD with the Windows 7 OS was inoperable, a drive with the Windows Vista OS was accessible, Shade wrote.

"I hope Intel can answer is my SSD dead for good or is there a way to get it [to] work again?" asked a poster named Rohirm.

However, some on the board said they were able to successfully install the firmware on PCs with the Windows 7 OS.

Intel has had problems in the past with firmware for X25-M SSDs made using the 34-nanometer manufacturing process. Intel in August pulled firmware for the SSDs after a password bug made the drives inoperable, making it impossible to access or retrieve data. It reissued the firmware after the bug was fixed.

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Agam Shah

IDG News Service
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