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Intel fixes password bug on solid-state drives

Firmware update available for latest SSDs

Intel has resumed shipping its latest consumers solid-state drives (SSDs) after resolving a password bug that made the drives inoperable, making it impossible to access or retrieve data.

The company said it had issued updated firmware for the Intel X25-M consumer SSDs that resolves the password bug. The firmware is available on Intel's website.

Shipments of the drives to retailers also resumed with the bug now fixed, said Daniel Snyder, an Intel spokesman. Intel halted shipments of the drives after discovering the bug.

Intel had earlier said it had found a bug impacting users who set a BIOS drive password on the newly released SSDs made using the 34-nanometre process. The SSDs would be inoperable after a user sets a BIOS drive password, disables or changes the password, and then reboots the computer. The updated firmware is available as an ISO file that needs to be burned on a CD or DVD.

This bug was specific to SSDs, and it did not apply to computer, network or operating system password, Snyder said in a July 24 email.

Intel's introduced new X25-M and X18-M SSDs, on July 21, targeted at laptop and desktop PCs. The drives are being offered in sizes of 1.8in and 2.5in, with capacities of 80GB and 160GB. At the time of release, Intel said the drives delivered close to double the random write performance compared to their predecessors.

However, in internal testing, PC Advisor's sister publication Computerworld US has so far found the read and write rates of the X25-M with 160GB of storage subpar compared to its predecessors.

There are known installation issues for SSD's new firmware, according to an instruction manual on Intel's website. Some systems, including Apple Macintosh systems with Nvidia chipsets, do not instantly recognize an Intel SSD. A user needs to complete the SSD firmware upgrade on a system without an Nvidia chipset, and then reinstall the drive in the system with an Nvidia chipset.

See also:

Intel X18-M and Intel X25-M review


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