Not too long ago Intel officially recognized that its SSD 320 is impacted by a bug that results in the drive's capacity being limited to 8MB. Today Intel announced that it has found the root cause of the problem, developed a firmware fix and is currently validating the firmware. As soon as the update is through Intel's validation it'll be released to end users.

Validation testing is an important process of any software/hardware release. It includes regression testing to make sure that no previously fixed bugs are re-introduced with the new firmware, as well as compatibility and performance testing to ensure that nothing new is broken with the release. Obviously  validation is only as good as the test plan itself. Clearly the Intel SSD 320 made its way through initial validation without ever discovering this bug, however now that it's been found Intel has probably modified its SSD validation to include bugs of this nature. 

You can always increase the scope of your validation by testing more scenarios on more hardware in parallel. Unfortunately this does increase developments costs and as we mentioned in our last SSD article, there's not a ton to be made in consumer SSDs to begin with. 

Source: Intel Communities

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  • cbass64 - Monday, August 15, 2011 - link

    Curious about the root cause of this issue because I had a multiple drive RAID 0 with Intel 320 300GB drives and they all showed up as 8MB at the exact same time. They all went back to the proper size after re-flashing the same firmware on it though. Reply
  • Ao1 - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - link

    Again you are implying that Intel have somehow cut corners in the validation process to save money.

    No matter how much time and money you spend on validation it can never be 100%. If this issue was widespread, as you insinuate by calling it a "plague" then maybe a deficiency in validation exists and you have a reasonable point, however to prove that point you need to put the problem in perspective and inform readers of the amount of people affected vs the amount of product sold. Did you even bother to ask Intel for that info?

    For whatever reason you seem to hone in on Intel issues, which are completely insignificant to the problems being generated by other SSD vendors, who do not even attempt to validate F/W before releasing it.

    You are on the right track regarding margins, but you are focusing on the wrong company. Why not do an in-depth review on the validation processes that are carried out by SSD vendors? Whilst you are at it undertake an in-depth review of the components that SSD vendors use. I think (know) the outcome of that review would be shocking if you dug deep enough.
    Reply
  • FunBunny2 - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - link

    Irony: the 320 was designed with power caps to stop just this problem. Reply
  • Leaninsider - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    After doing some searching and testing I found that the only way to recover your SSD is to do an secure erase.

    First off all the firmware update didn't work like it was supposed to:
    It kept saying these things:

    1)Disable drive password (BIOS)
    2)Enable SMART capability
    3)enable Legacy IDE ( wil work in AHCI to)

    The secure erase option in the ssd toolbox didn't function as well.

    So finnaly I ended up using an Linux Distribution OS named 'Parted Magic'

    http://sourceforge.net/projects/partedmagic/

    Steps to solve:
    1.Burn ISO to disk
    2.Boot from disk
    3.Load the OS to your RAM
    4.Go to System tools
    5.Select Secure Erase
    6.Select the harddrive
    7.It will complain , just click sleep. ( The computer will fall asleep , just hit a keyboard button and it will restart)
    8.repeat steps 4-6
    9.Your ssd should be fixed.

    Hope this helps!
    Reply

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